Should I learn to drive in a manual or an automatic?

Most of us learn to drive in a manual car. On the other hand, the simplicity of driving an automatic really appeals to some drivers. If you want to ask, “Should I learn to drive in a manual or an automatic?” we can help…

What is a manual car?

A manual car has a clutch pedal and a gear lever. 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.

What is an automatic?

An automatic car has a gearbox that changes gear for you. There are just two pedals, an accelerator to make the car go faster and a brake pedal to slow it down.

Most automatics allow the driver to take control of changing gear, either using a lever or paddles behind the wheel. This doesn’t need the same level of skill as using a clutch pedal and gear lever.

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.

What’s more, if you’ve been really struggling with a manual then going for an automatic could mean the difference between you getting your licence and not getting your licence.

For a driver with a disability, an automatic gearbox may be essential.

Many hybrid cars and all electric cars are automatics, so in a few years it’s likely that most cars will have an automatic gearbox.

Why should I learn in a manual instead?

For most new drivers, the benefits of learning to drive a manual outweigh the disadvantages. Not only can you then drive both manuals and autos once you pass, but driving lessons are usually cheaper in a manual car.

Automatic driving lessons are also harder to arrange as most driving instructors use manual cars, so diaries get booked up fast!

Once you do pass, you’ll find that automatic vehicles are more expensive to buy and usually use more fuel.

So, should I learn to drive in a manual or an automatic?

For most drivers, learning in a manual is better. You’ll be able to drive cars with both types of gearbox. If you pass in an automatic you won’t be able to drive a manual.

On the other hand, if driving an auto will make the difference between a pass and a fail then go for it! But be sure you really can’t get to grips with a manual first.

Find a RED Driving Instructor near you

Find a RED Driving Instructor near you

RED’s experienced instructors operate nationwide. So whether you’re learning in Newcastle or Norwich or Plymouth or Preston, they’ll find the perfect instructor to help you on your journey to passing.

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