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Are Automatic Driving Lessons Right For You?

Getting your provisional driving licence and booking your first driving lesson is very exciting. Being able to drive independently provides you with more freedom and lots of teenagers look forward to turning 17, just so they can get behind the wheel for the first time. 

As a learner driver, one important decision you will need to make is whether you’re going to take automatic or manual driving lessons. Not only will this decision have an impact on the learning process, but it can also affect your overall driving experience and even your future car options. If you’ve started looking into local driving schools and you’re wondering which type of lessons you should book, below we have discussed the key factors to consider when deciding between manual and automatic driving lessons

Automatic Cars Vs. Manual Cars

The main difference between automatic and manual cars is the gearbox. In automatic vehicles, you don’t need to manually change gears. The gearbox typically has four options; drive, neutral, park and reverse. Whereas, in a manual vehicle, you need to select the right gear at the right time. The gearbox usually has 5 different gears, as well as reverse and to move between them, you will need to master the clutch. You will also need to learn when to move up or down through the gears and which gear you should be in at what time. 

Factors to Consider

When you’re deciding whether to book automatic or manual driving lessons, there are some important things to think about, such as; 

  • Ease of Learning

Generally speaking, automatic cars are considered to be better for new drivers. Many people find that automatic cars are easier and quicker to learn to drive in, simply because you don’t have to manage the gears. You can focus more on the road and you won’t have to take your hands off the steering wheel as much, making it a less stressful learning experience. That being said, some people enjoy driving manual cars once they’ve got the hang of clutch control.  

  • Driving Environment

Consider what your typical driving conditions will be like. If you will spend most of your time driving in towns and cities with heavy traffic, an automatic car can make the constant stopping and starting much smoother. You won’t have to worry about frequently changing gears. On the other hand, manual cars can offer better control and are sometimes more enjoyable to drive in rural areas or off-road settings.

  • Long-term Car Options

It may seem strange to think about what type of car you’re going to buy before you even pass your driving test, but this is crucial when you’re considering automatic lessons. If you decide to do an automatic driving test, you will only be able to drive automatic cars unless you do a manual driving test as well. However, a manual driving test enables you to drive both automatic and manual cars. If there’s a chance you may need to drive a manual car in the future, automatic driving lessons might not be the best option for you.  

  • On-Going Costs

For many years, manual cars were more fuel-efficient than automatic cars. This may still be true for some makes and models, but advancements in technology are making modern automatic vehicles more efficient. So, the amount you spend on fuel may differ depending on whether you drive an automatic or manual car. 

You should also consider maintenance costs. Regularly changing gears in a manual car can cause your clutch to wear out quickly and require replacing, which can be expensive. However, general maintenance costs for manual vehicles are often lower. You may find that an automatic car costs you more to insure due to higher claim costs as well and all of these ongoing costs should be considered before deciding which driving lessons to book. 

  • Personal Preference 

As mentioned above, some people enjoy driving manual cars and they like the process of changing gears. They prefer the control that manual driving offers. Yet, other people prioritise convenience and they like not having to focus on their gears. Many also like that it’s harder to stall an automatic car, not to mention they often have hill-start assist. Think about what’s most important to you as your comfort and happiness are essential to your driving journey. 

Making the Decision

In addition to carefully considering everything mentioned above and thinking about your unique circumstances, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure you’re making the right choice for your driving lessons; 

  • Test Both Options – You may be able to book a manual driving lesson and an automatic driving lesson to try both options before making your final decision. This firsthand experience will provide you with a useful insight into what it’s like to drive both types of vehicles and help you to decide what suits you best.


  • Speak to a Driving Instructor – Professional driving instructors can provide you with some useful advice when booking driving lessons. If you try both types of vehicles, they can observe your driving style, skill level and learning speed, enabling you to make an informed decision about which type of lessons to book moving forward. 

Booking Automatic Driving Lessons in Croydon 

Ultimately, the choice between automatic and manual driving lessons will depend on a variety of factors. By considering all of these, you can ensure you’re making a choice that not only meets your current learning needs, but also sets you up for many years of independent driving. 

Whether you’re looking to book manual or automatic driving lessons in Croydon, contact our team at Wimbledon Driving School. We offer a variety of driving courses, helping you to get your full driving licence in no time. All of our driving instructors are highly qualified and have a wealth of knowledge and expertise, they will guide you on your driving journey and help to ensure you feel confident when you arrive at the test centre. 

We’re proud to say that our driving school in Croydon has impressive pass rates and we invite you to read some of our testimonials from previous learners. Contact us today on 0203 524 7968 to find out more about how we can help you become a confident and skilled driver.

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