Palming Method for Gear Changing Explained

Palming Method for Gear Changing Explained

The palming method for gear changing is a technique used by driving instructors for teaching learner drivers how to change gear in a manual car.

Many learner drivers struggle to correctly locate the intended gear and instead, accidentally select the wrong gear. Depending on the gear selected, this can potentially be damaging for the clutch and gearbox and can even have hazardous consequences to other road users.

To help reduce wrong gearing, we use the palming method which is a methodical and somewhat robotic procedure.

The palming method involves applying pressure to a side of the gear stick and pushing it using the palm of your hand only. You would hold the knob in a similar way as you would a handshake – so you wouldn’t grip it, rather push it.

You would use the handshake thumbs up position for pushing the gear stick towards you and invert you hand so that your thumb is pointing down to push the gear stick away from you.

How Long Do I Have to Use the Palming Method?

As mentioned, the palming method is very methodical and quite a precise way of changing gear. As you gain more driving experience, you’ll get more confident with changing gears and as a result may prefer to relax your technique.

Do I Have to Use the Palming Method on the Driving Test?

No, you don’t have to continue using the palming method on the driving test, though you can if you prefer. Essentially, during a driving test, the examiner wants to see proper use of gears; the right gear and the right time and speed and for gears to be used safely. How you do that is really your choice.