Learning to drive and passing your test in a car with a manual gearbox means you can drive both manual and automatic cars. A manual car has a clutch pedal and a gear lever, so you choose which gear the car is in by pressing down on the clutch pedal and moving the lever. However, it takes practice to change gear smoothly and experience to choose the right gear. You have to learn how to find the clutch’s biting point so you can pull away without stalling the engine. In the UK the majority of cars are manual, however this is starting to change especially with most hybrid and electric vehicles being automatic.
Which type of car is best for me?
What are the benefits of learning to drive in an automatic?
Learning to drive in an automatic might help you take fewer driving lessons in order to reach test standard, but everyone is different and this isn’t always the case. The future could be full of automatic cars, so there might not be a need for a manual licence (that’s a while off though in our opinion). And if you’ve been struggling with a manual and going for an automatic means the difference between you getting your licence and not getting your licence, it can be very appealing. However, unless you have trying hard to get to grips with a manual gearbox for a long time, we’d recommend you persevere with learning in a manual.
Why should I learn in a manual instead?
The benefits of learning to drive a manual far outweigh the disadvantages. Not only can you then drive both manuals and autos once you pass, but in most areas driving lessons are cheaper in a manual car. So you might have 5 hours fewer lessons for example, but end up paying £3 per hour more for an automatic. Over 30hrs that’s not a huge difference in overall cost. Automatic driving lessons are also harder to arrange as the vast majority of driving instructors use manual cars, so diaries get booked up fast!
Once you do pass the cost-benefit is completely lost. Automatic vehicles are not only more expensive to buy (both new and used) but are also likely to be more expensive to run and maintain.
And you’re left leg will get just as much of a work out as your right on those long drives!
And of course, it’s more fun!