Skip to Content
  • Learn to drive in a week
  • Driving School Warminster
  • Driving School Westbury
  • Driving Instructor Warminster
  • Driving Instructor Trowbridge
  • Driving Instrustor Frome
  • Crash Course Westbury
  • Learn To Drive In 1 Week

MSM Driving School

08 - Mar - 2014

For all your Driving needs

How To Change Gear Smoothly

This Page is Currently Under Construction

Gear Lever
Palming Method

How To Change Gear Smoothly

How To Change Gears

In most vehicles the first 4 gears form an 'H' appearance on the gear lever. Neutral is the middle position in the 'H' formation on the gear lever. The gear lever will automatically spring to the central neutral position when not in a gear. This is very useful when trying to find and select third or fourth gear.

1st Gear is used for moving off, manoeuvring and for creeping slowly in traffic.
2nd Gear is used for building up speed after moving away, this is a working gear for built up areas.
3rd Gear is also a working gear for speeds up to 30 mph.
4th Gear is used for driving at speeds generally higher than 30 mph, where there are no hazards to confront.
5th Gear gives better fuel economy. This is normally only used on open roads when travelling constantly at higher speeds.
Reverse Gear is for reversing and this must be done at very slow speeds.

Gear change routine

1. Keep your eyes on the road
2. Cover the clutch
3. Firm grip of the steering wheel with your right hand
4. Place left hand on the gear lever
5. Off Gas
6. Clutch down to the floor
7. Select the gear you want, bring the clutch up smoothly
8. Back on gas
9. Place your left hand back on the steering wheel

When changing gear going uphill build up more speed before changing gear as you will lose momentum when you press the clutch down.

When changing gear going down a steep hill you will need to apply light brake pressure to stop the car building up to much speed during the gear change


Don't coast, that's keeping the clutch down longer than is necessary or travelling in neutral
Selective Gear Changing

Selective gear changing means you sometimes miss out gears, for example, by changing from fifth or fourth gear to second gear. This method is called 'selective' or 'block' gear changing.
There are also times when you might selectively change up, for example if you have used a lower gear such as third for better acceleration you might be able to change to fifth gear when you have reached your intended cruising speed.

The basic gear changing rule is 'brakes to slow - gears to go'. As the car increases speed, change up through the gears. When you want to slow down, use the foot brake.

Palming method

To operate the gear lever we use a method known as 'palming' see picture for example:

Palm towards Instructor for 1st and 2nd
Palm towards driver for 5th and Reverse
Palm on top for 3rd and 4th





  • Driving Lessons Warminster
  • Driving Lessons Westbury
  • Female Driving Instructor Warminster
  • Intensive Driving Course Warminster
  • Crash Course Warminster
  • Driving Instructor Weswtbury
  • Crash Course Trowbridge
  • Crash Course Frome
  • Driving Lessons Trowbridge