Deciding whether to learn in manual or automatic transmission can be a difficult decision. When passing in a manual car, you can then go onto drive an automatic. However, if you pass in an automatic car you CANNOT go on to drive a manual car without sitting a manual test.
Are there any differences?
The main difference between manual and automatic transmission is the gearbox and clutch pedal. In a manual car, when increasing or decreasing speed the driver needs to change gears by pressing the clutch pedal and moving the gear stick into the suitable gear. An automatic car’s gearbox automatically selects the gear which suits the speed, the driver does not need to press on a clutch pedal to do this manually. An automatic car does not have a clutch pedal.
Should I drive manual or automatic?
An automatic car can be easier to drive, as there are fewer things to do. You will be able to focus on your speed and road positioning, along with your surroundings. Compared to a manual car, you cannot ‘stall’ an automatic car. Those who find themselves struggling with stalling a manual car or are scared to stall may feel more comfortable in an automatic car.
Automatic cars are usually more expensive to buy as they are less common, they can also be more expensive to repair.
Many individuals prefer a ‘driver’s car’ as automatic transmissions can be a very different driving experience. Manual cars tend to be less expensive, they are also a lot more common than automatic cars, so there are more to choose from when looking for a new car at places such as garages. The hand-foot coordination needed to drive a manual can be quite confusing for learners, automatics do not have this ‘issue’.
Ultimately, it is the driver’s decision on what transmission they feel is best to learn, there is no right or wrong choice. You may begin with a manual car and then move onto automatic if you struggle, your instructor will advise you on how to do this.