When you’re thinking about purchasing your first car, one of the biggest decisions you need to make is choosing between a manual and automatic transmission vehicle. In this post, we’re going to explain the advantages of both and which you might want to choose if you’re planning to drive around London.
Automatic vs manual–what’s the difference?
Let’s start by identifying the differences between the two transmission types.
Manual means you’ll have a gearbox that requires you to think about gear changes and adjustments. In many ways, it feels like a more personal way to drive your vehicle because it’s far more involved.
You essentially have more control over the vehicle and are able to make finer adjustments. While this does require more muscle memory and thinking, it ultimately gives you a more satisfying driving experience and gives you more control of your vehicle.
However, people can find manual gearboxes difficult to operate. This is because it does require a bit of practice and you may need to adjust per vehicle because the gearbox can be different.
When attempting to pass your driving test, adding an extra layer of complexity to the test can seem a bit pointless, hence why many new drivers these days aim for an automatic gearbox instead.
Automatic means that gear changes are handled by a hydraulic transmission that connects the gears to the engine. This allows you to move between different driving states automatically without the need to manually change your gear.
Automatic transmission means there’s a lot less thinking involved and there’s less chance to stall your vehicle and come to a halt. The only decision you need to make is whether you want your vehicle to go forward, stop, or reverse.
Simplifying the driving process like this can be beneficial to many new drivers. It allows them to focus on their driving test and identifying hazards instead of building the muscle memory needed to control their vehicle.
If you’ve previously had trouble with the coordination required to drive a manual vehicle, then you may find more success driving automatic. It gives you more time to focus on potential hazards and makes driving a lot more accessible.
What’s best for driving in London?
Whether you choose manual or automatic will mostly depend on your preferences and your situation. Here are a few factors to consider.
Do you want a more flexible license for various situations?
One of the biggest advantages of driving a manual car is actually having the license to drive it in the first place. This is helpful in a number of situations, such as driving in another country where automatic cars might be uncommon or driving a company vehicle that doesn’t have automatic transmission.
But if you don’t work for an employer that gives you a vehicle to drive and you don’t plan to drive in another country, then an automatic license is perfectly fine.
How interested are you in driving?
Some people are more interested in driving than others. Some just need a vehicle to help them get from point A to B with the least amount of stress, while others prefer to buy a vehicle, maintain it themselves, and look after it much like a passion project or a hobby. If you’re the former, then an automatic vehicle means less stress while driving and a higher chance of passing your driving test.
However, if you’re interested in learning more about vehicles and turning it into a hobby or passion, then a manual car offers a lot more flexibility and there are some older vehicles that are only offered as a manual transmission. So depending on the type of driver you are, you may want to choose the car that offers more opportunities to learn about your vehicle and get used to how it feels on the road.
What’s your budget like?
Manual cars tend to be cheaper in both new and used condition. The costs of repairs and maintenance on a manual car also tend to be lower than an automatic vehicle. In addition, insurance premiums tend to be a little lower if you go for a manual vehicle. As a result, you’ll often find it cheaper to drive a manual vehicle, especially if you live in London.
However, if you’ve compared the various insurance premiums and costs of your vehicle and they aren’t that different, then paying a little more for the convenience of driving an automatic vehicle could be attractive to some. If your budget is flexible, then this isn’t a factor that should limit you.