ADVANTAGES OF MANUAL TRANSMISSION – A Discussion with Pete from Drive4Life


Here at Drive4Life I have been asked many times by many different learners, which car is easier and better to drive, an automatic or a manual? Today I will be discussing the advantages of a manual transmission over the automatic transmission. Although Automatics are easier in most situation, manuals are better for the long-run and are a lot cheaper.

How much will one cost?
Manual transmission cars are quite a bit cheaper than the automatic equivalent and are cheaper in the long-run too (due to automatics failing more often than manuals). An automatic transmission is more complicated than a manual transmission to develop and build and in the UK there are less of them manufactured, therefor automatics costs more to make and ultimately cost more to purchase to the consumer. Although if you were American, it’d be the other way around. If you walked into a dealership and asked for a manual they’d just give you a blank expression like they didn’t know what you were talking about.

I have an automatic driving licence, what’s my options?
If you are licensed to drive a manual car in the UK, you are also permitted to drive an automatic vehicle on public roads. If you are licensed for an automatic car, then you are not permitted to drive a manual on public roads. If you wanted to drive a manual, you will need to re-sit the UK driving test for manual transmission cars. This is because with Automatics you don’t need to know how the clutch works as there is no clutch. It does make it easier for slowing down and pulling off (as you only need to put it into Drive (D) and push the gas and you’ll move).

What if my car breaks down?
If you drive an automatic, but are licensed to drive manual and your car breaks down, your repair garage may provide you with a courtesy car. The garage is highly likely to provide you with a manual transmission courtesy car although an automatic would be unlikely as these aren’t seen as much in the UK as they are in the US.

An automatic transmission is much more complicated than a manual. As it is more complicated, a like for like model is more likely to malfunction with an automatic gearbox. Any problems with a manual transmission are likely to cost far less than its automatic counterpart. Although automatic transmissions are significantly more advanced than they once were, an automatic is likely to need servicing more frequently than manual.

Speed is important when choosing my car
If you like more control and speed out of your engine, manual transmission is the way to go. Many tend to find automatics boring to drive as the gear change is made for you. CVT transmissions are a modern form of automatic gearbox that allow for better fuel economy and speed if needed. Although due to no need in switching gears, automatics are considered safer as you can keep your hands on the wheel constantly, without having to move one to switch gears up and down.

Automatics and manuals in snow and ice
Manuals do offer a distinct advantage over automatics when driving in snow and ice. Engine brake is an important factor when driving on a slippery surface such as snow and ice. Using the foot brake as little as possible is essential in reducing the risk of a skid when slowing down or stopping. As manual transmission vehicles allow you full control over gears and speed by using clutch control, engine braking can be mastered, giving you maximum control in such dangerous conditions. For instance, if you are driving on icy roads, then a manual can be better as you can keep it in 2nd so you won’t be going too fast for the roads, although if you were in an automatic this wouldn’t be possible and you would need to make sure you keep at a certain speed for the ice.


If you found this article informative and you would like to see more articles like this one, then please keep checking our News page as new articles are posted quite often. Alternatively if you are looking for Driving Lessons in the Widnes, Runcorn & Chester areas then look no further, we at can give you the learning you require to get you onto the roads. If you would like to know more information on our lessons, or you would like a list of prices, then please don’t hesitate to get into contact with us today and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly.


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