Having trouble on mini-roundabouts

Car manoeuvring at mini-roundabout

Published 9 April 2021
Last updated 12 April 2021

Ever struggled at a mini-roundabout? This blog explains how to approach them, when to give way and how much space to leave other vehicles. Become a mini-roundabout expert today!

Have you ever struggled with a mini-roundabout? Have you looked at traffic flashing past and been unable to decide when it’s safe to pull out? If so, you’re not alone – even experienced drivers can, from time to time, find themselves scratching their head, uncertain when to launch themselves over the ‘give way’ line.

It was only this morning, in fact, that I saw a group of drivers playing ‘after you’ on the mini-roundabout at the end of my road. Nobody was quite sure who should enter the roundabout first, so engines revved and drivers looked confused … but nothing happened. If that sounds like you, then never fear: the Safe Driving for Life blog is here to help.

Basically, there’s no big secret to mini-roundabouts. Treat them just like you would their big brothers. That means you should slow down and be prepared to give way to traffic entering the roundabout from the right.

Circle of strife

Well, that seems pretty simple, so what’s all the fuss about? Well, if there’s any problem at all, the clue’s probably in the name. Mini-roundabouts are smaller than your standard roundabout and this simple physical fact seems to cause some people a few headaches. So to get round (sorry!) that, bear these golden rules in mind

  • Before you enter the roundabout, make sure that any vehicles already using it are preparing to leave it. Some drivers could be using the roundabout to perform a U-turn. This can make the gap for oncoming vehicles very small indeed. If in doubt, stay at the roundabout entrance and look for tell-tale indications.
  • There’s less space to manoeuvre and less time to signal, but try to give a clear indication of your intentions to other drivers.
  • Do not be tempted to drive straight over the middle of a mini-roundabout. Pass round the central markings, unless you’re driving a large vehicle or towing a trailer that cannot make such a small turn.

The roundabout way

OK, we’re on a roll now and should be feeling good about the prospects of encountering our next mini-roundabout. Is that it? Well, not quite. Occasionally, you may encounter a ‘double’ mini-roundabout. It’s not as scary as it sounds; you just need to treat each roundabout separately and always give way to traffic on your right. Oh, and do not forget to keep looking carefully all around you as your enter!

That concludes our short tour of mini-roundabouts. If you’re still hungry for more, then head over to the Safe Driving for Life shop and check out The Official DVSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills and The Official DVSA Guide to Better Driving. They’re packed full of useful information that’s designed to improve your driving skills and behaviour, and they’re a pretty good read too!

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