When I learned to drive in the early 1990's, we had to learn in a manual car. "Automatic cars were not for real drivers!" "They are dodgem cars!" When I became a driving instructor, I learnt in a manual car and I started working as a driving instructor in a manual in 2007. I always recommended to my customers to learn in a manual to get a full licence. Things have changed since....
5 Years ago SuperDriver School of Motoring had 1 automatic driving instructor, now with its partners, we have 6! Three of our training cars are fully electric Renault Zoe. I also started teaching lessons in an automatic about 5 years ago. My customers were mostly 30 plus years old but they are getting younger everyday. Although, they say they take a fair bit of banter from their peers for learning in a "go kart".
So many countries drive mostly automatic cars, USA for example. So many high end cars are automatic, Ferrari for example. Plus now our Government leads us to zero emissions with the end of sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 (click here for the press release). Zero emission cars are automatic. As I write this I also understand that hybrid vehicles will still be on sale until 2035. Guess what? Hybrids are mostly automatic.
It's going one way folks. Automatic! Remember it is not easy to drive an automatic, it is easier!
THE BENEFITS OF DOING DRIVING LESSONS IN AN AUTOMATIC
You still have a gear stick in an automatic - In it's most basic form it has Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive gears. Once it's in gear, you don't have to touch it whilst driving. So you can concentrate on the road and what others are doing. Some automatics can switch to manual for a more involved drive.
There's no clutch, your right foot operates the accelerator and brake. Your left foot stays on the foot rest and does nothing.
With these 2 pieces of the driving puzzle removed, it could make driving lessons easier for learners in a hurry to pass or for learners with physical disabilities or, even learners who have learning difficulties.
Manoeuvres are easier.
So much more relaxing in rush hour traffic.
No rolling back on hills.
Smoother - especially in our electric training vehicles.
THE BENEFITS OF DOING DRIVING LESSONS IN A MANUAL
Driving Lessons are generally cheaper in a manual. Why? Because the cars are cheaper.
If you start your training in a manual, you can always change to automatic or give it a try.
You get a full driver's licence, you can drive an automatic or a manual. However, if you pass in an automatic, you cannot drive a manual unless you pass a test in a manual.
It's a more involved drive in a manual, you can decide how to speed up or slow down rather than relying on the set up of an automatic gear box that decides for you which gear to use in which situation.
After a while you stop thinking about the gear changes and you just do it - automatically! Hill starts have been made easier with Hill Start Assist technology.
The demand for automatic cars is increasing, but there are still more manuals and therefore more choice for newly passed drivers. They are also cheaper to buy.