Manual versus Automatic driving lessons

Why choose automatic driving lessons?

There are very few reasons why you would want to choose the option for automatic driving lessons in the UK versus manual lessons.

Some people say they find it difficult to drive a manual car, but really that’s just a lack of practice, of a lack of understanding.

If you have access to a family car, you can simply teach yourself on the drive to change gears without even turning the engine on. You simply have to get your co-ordination working.

To change gear take your right foot off the gas (right pedal), quickly push the clutch (left pedal) all the way down to the floor, using your left hand select a gear and return your hand to the steering wheel, then steadily bring the clutch fully up while at the same time depressing the gas pedal slightly to increase the engines power.

Keep practicing this routine until you can do it with thought.

Why do you even need to change gear?

This is where gears become difficult to understand. Basically, the engine has a power band from low to maximum.

Think about yourself, you only have a restricted power limit, from a stand still you can start to walk, then within seconds you’re running flat out where you can’t go any faster.

That’s it you’ve used you power band.  But with a car we have a transmission (gears), which allows the engine without increasing the power to give the car more speed.

Without going into detail here you can find out more about the transmission in this clever video.

Automatic driving lessons

So, matching gear to the engine speed is what really catches people out. But there are some simple rules you can follow.

First gear equates to a walking pace of up to 10 mph, second to a running speed of 10 to 20 mph, third a brisk cycling pace 20 to 30 mph, and forth takes it from 30 mph onwards.

This is only a guide, so if you’re travelling at 30 mph, and slowing the car to say 15 mph, you would change the gear from forth to second to match the new speed.

Not everyone prefers to drive manual cars.

If you’re moving into the UK from another country then you might already have a licence for the country you’re in, so it’s just a question of exchanging it or taken the UK driving test.

More often than not people from foreign countries like America only ever drive automatic cars, and so they choose to take a familiarization course of automatic driving lessons.

So, if it’s so much easier to drive automatic why don’t we all learn in automatic? 

Well because most companies use manual vehicles in the work force, so an automatic licence wouldn’t help you get a job that involves driving for the company.

If you learn to drive in an automatic and take your driving test for that category, then you are restricted to driving automatics vehicles only, whereas if you pass the manual car test you can drive either manual or automatic vehicles.

More choice of manual cars.

There’s a bigger choice of manual cars than automatic and they’re also less expensive. If you’ve just passed your driving test and buying your first car then you might not have a great deal of money to spend and because of this you’re more likely to buy manual.

In the UK there are many more manual cars sold than automatics, but that’s set to change because since 2007 automatic car sales are up by 70 per cent, and so if the trend continues the future could see more auto’s than manual cars on the UK roads.

So, at the moment learning in a manual car is more beneficial than learning in an automatic, but if you’re really struggling to grasp the concept of driving a manual you might learn in an automatic, and after you gained some good experience driving on the roads, take a test in a manual car at a later date.