Even though 67 percent of all new cars manufactured are automatics, in the UK there’s still oddly a stigma that in order to become a ‘proper’ driver, you must learn in a car with manual transmission.
As a man, you’ll fair even worse. Some decades ago, the slow and clunky automatic car was consigned only to women, who were clearly incapable of clutch control and smooth gear changes. That stigma is still in existence.
Truth is of course, women were capable but those who chose automatic just couldn’t see the point of all that gear-changing hassle when you can have a car that does it all for you.
If somebody were to ask you somewhat condescendingly why you only have an automatic licence, the answer is simple. The thought of driving around town, manually having to change gear every few seconds was enough to put me off. I prefer to have a car that does that for me. Other than the most purist of car drivers, there really is no arguing that case.
Yes, you can still choose to drive an automatic car if you have a ‘full’ manual licence. But the fact is, most drivers, even with a full licence all end up driving automatics anyway, because they’re far easier to drive.
Times Are Changing…
Evidently times are changing. Only 10 years ago, the percentage of candidates taking the driving test in an automatic car was just short of 5 percent. That figure now sits at almost 16 percent and is increasing rapidly.
That’s because automatic cars are now the better option. They change gears smoothly, quickly and quietly and based on driving style, are often more economical than their manual versions. Automatic cars are easier and quicker to learn in. You simply don’t have to bother with clutch control, stalling at junctions and crunching the gears.
In terms of the future, electric cars all of which are automatic are becoming more common and cheaper and for those that have just passed the driving test, traditional automatic cars are in abundance in the used car market.
Considering that the future is clearly automatic and the past is manual, there really is no need feel embarrassed about learning in an automatic car.