Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

Getting the hang of driving a car with manual transmission is one of the challenges of learning to drive, as starting your car smoothly can be crucial to avoiding problems with the performance of a car’s engine and stalling. Driving a car smoothly can also lead to reducing the risk of vehicle accidents on the road meaning a lower amount of accident compensation being paid out by insurers.

Poor ignition can also cause your car to suddenly jump forward or splutter and this can cause rear end shunts.

Larger vehicles with manual transmission can be tricky to handle because of the engine size and the fact that the flywheel is heavier.

Starting a manual transmission car or van can take practice, so follow our tips for a smooth ride with manual transmission:

  • Make sure you depress the clutch fully – get the hang of how it feels when the clutch is fully depressed and practise releasing it slowly
  • Gears come next and these are clearly marked on the gear stick – the gear stick needs to be in neutral, which is between first and second gear usually. In this position, the gear stick moves quite freely, but this means it can also be easily knocked out of gear if your hand movements are erratic, so take care
  • Place your foot on the accelerator and depress it slightly
  • Turn the key in the ignition – there will be a choking sound and then the engine will start purring as it turns over
  • Press your foot right down on the clutch to prepare for the first gear change, then push the gear stick from neutral to first gear
  • Slowly begin releasing the clutch and at the same time gently increase acceleration  – getting the balance right can take some practice but you need just a little energy to keep the engine actively turning, but not enough to make the car move off (release the handbrake at this point)
  • When you have released the clutch to “biting point”, the car may give a little jerk indicating it has enough power to move forward and the engine will begin purring in a regular rhythm
  • Fully release the clutch gently and prepare to move off, accelerating more once you are on the open road – remember to change gears smoothly as you increase speed or your car may slow down or stall and a grating sound will warn you that you are in the wrong gear.

Manual transmission cars can take practice and coordination – and remember every car is different so you will need to adjust your control of the pedals and gears according to the vehicle you are driving.

Driving manual transmission vehicles correctly can help prevent road traffic accidents – and make driving a more pleasurable experience.

New drivers are often encouraged when they manage to achieve biting point during start-up – and improving your driving skills can be thrilling and liberating as you take to the road.

Make sure you get manual transmission start up right, as it will help you drive correctly without sudden engine shudders or impromptu slowdowns – and also protect your car’s engine and gearbox.

If you do suffer a driving mishap you can always make a claim for accident compensation.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and is not intended as an instruction manual or as safety advice. All drivers should obtain professional tuition and pass a driving test before driving cars and other vehicles and should follow the advice of their instructor and in line with the Highway Code. The publishers and authors of this article accept no liability for any accidents or incidents which occur as a result of not obtaining professional driving instruction or any incident which occurs as a result of following the advice in this article, as other circumstances may also contribute to any accidents or incidents which do occur. Always practice driving in a safe open location away from other road users and pedestrians, under professional supervision.

Peter Anderson – Im a blogger on various car related topics! Google+