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Manual vs automatic cars – which is better?

Manual vs automatic cars – which is better?

More people than ever are choosing to learn to drive in an automatic car, meaning that their popularity is on the rise! Automatic transmission has also had some cool technological advances in recent years. So, you may be wondering what the difference between automatic and manual cars is and which may be better for you. If you’re looking for your next car, it can be worth comparing the pros and cons of both automatic and manual cars to help make your decision a little easier.

What’s the difference between manual and automatic gearboxes?

The main difference between a manual and automatic car is the ability to change the gears yourself. In a manual car, the driver changes through the gears themselves, whereas, an automatic transmission does it for you. In a manual car, there is also a clutch to assist change the gears and a numbered gearbox. Automatics however only have a brake pedal, accelerator, and gear selector which includes drive, park, reverse and neutral options.

Should you buy a manual car?

Manual cars have long been a favourite with UK drivers but that doesn’t mean it can be the right option for you. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of manual cars.

Advantages of manual cars

  • More control. Manual cars allow the driver to change gears themselves so you have more control over the vehicle and can especially be beneficial in winter weather.
  • Accelerate faster. Manual cars can transfer power to the wheels from the engine faster than automatic cars so there’s less delay when accelerating.
  • Less maintenance. Manual cars tend to be cheaper to maintain as they have a less complicated design than automatic transmissions.

Disadvantages of getting a manual car

  • Affected concentration. Having one hand off the wheel to perform a gear change can mean you are less alert to what is happening on the road.
  • Less comfortable. Manual cars aren’t as comfortable in long queues or heavy traffic. Having to keep your foot on the clutch to constantly change through the gears can be uncomfortable for drivers.

Should you buy an automatic car?

Automatic cars are becoming increasingly popular, but it can be hard to know if you’re next car should be a manual one. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of owning an automatic car.

Advantages of automatic cars:

  • Easier to drive. Many drivers say that automatic cars are easier to drive and promote a smoother ride because you don’t have to worry about changing gears. Simply put the car into Drive and you only have to control your speed through the accelerator.
  • Less stuttering. Manual cars can offer a more ‘clunky’ driving experience when you have to shift through the gears yourself. Automatic cars, however, can switch through the gears seamlessly.
  • More affordable. When automatics first hit the road, they were more expensive to buy than manual cars. This can still be true but there are more buying options available through automatic cars on finance and many used automatic deals.
  • Better for heavy traffic. If you get stuck in traffic often or have a very stop start journey, it can get tiresome to constantly change gears. Automatics cars, on the other hand, require less effort and you can fully concentrate on the road.

Disadvantages of automatic cars:

  • Less connection. Many drivers who enjoy the feel of a manual car think that automatic cars have less of a connection with the road and can be boring to drive.
  • Higher insurance rates. Automatic cars can cost more to insure than manual cars. Auto insurance premiums for automatic cars tend to be higher as repair costs are usually more expensive.

Are automatic cars more expensive?

It can depend on which cars you are comparing but in general, it can be more expensive to buy an automatic car over a manual. This can be due to the technology involved in automatic gearboxes. However, if you are looking to get finance for an automatic car, you could consider using a car finance calculator to see what loan you could afford before you write the idea off.

Are automatic cars more fuel efficient?

It’s a common misconception nowadays that automatic cars use more fuel than manual ones. It used to be true when automatic cars first hit the roads. However, with advancements in automatic technology, this is no longer the case. You can now benefit from a number of automatic cars that could give you more miles per gallon compared to manual cars.