Lesson 3 – Moving Off and Stopping

Here we go then, this is where it all gets exciting… This is a big lesson and there are lots of things to think about and remember. Your instructor should explain all the points on this page to you before you start the engine. That way when he or she is talking you through what to do, you will understand and be able to carry out the tasks involved. Something else you can do at this point is to familiarise yourself with where the car is in relation to the kerb. It will help you later when you come to stopping. Take a look in your door mirror and see how much space there is between the wheels and the kerb also have a look at the bottom of the windscreen where the kerb appears to intersect it. Is there something you can use inside the car to locate that position? Maybe there is a mark on the windscreen or a bump on the windscreen wipers, possibly it might be in line with one of the dials on the instrument panel. Use whatever you think will help you best. Your instructor may give you some hints where it might be beneficial to look. Remember though, that everyone sits in a different position so no-one’s reference points are the same. You will have to find your own.

Starting the Engine

There are a couple of things to remember before starting the engine.
First of all, make sure that the hand brake is on firmly. Just the act of getting in the car or starting the engine, could be enough to start it rolling, if you are on a bit of a hill and the hand brake isn’t on properly.
Secondly, you need to make sure that the gear lever is in the neutral position. Give it a good firm wiggle from side to side and make sure you can feel it spring back into the centre. ( The gear lever will still move from side to side a little bit if it is in gear, but there won’t be as much movement and you won’t feel the spring. ) If this is the first time you have used the gear lever, try pushing it into one of the gears and give it a good wiggle there too, then move it back to the neutral position and feel the difference. Continue reading