Moving Off Downhill

Moving Off Downhill

When moving off downhill, there is the extra potential hazard of your vehicle surging forward to be avoided. For example, the greater the steepness of the hill, the quicker the vehicle could gain momentum. If there is an obstruction or maybe a junction just ahead, then the car will need to be completely under control from the moment the handbrake is released.

To Move Off

Let us imagine that we are on a long straight road with a fairly steep hill. There are no obstructions or junctions close ahead.


Firstly, check the handbrake is applied (it should feel firm) and that the gear lever is in neutral (it can be moved from side to side and when released self-centers).
Start the engine – in the “Yaris” you must fully depress the clutch pedal to do this.
Keep the clutch pedal down and select 2nd. gear. This is because first gear is unnecessary as it is easy for the vehicle to gain momentum. However, in order for us to control that momentum, we need to press the foot brake down.


Observe as described for moving off on level ground. remember vehicles traveling downhill may be traveling fast and we must not slow them down.


Once you are sure it is safe and have given a signal if necessary, release the handbrake. Now, easing pressure gradually from the foot brake – with the clutch still fully depressed – the vehicle will start to move away. Gain speed steadily until you have got to around a jogging pace. At this point the clutch can be smoothly released to engage power to the wheels. Avoid letting the car get too fast – above a “jog” – or it may begin to “coast.” As soon as the car is moving you can begin to steer the car into the “normal driving position” – about one metre from the kerb.

Again, remember any “Really Good” instructor will help you build your confidence and skill in this manoeuvre. Good work!