David Carson School of Motoring

Garry Drive



Tel: 07815 964959

email : dcdriving@gmail.com


Driving lessons in Paisley and Glasgow

Basic Car Control

There is a lot to take in on your first lesson and there is no way that you will remember it all.  What will surprise you however is how much of it you will retain - especially the practical element.  Given that there is a lot of new theory on your lesson however, I thought I would just pop a few revision notes of the aspects of car control that may cause confusion.  Let me know if there is anything else you would like....


The cockpit drill is what we run through when we get in the car -

Ensure the car is secured by checking the handbrake and ensureing the doors are all closed

Get your seat comfortable, adjusting the height too if necessary and remember the steering wheel can be adjusted.  Don't forget the head restraint.  You should be able to press the clutch all thw way down without stretching - left pedal and left foot.

Adjust the mirrors and put your seatbelt on ready to start


Securing the car

This simply means checking the car is in neutral and the handbrake is applied (neutral is when no gear is selected and the gear stick can move freely left and right)



Remember that first gear is the most powerful and fifth gear is the weakest.  Think of first like an elephant and fifth like a cheetah (horses and camels in between!)  We need first gear to pull the car away as its really heavy and then we go through the gears as the car gets faster and we need less power but want to go faster.  This also means then that if we are approaching a steep hill, we may need to change DOWN a gear to get more power to go up the hill.  Also, the higher the gear you are in, the more fuel efficient your car is.


Brake and accelerator

Both operated with the right foot and remember to be gentle and progressive to begin with.  Before we stop, remember to lift off the brake a little to make the stop smoother.



This pedal can often cause confusion.  All the clutch does is connect the engine to the gearbox and wheels.  When the clutch pedal is down, they are not connected and when we bring it up, we feel biting point as the clutch plates connect (if in first gear) and the car will start to move forward.  If we put the clutch down, the car will simply obey gravity ie will roll faster downhill or slow down if going uphill just like a go kart.  We want to be in control of the car though so we don't want to put the clutch down unless we need to.  We need to put it down to change gear as we don't want the engine turning the gears when we are changing them and we need to put it down before we stop as the engine will stall if its trying to turn but is connected to wheels that are stopped.  We don't put it down just because we are braking though.