How to drive a manual car

The Basics of starting off… Start the Car!

There are checks and adjustments you should make before starting the engine or moving off. Ensuring the handbrake is on, adjusting your seating and mirrors. Before pulling away you should also ensure it is safe to do so by all round observations. These will be covered in other articles.

Car Keys

1. Put the clutch pedal down (you may need to do this to start the car’s engine)

Clutch Down

2. Move the gear stick into first gear

Gear Stick


3. Use your right foot to press down on the accelerator gently to increase the engine’s revs very slightly

Gas (or accelerator)


4. Slowly lift the clutch pedal using your left foot until it starts to vibrate gently

This vibration is known as the car’s “bite point” – this is where the clutch plates start to come together. (The car may also dip slightly)


6. Remove the handbrake and the car should start to move slowly


Car Handbrake

7. Increase the revs while slowly raising your foot off the clutch until you are moving forward with only the use of the accelerator pedal

Remember – if you’re too quick lifting your foot off the clutch, or don’t give it enough revs, the car will stall: that’s where the engine cuts out and the red lights glow on the dashboard. ;-(

 If you stall apply the brakes/handbrake, keep the clutch down, (return the gear stick to neutral if needed), restart the engine and begin the process again.

Be Safe and give us a call if you want to know more. Once the first steps are mastered, things do become easier.

Devon Driver & Rider Training

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