Gear Selection



A tutorial in gear selection

Changing gear allows a car to be driven economically, reducing fuel consumption and maximising performance. The more you become consistent with your gear selection, matching it with the revs and good clutch control then the more fuel efficient you will become. Most modern cars have 6 gears and reverse.

To change gear:

Once you have achieved 2000 revs per minute –

  1. Release the accelerator pedal and then press the clutch pedal down fully.

  2. Remove your left hand from the steering wheel, position the hand according to the gear needed and avoid cupping it around the gear knob and move the lever gently but precisely from one position to another.

  3. Return your left hand to the steering wheel.

  4. Release the clutch pedal slowly snd smoothly 

  5.  Then once released reapply power by pressing down on the accelerator pedal to continue to increase your speed.


Whilst changing gear you must always keep your eyes on the road and not look down at the gear stick. You need to get a feel for where the gears are and how to position your hand correctly to make the best selection.  

At 4front Driving School we recommend our students practise this in their own time in a stationary car each day until they become consistent with where each gear is located.

The sound of the engine can tell you when you need to change gear as well as the rev counter, or other symbols on the cars smart screen. As you accelerate the engine will become whiny and take on a higher pitch. This is because the engine is reaching its limits for the gear you are in. When you hear this you should change up.


Here is a short video to help you position your hands correctly when selecting gears and changing between gears so that you always achieve a smooth gear change.



1st Gear

From neutral position the palm of your left hand on the side of the gear stick knob. Push away from you to your left until the gear stick reaches the far left side. Then using the palm of your hand push the gear stick up into the left corner until it locks into position.

(across to the left and up)

1st to 2nd Gear

Keeping the palm of your left hand sideways push to the left keeping the gear stick against the left side of the gear box. Then bring the gear stick down towards the left hand bottom corner using your fingers to guide it into position until it locks into place.

2nd to 3rd Gear

Using the palm of your hand push the gear stick in two stages upwards. First it will pop into neutral, keep pushing and it will then pop into third. If you don’t do this gently in two stages then you risk accidentally going back into first which can be dangerous and cause engine braking.

3rd to 4th Gear

This involves a flicking technique, flicking the gear stick straight down in two stages, flick flick using your fingers – see the gif image below.

4th to 5th gear

From 4th gear push up one stage with the palm of your hand into the neutral position. Push towards you to your right until the gear stick reaches the far right side. Then using the palm of your hand push the gear stick up into the right corner until it locks into position.

(up to the right and up)

5th to 6th Gear

Keeping the palm of your left hand sideways push to the right keeping the gear stick against the right side of the gear box. Then bring the gear stick down towards the right hand bottom corner using your fingers to guide it into position until it locks into place.

If you are interested in learning to drive then please call Simon at 4front Driving School on 07905657229

Or visit our website on http://www.4frontdrivingschool.co.uk

You can email 4frontdrivingschool@gmail.com

Or visit our Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/4frontdrivingschool

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