How to Drive a Manual Car Smoothly

Driving in a manual car is a skill not everyone can inherit. Maybe you want to impress your workmates or colleagues that you could drive a manual car smoothly as an automatic car; there are a couple of dos and don’ts you would need to master.

Basically, automatic cars are easier and comfortable to drive, while manual cars require proper training.  When it comes to price, an automatic car costs every penny compared to a manual car. If you just bought a car and want to get a driver’s license, the milestone starts with passing a Learners Driver Test. Now, the test is made easy with the free Learners Driving Test demo online at The practice test makes sure you pass the test with real test questions rather than relying on guides and handbooks.

One driving a manual car smoothly needs to take care of the clutch and accelerator pedal according to the situation; after that comes the gear transmission. Subsequently, here is an illustrated list of tips you can follow to drive a manual car as flat as a pancake.

Source: Medium

Before starting: Learn basics

How many gears do manual cars have?

It’s normal for cars to have four gear transmissions, but the increasing user demand started the trend of vehicles having five gears. Many cars these days also come with the six-gear transmission, while seven gears are also available but have a rear implementation.

If you consider old-fashioned cars, they had four gears, having them less confusing double-declutching as the synchromesh gearboxes were absent. Recently seen, higher gear vehicles need more or a little trick to get started.

How to avoid damaging the manual clutch

Resting your foot to the clutch every time is not a good habit, but it’s a regular habit all of us are guilty of. Driving a manual car in heavy traffic can make your foot tired of all the heavy lifts on gear transmission. Here is how you can avoid damaging the manual clutch.

  • Don’t put your car in gear while you are in lights and traffic.
  • We have a habit of resting our hands over the gear lever; it’s advised not to put any pressure on the gear that directly puts compulsion on the gear forks resulting in an immediate expensive repair.
  • Don’t lug your car if you are low speed. It damages your clutch quickly
  • Do not rev your car high while you launch it.
  • Ensure you are pressing the clutch only while you are shifting gears; otherwise, you might need to replace the clutch plate earlier.
Source: Medium

Method 1: Using the clutch

Keep your left feet resting on the clutch

You might already be familiar with the clutch pedal being at the left. Keep your feet ready to press the clutch when it’s time to shift between gears. Knowing to shift gears smoothly while matching the speed is the first skill you would need to drive a manual smoothly. It’s not advised to press clutch every time you don’t shift; it might damage the clutch immediately.

Know that your clutch pedal is the left one, the center pedal is the brake and the pedal on the right is gas.

Press clutch all the way to put the vehicle in neutral

When you want your vehicle to transmit between the gears, press the clutch pedal gently and all the way to the floor. Please do not press it hard; you might damage it. Also, do not press the clutch before you hit shift gears.

Release clutch all the way after shifting gears

Before you hit gear, stick to the first gear, press and keep holding the clutch pedal, and slowly release your feet. A quick shift of your feet from the clutch might turn off the vehicle’s engine. You may want to practice gear shifting and clutch in a parking lot if you are not confident enough before taking it to the busy road.

Source: Pinterest

Method 2: Shifting gears

Press clutch all the way and then shift gears

Shifting gears and then pressing the clutch is not a conventional driving habit when it comes to manual driving. You might end damaging your car as it shakes and jolts. First, press the clutch to the floor and then gently work your way through shifting the clutch.

Move the gear to the center to put the vehicle in neutral

The neutral gear is located in the grey area of the transmission box. Without looking at the dashboard, you will be able to know the vehicle being in neutral if you can wiggle the stick side to side easily.

Shift gears according to the RPM

If you want to drive smoothly, you need to mark the RPM and shift gears properly. RPM refers to the Revolution per Minute of an engine. As you notice the increase in 2500 RPM, it’s time to shift gear to the next level. Practice at the parking lot to match the RPM and shift gears for conventional diving skills.

Release the clutch slowly

After you shift the gear to the next higher or lower, make sure you release the clutch pedal slowly; if not, you may experience jolting.


Method 3: Mastering the Accelerator

While you transmit between gears and hit the clutch pedal, do not remove the accelerator pedal suddenly. When these three combinations don’t match, you as well as passenger experience jolting of a car. Release or apply accelerator pressure gently to drive smoothly.

Operating every pedal and transmission gently is the conventional method to drive manual vehicles smoothly. Many believe driving in the manual car offers more control over and is fun to ride. You must pay attention to every aspect while you start the first time, and after a couple of tries, it suddenly becomes your habit.

Driving a manual car for the first time seems scary as you have to take overall control of the vehicle. Drivers who have a manual car driving license can drive an automatic car, but the ones with an automatic car driving license cannot drive a manual car. As mentioned in the article above, you surely require some learning to shift transmission and gears smoothly.