Moving Off

Moving Off Safely

Prepare, Observe, Manoeuvre

Before moving off, you will have completed the “Cockpit Drill,” and are now ready to learn the above routine.


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-centres).
Start the engine – in the “Yaris” you must fully depress the clutch pedal to do this.
Keep the clutch pedal down and select 1st. gear.
Set the gas – the engine should now sound like it is “purring.”
Find” biting point” – the clutch should be brought up until the engine’s sound just changes, then hold the clutch still. This bit takes practice!


It needs to be safe to move off without endangering other road users, so we have find out by using mirrors and looking around carefully.

To begin, check ahead for such as pedestrians crossing – or about to cross – the road. Also look for other vehicles about to move – or moving – into your vicinity. If so, just wait till the situation clears.
Now use the Mirrors to assess the situation behind. The actual sequence of mirror checks can vary – your “Really Good”instructor will advise on this – according to the prevailing circumstances, but one system could be: Interior, Left Door, Left Blind Spot, Right Door, Right Blind Spot.
Blind Spots are the areas that the mirrors don’t let you see into and you must be particularly careful to look over your shoulder as a final check before moving off- a cyclists life could depend on it!


Your effective observation will determine whether a signal is required. Generally, if it’s unsafe to move off, avoid signalling. It could just scare another road user into a panic as they may think you are about to move out in front of them, so timing is everything here. If it is safe to move off, and you think another road user – including a pedestrian – may benefit from knowing, then give a signal. Remember, keep your observations ongoing as things can change quickly around you.


Once you are sure it is safe, release the handbrake and begin to move the car at a crawling speed by easing the clutch up slowly and increasing the gas – a “see/saw” motion. 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.

This procedure needs to be practiced until it becomes “second nature.” As long as we follow the routine carefully we will soon be moving off easily. Having moved off, pray your instructor has taught you how to stop as well, as any “Really Good” instructor would do of course!