If you’re learning to drive, one available option is to learn in an automatic car rather than one with a manually operated gearbox.
Especially for nervous novices, having the gears taken care of can make life much easier, since you will be better placed to focus on all the other aspects of controlling the car and learning to be a safe, confident and competent motorist.
Clearly these benefits need to be weighed against the fact that, once you pass your test, you will of course, only be legally able to drive an automatic model, and these vehicles can cost more to buy. .
For some motorists, only ever being able to get behind the wheel of an automatic car is too limiting. If you pass in a car with gears, though, there’s nothing to stop you getting an automatic afterwards.
However, if you really feel that automatic motoring is the way you want to go, then go for it.
Most driving schools do charge a slight premium for automatic lessons, since the cars are more expensive, consume more fuel and instructors often need to cover a wider area to fill their diary.
You may find the same applies if you are learning on an intensive course.
However, you may find that you become a capable, safe driver much more quickly when you learn in an automatically controlled car, since there is a lot less to learn and get to grips with.
That, in turn, means fewer lessons so spend less overall.
The same general rules of thumb apply whether you are looking for an instructor for a manually operated or automatic car – see what discounts are available through block bookings (though don’t block book anything until you feel happy to do so) and check the teacher’s reputation and qualifications before committing.
They need to be an Approved Driving Instructor and, whatever vehicle you learn in, you also need a dual-control car.