How to start a car up and down the hill

Going up the hill

Young drivers always have difficulties with starting moving up the hill. The technique you will use to drive depends on both the gearbox of the car (automatic or manual) and the presence of the helpful technology known as hill hold assist.

It might be also a challenge for drivers who use hydraulic handbrakes operated with a button instead of the lever.

Cars with an automatic gearbox

The handbrake in automatic cars is always on. That is why some pressure should be applied to the throttle before the handbrake release. It will result in moving ahead. If you start too fast or move backward or stand still, you have applied too much or little pressure to the throttle correspondingly. You will feel it better with some driving experience.

If your car is lucky enough to have a hill hold technology, which holds the brakes for a couple of seconds for you to press enough throttle and start moving ahead, there is no need to use handbrakes.

There are automatic cars that release the handbrakes right after your application of the throttle, so there is no need to press a button.

There are cars, like Honda for example, where the handbrake was replaced by a foot one, so here one should operate with both the left and right foot.

It is also important to look into your mirrors as well as over the shoulder to pull gently into the traffic.

Cars with a manual gearbox

Cars with manually operated gearbox usually do not have a foot brake as you have to do two immediate actions at the same time. That is why there are several steps to make to start moving ahead up the hill. Firstly, you should check whether the brakes are turned on, then push the clutch in and select an appropriate gear. To begin moving one should:

Never forget to look into the mirrors when you join the traffic and when you are already there too.


To start riding uphill a motorcyclist should choose the first gear without leaving the clutch lever and balance with the left foot touching the ground to avoid falling down. For the bike not to move hold the front brake. Add some throttle to start releasing the clutch. As soon as it starts biting, you should have your throttle balanced and brakes released. When the motorcycle begins to move, you can raise your foot and put it on the peg.

If the hill appears to be steep, you might make use of the back brake that will also result in the reduction of your balance.

Starting moving down the hill

It is not that difficult to start moving down the hill. If you drive a car with the manual gearbox, it would be reasonable to choose the second gear to move smoothly and not to waste fuel. Be ready to speed up thanks to gravity.

The cars with automatic gearboxes can start when a driver releases a handbrake.

Be careful as even experienced drivers should use the brake instead of the accelerator on the steep slopes for safety.

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