If you're just starting out learning to drive, get the lowdown on some of the basic car controls with this video tutorial.
Even though all cars have the same basic functions, they won't necessarily be in the same place, so it's worth checking the manual.
This driving tutorial will cover the following:
Essentials: Clutch / Brake / Accelerator
Your three pedals in the car are the clutch, brake and accelerator. These can feel different depending on what car you drive, so take it easy until you get used to the car. The clutch is used with the left foot to change gear and move the car away from a stationary position. This is operated at the same time as the gear stick.
You may find that the reverse and fifth gears on the stick differ from car to car. The brake is used with your right foot and enables you to slow the car down, or come to a complete stop. The accelerator is also operated with your right foot and controls the speed of the car. The handbrake (emergency brake) is used alongside the clutch for hill starts to stop your car rolling backwards and for when you finally come to a complete stop.
Familiarize yourself with the electronics in the car. With windscreen wipers there are normally three settings: intermittent, continuous and fast. You should also check that your rear windscreen wiper works properly. Don't forget to check you have water in your washer bottle for when you need to clean the windscreen.
You'll need to know where your light controls and heat dials are, and when to use them. Even if it's not completely dark, it's best to put your full headlights on in bad weather or use your fog lights in conditions with extreme reduced visibility. Remember that you can also use your lights to alert people to your presence. It may be tempting to wipe condensation off with your hands, but by putting your heat dial and fans on while the engine is running, this will help clear the windscreen and avoid leaving any smudges.