Show you have great control of your car! Start every drive with a smooth take off, and finish with a smooth stop.

Where should you practise this?

Start somewhere you have plenty of space. An empty car or a flat street with no traffic.

Before you start the car

  • Check the handbrake is on
  • Check your car is in neutral (manual) or park (automatic)
  • Put the clutch in (manual), or your foot on the brake (automatic).

Starting the engine

  • Put the key into the ignition and turn it to the ‘on’ position. Then turn it further to start the engine.
  • Let go of the key when the engine fires up.
  • Check out your dashboard. Are any warning lights on? Your handbrake will be on so that light will be lit, but make sure there are no other warnings.

Note: Some newer cars have a keyless ignition. The driver only needs to have the key inside the car to be able to start the engine. 

Before you take off

  • Put your car in first gear if it's a manual or drive if it's an automatic
  • Take the handbrake off
  • Turn your indicator on for at least three seconds
  • Check your mirrors and blind spot (by looking over your shoulder)
  • If you're in an automatic car, push the accelerator down gently and move off
  • If you're in a manual car, push the accelerator down and slowly let the clutch out until you feel the car move forward. Then slowly give more accelerator and gently let the clutch the rest of the way out.

It’s common for new manual drivers to stall their engines a few times in the early days. It’s a good idea to:

  • Practise restarting your car as quickly as you can so you don't panic if you stall
  • Learn how to avoid a stall – they’re a Critical Error in your test.

Stopping the car

  • Check your mirrors
  • Indicate left for at least three seconds
  • Look ahead to where you want to stop
  • ABC: Foot off the Accelerator, press the Brake and (in a manual) the Clutch right in just before you come to a stop
  • Put the handbrake or parking brake on and car into neutral or park
  • Turn the key to the 'off' position to stop the engine.

Are you test ready?


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