Learn to drive a stick shift safely and easily at any of our
Bay Area and Sacramento locations:
If you want to learn to drive a stick shift, then you've come to the right place. Whether you're new to driving a manual transmission or it's just been a while and you want to work off the rust, we provide a variety of lessons tailored towards your goals.
Your day will start off in a Mini Cooper S, where you'll learn the fundamentals of stick shift driving including conceptual topics, first gear, parking, reversing, upshifting and downshifting, proper hill control, as well as more adventurous real-world practice on city streets and highways. Regardless of the lesson you choose, you'll walk away with practical knowledge that you'll be able to apply right away.
For your convenience, we offer stick shift lessons in the following cities throughout the Bay Area:
And we offer lessons in the following cities throughout the Sacramento area:
Meet the latest Mini Cooper in our Bay Area fleet
MINI TwinPower Turbo engine
207 lb-ft torque
6-speed manual transmission
Front wheel drive
Tons of fun...
Our experience is rated 5 Stars on Google
Before I took the three-hour lesson, I had a crippling fear of manual drive due to some bad experiences in my past. After a single morning with Dennis, I was flying down the road and squirreling my way through Oakland city traffic like a pro. It took a lot of patience and hard work, but Dennis WILL get you driving by the end of your session. You won't find a better teacher.
Sarah is a wonderful instructor. In the 3-hour End-to-End session, she took me from being a complete beginner to confidently driving on the streets and hills of Redwood City. She is incredibly patient and explains concepts in a way that is easy to understand. Her energy made me feel calm even when I stalled out on the road. We wore masks and kept the windows down the whole time and hand sanitizer was easily accessible the whole time. The Mini Cooper was clean and well-maintained, and we took a quick bathroom break at the halfway mark. I’ve had friends try to teach me before, but Shift has a great system for explaining concepts and starting with the basics. The session is broken down into a series of lessons tackling key skills. Sarah would explain the skill and exercise, demo the exercise, and then we would switch seats so I could do the exercise and practice the skill. We didn’t move on until I felt comfortable with that skill. If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to learn on your own or with friends, save your time and transmission (or theirs) and just go with Shift. If Sarah and Dennis are anything to go by, I'm sure the other instructors would bring the same calm competence to the lesson.
Great instructor with a lot of patience. I had a rough start but he kept me motivated. I feel like I can hop into manual car and go on my own after their 3 hour lesson.
Patient, lots of practice and explaining. 5 stars for Dennis!
I was lucky enough to get Dennis, who was a flawless teacher. Very thorough, efficient, clear, and helpful. After 2 hours I felt extremely comfortable with the clutch and all scenarios in common driving (hill starts, downshifting, etc). Was tons of fun!
A NOTE ABOUT SAFETY
Did you know some companies that offer stick shift lessons don't provide a professional experience?
While their prices may seem tempting, their instructors are everyday folks like Uber and Lyft drivers who offer lessons for extra cash using their personal cars or even require that you provide your own. They’re classified as contractors, and this carries personal and financial risks that you should be aware of before considering them.
There is no guarantee that you’ll receive a proper, structured lesson.
Each instructor conducts the lesson their own way and there is no structured lesson plan to follow.
You’re fully liable in case of an accident.
There's a reason why they require you to have your own insurance and/or use your own car. If something happens, you're completely on the hook!
Independent contractors don't have maintenance requirements for their vehicles.
These companies don't inspect the instructor's vehicle and cannot guarantee the vehicle used for the lesson is safe. Furthermore, the contractor does not have to follow any sort of maintenance schedule that ensures their vehicle can provide a safe learning environment.
The company saves money while you sacrifice quality.
When a company classifies their "employees" as independent contractors, it saves them a lot of money since they don't have to pay workers compensation or provide other benefits that are entitled to hired employees. They also don’t invest in training and retaining employees, which directly impacts the quality of the lesson you receive.
At Shift Bay Area you'll have a safe and relaxed experience.
We professionally train our instructors with the goal of providing you with a consistent and structured educational experience so that you can be confident your time and effort are well spent.
We own our vehicles, which means that they're fully insured, regularly inspected, and meticulously maintained to provide the safest learning environment. Not to mention, our sporty Mini Coopers are tons of fun to drive.
Our instructors are employees of our company, and we provide them with employment benefits and safety measures that are at the root of an ethical business.
We hope you join us in our mission to support the local economy and to make all of us proficient in this new and exciting skill!
Our prices start at $249 for the basic course and $349 for a complete experience. We also offer custom lessons starting at $125 per hour, which we can tailor to your specific goals. Learn more about each course below, and if you're ready to take the next step it only takes a minute to book your lesson.
At Shift Bay Area our goal is to teach you the proper skills and confidence to drive a manual transmission vehicle while making sure that you have fun in the process.
As an auto enthusiast, a pilot, and throughout my career of mentoring others, I've observed various teaching techniques that are effective in making sure that students walk away from a lesson with the confidence to put those skills to use. That's the mission that I instill in every instructor on my team, with the added requirement that learning should also be a fun experience. I invite you to give us a try!
Dennis Chernyukhin - Founder & Lead Instructor
Looking to book a lesson? Use our booking page. If you want to contact us for any other reason, you can get a hold of us below.
Shift Bay Area
PO Box 2133
Redwood City, CA 94064
We're open 24/7 via email, and we'll return your calls as soon as we park the car.