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HomeLEARN SKILLSHow to get your car out of the sand

How to get your car out of the sand

You and your mates have driven down to the coast for a BBQ on the beach. It’s been fun, you’re full of burger, a bit sunburnt and it’s time to go home. But your friend’s only gone and got the car stuck in sand. Here are our top tips for freeing it:

  • Get digging get the bucket and spades back out because the first thing to do when you notice your car is stuck in sand is to dig the tyres out. A shovel will work quicker, but if you don’t have one use your hands.
  •  If you’re driving forward to get out, dig out the front tyres, if you need to reverse, do the rear tyres.
  •  Add traction – take the floor mats out of the foot wells and put them as far under the tyres as you can. Place them facing down so the rubber part of the mats touch the tyres.
  • Give it some gas – start the engine, put the car in 2nd gear, point the wheels straight ahead and put your foot down. Exercise great care in using the accelerator, as sudden power will induce wheel spin and cause the vehicle to dig itself deeper into the sand.
  •  If you’re still having trouble, hit the accelerator a little bit harder and get your mates to push the car in the direction you want to go.

If you know you are going to be driving on sand there are some things you can do to make your life easier:

  •  Go for a 4-wheel drive vehicle if at all possible.
  •  Reduce the tyre pressure. This will increase the contact area, help improve traction and reduce the tendency to sink.
  •  Select a gear and remain in it. Gear changing in sand is a problem because drag at the wheels causes the vehicle to stop the moment the clutch is disengaged which in turn causes more problems in trying to restart in the sand.


Name: Kris Meli

Job: Staff Master Driver

Unit: Royal Logistic Corps/Headquarters Force Troops Command

Rank: Warrant
Officer Class 1

BIOG: Joined the RLC in 1996 as a Tank Transporter Driver, and was deployed on several tours of Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. He has also worked in the UK, Europe, Oman, Middle East and Canada, before becoming Staff Master Driver six months ago.