How To Drive A Manual Car For Beginners

This is the continuation from the article 11 Key Components Of A Manual Car. If you have not seen it, it may be a good idea to read it.

After adjusting the seating position and making certain the “reclining” position is correctly adjusted, the driver is advised to adjust the rear mirror and the right hand “side” mirror. Ensure that the back position of the car can be seen clearly.



Secondly, make sure the car is in “neutral gear” or “free”.

Turning the ignition key, three times to the right, will start the car. If this is your first time doing so, turn off the ignition and start the car again. This is to give you some practical practice on “how to turn the ignition key” correctly.

Next, accelerate slightly by stepping on the accelerator pedal. You can now hear the engine buzz rather clearly. Keep your right foot on the accelerator. If the accelerator is being stepped on too heavily or otherwise, either step or release the accelerator accordingly. The constant pressure on the accelerator pedal indicates that the car is now ready to “move off”.

The next step is to leave or take off your left foot slowly. In doing so, do make sure that the “heel” is firmly on the ground. Leave the clutch foot slowly to a point of 50%. At 50%, the car will move forward gently. As the car moves forward slowly, control the clutch and the car should be moving ahead gently and smoothly.



When the car has gained momentum (having gone 10 – 20 meters), it is now time to execute the 2nd gear. Repeating the familiar phrase, “Left foot down, right foot up (accelerator up)”, you will have to follow your instructor’s instruction until you can coordinate in engaging the gears.

Initially, you have to engage up to 2nd gear only. When you are at the early stage of learning how to drive a manual car, move the car 10 – 20 meter, you should stop, free gear and pull up the handbrake. This is followed by closing off the engine. This will be your practice.


The whole procedure is repeated all over. When you have mastered the technique of changing gears 1 and 2 well, you can now proceed to changing into gear 3. In the first few driving lessons, you will be taught up to 3rd gear only by your instructor. Leave gear 4 until a later date when you are better in driving.

The above suggestion is mine and mine alone. Other driving instructor may have their own ideas. They are free to decide otherwise. If you are planning to take up driving lesson near where you are staying, check out our resident instructors covering the selected area below:

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