Thumb facing down and palm facing to the left. Hold the gear stick to the left and then upwards to 1st. If you don’t hold it to the left then it might go into 3rd gear. Reverse gear The position of reverse gear can vary depending on the make of car. Sometimes you might have to lift up a collar or push down to get it into reverse. Reverse gear is represented by the letter ‘R’ on top of the gear stick.