Why do I care about this subject….read on, this is just one small part of dealing with driver training as a Grade 6 DVSA Instructor (car)

A simple error that potentially could lead to death if you are not taught the first time you get in a car to learn from your D.V.S.A. Professional Driving Instructor:

Spend a moment to think just about a gear change, it’s normally laid out in an “H” format with 6 speed there are 2 more to the right of the H

Recognise where the neutral position is, the gear lever moves freely sideways but notice and feel the spring mechanism too.

Holding the gear lever correctly is very important, ( a demonstration is normally given on the first initial controls lesson )

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The clutch and it’s use is not explained in this section….obviously whilst starting to drive all controls are dealt with, then mastered over time.

By cupping the hand with your thumb downwards it enables you to push against the sprung loaded mechanism to engage 1st gear

By pushing sideways against the spring towards the nearside door and moving the gear lever forwards into 1st gear ( about 10cm or 3 inches )

Same grip, keeping the pressure on the sprung loaded mechanism towards the door, moving the gear lever down into 2nd gear ( about 10cm or 3 inches from it’s neutral position )

(All vehicles are very similar but some gear boxes may not move as much as described )

Now we guide the gear lever from it’s 2nd gear position into 3rd gear,

This time though we have to hold the gear lever like a cup with our thumb across the top of the gear lever ( a demonstration is normally given )

There is no spring to push against, the gear lever wants to go there naturally, it is guided to it’s correct position, ( similar to where 1st gear was but with no spring to fight against )

4th gear same grip as with 3rd gear selection, guiding the gear lever downwards, there is no spring to push against (similar position to where 2nd gear was, but no spring to fight against)

5th gear same grip as 3rd and 4th gear selection but we now have to guide the gear lever to it’s neutral position across to drivers door and upwards ( as will be shown)

6th gear keep the same grip as before, keep the pressure on the gear lever position it to its correct position.


The controls lesson will show why all the above is so important….get trained by a competent D.V.S.A. Professional Driving Instructor.

As A Grade 6 DVSA instructor this is just so obvious to teach when we train someone new, it is the basics to car control.

That’s my job to make the whole driving experience exciting but enjoyable for you.

Gear parameters and some easily identified animals for reference:

1st gear
0 mph to 25 mph very powerful animal, not very fast, ideal for moving off on flat, or an upwards slope, or when absolute control is necessary
2nd gear
10 mph to 45 mph slow but can walk quicker, ideal for most junctions, also a downhill start if enough room-practice on lesson 1 or 2
3rd gear
20 mph to 60 mph can walk, trot, run, gallop, ideal gear for a 30 mph zone, also great for overtaking, never move away in 3rd gear
4th gear
35 mph to 100 mph + can run very fast, not very powerful , never move away in 4th gear
5th gear
(Cheetah plus)6th gear (how about Usian Bolt)
50 mph to 100 mph +

55 mph to 100+

can run very very fast, not very powerful, ideal eco gear for long runs, saves fuel, never try and move away in 5th gear

The fastest gear but least powerful…long journey, but to get into 6th keep pressure on lever so it is guided into the correct place as will be demonstrated


If you can understand this simple detail, you will get on very well with my training, you will be safe.

If however you don’t think it is necessary to learn everything the right way,

I don’t think you will get on with my way of driver training,

To be fair, some pupils really don’t want to understand the basics from the start, their loss.

Maybe a parent has taught them, or you see everyone you drive with doing it in different ways.

All of which could lead to an error, or the end of your driving career for ever?

With 3rd gear selected by wrong grip or failing to push against the spring towards to passenger door….the car will initially move but stall leaving you the driver

in maybe the middle of a busy junction or roundabout….a car or lorry will drive into your door you will be seriously injured or even killed?

Please don’t let it be your let down in life?

Aim to do it right every time.

Thanks for reading