Learning to Drive in Manual or Automatic
SmartLearner Driving School offers various range of driving courses for both beginners and experienced drivers. The Driving school provides driving lessons in either manual or automatic vehicles with fully qualified local driving instructors assigned to a specific location, depending on the learner’s based area.
The question of “what should I be learning, Automatic or Manual?” will initially arise, though there are both disadvantages and advantages to each selection, it is ultimately within the preference and decision of the learner in which option they may take.
So which is better Automatic or Manual? It’s a debate almost as old as motoring itself- is automatic or manual transmissions better? Should you ditch the gear stick in favour of an easy ride?
Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of each option.
Learning to Drive in Manual
A majority of motorists in the UK still drive a car with a manual gearbox. Manual gearboxes give drivers more control over the car as alone manual drivers choose which gear to use. This can prove particularly beneficial in wintry conditions. Additionally, manual cars tend to have more speed, some automatics can be slow and cumbersome, although many are now fitted with dual-clutch technology to make them quicker, a manual gearbox is traditionally better at transferring power from your engine to your wheels, so drivers can accelerate at a faster pace. Adding to this, it should be noted that manual geared vehicles generally require less maintenance as they have a less complex design than automatics; repairs tend to be significantly cheaper as well.
On the other hand, manual cars can also prove to have some disadvantages such as that manual in comparison to automatic may not be as safe, as driving a manual car consists of multitasking, with one hand often veering off the steering wheel to shift gears. Automatic cars are safer as drivers can maintain both hands on the wheel and concentrate more on the road ahead. Further adding to this, drivers who drive manuals can suffer from leg ache as they will need to consistently work the clutch; which could become uncomfortable as the left foot never gets a rest, especially if driving in congested areas.
Is driving automatic easier?
Although shifting gears and working a clutch becomes second nature after a while, when learning to drive, learners can take quite a lot of practice to master this skill. Driving an automatic car makes it easier to focus more on speed and road position, and as previously mentioned, it is safer having both hands on the wheel, as there is no gear to shift.
Adding to this, automatic drivers are unlikely to stall whilst in an automatic, saving a driver’s embarrassment of making harsh hill starts or stalling just as the traffic lights change.
It should be mentioned that learning automatic ultimately implies that you must stick to an automatic vehicle and are forbidden to drive any manual vehicles without the proper lessons and license. To drive a manual, learners will have to resit another driving test and upgrade their license to a manual. If you are only licensed for an automatic car, it’s against the law to drive manual vehicles on public roads. However, if you are licensed with a manual, then you are legally permitted to drive an automatic vehicle in the UK.
Learning to Drive in Automatic
As previously stated earlier within this blog, driving an automatic car is much easier to drive, many individuals prefer automatic cars for their convenience, as they are simple to operate and there is no clutch to control. Automatic cars only require the driver to simply select D for Drive and forget maneuvering the gear stick until the driver will need to park or reverse. Furthermore, automatic cars additionally offer a seeming less transition between gears, giving the driver a pleasantly smooth ride without any stuttering. Moreover, automatic cars are better in rush-hour traffic, as automatic transmissions require less effort, so drivers can concentrate fully on navigating tricky junctions and other traffic safely, in comparison to the manual, having to constantly pump the clutch pedal every time the car stops and starts at congested towns.
On the other hand, there are disadvantages to owning an automatic, such as that automatic cars tend to lean into the more pricer spectrum in comparison to the manual, they generally cost more to buy than their manual counterparts, both new and second-hand, therefore they are not ideal for individuals or learners on budgets.
Adding to this, some drivers find that automatic cars take the fun out of driving, some individuals may prefer the feel of changing gears and having more of a physical connection with their car. And for anyone used to changing gears, it can be difficult to adjust to not having a clutch.