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:
Meet the latest Mini Coopers that joined our 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
I was really impressed by this service. I booked a full start to finish manual driving lesson and Sarah was my instructor. I felt comfortable, at ease and in good hands, professionally. Sarah was patient and walked me through the instructions and reasons behind some of the concepts and pointers, but she was also laid back and when I was in the driver's seat let me do my thing. I felt she had a calming presence and gave me good tips and reminders. I knew a bit about shifting before the lesson, but I am way more confident now and I think we even went over the three hours to zip around in the hills a bit. Great value, excellent quality, clean and reliable car, superb instructor. If you're looking to learn how to drive a manual car or even just brush up your skills, book Shift Bay Area! You won't regret it.
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!
What a wonderful experience for my 19 year old daughter. Within 2 hours she was zipping around in the Mini Cooper with her instructor, Sarah. She was patient and informative while putting a new manual driver at ease. I would highly recommend Sarah and Shift Bay Area.
Otto was an excellent instructor! He was very clear about the lesson goals, possible options, and expectations at the beginning. I had a great time, learned a lot, and feel confident in my ability to transfer this skill to other cars.
Corey was my instructor, and he was great! Super clear with his instructions, and I feel I now have the tools I need to get behind the wheel in a manual car. I'll be booking another 1hr session to practice what I learned. Highly recommend!
A NOTE ABOUT SAFETY
Did you know some companies that offer stick shift lessons in the Bay Area 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. Parking lots are red flags!
Each instructor conducts the lesson their own way and there may not be a structured lesson plan to follow. Be especially careful when the entire lesson is taught in a parking lot, since you can't learn all of the skills necessary to safely drive a manual car from just a parking lot.
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. Their personal insurance won't cover an accident or a collision with others; therefore, they require you to provide your own insurance so that you're financially on the hook, even if the accident is not your fault.
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. COVID-19 precautions and disinfection procedures are also not guaranteed in personal vehicles.
The company saves money while you sacrifice quality.
When a company classifies their instructors 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 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.