Driving School Ireland Tutorials

Hill Start Tutorial

How to move off on a hill


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During the driving test, approaching a suitable incline, the examiner will direct you to "Stop on the left hand side of the road, please"


Check your mirrors, and look ahead for a safe and legal spot to stop.


When you spot a suitable position, check your interior and left hand mirror, indicate left and pull in smoothly and gradually.


Stop with the front wheels pointing straight ahead, put on the handbrake, select neutral and cancel the indicator


He may now ask you to demonstrate the hand signals, when finished he will then tell you to "Drive Off, when ready"


Depress clutch, put the car in 1st gear (palm facing away).


Rev the engine, slightly more than if you were moving off on level ground.


Now hold your right foot still.


Let up the clutch smoothly to the biting (or holding) point.


Because you are on a hill, you must let the clutch "bite" a little more than normal, so that the car is actually pulling very slightly against the handbrake.
However you must ensure that you do not let it up too far and have the engine labouring.


A few ways to help you find this position.

  1. The bonnet of the car will "lift" - if a front wheel drive car
  2. The rev counter reading will drop
  3. Watch the right hand mirror, you should see the ground move.
  4. The engine note will deepen

Now, HOLD YOUR FEET STILL


Check your interior and right mirror, your blind spot and if clear signal right and release the handbrake, and HOLD YOUR FEET STILL


The car should now start moving slowly forward, keep HOLDING YOUR FEET STILL, also do not turn the steering wheel

Wait until the car has gained a little speed then let up the clutch smoothly whilst giving a little more gas.



Now, check your outside mirror, your blind spot and move out to your normal driving position (1 meter from the left)


If the car does not move forward on releasing the handbrake, give little more gas, let the clutch up slightly, so that it moves slowly forward..


If it rolls back you did not let up the clutch far enough when finding the holding point, so next time let it bite a little more. Or if it jumps forward and stalls, or rolls back you MOVED YOUR FEET














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