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Learner Driver Tips | 5 Steps to a Successful Hill Start

Hill starts are a common cause of stalling. To help you overcome the hill start heebie-jeebies, Book Theory Test Today’s latest learner driver tips post describes how to master the hill start manoeuvre.

Book Theory Test Today says: “The hill start is a key driving skill and will probably pop up on your DVSA practical test. Our latest learner driver tips post will describe how to master the art of the hill start. Read carefully, after all it could come in handy if you live in a house on a hill!”

Learner Driver Tips for a successful hill start

Step 1 – Know the process

The successful completion of a hill start is reliant on good coordination between your handbrake, clutch and accelerator. Failure to apply good coordination will result in your vehicle rolling down hill.

The hill start process is all about preparation, observation and correct manoeuvring. Above all, don’t rush! One of our top learner driver tips is never rush because it will lead to mistakes and on a driving test mistakes mean failure.

Step 2 – How to prepare for an uphill start

Book Theory Test Today says: “Our learner driver tips are as realistic as they are helpful and the reality is, executing a perfect hill start on an upward slope is much more difficult than it is on level ground. On an upward slope your car will naturally roll backwards. In order to prevent this, you need to be in complete control of your vehicle when releasing the handbrake.”

Follow these top learner driver tips:

  • Press down the clutch and select first gear
  • Gently press down on the accelerator & hold your foot steady
  • Apply enough power, but not to the extent that your vehicle is roaring
  • Find the ‘bite-point’
  • Ease off the clutch and gradually apply more power
  • You will feel the car dip, at this point prepare to release the handbrake

Step 3 – Mirror, signal, manoeuvre

With your vehicle set, check your rear-view and door mirrors for other road users. In particular you should watch for pedestrians who could be crossing behind your vehicle. Assess your blind spot by looking over your right shoulder then signal once you’re satisfied the way is clear.

Now, release that handbrake and slowly ease off the clutch until your vehicle begins to move forward. Apply more power while in first gear in order to increase your momentum and compensate for the effects of the hill. There you have it, you’ve successful completed an uphill hill start.

Step 4 – It’s all downhill from here

Book Theory Test Today says: “You don’t need our learner driver tips to tell you that performing a hill start on a downward slope is easier. However, that doesn’t mean you should get complacent. Remember! Safety comes first.”

On a downward slope, gravity will assist you, but you will still need to maintain control of the vehicle, especially on a steep incline. You will again need to press down on the clutch and select first or second gear, depending on the gradient of the slope. While the clutch is down, apply the foot brake then release the handbrake.

Step 5 – Mirror, signal, manoeuvre

Check your mirrors, plus your blind spot, and if you’re satisfied that it’s safe to move off indicate and slowly begin to release the footbrake. Your vehicle will start to roll down the hill. Gradually release the clutch and switch your right foot from the brake to the accelerator.

You’ve done it, you’ve mastered hill starts in theory and now it’s time to put them into practice. Happy driving and we hope you’ve enjoyed our learner driver tips.

Book Theory Test Today

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