When starting your driving lessons, one of the first choices you will have to make is whether you want to drive a manual or an automatic car.
Both types of vehicles have their advantages, however, it will usually come down to personal preference as to which one you go for.
Here we take a look at some of the benefits of driving an automatic car and how these will transfer across to your driving lessons.
1. Easier to Drive
The main draw for automatic cars is that they are considered to be easier to drive than manual vehicles. After all, you will no longer need to worry about changing gears when confronted by a new situation, plus worrying about clutch control is also out of the equation.
All you will need to know is how to switch between forward driving, reversing and parking. The rest is handled by the car.
For the nervous driver this can be especially helpful as it means fewer things to worry about and less potential for getting mixed up when driving. It also allows you to concentrate on the road, rather than what you are doing with your hands and feet.
When it comes to driving a manual car, accuracy is one of the biggest problems that people face. To successfully change gears timing is of the essence. You must be at the right speed and complete the motion quickly. Failure to do so can lead to gears grinding and damage to the transmission.
With an automatic you don’t need to worry about that. Transitions between gears will be nice and smooth, in addition to being accurate every time. This means you no longer need to worry about timing, plus your transmission will last longer for it.
3. Easier in Traffic
As any experience driver will be able to tell you, one of the most frustrating things about modern driving is getting caught up in traffic. Ignoring the effect this has on your journey in terms of time lost, an added level of stress can be added if you are driving a manual vehicle.
After all, because of all of the stopping and starting that you will be doing, a lot of good clutch work is required just to edge a little bit further forward when caught in a traffic jam.
With an automatic car none of that is an issue. All you need to think about is accelerating when you need to go forward and braking when you need to stop. There is no extra fiddling around with pedals, making the whole experience a lot simpler.
4. Resale Value
While you surely won’t be thinking about selling your car anytime soon after passing your driving test, the resale value of your vehicle is definitely something that is worth considering.
Automatic cars tend to maintain more of their value than their manual equivalents, partly because they are easier to driver and thus easier to maintain, but also because there are fewer of them available to buy used.
For a lot of people they learn to cope with manual cars yet do not thrive and this stifles the ability to enjoy driving. They feel intimidated by those who tell them that to be a real driver you have to drive manual, yet the whole point of technology evolving is to make things more user friendly and accessible. This outdated and nonsensical stigma which attached itself to auto for so long is finally dying out.
New technology is revolutionising the car and it’s long overdue an upgrade given that we’ve been patching and tweaking 19th century technology for quite some time. The hybrids, electric vehicles (EV’s) and hydrogen cars are a huge step forwards and revamp the experience of driving.
As of 2018 in the UK we’ve reached the point where over 40% of all cars in production are now automatic, 55% of all cars leased are automatic and this continually bleeds down into the 2nd hand market. Mainstream manufacturers are ditching manual with each setting their deadlines for phasing out petrol/diesel cars. Volvo have already abandoned diesel and by 2019 all their cars will be automatic.
The gearbox certainly has it’s place for those who love and thrive in a manual car and the combustion engine will always have it’s place in the same way steam engines still do. But mass transport can now be handled by the smooth grace of the modern EV. The joy of acceleration which isn’t constantly interrupted by gear changes is absolutely brilliant.
We are currently on target for 2021 being the year that the price of a new EV matches the price of an ICE (internal combustion engine) equivalent. Given that EVs in the current climate have a 70% reduced running cost who is going to choose the ICE? Bearing in mind that EV’s already have worldwide exponential growth 2021-2030 is going to bring in a huge transformation. Market forces predict that 2035 will be the point electrification has taken over, with the UK government playing it safe with their 2040 deadline.
The gear box is becoming redundant technology which has no purpose in the modern car. My first car had a choke and when that became redundant no one complained about its demise – good riddance! . True driving isn’t about fiddling around with outdated devices inside the car, it’s about interacting with everything happening outside the windows.