Driving Class

Learn To Drive In An Automatic Car


Cars equipped with an  automatic gearbox  were once scarce on our roads, but their number continues to grow today. You will no doubt also have noticed that several car brands offer some of their models in automatic version only. Right now, the chances that the car of your dreams will be an automatic are therefore great. But do you know how to drive such a car? Discover here our practical advice on how to learn to drive in an automatic car!

 Pedals, letters and numbers

Like cars with a manual gearbox, automatic cars are equipped with a brake pedal and a gas pedal, located respectively on the left and right at the bottom bracket. The clutch pedal, meanwhile, has disappeared. Another difference: the  gear lever , which includes both numbers and letters.

  • D means ”  drive  “
  • P means ”  park  “
  • N stands for ”  neutral  “
  • R means ”  reverse  “

As for the numbers, find out what they mean below.

Learn to drive an automatic in ” drive  ” mode 

To start with an automatic car, keep the brake pedal depressed and place the gear lever in the D position. Start the engine and slowly release the brake pedal (be careful to release the handbrake). The car should now move forward. To go faster, you just need to press the gas pedal.

Braking is easy as pie

Braking with an automatic car is no different from braking with a manual car. Place your right foot over the brake pedal and press down gently to brake smoothly (if you need to brake suddenly, feel free to press the pedal harder).

Parking with an automatic

To park with an automatic car, simply use the brake pedal and depressor release it as needed. Once you are satisfied with your position, hold the brake pedal down to come to a complete stop. Place the gear lever in the  P position and turn off the engine. Position P locks the gearbox and prevents the car from rolling if the road is tilted, but it is still advisable to use the handbrake for safety reasons.

Drive-in reverse

Reversing is child’s play with an automatic car. To do this, press the brake pedal so that the car comes to a stop. Then put the lever in the  R position and slowly release the brake so that the car is backing up.

When to use the neutral position?

The  N position is especially useful if you are stuck in a  traffic jam or parked for a few minutes and let your car engine run. Never use it when driving.

What about the numbers on the lever?

An automatic car also offers the possibility of breaking with the engine. How? ‘Or’ What? Using the numbers  1, 2, or 3  on the gear lever. Engine braking is extremely useful if you are driving down a slope and want to spare your brake pads when braking. By positioning the gear lever on number 1, the braking will be the most intense. The number 2 will allow you to keep a higher speed and the number 3 will only mark very weak braking.

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