Moving off and stopping

Hand on handbrake

On your first driving lessons with Paul’s Driving School Basingstoke, you will learn to move off and stop safely.  It is one of the common things you will do whilst driving a car.  Carry out this manoeuvre safely is very important when driving.  You also need to be able to move off and stop without stalling the vehicle.

Use the P-O-M routine (Prepare, Observe, Move) and the M.S.M routine (Mirror, SIgnal, Manoeuvre)  

Moving off

Step 1. Prepare the car

If you’re in a manual car, depress the clutch pedal fully and switch to first gear. Next, lightly press your foot down on the accelerator pedal and slowly start to bring the clutch up until you reach the biting point. You’ll be able to feel the car dip and hear how the engine changes.

Though the handbrake will be engaged to stop you from moving, you’ll still need to make sure you’re not applying too much gas. After all, once the handbrake is off, you don’t want the car to jolt forward!

If the car moves before you release the handbrake then lower the clutch slightly or put the handbrake on a little tighter!

Be careful not to raise the clutch to high or the engine could stall.

Step 2. Observations


Before you start any manoeuvre or do anything on the road, you need to make appropriate observations. It’s vital that the road is clear of other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians before you move off.

If you don’t check your mirrors, not only will you likely fail your driving test, you could also end up causing a serious accident. It’s a basic rule of driving!

Depending on where you are moving off from you will either need to check, all mirrors and blind spots or just the middle (rear view) then right mirror and right blind spot. It is not always necessary to check all around if you are in a quiet area, but if you do start on the curbside blind spot and check all the way around to the other side of the car.

You should not complete your checks before preparing your vehicle. If you do, in the time it takes you to set up your vehicle, the situation on the road might have changed—and it may no longer be safe to move off.


Step 3. Move

Just before you release the handbrake consider if a signal is needed, give one if it is necessary and appropriate to do so.  You do not need to religiously signal every time.  Make sure any signal is well timed as you do not want to make passing traffic take any evasive action if they think you are going to pull out in front of them!

Keep your feet very still, then put your hand on the handbrake.

Release the handbrake and the car should then creep forwards.  As the car begins to move gently ease of the clutch and squeeze the gas to make the car move a little faster.

At the same time as moving steer away from the curb a little.  Be careful not to go too fast in 1st gear as you will shortly need to change up into second.

Stopping (at the side of the road)


Use the M.S.M routine (mirror, signal, manouvre) 

Step 1. Safe, Legal & Convenient Place

You should give careful consideration when parking to make sure you are within the law and that your parking is safe legal and convenient.  Do not park where there are any road markings restricting parking, do not park opposite or near a junction.  It is never good to stop across a driveway or entrance to a property.

Step 2. Mirrors

Checking your mirrors before you stop is very important.  When pulling up and stopping on the left check middle and left mirrors, if stopping on the right then check the middle and right mirrors.  

You are checking the middle mirror to see if there is traffic behind you to see how your actions will affect them and to make sure they are not following you too closely.  The side mirror check is to make sure there is nothing at the side of you or about to try and pass you. 

Step 3. Signal

Opinions differ on signalling.  But if there is other traffic around when you are stopping on the left then give a signal as you must let other road users know what you are doing.  I do not always give a signal if there is no one around to see it, as you have already checked your mirrors and should be fully aware of other road users in front and behind. 

If stopping on the right as this is a more unusual move, then I would recommend you signal even if there is no one around, as it does mean crossing over and stopping on the opposite side of the road to normal. 

Step 4. Manoeuvre

Come off the gas and gently start to brake.  At the same time gradually move closer to the kerb where you wish to park.  Then stop gently.

Once stopped, put the handbrake on and put the car into neutral.  Finally, cancel any signal you have used.


*Always obey any stopping or parking restrictions, see the Highway Code for more details.


Stopping (at a junction)


To stop at a junction follow the M.S.P.S.L routine.  Gently brake as you approach, then when the car gets to around 10mph press the clutch fully down.

To prevent stalling do not bring the clutch back up until you have gone back into 1st gear.  Then to move away again follow the P.O.M routine steps as above.




To sign up for your manual driving lessons in Basingstoke please fill out the form and then I can contact you when I can accommodate your lessons