You’ve chosen your colour and your add-ons. But what about the gearbox?
Choosing between a manual and an automatic car is a very personal decision. Which type of vehicle best suits you will depend on a number of things from your driving style to how often and how long you spend on the road.
We’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each, to help you decide whether manual or automatic is the right choice for you.
The main difference between manual and automatic is that automatic cars don’t have a clutch pedal. In a manual car, you’ll have 5-6 gears, plus reverse, that you manually switch between as you drive.
Automatic cars have a simplified gearbox, selecting the appropriate gear depending on the speed you’re travelling at, and the elevation and condition of the road.
So, which is the better choice? Let’s weigh it up…
For nervous drivers, or those looking to get out on the road as quickly as possible, learning in an automatic can seem like a sensible option. Automatic cars are generally easier to handle, making them less stressful for new drivers who can then concentrate on learning the rules of the road.
However, it’s important to consider that learning to drive automatic-only could be limiting further down the line.
No. If you learnt to drive in an automatic car your driving licence will be restricted to automatic only. You’ll have to take another driving test in order to drive a manual vehicle.
If you have a full UK manual driver’s licence, you’ll be able to drive either manual or automatic without restriction.
While driving an automatic might be considered safer than a manual, automatic cars are actually more expensive to insure. This is because repairs and replacements on automatic cars tend to cost more than their manual equivalents.
It’s also worth noting that insurance premiums for drivers with an automatic-only licence can be significantly higher than for those with a full driver’s licence.
Many people believe automatic cars use more fuel than their manual equivalents. While this might be true of older models, newer automatic transmission are much better-tailored for performance and mileage.
These days, new automatic vehicles tend to be just as, if not more fuel efficient than manuals.
The Government wants to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by as early as 2035 under new plans. Electric and hybrid cars do not have a gearbox, meaning they operate in much the same way as an automatic car.
BMW Sales and Marketing boss, Peter Quintus, predicts manual cars will be phased out within the next ten years.
He commented: “Basically I think it’s six or seven years before there will be no manual transmission.”
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