Keep your right heel firmly on the floor. This improves your overall control of the car and enables you to be precise with accelerating.
Make sure your right foot is squarely on the pedal. Use the ball of your foot on the pedal and position your foot centrally on it.
DO NOT use your left foot! Use only your right foot on the gas pedal.
Make sure you are not pressing the wheel arch by mistake. To avoid his you can position your foot slightly left of the gas pedal which has a certain amount of ‘give’.
Make sure you are not pressing two pedals at once. Position your right heel on the floor midway between the gas and brake and pivot your foot to rest squarely on the gas pedal. Also consider the footwear you are wearing.
Press or release the pedal smoothly with even pressure Avoid stamping or blipping the gas pedal, instead make sure you’re smooth with it by progressively applying and removing pressure.

The Handbrake


Use your left hand. This sounds commonsense but sometimes it is overlooked! Operate ether handbrake using the left hand only.
Press the button in. Using your left thumb, keep the button pressed in as you apply the handbrake.
Keep the button pressed in. Keep the button pressed in until the handbrake is fully applied..
Do not pull the handbrake up too quickly. use a smooth, firm action, taking twice as long.


Do not release the button too soon. If you do this, it means the handbrake hasn’t been fully released. Keep your left thumb on the button until the handbrake has gone all the way down.
do not throw it down, letting go of it. Keep the button pressed in until the handbrake is fully applied. Keep your hand on the handbrake and use the same grip on it all the way down.
Press the button with your thumb only. This will give you better control.

Brake Pedal

Do not release the button too soon. If you do this, it means the handbrake hasn’t been fully released. Keep your left thumb on the button until the handbrake has gone all the way down.
do not throw it down, letting go of it. Keep the button pressed in until the handbrake is fully applied. Keep your hand on the handbrake and use the same grip on it all the way down.
Press the button with your thumb only. This will give you better control.

How do I use the clutch?

The Clutch

The first thing to remember when you first come into contact with the clutch pedal and gear lever is that they both depend upon each other. Nothing will happen one without the other

Clutch Pedal Location

Of the three pedals, the clutch pedal is on the far left and it is the only pedal you operate with your left foot. In the driving instruction industry we call the accelerator pedal as ‘gas’ pedal, which is positioned on the far right of the three pedals and leaves the center pedal, which is the footbrake.

How the Clutch Works

The clutch is basically a means of transferring the power from the engine to the drive wheels via the gear box. That’s fine but what does it mean? Well if we look at the diagram we can get a simplified overview of the clutch and how it works.

How the Clutch Works looking at the diagram we can see the engine at the front of the vehicle. Attached to the engine is a shaft and on the end of the shaft there is a wheel, called a ‘fly wheel’. When the engine is running the fly wheel will spin because the shaft is spinning. Opposite the fly wheel is another wheel called the ‘clutch plate’ and this is attached to another shaft which runs through the gear box to the drive wheels at the rear of the vehicle. Both plates are about the size of dinner plate. When the clutch pedal is pressed to the floor, the two plates are apart. However, when you select a gear, for example, 1st bring the clutch pedal up slowly, the two plates come together and when they meet this is known as the biting point. You have now transferred the power from the engine to the drive wheels via the spinning plates. The secret to good clutch control is to bring the clutch pedal up slowly and this will allow the two plates to come together smoothly. In fact, when you feel the two plates come together, hold the clutch still for a second or two and this will give you a seamless pull away.

Using the Gears

Gear lever works in conjunction with the clutch pedal. The function of the gears is to allow you to pull away and then build up your speed, depending upon your road and conditions. Most modern vehicles will have five gears. However, some of the older vehicles will only have four gears. Some cars now provide vehicles with six or more gears. The picture illustrates a five gear setup. Different makes of vehicles could have a different setup but the gears will work exactly the same way.

How the Gears Work

First Gear is the strongest forward gear and is used to get the sheer weight of the vehicle moving. Remember you are sitting in a vehicle that could weigh in excess of 1 ton, so you’ll need a very strong gear to get that dead weight moving.

Second Gear

Once you’ve built some speed, move into the second gear. Not as strong as first gear but be able to move faster.

Third Gear

Very similar to the second gear, it allows the vehicle to travel faster but the gear is not as strong as second gear.

Fourth and Fifth Gears

Fourth and fifth are cruising or economy gears. Once you’ve reached your desired speed or the maximum speed limit, select one of the cruising gears. As you move up the gears get weaker but the vehicle will travel faster. The horizontal position for the gear lever is called neutral. There will be no gear selected when the gear lever is in this position.

Safety Tip

Before starting your engine ensure that the handbrake is on and the gear lever is in the neutral position.


Cockpit Drill

Purpose: An important series of safety checks which must be carried out every time you get into the driving seat and always before driving.



You must check whether all doors of the vehicle are properly shut. As a driver, this is your responsibility.


Your seat should be adjusted for comfort, control and safety. The base of the seat should be adjusted so that the clutch pedal can be depressed fully, with the left foot, and still have a reasonable bend at the knee. The back of the seat (the rake) should be adjusted so that the steering wheel can be held at the “ten-to-two” or “quarter-to-three” position with a reasonable bend at the elbow. Also check that the hands can slide freely around the whole of the steering wheel without discomfort or obstruction. The head-restraint should be adjusted in such a way that the centre is in line with the top of the ears and is positioned as close to the back of the head and is comfortable. It is an essential safety item and could prevent a serious whiplash injury in the event of a crash.


In addition to adjusting the set, some vehicles have an adjustable steering column. If you move the column, always ensure you lock its position afterwards.

