Passing the driving test in an automatic car

Can You Pass a Driving Test in an Automatic?

Yes, you can pass the driving test in an automatic car, but you’ll be restricted to driving only automatic and semi-automatic cars and you’ll not be able to drive a manual car.

Should I Pass the Test in a Manual Car?

Due to the restrictions that come with passing the test in an automatic car, you might ask if you should consider learning to drive and passing the test in a manual. Let’s help you decide.

There are now fewer benefits to learning a manual transmission than there were a few years ago. Let’s first take a look at the benefits of learning and passing the test in an automatic, followed by the benefits of a manual car.

Learning to Drive and Passing the Test in an Automatic

Here we’ll explain the benefits of learning to drive and then passing the driving test in an automatic car.

Automatic car gear lever
Benefits of learning to drive and passing the driving test in an automatic car

It’s Easier to Learn in an Automatic

Learning to drive in an automatic is generally considered easier as you’ll not have to learn about clutch control and how to change gears.

It’s Quicker to Learn in an Automatic

For some, learning clutch control and gear changing takes a long time. If you learn to drive in an automatic, you’ll not have that problem. It often takes around 40 hours of professional driving lessons to learn to drive in a manual car. For automatic lessons, you can typically reduce that time from between 5 to 10 hours.

There are Plenty of Automatic Cars Out There

Not too many years back, it was generally considered a bad idea to pass the test in an automatic car. There were far fewer automatics out there and what cars were available were slow, unpleasant to drive and uneconomical.

Modern automatic cars have changed dramatically. Many automatics now offer better fuel efficiency compared to their manual equivalent and they are smooth and easy to drive.

In terms of availability, most cars that are manufactured are now automatic rather than manual. Automatic and semi-automatic cars are now so popular, that most drivers and choosing these over the traditional manual.

Semi-Automatic Cars are Fun to Drive

With an automatic licence, you can also drive semi-automatic car. Cars with a semi-automatic gearbox give you the option to manually change gear, often with the use of paddle gear shifters on the steering wheel.

Some cars with semi-automatic gearboxes have what’s called a dual-clutch gearbox which means changing gears is super-fast. For further information about semi-automatic cars, see difference between automatic and semi-automatic cars.

Learning to Drive and Passing the Test in a Manual

Now we’ll explain the benefits of passing the driving test in an manual car.

Manual stick shift gear lever
Benefits of passing the driving test in a manual car

There are Plenty of Manual Cars Out There

Once you’ve passed your test in a manual car, you’ll have a vast range of manual cars to choose for your first car. Though automatic cars are now vastly more popular than they ever were, there are still more manual cars out there.

You can find Very Cheap Manual Cars

If you need to buy your first car with a micro budget, you’re far more likely to find cheaper manual cars than automatics. A manual gearbox is far simpler than an automatic one and this means the price of manual cars are cheaper. You can easily pick up a used car with a manual transmission for less than £500.

With a Manual Licence you can Drive Automatics

Another benefit of passing the driving test in a manual car means that your licence allows you to drive both automatic and semi-automatic cars.

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