Diagram of which pedal in a car is the accelerator explained

Which Pedal is the Accelerator?

On a car with manual transmission, there are three pedals; the clutch, the brake and the accelerator. The accelerator is the pedal on the right and this can be easily remembered by using A, B and C. Starting from the right-side, remember:

  • A: Accelerator
  • B: Brake
  • C: Clutch

Why do Some People call the Accelerator the Gas Pedal?

In America, the word gasoline is used instead of petrol and so ‘gas’ is an abbreviation of gasoline. You may find however that UK driving instructors often use the word ‘gas’ as it’s easier and quicker to say. 

You’ll often hear driving instructors say “set the gas” (this means to slightly press the accelerator pedal in preparation for moving off). Or, “come off the gas” meaning to remove your foot from the accelerator pedal.

Is the Gas Pedal Always on the Right?

Yes, the gas pedal, or accelerator pedal is always on the right. It doesn’t matter whether you drive on the left-hand side of the road or in a country that drives on the right-hand side of the road, the gas pedal is always on the right.

However, you’ll often find that you’ll need to operate the gear stick shift (manual cars) or gear selector lever (automatics) with your right hand in countries that drive on the right.

Which Foot do You Use for the Accelerator?

As you never need to brake and accelerate at the same time, you use your right foot for operating the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal. You use your left foot for operating the clutch.

Do you have to Press the Accelerator when Starting a Car?

No, you do not have to press the accelerator when starting a car. The only exception is if you’re driving a very old car of around 30 years or so. These old car engines used a device called a carburetor for mixing fuel and air and for a cold engine start, you’d often need to press the accelerator pedal before starting the engine. Modern engines use fuel injection systems and onboard computers to control this procedure at startup.

Adjusting your Seat

Always ensure that you adjust your seat so that you can comfortably reach the accelerator with your right foot before driving. To do this, you’ll need to run through the car cockpit drill.

How to use the accelerator pedal in a car

How to Use the Car Accelerator

Learner driver tutorial explains how to correctly use the accelerator pedal, along with correct foot placement.

Guide on whether you should use the accelerator when reversing

Do You Use the Accelerator When Reversing

This guide explains whether or not you should use the accelerator when reversing and what situations mean you might have to use it.

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