Moving Off & Stopping

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As you drive about you will quickly realise that the journey is punctuated by stops and starts as you negotiate the various hazards.

Moving Off

Moving off is easy so long as you follow a basic routine. Once you have started the engine and prepared the car for moving you use the Mirrors- Signal-Manoeuvre routine to move away. Do not rush this routine as you will get quicker naturally through practice.

Starting The Engine

Before starting the engine you should check that the handbrake is on and that the gear lever is in neutral. Turn the ignition key and immediately release it as the engine starts, this avoids damaging the starter motor.

Get The Car Ready To Move (Prepare)

Press the clutch down as far as it will go. Select first gear using the "palming" technique. "Set the gas" by pressing the gas pedal slightly until you hear a noticeable but gentle hum, then hold it still. Press it to generate sufficient power to move. Bring the clutch up until the sound of the engine drops slightly, you may also feel the vibration change and the car "dip" slightly. This is called the clutch ‘biting point’- the point at which both clutch plates are starting to bite together and therefore the point at which the car wants to move.

Keep both feet still.

Mirrors, Signal (Observe)

Check your mirrors, working in a logical order from left (nearside) door mirror, then the interior mirror, then the right (offside) door mirror. Is it safe to proceed? Look over your right shoulder to check your offside blind-spot. Is it still safe to proceed?

Signal, if anyone will benefit and return your hand to the handbrake.

Manoeuvre (Move)

When you are sure that it is safe to move, release the handbrake. Press the gas pedal a little more, if necessary. Bring the clutch up slightly (the thickness of a pound coin). When the car moves hold the clutch still, allowing it to roll and gain some momentum.

As the car begins to gain some momentum bring the clutch up (very gently) all the way and rest your foot by the side of the pedal on the floor. Make a check of your mirrors as you start to move. Steer to your normal driving position, about a metre from the kerb (at least a drains width), switching off the signal, if used.

Press the gas pedal to pick up speed and look well ahead.


Apply the Mirrors-Signal-Manoeuvre routine for stopping.

Decide where you are going to stop and check your mirrors to ensure it is safe. Signal if it will benefit anyone. Steer closer, but parallel to the kerb. Check your nearside mirror to ensure a suitable gap from the kerb. Press the foot brake progressively harder and just before the car stops begin to ease off and then depress the clutch pedal fully down as you stop. Finally, make the car safe; apply the handbrake, select neutral, remove your feet from the pedals and cancel the signal, if used.

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