There are many pros & cons to owning an automatic or a manual car, it’s a debate that’s almost as old as the motoring industry itself! Let’s break down a few of them and see which option would best suit you…
What exactly is the difference?
In a nutshell, a manual car includes a system that you operate yourself by simultaneously moving the gear stick and pressing down the clutch . The majority of vehicles driven in this country are manual.
An automatic car changes gears for you automatically in relation to the speed you’re travelling and doesn’t have a clutch pedal.
Automatic: Pros & Cons
Using a torque converter, automatic transmission does the hard work for you. You only have to worry about going forwards, backwards or stopping. So, how does an automatic compare to a manual?
Far Easier to Drive: Many people like automatic cars for their convenience. They’re simple to operate as there’s no clutch to control. Simply select D for Drive and forget about manoeuvring the gear stick until you need to park or reverse.
The Ride Is Much Smoother: Automatic gearboxes offer a seamless transition between gears, giving you a pleasant ride without any stuttering.
More Suited To Rush Hour Traffic: If you’re a regular commuter by car, and you travel consistently in rush-hour traffic, automatic cars might make your life a bit easier! It can become slightly taxing on your leg to constantly press & release the clutch, automatic transmissions require less effort, so you can concentrate fully on navigating tricky junctions and other traffic safely.
Usually More Expensive: An obvious con, but a con never-the-less! They are typically more expensive to purchase than their manual counterparts, but by how much can solely depend on the model. It would be worth pointing out though that this isn’t always the case!
Can Be Slightly Boring: If you’re a driving enthusiast, automatic models may not be for you. The feel of changing gear, being more in control and taking the revs to the higher levels will all be eliminated if you opt for an automatic.
Manual: Pros & Cons
Most of us drivers here in the UK will use a manual gearbox, but in all reality, just how do they compare with automatics?
More Control: A manual gearbox gives you more control over the car as you alone choose which gear to use. This can be particularly beneficial in wintry conditions.
More Speed: Some automatics can be slow and cumbersome, although many are now fitted with dual-clutch technology to make them quicker. A manual gearbox is traditionally better at transferring power from your engine to your wheels, so you can accelerate at a faster pace.
Easier to Maintain: Manuals generally require less maintenance because they have a less complex design than automatics. Repairs tend to be significantly cheaper – unless the clutch goes.
Not as Safe: With a manual, you need to take one hand off the steering wheel to change gears. Automatic cars are safer as you can keep both hands on the wheel and concentrate more on the road ahead.
Can Cause Leg Ache: Constantly working the clutch can become uncomfortable as your left foot never gets a rest, especially if you drive in congested areas. This can lead to aches and pains in your leg muscles.