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Step-By-Step Guide on How to Drive a Manual Car

 Driving a manual car may seem intimidating at first, but with the right guidance and practice, you can master the art of manual transmission. In this blog post, we will provide you with step-by-step tips on how to drive a manual car.
This post is not a substitute for professional driving instruction. If you are serious about learning to drive a manual car, It is recommended that you enroll in a driving school.


Manual cars are becoming increasingly rare, but they still offer a number of
advantages over automatics, such as better fuel economy and more control over the vehicle. They are still mostly found on our Nigerian roads in the form of taxis, and personal private vehicles.  If you're thinking about learning to drive a manual car, This post tries to explore some tips to help you get started.

Step-by-Step Tips for Driving a Manual Car



  • Safely enter the parked car intended for driving.
  • Adjust your seat position (forward or backward) in a way your left foot can press the clutch firmly when stretched.


  • Set your rearview and side mirrors to have a clear view of your surroundings.
  • Ensure both the driver and front passenger fasten their seatbelts for safety.
    seat belt should be put on by the driver and the passenger in the front seat(if any).
  • You must advise the passenger by your right to put on a seatbelt even though he/she shows reluctance to do so. This is because, If there is an emergency that leads to a collision, the passenger has a greater risk of being injured fatally when a seat belt is not worn.


  • Understand the three main pedals: clutch, brake, and accelerator.
  • The clutch is used to engage a gear.
  • The clutch is applied simultaneously with the brake in order to stop the car when slowing down
  • The brake is used to slow down or stop the car
  • The accelerator is used to increase the car's speed.
  • Clutch down firmly with the LEFT foot and return the gear to a neutral position.


  • Insert the key and turn it on to the first ignition level, indicated by the dashboard lights turning on.
  • Proceed by fully turning the key to start the engine, hearing a consistent sound.





  • Activate the directional light based on the direction you intend to drive.
    • If you intend to move the car away from the parked position to the RIGHT, the indicator lever should be tapped up (or lifted up).
    • If you intend to move the car away from the parked position to the LEFT, the indicator lever should be pressed or tapped down.
    • The indicator lever is used to activate the turn signals or blinkers to inform other drivers of your intended direction.
  • Depress the clutch pedal firmly with your left foot and shift the gear to first (1).
  • Apply the right foot (it's always the right foot) on the accelerator (a little press) to a little distance as the thickness of a coin.
  • Apply this slight pressure on the accelerator while slowly releasing the clutch to reach the friction point, initiating vehicle movement.
  • The left foot on the clutch shouldn't be removed quickly, in order to prevent jerking.  Thus, the foot should be released from the gently as soon as the vehicle has begun to move.


  • As you accelerate, listen for the stressed sound from the engine, indicating the need for a gear change.
  • Firmly depress the clutch pedal with your right foot and shift to a higher gear when necessary.
  • When slowing down, change to a lower gear (e.g., gear 1) to synchronize with the new speed.


  • When in motion, always horn twice and slow down when approaching a junction or preparing for a directional turn.
  • Activate the directional lights, and remember to check for incoming vehicles from the left and right before turning.
  • When slowing down, change to a lower gear (e.g., gear 1) to synchronize with the new speed.


  • Prior to stopping, activate the appropriate directional light
  • Gradually apply the brakes while fully depressing the clutch pedal to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
  • Shift the gear to neutral once the car has stopped, and then turn off the engine.



Driving a manual car requires practice and patience. By following these step-by-step tips tailored to the Nigerian context, you can confidently navigate manual transmission vehicles. Remember to prioritize safety, always be aware of your surroundings, and continually refine your skills through practice and experience. Happy driving!

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