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

How to drive an automatic car


First of all, to drive an automatic car you are going to need to take automatic driving lessons. Here at Nayland Driving School, we teach pupils in our fleet of automatic cars all over the UK. Our instructors have years of experience under their belts and will be able to get you feeling confident and capable behind the wheel in no time at all. We also have a great first-time pass rate. 

An automatic car does a lot of the work for you, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t take some getting used to. Most automatic cars have four driving modes, and learning the differences between them is key to a safe driving experience. The four driving modes are as follows: 

  • P/Park: This is for instances where you are stopping and leaving your car. Putting it in this mode will lock the transmission. This stops it from rolling away – but you will still need to apply the handbrake. 
  • R/Reverse: This works exactly like the reverse gear in a manual car. If you need to drive backwards, you will put your car into this driving mode. 
  • N/Neutral: If you’re stopping at traffic lights or anywhere else where you’re remaining stationary for a few seconds, you should put the car in neutral. As you would in park mode, you should always use the handbrake to prevent rolling. 
  • D/Drive: Perhaps the most self-explanatory mode, this is used to make the car move forward. As you increase your speed, the car will progress up through the gears automatically – the function that gives this kind of vehicle its name. 

To get started, put your foot down on the brake as you start the car. Then, with your foot still on the brake, put the car into drive or reverse. Once you start driving, the car will automatically select the right gear for your speed. 

If you want to find out more about driving an automatic car, get in touch with our driving school today. With lessons available for some of the most competitive rates you’ll find, you will pick up all the skills you need.


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