June 6, 2013

Manual or Automatic?

The debate rages on between whether it is easier to learn to drive in a manual or an automatic car. For some, manual cars are the only cars worth driving, whereas others swear by their automatic. Whilst we are not going to persuade you one way or another, it can be useful to know the facts, and the advantages and disadvantages of both before making up your mind.

Advantages of driving a manual:

–          Once you have passed your test in a manual car, you will then be licensed to drive either a manual or an automatic car, so the choice will remain yours should you wish to go down the automatic route later in life. This ruling only works one way, as if you pass your test in an automatic, you will be restricted to driving an automatic only.

–          Manual cars use less fuel – but only when driven properly. A driver in full control of their manual car will know precisely when to change gears to avoid over revving and wasting fuel. For future reference, the recommended point to change gear is about 2000rpm in a Diesel, and 2500rpm in a petrol.

–          Manual cars will keep you alert – this is certainly true when taking driving lessons. There is much more to focus on when driving a manual car as opposed to an automatic, such as changing gears and maintaining correct clutch control.

–          Many drivers prefer to learn in a manual to begin with, as they feel it forces them to become much more aware of their surroundings in view of upcoming gear changes, etc, and this therefore allows them to become better drivers in the future.


Advantages of driving an automatic:

–          It’s faster to learn – Most pupils who learn in an automatic will learn much faster than those who learn in a manual, simply due to having less to learn such as changing gears, bite point, clutch control, etc.

–          It can be more economical – If you’re not 100% certain you will be able to drive a manual car properly in terms of fuel consumption, then it may be more beneficial to stay with an automatic – fuel is getting more expensive, and you want to be sure you’re getting the most for your money!

–          They are generally easier to pass in – The pass rate is higher for automatic tests, due to there being fewer criterions to meet in terms of clutch control and gear changes, therefore less chance to fail.

–          It’s easier- the most strongly persuasive point towards the argument of learning in an automatic is that it is simply easier. No gears, no bite point, no awkward clutch control or embarrassing stalling – the car does all this for you, leaving you free to spend more of your time concentrating on the road around you than operating the vehicle.

Whatever your persuasion, the argument continues about whether a manual or automatic car is the better to learn in.

What do you think? Are automatics easier and therefore better, or is manual the only “real” form of driving? Let us know your views in the comments section below!

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