Understanding Basic Car Controls: Essential Guide for My First Driving Lesson




Affiliate Links: Driving Test Experts posts contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.

Ever wondered what happens in your first few driving lesson? Look no further, as we are going to take you on a journey through your first driving lesson. This is going to describe everything you are going to learn about the basic car controls and explain how you use them. Part of your first driving lesson is going to be all about the other other controls of the car such as foot controls and hand controls. 

Basic Car Controls: What are the Foot Controls?

The foot controls are the pedals you use to control the car using your feet. There are 3 pedals including the clutch, the brake and the accelerator. 

At some point during your first driving lesson your driving instructor will suggest you try to remember them using an acronym such as CBA or ABC.

The accelerator makes the car go faster while the brake slows the car down. The clutch is a littler more complicated but the main thing to remember is in order to change gear we have to press the clutch down.

Basic Car Controls: What are the Hand Controls?

At some point during your first driving lesson you are going to be expected to learn about the hand controls. Everything else in the car other than the pedals is controlled by your hands. This includes things like the steering wheel, gear stick, handbrake and all the buttons and knobs inside the car. Right now we are only going to cover the most important ones.

How to Use the Gear Stick

The gear stick is used to change gear and the main things to remember with the gear stick are low gears are to help accelerate while higher gears help us use less fuel.  While we are at lower speeds we have to use lower gears. 

To use the gear stick we use our left hand palm on the side of the gear stick to push the gear stick from side to side and then up or down to slot it into the correct gear.  On every car neutral is what we call the middle of the gear stick. THis is always positioned between 3rd gear and 4th gear.

basic car controls

What is the handbrake 

The handbrake is what it says on the tin, it’s a brake we use with our hand. It’s also known as the parking brake because it’s very useful when we are parked.  After all, when we park we may want to leave the car so we can’t exactly carry on holding the foot brake. The handbrake is also great when new need to stop on a hill.  This lets us use our feet on the other pedals and not end up rolling off down a hill.

Step 1. To use the handbrake we use our left hand to grab the brake and lift ever so slightly to take the pressure off the parking brake.

Step 2. Next we press the button on the end of the parking brake using our thumb to release it and then we can push it down while holding the button.  Always make sure you are pushing the foot brake down to keep the car still when releasing the parking brake otherwise you may start rolling down a hill.

Where are the Indicators?

During your first driving lesson most driving instructors will probably refer to these as signals because that is what they are it’s far quicker to say when you are in a pinch. Indicators are one of our most helpful tools to let others know what we plan to do.  They are always controlled using a lever on the left side of the steering wheel.  Pushing the lever up will signal right while pulling the lever down will signal left. The indicator will go off if you turn the wheel more than a quarter turn which can be helpful when you turn around a corner or come off at a roundabout.

The Steering Wheel

The steering wheel is what we use to move the car left and right. Although there is not any mandatory way that we have to hold the wheel other than making sure we have the car under our full control at all times. This will mean you need to move your hands around the wheel so you don’t end up like an octopus when turning around a corner.

One of the first things you will learn in your first driving lesson is how to Move Off and Stop. Have a look at our guide so you knowwhat you are doing.

The Driving Test and my Final Thoughts 💭

At the beginning of the driving test, the examiner will not mention anything to you but they will pop around the car to make sure all of these checks have been made. So you must make sure everything that can be is already set up such as your headrest, mirrors and other car controls.  There have also been lots of students out there who failed before there left the test center for forgetting to put on their seat belts before even leaving the driving test center.

Save yourself some money with our online driving course. You can learn to drive in your pyjamas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts