How do I drive a stick shift car (or a Manual Transmission Vehicle)?

It is recommended to start learning to use an automatic transmission vehicle; however, if you must drive a stick shift, here are some instructions:

stick shift gear

Important: If this is your first time practicing driving a stick shift, be very careful. Select an empty, flat parking lot with no traffic or pedestrians to practice driving a stick.

  1. Make sure that the parking brake is on.
  2. Push the clutch pedal with your left foot all the way and hold.
  3. Simultaneously push the brake with your right foot and release the parking brake
  4. Start your car.
  5. Make sure that gearshift is in first gear if driving forward or reverse if you are backing up.
  6. Shift the gear to the first gear.
  7. Slowly release the clutch to a middle so it is still engaged, but ready to be fully released.
  8. Move your right foot from the brake to the gas pedal and push down gently.
  9. Slowly release the clutch until it is fully released.
  10. The car will start moving.
  11. When you need to stop, press the clutch all the way and move the gearshift to the neutral position and gently press the brake. (Once you become advanced, you can always slow down by shifting to a lower gear. This preserves your brakes’ life.)

Helpful Tips:

  • Positions: Clutch (left), Brake (middle), Gas (right)
  • You always need to push the clutch completely and hold it when changing gear.
  • If the car is not moving or stopped, the clutch needs to be fully engaged, or the gearshift needs to be in neutral position.