How to move off on a hill

How to move off on a hill

How to move off on a hill is something you must master to be a safe driver.

First you need to learn how to move off and understand why you need to use gas before clutch.

Once you know those two things, moving off up or down a hill will be easy.

How to move off up a hill

We’re going to use the same POSH system that we used when moving off with some key differences.


  1. Press the clutch pedal down with your left foot.
  2. Change into 1st gear.
  3. Press the gas slightly down with your right foot so you hear the engine hum. It needs to rev a little higher than when you’re on a flat road. Make sure you can hear the engine and don’t be afraid of the noise! There’s no need to over rev though, your rev counter should be between 1 and 2. It’s different for every engine though and on extreme hills you may need the rev counter to read more than 2.
  4. Lift the clutch to the biting point. Now lift it 1 millimetre higher than if you were on a flat road and you’ll feel the car pull forward a little more. That’s the extra power you need to move off up a hill.


In this example we’re moving off from the left hand side of the road. If you’re on the right just swap the word right for left in the next paragraph.

Look ahead, in your middle mirror then in your right mirror. You can look to the left if you want and it’s often a good idea but it’s not essential to pass the driving test.


You only need to signal if anyone would benefit from it. There’s no point in signalling if nobody is around and that only gives the impression that you aren’t aware of your surroundings.


Drop the handbrake and the car will start to move. At this point hold the clutch still.

Your clutch pedal should stay still until you feel it go a little looser under your foot. This should take no more than 3 seconds – if it does then you need to lift the clutch 1 millimetre up and wait again.

Just lifting the clutch up will result in many cars stalling. You need to hold it still for a while for this to work will – LOADS of instructors miss that part out.

That’s it – your car is now moving!

Now let’s look at how to move off down a hill.

How to move off down a hill

Moving off down a hill is totally different to moving off up a hill.

Let’s use the same POSH system again with a slight change.


  1. Hold your clutch pedal down with your left foot as you hold the foot brake pedal down with your right foot.
  2. Put the car into 1st gear. If you’re on a very steep hill then you can start in 2nd gear because the car will roll beyond the speed for 1st gear almost instantly. Whether you can use 2nd gear or not takes some practise and experience to judge.
  3. Release the handbrake. Remember your foot is on the footbrake so you won’t move.


Check around as we have done in the examples above.

You need to check a minimum of your centre mirror, right mirror and right blindspot if you’re moving off from the left. If you’re moving off from the right then check your centre mirror, left mirror and left blindspot.

You can do more checks but those are the minimum requirements for the UK driving test.


As before, only signal if anyone would benefit from it or there is no point.


We’ve already released the handbrake so instead we now release the foot brake. OK I know this isn’t exactly POSH but POSB doesn’t spell a word!

Lift off your foot brake quickly and then you can lift the clutch quite quickly, often without a pause. How quickly is up to you to discover with practise.

You don’t need to use the gas when moving off downhill but you can if you want to.

Now you know how to move off on a hill

That’s it! Now you know how to move off on hills.

Check out my other guides on how to drive a car for more help or visit the 1stDrive YouTube channel for more videos.