In 2016, 55% more automatic vehicles were registered in the UK compared to 2013. This shows a huge increase in the number of drivers choosing to ditch the gear stick and go automatic instead. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that more drivers are choosing to take driving lessons in an automatic car.
Learner drivers who’ve yet to take their first driving lesson have a difficult decision to make. Is it best to learn to drive a manual car so you have the choice of which type of car to drive? Or should you focus on passing your test sooner by taking your driving lessons in an automatic?
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to take an automatic driving test. It’s important that novice drivers think carefully before they take the plunge. This article will discuss the pros and cons so that you can make the decision that’s right for you.
An Automatic Licence Offers Less Flexibility
If you pass your test in an automatic, you’ll only be able to drive automatic cars in the future. However, if you learn to drive a manual car you’ll have the freedom to switch between manuals and automatics. This is one of the biggest drawbacks of learning to drive in an automatic vehicle.
Affordability and Running Costs
Affordability is an important consideration for learner drivers. Initially, it’s an area where automatics usually come out on top. Automatic vehicles are easier to drive so many learners need fewer lessons. However, in spite of this potential saving, it’s important to think about future financial commitments as well.
In general, automatic cars are more expensive to buy and more expensive to have repaired. Automatic cars also typically have higher fuel consumption compared to equivalent manual vehicles. This could mean you end up paying higher running costs.
Automatics are Easier to Drive
There’s no denying that automatic cars offer an easier drive. Once you’ve set off there’s no need to think about changing gear so you don’t need to worry about the clutch or about stalling. This can take the fear out of difficult manoeuvres. Hill starts are a great example — you won’t need to balance the accelerator and clutch as your vehicle will automatically ensure you don’t stall.
When driving an automatic you’ll also enjoy a smoother ride in slow moving traffic. You will be able to forget almost completely about your gearbox when you’re out and about.
Automatic vehicles are also a great choice for learners who live with health issues that cause limited mobility. Automatics are often a good choice for learners who need to pass their test sooner. Nervous drivers will also be able to build up their confidence more quickly if they don’t have to worry about the clutch.
For many enthusiast drivers, the idea of switching from manual to automatic is simply unthinkable. A manual gearbox gives you more control over your vehicle and can make driving a lot more fun. A lot depends on how fond you are of driving in the first place!
Find Out More
Hopefully, this post has given you a better overview of the arguments for and against taking your driving test in an automatic. If you’d like to learn more, you can read about our manual and automatic driving lessons or get in touch with us to discuss your options in more detail.