Carry on driving with a defect in the clutch hydraulics (see picture) or with a snapped clutch cable, as this possible? Yes, but only if the car is not yet equipped with a newfangled "keyless access" system, but has to be started by pressing a button or turning the ignition key. Now, wait a minute. First of all we'll explain the method and possible risks, then you can decide for yourselves.
Your clutch-pedal no longer separates the the engine from the gearbox. In the most favourable case you can then, with a great deal of caution and the second gear engaged, start the engine and drive off directly. Admittedly, this is not without a fair amount of jerking and it does damage the starter a little, however, what do you think the starter has to put up with, e.g., from some innatentive or inexperienced drivers?
This method cannot be used when (1) leaving a tight parking spot, or (2) when pulling off uphill. Either you have to (1) push the car out, or (2) pull off with the first gear engaged. Then, when there is no traffic you should, with the engine idling, disengage the gear using only a little strength and then stop the car, then restart the car in second gear and drive off.
This is not normal and also not economical, but we are now driving in second gear, as slow as the traffic-flow permits, taking the shortest possible route out of town. This procedure must be repeated at every red traffic light and every time we have to concede the right of way. When idling, disenge the gear, stop, switch the engine off and start again from scratch, the less this has to be done the better. If you're in a traffic-jam, the best thing to do is stop the car, call the recovery service and go and have something to eat.
For the car, the best situation is a motorway, if it's not too full. Beforehand however, you must change into the highest gear. To do this, let the engine rev quite high in second gear, then take your foot off the gas, bring the gear lever into the neutral position and at most a little over idling speed, quickly engage the highest gear. If this is done with a bit of delicacy, it won't even grate the gears.
Yes, you're right. The starter does suffer more depending on the number of stops. By no means should you operate it further if it shows no reaction. This is also not the best way to treat the gearbox synchronisation either. However, for those who approach the situation with a little delicacy, the worst that can happen is that any, somewhat worn out parts, can suffer a serious defect. Those who can have themselves towed away without any problems, would not undertake this sort of adventure anyhow. 01/10