Learning how to Drive a manual car is very fun and when you get the hang of it, it can even be easier to handle in harsher conditions compared to automatic cars.

We will start this blog by saying you will more than likely stall a few times when you are first learning how to drive a manual car, especially if you are used to driving automatic. We want to bring this up first because everybody stalls, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t start moving on your first try. The following blog will go through basic procedures on how to properly drive a manual car and tricks on how not to stall when you are getting used to the car.

Components of a Manual Car

A manual car will feature three pedals instead of the two you find in an automatic car: the clutch, brake, and accelerator. The clutch is the most important and hardest pedal to master as it allows you to start driving and shift gears while in motion.

You should also be aware of the handbrake as it is vital for keeping your car from moving while it’s parked, a lot of automatic drivers don’t use their handbrake so if you are one of them get into the habit of always pulling up the handbrake when getting out of your car.

Easy Steps to get your Car Moving

Here are a few basic steps on how to get moving in your manual car:

  1. Enter your car and put on your seatbelt.
  2. Turn the key while holding down the clutch and brake to turn it on.
  3. Release the handbrake while still holding down the brake pedal.
  4. Move the stick shift to first gear if it’s not in already (some people will keep the car in gear while it’s parked).
  5. Slowly press down on the accelerator while slowly lifting the clutch pedal until you feel it vibrate.
  6. Slowly increase the revs as you fully let go of the clutch. You should be fully moving and ready to drive!
  7. If you do happen to stall, don’t panic. Press down on the clutch and restart the car then try getting the car to move again.
  8. If you are stopping the car, you can either put your car in neutral and press down on the brake or press in the clutch while pressing down on the brake. There is a technique called “downshifting” that helps you brake without wearing down the pads, but you don’t need to learn right away.


Here are a few tips on feeling comfortable starting to move while in a stopped position:

  1. Find an empty road or parking lot and practice getting your car to move forward. It can be stressful stalling in the middle of traffic, so practicing starting and stopping will help you get more confident in driving on the road.
  2. While practicing, learn how to switch gears. Switching gears uses the same techniques as starting the car. Press down on the clutch while taking your foot off the gas, move the stick to second gear, then slowly release the clutch while you slowly press down on the gas. You can also learn the gear positions while parked. Simply press in the clutch, then move the stick to first gear, second gear, third gear, fourth gear, and fifth gear, then go backwards. Do that until you are comfortable knowing where each gear is, as taking your eyes off the road to look at your gearbox can be dangerous.

Practice with Central Driving School

There is more to learn about driving a manual car that you can’t fully explain in a short blog. If you are interested in learning how to drive manual or automatic, then come see us at Central Driving School. Our instructors are patient with each student and will help you practice until you are comfortable driving on the roads by yourself! Contact us today to learn more.