Current rules to pass your test - BobbyG
I have been driving for 23 years so no doubt have developed a lot of bad habits. However have never had a point on my licence and never had as much as a bump so like to think that I am maybe not too bad a driver!

My 11 year old son is car daft and I am slowly preparing him for the real world of driving - not the Ferrari world that he lives in!

So when we are out cycling I tell him to watch for the signs, read the road traffic, switch down gears on his bikes approaching junctions etc.

This has now developed to when we are in the car and the journey is appropriate, he sometimes does the gear change for me. Ok maybe people will shoot me down in flames for this but its done in a controlled manner.

However as a result of this, and various questions he has, can anyone answer the following:

How do you slow down to a junction? In my day we had to go down through the gears, but has it now changed to just using brakes and maybe changing down just before car stops?
Is it still totally stationery for a STOP sign, but don't need to stop for Give Way?
Is it still a no no to change gear during a manoeuvre like going round a roundabout?
At traffic lights, do you sit with handbrake on and in neutral or in first gear? I tried the neutral bit, only putting it into gear when lights changed and felt it had taken ages to get away!
Any other tips and any useful web links that give these sort of answers without having to go through the full highway code!

Current rules to pass your test - frazerjp
Regarding slow down at junctions:
It's gears to go - brakes to slow when approaching a T-junction where more or less you have to stop before you pull out into the road.

When approaching a roundabout, I was taught when approaching one at speed or from leaving a motorway (50+ mph) in 5th gear, change down to 4th as you progressively slow down, then depress the clutch just before you reach the dotted white line, if clear I either drop to either 3rd or 2nd to pull away.

At a STOP sign I rarely use the handbrake unless it's on a backward slope.

I don't change gear until I'm straight from the roundabout.

Don't forget use your mirrors before making any manoeuvre ;)
Current rules to pass your test - oilrag
A little restrictive only letting the lad change gear..

Aged 10yrs and out with my Aunt, I used to change gear and steer it from the passenger seat. I could also operate the clutch if I sat on the transmission tunnel under the column mounted gear lever, only with my right foot. Only the foot brake and throttle remained out of reach.

I`m convinced it`s this early training that as a teenager enabled me to slip over the front seat back into the back seat while maintaining steering - as my girlfriend slid into the drivers seat - feet first onto the controls. (hand throttle, Fiat 126)

You had to do it clockwise as viewed from above - trickier anticlockwise.

Edited by oilrag on 23/08/2009 at 19:11

Current rules to pass your test - Robin Reliant
You don't have to change down through the gears, but you won't fail if you do. You can also skip gears on the way up the box where circumstances permit, ie 2nd to 4th after accelerating to overtake a slow moving vehicle.

You don't have to stop at give way lines if safe to keep moving.

You are permitted to leave the car in gear when stationary but they expect the handbrake to be used rather than holding on the footbrake.

You can change gear on a roundabout provided you are not actually turning the steering wheel at the same time.
Current rules to pass your test - Rattle
There is not that many rules on it really. Basicaly you have to follow the highway code which does mean STOP at a stop sign and at give ways you only have to stop if there is traffic coming.

Witgh regard to gears it all has to be done in a controlled way this would usualy mean at least dropping one gear.

At lights we are taught to leave it in 1st gear with hand brake on, I leave it in neutral with hand brake on.

There really is no set way of doing it. As longs if you are safe and follow the highway code you will pass.
Current rules to pass your test - SlidingPillar
< >>
Obviously instructors whose cheque book covers wear and tear. Carbon thrust bearings anyone?
Current rules to pass your test - Old Navy
I learned to drive in the days of carbon thrust bearings and still treat a clutch as though it has one. Neutral and handbrake if stopped.
Current rules to pass your test - Robin Reliant
< >>
Obviously instructors whose cheque book covers wear and tear. Carbon thrust bearings anyone?

Never known a thrust bearing to go on a driving school car.
Current rules to pass your test - grumpyscot
Nowadays, it would be more environemntally friendly to gear down to stop, since that uses no fuel as against a braking stop which does. Besides, I've always believed that, by gearing down, you're always in a better position to accelerate again if needs be, therefore you're actually in better control of the vehicle........ in my opinion!
Current rules to pass your test - Pugugly
You're right - from a motor cycling perspective you have to do that as bikes (in the main) jhave a sequencial gear change.
Current rules to pass your test - Sofa Spud
I generally change down to third approaching a T-junction and then either stop or select second or first to pull away while still rolling, depending on traffic and visibility.

I believe you are still required to come to a total stop at stop signs and you can be booked if your wheels are not seen to stop revolving.
Current rules to pass your test - Pugugly
You're required by law to do that at all times not just during a test.
Current rules to pass your test - Sofa Spud
I know that you're always supposed to stop at a stop sign, the only thing I was speculating about is whether people still get prosecuted for not coming to a complete stop - certainly one would get a bad mark, maybe a fail, in the driving test for not doing so.

Edited by Sofa Spud on 24/08/2009 at 12:39

Current rules to pass your test - sierraman
I'm suprised no one has come up with a stop sign camera,could be a nice little earner.
Watching Gryff Rhys Jones in the Fens last night it was mentioned that hill starts are not part of the test there,no hills to do them on,indeed many people never bother using the hand brake when parking.
Current rules to pass your test - Mookfish
certainly one would get a bad mark, maybe a fail, in the driving test for not doing so.

It would be a fail on the driving test back in 1996/7 according to my instructor, don't know for certain about now but I suspect it hasn't changed.
Current rules to pass your test - Robin Reliant
"Stop" is a legal requirement, not a suggestion. An examiner would markt it the same as if you had run a red light.
Current rules to pass your test - Rattle
I got four minors for the following:-

I turned a 3 point turn into a 7 point turn. I got one minor for this because I remained calm, quickly corrected my mistake and had good observation.

I changed gear too late when turning a corner so got one a minor for poor control.

I also ended up in the wrong lane because my instructor said go straight on but I was already naturaly in the right hand lane. I then had to push my way into traffic so I got a minor for failing comply with road markings. As he had not said go right I should not have been in the right lane, but I signalled to get in the right lane unto somebody let me in. I was convinced I had failed my test over this, but my instructor said carry on driving when I said I have just failed. He explained because I was calm and again knew what I had done wrong and safely correct it it was fine.

I also got a bit confused over one junction so I got a minor for being hesitant. Again I only lost it for about two seconds any more it would have been a fail.

All the minors I got could have been a fail but in each case I was instantly aware of my mistake and knew how to correct it.
Current rules to pass your test - Robin Reliant
Pedantic mode on here Rattle, but he wasn't your instructor, he was your examiner.

Your instructor was the friendly bloke who spent half your lessons telling dirty jokes.

Edited by Robin Reliant on 24/08/2009 at 23:45

Current rules to pass your test - Rattle
Indeed :). And I am usualy the first to correct people for making that mistake.
Current rules to pass your test - SteVee
BobbyG - your son could learn to drive under supervision with the Under-17 car club
Both my children were members of this club which provides a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn about cars in a safe environment. Cost is very low - you will use your own car.

I would also recommend that you go to RoSPA or IAM to get rid of your 'bad' habits