When I've stopped, the car will be in neutral with the handbrake applied. (My instructor insists I must always use the handbrake when stopped at a traffic light)
When the lights change I put the clutch down, go into 1st gear, set the gas and find the biting point and release the handbrake... I mean even listing this is making me exhausted. It takes me so long to move off which makes me feel embarrassed with other motorists about.
So is that the correct procedure? If it's not enlighten me and how do you move off more quickly?
My instructor doesn't tell me to ALWAYS put the handbrake on, only when the lights have just turned red thus will be there for a while longer. Plus I never put it in neutral - just into first? (Your instructor obviously does it differently to mine)
I don't believe it's a requirement to use the hand break or have the car in neutral. However if you're on even a very slight slope and you end up moving when you don't expect to then there's a high risk you've failed your test.
The key thing is you were saying even thinking about it all and listing it was hard work. At some point it will just click and you won't need to stop and think what do I do next, it will become automatic. You just need a bit more practise.
My instructor told me to only apply the handbrake if I'm waiting for more than a few seconds (e.g. if the traffic lights just turned red) OR if I am on a slope and its possible my car might roll back. I don't put the car into neutral all the time unless I know that I'll be waiting for a while
Pay attention to the lights and other vehicles, both those in front of you and those using the junction from another direction.
Just a guess but 3-4 seconds will get you into gear and your hand on the brake.
You aren't supposed to sit with your foot on the brake as the lights can dazzle. Those behind you -although loads of people do.
I was always taught to be able to see the rear wheels of the car in front wher they meet the Tarmac. So don't get too close.
If you are at the head of the queue it is harder, but if the cars In front pull off you can see them and use that as an indication to be ready, but wait, as you don't want to ram a slower car