Applying handbrake on car

Jul 18, 2017
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Do you apply the handbrake when parking up the vehicle or do you simply leave it in Park if automatic or in gear if manual?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Handbrake on when in Park on auto

Handbrake and in gear on manual. No risk of lurching forwards as it will not start without clutch depressed.
One of our neighbours five cars rolled down the close and hit another neighbours car causing damage to both. Quite embarrassing for a police officer too. Handbrake has slackened

Mind you sometimes I need to remember not to apply the handbrake with my normal gusto on my wife’s car otherwise she cannot release it.
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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As others, handbrake plus park, or in gear if a manual.

Once had a Citroen with a foot applied ‘hand brake’. I parked on a slight hill but not in gear. I came back to it a couple of hours later to find a note on the windscreen. Someone had been watching my car crawl very slowly forward. They put a brick in front of a wheel.

I leave the caravan handbrake off if the ground is reasonably flat. Otherwise on.

John
 
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Jul 30, 2007
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Always use handbrake(electric) and in "park" on mine.

When I worked at the docks though,the Hondas coming off the ships had to be parked in the compounds,handbrake off and first gear.

Many of them spent a lot of time in the compounds until they were moved.
 
May 7, 2012
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I always use the handbrake. Having dealt with the insurance claims for many years I would not dream of doing anything else as I have seen the consequences of not doing it. I do not leave it in gear though as the handbrake should be sufficient.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Only ever left a manual in gear with hand-brake on if parking on a hill, but I always engage the electric "Hand Brake" in my auto, as just leaving it in Park could damage the parking pawl.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Not many people realised that it is an offence not to apply the handbrake when parking up on a public road.

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986
"Leaving motor vehicles unattended

107.—(1) Save as provided in paragraph (2), no person shall leave, or cause or permit to be left,
on a road a motor vehicle which is not attended by a person licensed to drive it unless the engine is stopped and any parking brake with which the vehicle is required to be equipped is effectively set."
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Not many people realised that it is an offence not to apply the handbrake when parking up on a public road.

The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986
"Leaving motor vehicles unattended

107.—(1) Save as provided in paragraph (2), no person shall leave, or cause or permit to be left,
on a road a motor vehicle which is not attended by a person licensed to drive it unless the engine is stopped and any parking brake with which the vehicle is required to be equipped is effectively set."
Well my police neighbour clearly failed to “ effectively set” her handbrake. Her father could have charged her with a driving offence too. As it was he that had to recover it.
 
Mar 27, 2011
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I’ve driven automatics for 40 years and I can’t remember ever putting handbrake on and always just put it in to park, not had one roll away yet.

BP
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Sante Fe, 2014, alway put Electronic brake on, when in park, when I have auto park brake "On" going into park on auto box, the electronic park brake activates.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I’ve driven automatics for 40 years and I can’t remember ever putting handbrake on and always just put it in to park, not had one roll away yet.

BP
So in all that time you never knew it was illegal? 😆
 
Jul 18, 2017
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The parking pawl in an automatic is considered by many to be a legal transmission brake.
I wonder if the police or the judge will see it the same way as legislation specifically mentions Parking Brake? :D However chances of being nicked are very slim.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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I wonder if the police or the judge will see it the same way as legislation specifically mentions Parking Brake? :D However chances of being nicked are very slim.
I don't know if there is any case law on this - but certainly a transmission brake is acceptable as well as a wheel brake.
 
May 24, 2014
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Try explaining to your insurance company why you didint leave the handbrake on. On every time, even though autobox in park.
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
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Surely if a car does not need a handbrake, why do manufacturers fit them.

Still, I suppose that others will know better than the makers, even after the vast amounts of money spent in design and testing.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I don't know if there is any case law on this - but certainly a transmission brake is acceptable as well as a wheel brake.
They have been known to fail same as a handbrake however the legislation refers to a parking brake. Even if it was not law I know I would prefer to use the parking or hand brake.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Our Defenders had only a "transmission brake" as the hand brake, but it was actually a brake, a big drum brake on the drive shaft to the rear axle's diff', a wholly different animal to what only ever could be small pawls buried in an auto box.

I have difficulties believing anyone would describe such auto box pawls as any form of "brake", just a "lock"?

Additionally, the MOT required the dynamic braking performance of the parking brake to be tested on the rolling road, that they could and did do with the Defenders, albeit rather brutally.
I can't see any non-destructive way the auto pawls could have a dynamic braking capability.
 
Last edited:
May 7, 2012
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It is only if the car rolls away that you will normally be caught, but a few people have been caught when another car has hit theirs and it has then rolled.
I simply do not understand why anyone would ignore the obvious safety advantage of using the hand brake.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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It is only if the car rolls away that you will normally be caught, but a few people have been caught when another car has hit theirs and it has then rolled.
I simply do not understand why anyone would ignore the obvious safety advantage of using the hand brake.
Two of our immediate neighbours are police officers. The family drive is sloping as is the road. Last year one of their cars ran backwards and hit a car opposite. The handbrake had been out on but not hard enough.
Our drives are level. Mine is always in park with handbrake on. My wife’s is left in gear with handbrake on. Hers will not start unless the clutch is depressed. So no risk of lurching forward and writing off the garage roller doors.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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When I first got my car going to the caravan storage i put my car in park and when getting out notice it was going backwards that was my wake up call so I have always put the parking brake on now .
 
Mar 10, 2006
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Always use handbrake(electric) and in "park" on mine.

When I worked at the docks though,the Hondas coming off the ships had to be parked in the compounds,handbrake off and first gear.

Many of them spent a lot of time in the compounds until they were moved.
I never use the handbrake when parking in the garage.
 

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