How to jump start a car

Watch our short video tutorial and learn how to jump start a car the safe and simple way!


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Jump starting a car


Jump starting a car is a valuable skill that could get you or another driver out of a pickle in the event of a flat battery. While the process of a flat battery jump start is relatively simple, getting it wrong is potentially dangerous, so be sure to carefully follow the steps in our video tutorial to safely jump start a car.

Our short video tutorial and step-by-step guide will demonstrate how to jump start a car battery the safe and simple way.


What you'll need

  • Jump cables

    You’ll need a set of jump start cables to link the flat car battery to the donor car.

  • Safety goggles

    Jump starting a car battery can sometimes result in dangerous sparks, wear goggles to protect your eyes if possible.

  • Donor car

    You’ll also need a ‘donor car’ with a working battery to transfer electricity to the flat car battery.

  • Care and attention

    This process is simple, but can be dangerous. Play close attention to every move you make during the jump start.


Jump starting a car battery: Step-by-step


Knowing basic car mechanics is a handy skill to not only help you out in a tight spot but to also help you ensure your car is in the best possible condition so your car's value remains as much as possible. Follow the instructions below in order to safely jump start a car.

  • Before we begin, it’s important to note that while the process of jump starting a car battery is simple, it can be dangerous if not done properly so be sure to wear safety goggles if possible. If you are not confident in your ability to follow these steps, it may be safer to call a friend, family member or breakdown recovery company for assistance.

  • First, park both cars close to each other, nose-to-nose. Place both vehicles in park or neutral with the engines turned off and remove both keys from the ignition. Now is a good time to put on your protective goggles if possible.

  • Lift and secure the bonnets on each car in place, then locate the battery or battery terminals in each car.

  • Start with the battery in the donor vehicle by attaching one of the red clips to the positive terminal, marked ‘POS’ or ‘+’.

  • Attach the other red clip to the positive terminal of the flat battery.

  • Now the black clips, attach one to the negative terminal on the donor car, marked ‘NEG’ or ‘-‘.

  • Attach the other black clip to an unpainted metal surface on your car, such as the metal support which holds up your bonnet.

  • Start the donor vehicle and allow the engine to run for 3-5 minutes. After the time has passed, start the other vehicle.

  • If after the jump start the car still does not start, check each of the clip connections and try again. If there is still no sign of lift after trying again, the problem could be more severe and it is unlikely the car will start after any length of charging.

  • Remove each of the clips and cables in the reverse order you attached them in, starting with the black cable attached to a metal surface.

  • Run the car for 15-30 minutes in order to continue charging the battery. If you are able to take the car for a longer drive, this will help charge the battery even further.


Congratulations, you just learned how to jump-start a car battery! Once you know how it will be as easy as finding out how much your car is worth via our valuation tool. Be sure to bookmark and share our guide for future reference. Why not learn another skill and find out how to change a windscreen wiper?


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