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Manual cars always dominate the charts when it comes to choosing between a manual or automatic transmission. However, the last few years have seen an increase in first time drivers learning to drive in automatic cars. With this in mind, you may be wondering whether getting an automatic car or a manual car is the most cost-effective choice for you. The guide below looks at each transmission in more detail, the different between the two and the advantages of both.

What is the difference between an automatic car and a manual one?

Automatic and manual refers to the transmission of the vehicle. A manual car needs the driver to change through the gears manually and the layout of the centre console is also different. A manual car features gears between 1-5or 1-6, depending on the vehicle and the driver will need to move through the gears according to their speed. A manual car also features a clutch pedal that will need to be pressed in order for the gear to be changed.

Automatic cars on the other hand don’t require the driver to change through the gears and instead does it for you, automatically. The car does have a gear stick but doesn’t not contain actual gears and instead the drive just needs to put the car into ‘Drive’ mode and the car will then match the gears to the speed of the car. The centre console also features other options such as ‘reverse’, ‘neutral’ and ‘park’ too. There’s no need for a clutch pedal either and instead only the brake and accelerator will be in place.

Should you buy an automatic car?

There are a number of reasons why drivers like automatic cars but there are also a few factors that you should consider before getting one.

Advantages of automatic cars:

  • They’re easier to drive as you don’t need to thinkabout changing gears.
  • Automatic cars offer a smoother driving experience due to the seamless change in gears.
  • They can be more comfortable especially in stop start traffic as you don’t need to constantly press the clutch.

Disadvantages of automatic cars:

  • When comparing automatic cars with their manual counterpart, automatics can be more expensive to buy. However, you could spread the cost with automatic car finance and pay for it over a number of years.
  • Some drivers actually find that automatic cars take the fun out of driving as they require less effort.

Should your next car be a manual one?

Manual cars are predominantly the most popular choice for driver so let’s look at both the benefits and drawbacks of owning one.

Advantages of buying a manual car:

  • Manual cars are usually cheaper to buy and can be perfect if you are on a budget.
  • They can be easier to maintain as there are fewer moving parts that could cause problems.
  • They can be better at transferring power straight from the engine to the wheels so you can accelerate quicker.

Disadvantages of manual cars:

  • Manual cars can be more work as you constantly need to work the clutch to change the gears.
  • Some drivers find that manual cars are less safe as their concentration from the road ahead is taken away by remembering to switch through the gears.

Which is the most fuel efficient?

When automatic cars first hit the market, they were well known for using more fuel than manual cars. However, thanks to more recent advancements, automatic cars can now rival the fuel efficiency of manual cars. Most electric cars also use automatic transmissions which can offer emission free driving at a lower cost to charge than it would to refuel your vehicle.

Can you drive a manual with an automatic license?

When you learn to drive a car, you can choose whether you learn to drive inan automatic or a manual. A manual license allows you to drive both automatic and manual cars. An automatic only license on the other hand means you can only drive automatics and it is illegal to be driving a manual without a license. If you wish to switch to a manual car, you will have to sit another driving test and upgrade your license.

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