Should I learn to drive in a manual or automatic car?
Choosing between learning to drive in a manual or automatic car when first beginning your learning to drive journey can seem like a difficult decision to make. Therefore, throughout this blog post, we will be exploring the benefits and differences between learning in both, manual and automatic cars.
What are the benefits of learning in an automatic car?
Automatic Cars: No Clutch
When people think of automatic cars, people will instantly think of the benefit that these cars have no clutch, therefore making it much easier and simpler to learn to drive in. The gears are selected automatically by the car, in line with the speed you are travelling.
Automatic Cars: More Expensive
One of the most important things to consider is that automatic driving lessons are generally more expensive. This is not only due to their functionality, but also because automatic cars have always used around 10% more fuel, increasing the monthly petrol/diesel bill. As a result of this extra fuel cost, automatic driving lessons are normally around £2 per hour more expensive. However, in recent years, some good advances have been made with newer models, meaning that this is not always the case.
Automatic Cars: Ideal for City Driving
If you are expecting to do lots of stop-start town driving, like in rush hour for example, it’s a lot more comfortable as you won’t be spending a lot of time with your foot on the clutch, like you would with manual cars.
Can I drive a manual car if I have an automatic licence?
Unfortunately, no. You can, however, drive an automatic car if you have a manual licence. Once you pass your driving test, if you need to borrow a friend or family members car, if they own a manual vehicle, you will not be able to use this as you only have an automatic driver’s licence. This will be the same with hire cars, if you need to hire a car for any reason, an automatic is often harder to get hold of and more expensive.
Is it easier to learn in an automatic car?
Put simply, yes. The average learner driver takes 47 hours of driving lessons according to the DVSA as well as 20 hours of private practice. This is more than likely to be less if you learn in an automatic car.
Learning in an automatic car means not having to think about clutch control. This means you have a lot less to think about. For example, when entering a roundabout your focus can go more towards what is approaching from the right. Therefore, to stop the car all you will need to do, is press the brake pedal rather than considering what is the most appropriate gear for the job, putting the clutch down and selecting that gear. You also need to bear in mind that the gear may still need to change if the situation shifts.
What are the benefits of learning a manual car?
Buying a manual car is often cheaper and gives you a lot more flexibility. Not only in the selection of vehicles you are able to purchase but driving a manual car gives you more control. Automatic gearboxes are highly complex, and therefore are the more costly option due to the work involved in producing these.
Manual Cars: Weather Appropriate
With manual cars, you can select the appropriate gear for the job, this is particularly beneficial in bad weather where having more control with the gears you select is useful.
Manual Cars: Long Distance Driving
For those who travel long distances on regular basis, whether that’s to commute into work or to drive back to your family homes, manual cars are a great option, as having more control over the gear selection will ensure that your driving is efficient and at the pace you’re comfortable at.
Learning to Drive with Nayland Driving School
Whether you are looking to drive in an automatic or manual car, either way, Nayland Driving School have you covered! To enquire about our services, please book online, contact us or give us a call on 0800 211 8717.