Is It Easier to Learn to Drive in an Automatic Car?

One of the biggest challenges of learning to drive a manual car is operating the clutch. Finding the clutch bite point and not stalling the car is the nightmare for many learner drivers. Then there’s the gears; 5 or 6 forward gears to learn and as though that’s not bad enough, you often need to change gear and operate the clutch and accelerator all at the same time.

Right from the word go, an automatic car does away with all that. There’s no clutch pedal, no trying to locate the clutch bite point, no wondering what gear you’re currently in or trying to figure out what gear you need next. There’s also no embarrassing stalling at busy junctions. It’s all taken care of for you, automatically.

One of the first things you need to learn in a manual car are the gears and the clutch, so in this respect, yes it is easier to learn to drive in an automatic car. Other than the clutch and gears, everything else is pretty much the same regardless of whether it’s manual or automatic.

So how much easier is it to learn to drive in an automatic?

Some learner drivers get to grips with operating the clutch and gears of a manual car with ease, while for others it’s an endless battle that makes the thought of their next driving lesson filled with dread. Consider these options:

  • If all you want is a driving licence and couldn’t care less whether it’s manual or automatic, automatic will be the easier option.
  • If you’re already learning to drive a manual and struggling with the clutch and gears, consider changing over to an automatic. Why make things difficult?
  • If you want to learn to drive in the fastest time possible, automatic could be the fastest route.
  • If the idea of having total control of your car’s gears and engine speed fills you with delight, automatic probably isn’t for you.

Isn’t Life Easier if You Have a Manual Licence?

Sure, with a manual licence you can drive both manual and automatics, but those benefits are far less prevalent  these days.

The automatic car is becoming a more popular choice for learner drivers. Automatics are also increasingly becoming the choice for experienced manual licence holders simply because they’re easier to drive. With traffic queues now the norm, the idea of constant gear changing and leg-aching clutch pedal pushing isn’t so appealing. Due to the increased popularity, there’s now far more options for automatics in the car market. In fact, many mid to high-end cars are now automatic only, with no manual option available.

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