Driving Instructor's Tips: The Hill-start

Today our driving instructors have helped us put together a hill start guide, so for those unsure of what to do when it comes to these pesky little occurrences, read on to see what our driver’s instructor’s tips suggest.

Coordination and Practice

Good coordination is needed when handling a hill start. It’s not an easy thing to master, even for more experienced drivers. When a hill start happens, you’ll usually experience one of two things, your car will stall or it will start rolling back, and that’s not good.

But why does your car stall in the first place?

Your car stalls because you don’t have enough gas or acceleration. You need to give your car enough power, or ‘revs’ to get the car over the brow of a hill. Not too much and not too little. Your car can also stall if your clutch comes up too fast which is to say, past the bite point, which means the neither the clutch plate or fly wheel engage when they should.

Always prepare your call well and observe the following:

  • Choose first gear and press down on the accelerator (gas pedal)

  • Bring the clutch up to biting point, this will be when the engine connects with the wheels

  • Keep your feet still.


  • Look all around, and always make sure you use your mirrors

  • Release the handbrake as gently as you can, if the car starts to move forwards or backwards, keep your feet still as possible and pull your handbrake back up

  • Check the road is clear, and try again.

Stay in control of the pedals

By being in control of the pedals in this way and you’ll never roll back more than a few centimetres, and each time you do it and the more you practice, the better you will be at doing it. Confidence will be the difference between constantly stalling and hardly ever.

Make sure you get enough practice out with your driving instructors, driving lessons should be the ideal opportunity to practice anything you’re unsure of, and that includes hill starts. The more practice you get the better.

Compass Prodrive – Where Good Driving is Par For the Course

If you have any questions about what we’ve discussed today, or you’d like to book a few lessons with us, why not give us a call, and one of our friendly team members will be on hand to help you with any queries.