Learning to Drive: Moving Off & Pulling Over

Jamie Daly - 2022-02-01
Learning to Drive: Moving Off & Pulling Over img

Part 2 of the Learning to Drive series, Moving Off. The move off is the first example of your driving ability and can set the tone for the rest of the test.  

Learning To Drive: How To Get Moving

MSM Routine (Mirror Signal Manoeuvre) The MSM Routine is a key driving basic and is used whenever you intend to manoeuvre - Including but not limited to: The move off, Junctions, Roundabouts, Pulling over etc. It stands for Mirror - Signal - Manoeuvre You check your mirrors, signal the direction you want to go, then perform the manoeuvre when safe to do so.   6 Point Check After starting the engine you'll probably learn another driving basic - the 6 Point Check. This routine involves the driver checking 6 points in and around the car to spot any potential Hazards.

  • 1) Left Blind Spot
  • 2) Left Wing Mirror
  • 3) Centre Mirror / Rear View Mirror
  • 4) Out the Car's Front
  • 5) Right Wing Mirror
  • 6) Right Blind Spot

The Blind Spot is the area no mirrors can see. Blind Spot checks show you cars as they are passing.

Biting Point The Biting Point is the moment where the connection between the engine and wheels is almost complete. It is achieved by lifting the clutch whilst the car is in gear. As you reach the biting point you will start to feel the car rumble (if the car is in neutral you will not feel anything), at this point lightly apply the accelerator pedal, this will cause you to start moving. Continue to raise the clutch and slowly increase your acceleration. When the clutch is fully risen, the car should be able to move without the clutch. If the clutch is lifted too high with none or not enough acceleration applied, the car will stall. You will then have to apply the hand brake, put the car in neutral and restart the car. Mastering the biting point may take some practice, but you will soon get the hang of it.  


  • 1) Before starting the engine, do a 6 point check.
  • 2) Start the engine.
  • 3) Put the car in 1st Gear (remember to bring both hands back to the wheel after selecting the gear).
  • 4) Lift the clutch to its biting point and set the accelerator to 1 (1000 rpm) on the dial.
  • 5) Indicate your intention to pull out.
  • 6) Do another 6 point check, release the handbrake and begin to pull out.
  • 7) As you pull out look forward into the road.
  • 8) When your engine requires it, switch to 2nd Gear.



Blind Spot - Mirror checks are hard to forget but blind spots can be easily forgotten. Be wary and remember all 6 point checks.  


Setting The Biting Point - It's hard to forget that rumbling feeling when you've set the biting point.  

InsureLearnerDriver HELPFUL TIP

On your test make it clear you are performing a 6 point check, you don't want your examiner to think you have forgotten it. Bob your head at each point or even say each point out loud.  

Incline Start

When you move off facing UP hill.

  • 1) The clutch should be risen higher than normal (the steeper the incline the higher the clutch).
  • 2) If the car is starting to rumble too loudly, as if you might stall, lower the clutch.

Decline Start

When you move off facing DOWN hill.

  • 1) The clutch should be lower than normal and no acceleration needs to be set.
  • 2) The car can start in 2nd Gear for down hill starts.


For More Info, Watch This Short Video...

  Passing An Obstruction Once you've moved off Obstructions may appear blocking the road ahead. To pass them follow the procedure below.  


  • 1) Check your Centre Mirror, Right Wing Mirror and Right Blind Spot.
  • 2) Pull out into the centre or opposite side of the road (ideally leaving a 3 foot gap)
  • 3) Check your Centre Mirror, Left Blind Spot and Left Wing Mirror
  • 4) When the obstruction appears in your left wing mirror, you have passed it.
  • 5) Pull back into the left hand side of the road.


Wing Mirror Checks - You might not think anyone would pass you on the left, It can happen. Stay vigilant and check your mirrors.  


Pull In - You'll definitely remember to pull back into the left, especially if there is traffic approaching.  

InsureLearnerDriver HELPFUL TIP

Give yourself plenty of room when you pass the obstruction. If the obstruction is something Living (cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians) make sure to give them even more room as they may suddenly change direction. . Pulling Over


  • 1) Check your Centre Mirror, Left  Wing Mirror & Left Blind Spot when pulling over on the left.

Note: Your examiner will almost never ask you to pull over on the right hand side of the road.

  • 2) Indicate your intention to pull over.
  • 3) Slow down and place the car into 1st  gear.
  • 4) Turn the car towards the pavement and straighten up when the front tip of the car is about a Metre away from the pavement.
  • 5) Your car should be parallel with the pavement and a Foot away from it.
  • 6) Make sure you come to a complete stop at a raised section of the pavement and not a dip (dips in the pavement are entrances to people's driveways).
  • 7) Apply the handbrake and place the car in neutral.
  • 8) Wiggle the gear shift and firmly push on the handbrake to ensure car is secure.



Car Secure - Once you've stopped, you need to perform your security checks before you can relax.  


Raised Pavement - A dip in the pavement is an entrance to someone's driveway. It would be difficult to forget this rule, as no other cars should be parked in front of a dipped pavement section.  

InsureLearnerDriver HELPFUL TIP

To ensure you pull over a foot away from the pavement, set yourself a marker inside the car. This will help you gauge whether or not the car is a foot away from the pavement when you decide to apply the handbrake.  

< Read Part 1 - Cockpit Drill   Read Part 3 - Approaching Junctions > 

'Learning to Drive' series - full lesson list