Seat belt:

Ensure your seat belt is adjusted properly for comfort and safety. The belt should lay flat across your chest and hips with no twists. Most vehicles have height adjusters at the shoulder point. This should be adjusted so that the belt lies centrally on the shoulder and not on the neck.


The driving mirrors should be adjusted from your normal driving position, for the best view to the rear. The interior mirror should act like a frame of the rear window with a slight tilt to the offside. The side of the vehicle should be visible in the exterior mirrors with the horizon across the centre of the mirror. Most exterior mirrors have convex glass that is slightly curved and makes things look further away than they are. Before starting your engine, ensure that the handbrake is on, and the gear lever is in the neutral position.

How do I make the car start moving from a halt and then stop again effectively?

Moving Off

Once you know the controls of the car, you need to know how to use them all together to get the car moving. For some people, the biggest nightmare is that you might kangaroo-hop down the road. With a good Instructor you will be able to move the car smoothly, even at the first attempt. The important thing is that you move away without endangering other road users. Always remember the MSM routine.

What is MSM ?

Here is an example picture of the area of road what you can see when inside of the car while looking through the mirrors.

The area behind not covered by the mirrors are called blind spots

So from that example we can now see why it is important to use the Mirror Signal Manoeuvre routine.

Once you have the car prepared using the DSSSM routine, you need to look for a safe gap.

This means a gap that is big enough for you to pull into without causing any other road user to slow down, swerve or stop.

Do this by looking into your mirrors and by checking your blind spots by physically turning your head making sure that the road behind is clear for you to move away.

Remember you’re not only looking out for other vehicles but also cyclists or pedestrians.

This is all part of the MSM routine.

The manoeuvre part is, any change in direction or change of speed, give a signal if it would help another road user. Before you move make sure you have a final check all around, including the blind spots to ensure that it is still safe to move.

Once it is safe, you need to know how to move away under control. You need to be able to do this on a level road, on a gradient and moving off at an angle.

Level Road

Clutch down and select first gear

Press your foot gently on the accelerator pedal.

Let the clutch up slowly to the biting point (all around car checks) .Once safe, Release the handbrake.

Let the car creep forward. Then, let the clutch up smoothly and all the way steer to a normal driving position generally a meter from the kern.

Gradient Uphill Road

Clutch down and select first gear.

Press your foot gently on the accelerator pedal. Let the clutch up slowly to the biting point. Press down the accelerator pedal a bit harder.

(You are on a hill so the engine has more work to do).

Don’t forget all around car checks.

Once safe, Release the handbrake and let the car creep forward.

Gradient Downhill Road

Clutch down and select first gear, if the hill is very steep use second gear. Apply the footbrake.

All around car checks.

Once safe, Release the handbrake, Release the footbrake slowly, and as the car starts moving forward, release the clutch smoothly then fully and press the accelerator gently.

Moving off at an angle

This procedure is similar to pulling away in a straight line and/or a gradient road. Only you need to give yourself more time to look around and make sure it is safe to fully move away.

You do this by using clutch control. At the biting point, when you have let your clutch up to make the car move, you can control movement of the car going forwards by slight pressure back down on the clutch. Easing the clutch back up fractionally will move the car again.


The procedure for pulling in at the side of the road is quite easy with a little practice. Follow these simple steps and you can’t go wrong.


Check your main mirror and your near side (passenger) door mirror. You never know, there may be a motorcyclist or cyclist following close behind. By checking your door mirror, you will know what is happening near to the kern.


If there is a vehicle following you, or other road users ahead of you then signal left. Coupled with your brake lights, this will warn the driver that you intend to pull in shortly. However, if there is a junction on the left before your intended parking spot, be careful about the timing of the left signal. Signaling too early could suggest that you intend to turn left into the side road. If there is a pedestrian standing where you would like to pull in, a signal will also benefit them. If there’s no one to benefit from a signal, then don’t signal.


Gently guide the vehicle towards the near side (left) kern, so the vehicle is about 6 -12 inches from the kerb when the vehicle comes to rest. It’s not advisable to get within inches of the kerb when you pull in, as the gutters tend to collect a lot of rubbish like glass, nails and so on, which could damage your tyres.


Ease your right foot off the gas pedal and swing your foot to the brake and apply gentle, firm and consistent pressure to the footbrake. This will bring the vehicle under control. Always start your braking early and gentle, never late and heavy as this could cause the wheels to lock up and may result in the vehicle skidding.


Pick a convenient place to pull in. Never park near to or block the following:


Assess whether it’s safe and convenient to pull in or not.


Base your decision on what you see. As the car comes to a halt, press the clutch pedal to the floor with your left foot and as the vehicle comes to rest slightly, release the pressure from the footbrake. This will allow the vehicle to come to a nice gentle halt. Pressing the clutch pedal to the floor will part the clutch plates, as we no longer require the power from the engine. Never put the clutch pedal down before the footbrake, as this would be coasting or freewheeling. Brake first then press the clutch pedal to the floor.


Coasting occurs when the vehicle is moving, but either the: Clutch pedal being held down, or the gear lever is in the neutral position.

Coasting is wrong and potentially dangerous because it reduces the driver’s control over the vehicle. Steering and braking are the main casualties when coasting takes place. Another important factor is when the car is coasting; it may be difficult to select a gear if something did happen unexpectedly. If the vehicle is traveling downhill and coasting at the same time, the vehicle will pick up speed.

Once the vehicle has come to a complete halt, apply the handbrake and move the gear lever into the neutral position. Applying the handbrake first ensures the vehicle is secure.