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How to Learn to Drive a Car: Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Cars are often considered a desired mode of private and commercial transportation in India, especially for last-mile connectivity. They are fun to drive and offer a sense of independence. But, to enjoy these benefits to the fullest, you must know how to drive a car. Fret not! It is easy if you follow some basic guidelines. Here are some tips and tricks to help you learn the basics of driving a car.

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Tips for driving a car for the first time

Here are some tips to help you drive a car before you begin driving.

  • Adjust as per your comfort: Before driving, ensure that the seat is in the correct position for optimum view angle. The same goes for the rear-view mirrors. This can help you to be comfortable and relaxed, especially during a problematic manoeuvre.

  • Refrain from overthinking the situation: Driving requires you to multitask. Sitting in the driver seat may be overwhelming with the several controls, gearshifts and clutch use. Although these tasks may seem challenging, it is vital to clear your mind and focus on what you are doing.

  • Get a trusted and experienced driver in the passenger seat: It is better to drive with an experienced driver to focus on learning to drive a car. Driving with an experienced driver will help you begin driving a car without worrying about safety. A skilled adult or a professional can advise you to make the experience less scary.

  • Don’t get distracted: This is not the time for phone use. Driving with distractions is never a good idea. Also, turn off the radio or music or reduce the volume and roll up the windows to avoid unwanted distractions.

  • Stay on familiar roads: Driving on familiar roads will instil confidence in you since the roads are known. Drive around a known area first before you start driving on new or unknown roads.

  • Stay away from highways: While you will need to learn to drive on these types of roadways, it is vital that you learn the art of driving a car completely before hitting the highway. Wait until you gain enough confidence to drive a vehicle before putting yourself in a challenging situation.

How to drive a car: A step-by-step guide

Driving a car can seem daunting, especially if you are a beginner. But, with the proper guidance, you can learn how to drive safely and confidently. Here is a step-by-step guide to learning how to drive a car. 

  • Step 1:  Get familiar with the car before you begin driving. Sit in the driver’s seat and adjust the seat, steering wheel and mirrors as you like. Get comfortable with the pedals and controls, including the accelerator, brake and clutch (if manual).

  • Step 2: Safety is vital, especially when learning to drive a car. Buckle up and ensure the occupants are buckled up as well.

  • Step 3: Start the car. Insert the key or use the push start button to start the engine. Ensure the gear is in neutral and your feet are hovering on the brake.

  • Step 4: Get ready to start moving. Before you begin driving, ensure the hand brake is off, and the gear is in ‘drive’ mode (automatic gearbox) or first gear (manual gearbox).

  • Step 5: Press the accelerator and release the clutch slowly. This should propel the vehicle forward.

  • Step 6: Steer and use the clutch to move slowly. Use the steering wheel to navigate your way. When you need to slow down or stop, use the brake pedal with the right foot and clutch with the left foot.

  • Step 7: Use turn indicators when turning left or right. This helps other road users to navigate the way.

  • Step 8: Change gears. If you are driving a manual gearbox, you are required to shift gears as you accelerate. To shift up, press down the clutch pedal with your left foot and move the gear stick to the next gear with your left hand. To shift down, use the same technique but in reverse order.

  • Step 9: While driving, ensure you obey traffic rules, including stop signs, speed limits, and traffic lights.

  • Step 10: When reaching the destination, find a parking spot, slowly move your car to the spot, and engage the hand brake or put it in ‘park’ mode (automatic gearbox). Turn off the engine, remove the key and exit the vehicle.

Tips for driving a manual car

If you want to learn how to drive a manual transmission car, here are some essential tips to get you started. Manual cars have three pedals: clutch, brake and accelerator. Here’s how to use them.

  • Press the accelerator to increase the engine revs and cause the car to speed up. 

  • Using the brake pedal will slow down the vehicle.

  • The clutch has two metal plates connecting the engine to propel the wheels. Note that the clutch pedal is the main difference between manual and automatic cars. You are disengaging the engine from the wheels by pressing the clutch pedal.

Tips for driving an automatic car

Here are some tips for driving an automatic transmission car. Most automatic cars let you select between Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive modes. Here’s how to use them.

  • Using the Park mode when stopping and getting out of the vehicle would be best. This mode locks the gearbox, preventing it from moving from the vehicle’s position. You still need to use the electronic or the manual hand brake.

  • It would help if you used the Reverse mode when you want to drive the car backwards.

  • The Drive mode lets you drive the car forward.

  • As for the Neutral mode, it works just like when a manual gearbox is out of gear.

Safety tips to consider when driving a car for the first time

Apart from knowing the tips for driving a car for the first time, it is also important to learn about safety precautions. Here are some tips.

  • Always use turn signals in advance to make a lane change or turn.

  • Obey traffic rules to avoid accidents.

  • Wearing a seatbelt in India is mandatory, and it is also for your safety.

  • It is important not to drive a car if you are under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering substance.

  • Use the horn wisely, and do not honk unnecessarily.

  • Give way for pedestrians and smaller vehicles.

  • Keep enough distance between the vehicle in front of you.

  • Ensure your car is insured before you start driving it. Opt for Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy for wide-ranging benefits.

Slow and steady

These basic steps on how to drive a car ensure you are taking enough precautions before setting out on the road. Remember, practice makes perfect, so take it slow and steady, and soon you’ll be able to drive without fear.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to some of the common questions about how to drive a car.

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How to drive an automatic car?

Follow the steps mentioned in the above section, except that you will not use the clutch to shift gears. Instead, the automatic gearbox will do the job for you. You have to use the accelerator and brake pedal to propel the car forward or backward.

What are the different types of car gearboxes?

The manual and automatic are the two main types of car gearbox for cars. The automatic can be classified further into the following categories.

  • Conventional automatic gearbox

  • Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

  • Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)

  • Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)

Which is the ideal car insurance policy?

The Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy is an ideal insurance policy since it has broad coverage, including coverage for the insured car and third-party liabilities. It also covers car theft.

Can I learn car driving on my own?

Yes, you can learn to drive on your own. However, it is crucial to have a trusted and experienced driver in the passenger seat while learning to drive a car for the first time. A skilled driver can help you increase your confidence without worrying about safety and offer advice that could help you eliminate potential mistakes.

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Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content, and before making any insurance-related decisions.

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