Should I Learn to Drive in a Manual or Automatic Car?
First things first, there is no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ way to learn how to drive. It is entirely up to you which way you go and whether you set your sights on a manual or automatic transmission.
Even so, factoring in the pros and cons of manual vs. or automatic vehicles before learning to drive is important. If you learn to drive in an automatic car, you will subsequently receive an automatic driving licence. This means that you will not be able to legally drive a car with a manual transmission, without sitting a separate test (which is something that you can do at any time).
As for the implications of being ‘restricted’ to automatic transmissions, whether or not it is a big deal is open to debate. It comes entirely down to your own personal preferences and how you evaluate the pros and cons of the different types of cars.
Advantages of Manual Cars
For example, the advantages of learning to drive in a manual car are as follows:
- Reduced running costs – It typically costs less to run, repair, and maintain a manual car. Insurance costs can also be slightly lower, depending on the type of vehicle and its age.
- Better control – With a manual transmission, you get much more precise control over the car’s gears and the general responsiveness of the engine.
- Safer in bad weather – A manual transmission can therefore be the safer option in bad weather, just as long as you have truly mastered the art of operating a manual gearbox.
- No restrictions – Importantly, to carry a manual driving licence is to have the freedom to drive any type of car, including those with an automatic gearbox. Something that paves the way for much broader freedom of choice, when shopping for cars.
Disadvantages of Manual Cars
- Trickier to learn – Manual driving is more challenging and involved than automatic driving. Learning the art of clutch control and knowing when and how to shift gears safely is a pretty big deal.
- More focus – Focusing your attention on changing gears means less attention focused on the rest of your safe and responsible driving practices, making for a trickier experience in general.
Advantages of Automatic Cars
- Easier to drive – Whichever way you look at it, guiding an automatic car is much easier than driving a manual car. With shifting gears taken out of the equation, there’s much less to get to grips with and you may be able to get your hands on your licence faster.
- Safer manoeuvres – Automatic transmissions are engineered in such a way that makes it impossible to roll back on hills.Something that can make it much easier to perform the kinds of manoeuvres you may otherwise find quite tricky.
Disadvantages of Automatic Cars
- Less control – On the downside, automatic transmissions give you less direct control over the way your car performs. This can prove particularly problematic in poor weather conditions.
- Fewer choices – With an automatic driving licence, you will be restricted exclusively to automatic transmissions, until you take your manual driving test (which is purely optional).
- More expensive – Though not always the case, cars with automatic transmissions tend to be more expensive in general than their manual counterparts.
As you can see, there’s no clear winner – both options have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Hence, it’s entirely up to you which way you go. If you would like to learn more about the pros and cons of manual vs. automatic driving lessons or have any questions about the services we provide, contact a member of the team at Adams Driver Trainer today.