Get Up To Speed On Hill Starts
Hill starts are the learner driver’s nemesis, so don’t worry if you can’t do it first time. It’s something that can take a while to master but this makes it particularly satisfying once you’ve got to grips with it. Practice makes perfect, but if you’d like to better understand the theory before you get going, here are our top tips:
The hand brake is your best friend
While it’s important that you have a feel for your clutch’s biting point and can control the car’s movement well with your foot brake, it’s best to tackle hills with your handbrake.
Make sure you leave the hand brake on while you find your biting point, only releasing it when you’re moving off.
This will mean your right foot is free to accelerate and you won’t fall back as you would if you were swapping from the foot brake to the accelerator.
Don’t be afraid to use more power when you start moving
The main reason you’ll stall on a hill start is because you haven’t given the engine enough revs to keep ticking over.
You’ll hear the engine struggling and spluttering, so this should be a reminder to hold your foot on the accelerator for a little longer until you’re over the hill.
Check your gear
Despite what you may have heard from your friends, attempting to pull away in third gear isn’t wise.
You’ll have a much bigger chance of stalling, so always check that you’re in first gear before you start moving.
On hills you might also need to stay in first gear for longer too – if you go up too quickly you may lose momentum and stall, so it’s better to be cautious with this when you’re learning.
Be confident and patient
As with all parts of the learner driver experience, getting in a flap won’t help at all with your execution. It’s important you take your time to make sure that you have your feet in the right position before you start going.
If you move off too quickly, you may catch up with the car in front of you and be forced to brake again on the hill.
This can be stressful if you’re not used to putting your handbrake on and off again, and could mean that you stall.
Your fellow drivers will prefer that you do things slowly and carefully rather than risking rolling back into their car.
Keep these things in mind and we’re sure you’ll be an expert in no time!