Should you move off in a car using gas then clutch or clutch then gas? Drivers often argue about this but I’m interested in facts not opinions.
The videos below show you why it should be gas then clutch and clearly explain why it’s correct. Also see my page on how to move off.
Many drivers do this incorrectly because they’re unaware that their car is doing the work for them. If you don’t press the gas pedal in any modern car then it will sense this as soon as you lift the clutch pedal and do the gas for you!
This is where the misunderstanding comes from. People who say it’s clutch then gas are actually doing gas then clutch themselves; they just don’t know it!
Why you should do gas then clutch
Hardly a week goes by when I don’t get an email off something saying something like this:
“Hi, I learnt to drive and my instructor always told me to just use the clutch pedal. Now I’ve got my own car and it keeps stalling every time I move off! I’ve taken it to a garage and they said nothing was wrong but it cost me hundreds just to have it looked at. After watching your videos on gas then clutch I can finally drive my own car! Thank you so much!”.
You see, in a diesel car you can move off without using the gas before pressing the clutch. Try that in most small petrol cars and you’ll be stalling every time. Most instructors by far use diesel cars because they’re so much easier to drive and cheaper to run.
So why do so many instructors not teach people to use gas then clutch? There are many reasons so let’s take a look at some.
The driving instructor doesn’t know it’s wrong themselves
As well as teaching learners I also train driving instructors. It’s absolutely incredible how many instructors I meet that don’t even know the different between gas then clutch or clutch then gas. Many of them teach pupils to move off by holding the brake pedal down then lifting the clutch. That is TERRIBLE tuition!
That will result in most cars stalling. When I explain it to them they’re shocked to find out they’ve not only been driving incorrectly themselves for years but that they’ve been teaching people incorrectly.
So how come this isn’t picked up on the driving test? How come their pupils are passing? Because the driving test looks at what you do, not how you do it.
You can move off incorrectly using the clutch THEN gas throughout a driving test and pass; the examiner won’t even mention it. That doesn’t make it correct.
Watch the video below and I’ll explain more about this
Many driving instructors simply can’t be bothered to teach properly. I understand this, after all if the car moves off and pupils pass their driving test by doing clutch then gas then what’s the problem?
The problem is pupils won’t be able to drive their own car after passing! Driving instructors can be quite wealthy. We can make good money and can afford brand new cars every year or two that have bigger engines and the latest features.
Take those features away and you can be stalling all the time in your first car.
Diesel cars are different
Driving instructors often don’t know the difference between diesel cars and petrol cars. There’s quite a big difference when it comes to moving off and using the clutch properly. I’ve even met driving test examiners that didn’t know the difference!
This is where the driving tuition system really needs improving in my opinion. Very little emphasis is placed on mechanical knowledge and I think driving instructors really should be made to have to learn more about how cars work.
See my page on diesel vs. petrol for more information on this. (This page and videos are coming soon).
The pupil doesn’t listen
I taught someone to drive once from the beginning and I always told them to do gas then clutch. One day just before the pupils driving test they said that they’d been watching some videos online and people were saying you should move off by using the gas before the clutch.
I said well yes, that’s what I’ve always said. The pupil swore I’d never told them that when I’d been saying it from the beginning. Even more strange is that the video they’d watched was one of mine!
It’s not always the instructors fault. Sometimes pupils just don’t listen and you can tell them something a hundred times and they’ll swear you’ve never said it before.
I’ve a lot more to say about gas then clutch and I’ll be adding to this page soon. If you found this page useful I recommend you also read my page about clutch control.