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When to press the clutch

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When do I need to press the clutch? It's a common question new drivers ask who are learning to drive a manual car.

To keep it simple, you need to fully press the clutch down whenever you want to stop the car completely and when changing gear.

You'll also need to press the clutch and use 'clutch control' to drive slowly below 5mph.

Video on when to press the clutch

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Fully press the clutch when stopping.

If you're driving slowly, approximately below 10mph and want to stop then press the clutch first so that the car doesn't stall and then the brake to stop.

If you're driving faster than approximately 10mph, brake to slow down and then press the clutch about 2 car lengths before stopping to prevent stalling.

Always remember that any time you need to drive slower than about 5mph then you need to press the clutch or the car will stall.

But you don't need to press the clutch every time you brake. For example, if you're slowing down for a bend then you'll just need to release the gas pedal and brake if necessary.

If you press the clutch unnecessarily or too early then you'll make the car coast or free-wheel, this reduces the amount of control you have of the car and you could increase speed.

Clutch control.

If you're driving between 0 - 5 mph then you'll have to use the clutch to control the car at very slow speeds. This is where you can raise the clutch to the biting point to make the car move forward slowly. Or slightly lower the clutch, about the thickness of a pound coin to slow down.

You can use clutch control anytime you want to drive very slowly. You'll still have to use a little gas to help the car not stall.

Have a look here for more information on clutch control.

When you want to drive faster than roughly 5mph smoothly raise the clutch all the way with a little gas.

Changing gear.

The other time to fully press the clutch is whenever you want to change gear.

To change gear, release the gas pedal, clutch down, change gear, release the clutch smoothly and back on the gas pedal.

If you're unsure when to change gear then have a look here.

When to change gear Clutch control
Clutch or brake first? Top 5 tips how to drive a manual car

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