In the UK, if you pass your driving test in a manual car, it means you’ll receive a driving licence that allows you to drive both manual and automatic cars. However, even qualified drivers holding a manual licence are choosing to drive automatic cars and there’s a simple reasons for that; automatic cars are easier to drive.
Currently, around 70 percent of the approximate 33.2 million cars on UK roads are still manual. However, 2021 new car sales tells a different story with 62 percent sales being automatic. In comparison to car sales a decade ago, for the year 2011, only 24 percent of new cars sales were automatic.
Why Are Drivers Choosing Automatic Over Manual?
As said, automatic cars are simply easier to drive. Many UK roads were not designed for the ever increasing volumes of traffic. This means frequent stops at traffic queues is becoming more common and for the manual car driver, the constant use of the clutch pedal and gear shifting can become tedious.
Technology is also playing a part in our decision making. Greater numbers of car manufacturers are offering hybrid models, the vast majority of which are automatics and fully electric vehicles, a rapidly increasing sector, are only available in automatic.
As increasing numbers of older used automatics are filtering down through the market, prices of second-hand automatics are falling. Used manuals are still the cheapest, but with 16 percent of driving test candidates taking the automatic test in 2021, compared with just 5 percent in 2011, it seems that the once restrictive automatic licence is becoming less of a concern.