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What is the difference between manual and automatic driving lessons?


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.

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I was taught by Geoff for about 2 months and I went to my test and passed the first time with this company and I would highly recommend Geoff and the company ad he teaches really well, he ensures that you end up being a driver and not a learner and i felt that is a really respectable quality when it comes to a teacher. I could not say any bad experience and was extremely happy

Alen Thomas

For any one wanting to learn to drive but not sure who to go with I definitely recommend Nayland, with his great help I passed first time and in just over three months, the lessons were great I always looked forward to them as Michael is a lovely guy and very down to earth, and up for a laugh 🙂 but he is also very patient for any one who is nervous about driving. 🙂

Harriet Osborn Davies

Thanks a lot to Dave, very calm and professional instructor. Passed after 20h, would definitely recommend.

Mikolaj Witkowski

I passed my test first time, I didn’t need to use any other instructor as Michael gave me all the advice I needed, down to earth, practical and easy to understand. While learning to drive can be stressful, Micheal made it so easy for me. I enjoyed learning and looked forward to the lessons as they were really enjoyable, if you want to learn to drive with someone that will make it enjoyable and practical Micheal is the guy! guy.

Peter Callaghan

Before having Michael as a driving instructor I was with someone else! I was given his number through a recommendation, and his lessons gave me the confidence to pass my test! Michael has great prices and deals, to suit anyone! I have now been driving a year, and I have recommended many people to go with him and they have gone on to pass very fast! 🙂

Amy Cowlin

Massive thanks to Suzanne! Amazing instructor! Helped to boost my confidence and pass my test quickly! Highly recommend!

Tom Clarke