Moving Off and Stopping - Driving School South West

Moving Off and Stopping

How to move off and stop the car safely

Moving off from stationary

There are four ways of moving off:

  • On the level
  • At an angle
  • Uphill
  • Downhill

For moving off we use a routine called P O M:

  • P = preparation
  • O = observation
  • M = manoeuvre

Moving off on the level

Once you have completed your cockpit drill, check the gear lever is in neutral and start the car.

Clutch down, select first gear, clutch to bite then add a little gas (about 1000rpm)

Check your:

  • Left door mirror
  • Centre mirror
  • Road ahead
  • Right mirror
  • Right blind spot

If there are road users, signal right for moving off.

If there are no other road users then there is no need to signal.

Be careful how you time your signal. If a car is coming up close behind you, wait until they are alongside you then signal. This way no one will think you are pulling out in front of them.

Release the handbrake and the car will start to move very slowly. KEEP YOUR FEET STILL at this point. If you go too fast push the clutch in slightly.

You need to steer away from the kerb slightly before gradually releasing the clutch fully. A good way of doing this is to count 3, 2, 1 as you release the clutch pedal.

Once you have released the clutch fully add a little more gas.

Your car should be about one metre away from the kerb (about a doors width) for a normal driving position.


The routine we use for stopping is M S M:

  • M = Mirrors
  • S = Signal
  • M = Manoeuvre

Manoeuvre is then broken down into P S L:

  • P = Position
  • S = Speed
  • L = Look

Use the M S P S L routine to stop


Check your mirrors to look for following traffic and check all around for any other road users.


If there are road users, signal left to stop. If there are no road users then there is no need to signal for stopping.


Your parked position should be about 10 cm from the kerb.


At speeds above 10mph, brake first then push the clutch down. At 10mph or less, push the clutch down then brake a little more if necessary. Just before you stop release the brake a little then reapply. This way you will get a smooth stop.

How we adjust our speed

First come off the gas, then place your feet above the clutch and brake (this is called ‘covering your pedals’). Brake gently if necessary, depending on your speed. At 10mph push the clutch down, then brake a little.


You need to stop in a safe, convenient and legal place (your instructor will explain this fully.) Once you have stopped, don’t move your feet.

In the following order you secure the car:

  • Apply the handbrake
  • Select neutral
  • Cancel the signal (if you gave one)

Only then you can take your feet off the pedals.