Hill-start assist explained

If you’ve bought a car recently then it’s likely you have hill-start assist, but have you taken a moment to learn more about it?


Rolling backwards on a hill can be dangerous and potentially quite embarrassing – hill-start assist can really make this a thing of the past. Hill-start assist is actually a safety feature – and forms part of a wider drive to make cars safer for drivers and pedestrians.


Mechanical hill-holders have actually been around in some form since the 1930s. hill-holder or hill-start assist mechanisms use the digital diversity that the modern car provides – it reads the angle of the road, the pedal position and then applies the brakes of your car while on a slope – independent of the driver when the car has come to a stop.

Hill-start assistance usually keeps hold for two-to-three seconds after coming to a stop – it’s best to hold down the brake manually if you have stopped for longer than that amount of time.

These systems are most useful in manual cars – but they’ve also become the norm in automatic and dual-clutch transmission cars as well.

With hill-start assistance in place, you don’t need to worry about using the handbrake – allowing you to have both hands on the wheel and your attention focused.