Driving tests

3: Moving off and stopping

The aim of this lesson is move the vehicle off under full control at the first attempt, then bring it back to a controlled stop. You will need 50m of safe, flat, straight, uninterrupted road ahead, and the engine should be running.

Driver actions

To move off:

  • Check all your mirrors (note: this doesn’t include the vanity mirror you might have on your sun visor – just your wing mirrors and rear view mirror).
  • Put your right foot on the brake, then disengage the clutch by pressing the clutch pedal then select first gear (in a manual car), or select drive (in an automatic car)
  • Indicate right for at least 3 seconds
  • Release the handbrake or park brake
  • Check your mirrors again and your blind spot over your right shoulder.
  • Go if it’s safe to.
  • In a manual car, slowly push the accelerator while slowly releasing the clutch pedal until you feel the biting/friction point of the clutch. You will hear the engine sound change and feel it through the clutch pedal. The car will begin to move and your foot now should be off the clutch. Accelerate purposefully, but smoothly and safely, without stalling or rolling back.
  • In an automatic car remove your foot from the brake and press the accelerator. Accelerate purposefully, but smoothly and safely.
  • Hold the steering wheel at a quarter-to-three position or slightly lower and keep the car moving in a straight line with minimal steering input. This is because if the airbag goes off your hands will be out of the way.
  • If you are see-sawing at the wheel then you are over-correcting; hold the steering wheel in a light grip.

When stopping:

  • Indicate left
  • Slowly take your right foot off the accelerator pedal and transfer it to the brake, pushing the brake pedal gently
  • Just before the car stops, push the clutch pedal with your left foot (manual car)
  • Bring the car to a smooth stop
  • Put the car in neutral (manual) or park (automatic), keeping your foot on the brake.
  • Put the handbrake or park brake on, release your foot from the brake and turn the engine off

Perform the tasks at least twice.

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