You’ve made the decision to learn to drive but before you start those lessons, there is another decision you have to make. Should you learn with gears or in an automatic? Knowing which way you want to go will also help you find the right instructor.
If you are unsure which way to go, our instructors have pulled together some points to consider.
- Automatic might not be the easy option you think it is
OK, so we all want to pass out driving test as quickly as possible. The freedom of the open road is waiting for you, so who wants to mess about learning gears?
We will admit that synchronizing the clutch and gears can present a challenge to many learners, and a fear of stalling can see many turn to learning to drive in an automatic. However, if you only learn in an automatic, you can only drive an automatic car.
Down the line, once you become more comfortable in your driving abilities, you could find yourself stuck. Putting a little bit more effort in now will make things easier in the future.
- Learning in an automatic is not necessarily cheaper
Again, opting to learn in an automatic may be simpler, and you may think it will be faster to learn. Taking less time to learn and pass your test could seem like a cost effective solution but automatic lessons generally cost more than manual.
This slightly higher price will add up so if cost is a driving factor in your choice, then make sure you do the sums. You don’t want to be caught be surprised when the bills roll in.
- Manuals are better in snow and ice
We live in a country where the weather is not always on our side, so when it comes to the gears vs automatic debate, the potential for having to drive in bad conditions should be high in your considerations.
When driving on slippery surfaces like snow and ice, manuals allow you full control of the gears through clutch control – reducing the risk of a skid. Maximum control in what could be dangerous conditions is a big advantage.
- Fuel economy is better with gears
This does depend a little on your driving style! However, manuals do tend to get about 1-3 MPG more than automatics. Saving fuel saves money and the environment, and if this is important to you, then learning to drive in a manual is the way to go.
- Nervous drivers may prefer automatics
We know some learners could be battling the nerves, which threaten to derail their driving lessons (link to nervous driving blog). Those who cannot cope with too many things to think about, and need more time to concentrate on steering, road signs and directions, and what is going on around them, could find learning in an automatic more beneficial.
However, don’t use nerves as an excuse and hold you back from learning to drive with gears! Once you get a hold of your nerves and get comfortable with them, you will realise that gears are not so scary after all.
If you are still not sure what type is right for you, get in touch with Licence 2 Drive and let one of our friendly, experienced instructors help you decide.