0800 211 8717Nayland Driving School, Colchester, EssexMon to Fri - 8:00-20:00 | Sat - 8:00 - 17:00Sign In/Sign up

How To Do an Emergency Stop in an Automatic Car


Performing an emergency stop in an automatic car doesn’t need to be difficult. During your driving lessons with Nayland Driving School, you will cover everything that you need to know to pull it off with ease.

Learn with Nayland Driving School

Many people know how to perform an emergency stop in a manual car, but are less clear on the process when it comes to an automatic. Whether you are making the switch from a manual vehicle or learning from scratch in an automatic, an emergency stop is one of the essential skills that you need to know if you are going to take to the road safely. Luckily for you though, the process isn’t too tricky at all!

Finding your way around the gearbox

Before you even think about performing an emergency stop, you will need to be fully familiar with the automatic gearbox. The options available for you are as follows:

  • Park: this locks the transmission, stopping the car from rolling while stationary. If you are going to park or stop for a prolonged period of time (such as when you perform an emergency stop) you need to make sure that you apply the handbrake too.
  • Reverse: this one is pretty obvious – it will allow the car to move backward.
  • Neutral: this is the same as taking a manual car out of gear. It should not be selected while the car is moving (also known as coasting). However, it can be used when you are only stopping the car for a short period of time, such as in traffic.
  • Drive: this allows the car to move forwards, and will select the most appropriate gear for your current level of speed, adjusting as you drive.

If all of the above seems a little bit daunting, don’t worry. Your instructor will ensure that you know your way around the automatic gearbox before you are anywhere close to performing an emergency stop. They’ll know when you are ready – so just follow their lead!

Performing an emergency stop

Now comes the exciting part: performing an emergency stop in an automatic car. Don’t worry, your instructor will demonstrate and explain the process as many times as you need before you begin, and will select a quiet area where you aren’t going to be disturbing other drivers.

To perform the emergency stop, all you need to do is all you need to do stop the car, apply the handbrake and then put the gear lever into park. All you have to remember are those three simple steps! You could be asked to perform an emergency stop during your driving test, so your instructor will ensure that you are able to do it successfully before the big day arrives.

Find out more today

If you want to find out more about learning to drive an automatic car, then please get in touch with the team at Nayland Driving School today. They will answer all of your questions and give you the information you need to go ahead and book your first lesson with total confidence.

Enquire Today


I was taught by Geoff for about 2 months and I went to my test and passed the first time with this company and I would highly recommend Geoff and the company ad he teaches really well, he ensures that you end up being a driver and not a learner and i felt that is a really respectable quality when it comes to a teacher. I could not say any bad experience and was extremely happy

Alen Thomas

For any one wanting to learn to drive but not sure who to go with I definitely recommend Nayland, with his great help I passed first time and in just over three months, the lessons were great I always looked forward to them as Michael is a lovely guy and very down to earth, and up for a laugh 🙂 but he is also very patient for any one who is nervous about driving. 🙂

Harriet Osborn Davies

Thanks a lot to Dave, very calm and professional instructor. Passed after 20h, would definitely recommend.

Mikolaj Witkowski

I passed my test first time, I didn’t need to use any other instructor as Michael gave me all the advice I needed, down to earth, practical and easy to understand. While learning to drive can be stressful, Micheal made it so easy for me. I enjoyed learning and looked forward to the lessons as they were really enjoyable, if you want to learn to drive with someone that will make it enjoyable and practical Micheal is the guy! guy.

Peter Callaghan

Before having Michael as a driving instructor I was with someone else! I was given his number through a recommendation, and his lessons gave me the confidence to pass my test! Michael has great prices and deals, to suit anyone! I have now been driving a year, and I have recommended many people to go with him and they have gone on to pass very fast! 🙂

Amy Cowlin

Massive thanks to Suzanne! Amazing instructor! Helped to boost my confidence and pass my test quickly! Highly recommend!

Tom Clarke