How to do uphill starts

How to do uphill starts – A quick article to help you on the roads with Pete from Drive4Life

Today at Drive4Life we will be discussing a number of tips for when you’re trying to do an uphill start. These can be quite tricky as you’re used to finding the bite and releasing the handbrake and just moving. But with starting a car on a hill you need to get the revs to 2000 rpm instead of 1500 rpm. Only doing 1500 will force the car to roll down the hill.

Uphill starts are always included in the practical exam and you won’t be able to avoid them (they’re a massive pain at first, until you get the hang of them). When you have parked up on the left (the examiner will not ask you to park up on the right), apply the handbrake and select neutral, the examiner will then tell you to move off again when you are ready.

speedometerSelect 1st gear and slightly press the accelerator. The usual amount of gas (revs/rpm) needed is around 1500 rpm on the rev counter. You will need slightly more than this for hill starts, around 2000 rpm should do, if you don’t have 2000rpm on the rev counter and you release the handbrake, then the car will start to roll back, this is dangerous and you could fail your test over something so little like this. Although if you start to roll backwards, you haven’t found the bite fully (or your revs are too low), put down the brake and handbrake and start again, although doing this on your test will result in a fail.

You will now need to look into your left blind spot, through all mirrors and finish with the right blind spot. You need to check all mirrors and both blind spots to ensure a pedestrian is not directly crossing behind your vehicle as on a hill start there is a risk of your car rolling back.

If when you move off your car begins to roll back it is essential to take action immediately as failure to do so will result in a failed driving test. You have 2 options; the first is to slightly raise the clutch to prevent rolling back further or immediately depress the clutch followed by the foot brake. The latter option is preferred if you are not too confident with clutch control although it will require you having to start the entire moving off procedure again. When you do start to move you may need to keep the car in lower gears (1st, 2nd etc.) for longer than usual as the engine will require more power to climb the hill in these gears.

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