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To cop out of manual lessons and go automatic? Any experiences or advice greatly needed

(119 Posts)
WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 18-Apr-13 09:26:59

So I've had about 16 hours of driving manually...and I absolutely hate it. Can't enjoy lessons at all because I'm constantly panicking about approaching junctions and making sure car is prepared to pull off and if I'm in the right gear..that my handbrakes up etc etc etc. then when I drive I'm a complete klutz at changing gear..think putting it into first instead of third on a busy main road.

I've just had enough of it. I just want to drive an effing car without thinking about clutch control and the biting point and all the other things that I clearly am unable to multitask. I have co-ordination problems as it is although thankfully spacial awareness and reaction timing is always good.

Anyway, can I have someone's permission to switch to automatic lessons? Already heard all the 'bad' stuff about automatics and how it's better to drive manual etc. anyone got experience in doing this? Or advice ? Anything?!

TWinklyLittleStar Thu 18-Apr-13 09:29:55

You have my permission. I don't see the problem unless you have a job where you'll need to drive a manual fleet car.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Thu 18-Apr-13 09:30:33

I take automatic lessons, in fact I have one in a couple of hours.

I love it, I love driving. I doubt I would if I had to worry about gear changing though (can't physically use gears anyway).

Go for it!

You will still need to remember the hand brake though obviously.

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 18-Apr-13 09:32:06

Thankyou twinkly. I'm not working at the moment and will only need a car for short trips anyway. I have a baby due in July and am wondering if its at all possible to pass my test in 3 months. Prob isn't but I thought also automatic might be a bit simpler.

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 18-Apr-13 09:32:54

Schro Tell me more about driving automatic as opposed to manual?!

TWinklyLittleStar Thu 18-Apr-13 09:33:43

Driving without gear changing is fairly simple, you have three months, some experience and plenty of motivation - go for it! Make your own life as easy as possible.

tabulahrasa Thu 18-Apr-13 09:34:18

16 hours isn't a lot you know though - I'm sure the average before sitting a test is wouldn't be as high as that if everyone had mastered it after 16.

For what it's worth I hated lessons, and in fact hated driving for a good year after I passed my test (I needed to be able to drive, it wasn't something I did because I wanted to) and now I quite like it.

toomanycourgettes Thu 18-Apr-13 09:35:06

Try and persevere with manual - it really should become as natural as breathing with time. Are you able to go for sessions with a friend in an empty car park or quiet road and just practise changing up and down gears for half an hour.

Automatic cars are ok if you live in America with huge freeways and everyone travelling at the same speed for miles and miles, but they really aren't great for any driving where you accelerate and decelerate a lot, and if you have to accelerate quickly they are shite.

DSil only drives an automatic and has been limited in her use of car because her DH will not drive an automatic, so they have a manual car, and many of the cheaper car hire companies don't keep a lot of automatics for hire.

Feminine Thu 18-Apr-13 09:36:53

I can drive both.

It takes away the worry (when you first start) of rolling and the gear changes.

But, you know, after driving a manual for a while it becomes second nature and is easy too.

If I was in your position I'd go automatic though, one less thing to worry about.

I fine that with an auto, the brake and gas seem to do more (if that makes sense) you don't have the gears to do any work!

Good Luck!

Feminine Thu 18-Apr-13 09:37:12

I *find

Convert Thu 18-Apr-13 09:37:24

I only learnt in an automatic because we had one and I wanted to do it as quickly as possible. I had 5, 1 hr lessons with an instructor, decided I didn't really like him and wasn't getting much from the lessons so I learnt in our car with DH and FIL. It took me less than two months of learning before I booked and passed my test. Piece of cake!

I would go for it, more and more cars now are automatic, especially family type cars.

BumBiscuits Thu 18-Apr-13 09:38:12

I have had both manual and automatic cars and my current car is automatic.

I massively prefer to drive an automatic. My last but one car was an auto. I had a manual for a couple of years in between and insisted that the new one would be auto again.

Saying that, I like having the ability to drive a manual when I need to.

The clutch and gears aspect of learning clicks into place over the space of one lesson and you wonder why you were fussed about it before.

My advice would be try another few manual lessons and if you still feel the same, go auto.

HeathRobinson Thu 18-Apr-13 09:38:32

Presumably you could always pass a manual test later anyway, and by then everything else would be second nature.

Why not try a lesson in an automatic and see what you think then?

lemontwist Thu 18-Apr-13 09:40:04

I drive an automatic at the moment though have held a manual licence for 10+ years. Didn't plan to buy an automatic, its just what came up but I love it and would definitely consider one again. I can imagine that if you had problems with gears you would find it much simpler.
It would limit you if you would ever have the need to drive other cars. I've borrowed cars on several occasions but never an automatic.
Go for it, especially if you want to get passed quickly although I'm sure you'd get the hang of gears if you persisted.

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 18-Apr-13 09:40:11

I know I haven't had many hours at all but I want to make my life as easy as possible. Dh already said he will get me an auto at some point. I don't want to persevere with manual because I feel I'm wasting hard earned money on it. I want to go to my lessons and just get on with driving, not panicking and flustering all the time due to the clutch or fcuking the gears up.

tabulahrasa Thu 18-Apr-13 09:41:30

'I have a baby due in July and am wondering if its at all possible to pass my test in 3 months. Prob isn't but I thought also automatic might be a bit simpler.'

I passed my test 5 years ago, started lessons in the middle of June, passed on my 3rd attempt in the beginning of September. I did 2 or 3 (whichever I could fit in) 2 hour lessons a week.

I have no spatial awareness, my co-ordination is shockingly bad and I genuinely hated it to start with - I insisted on driving round an industrial estate for the first three lessons because I was too scared to go onto actual roads until my instructor very nicely told me to get a grip, lol.

I always say that if I could learn to drive, anyone can smile

freddiefrog Thu 18-Apr-13 09:41:42

I can drive manual but started off with automatic lessons

I had a few manual lessons but just couldn't get the hang of changing gear. Switched to automatic for a while and once I got the hang of driving and felt more confident, I switched back to manual.

I haven't actually driven a manual car for years though, the last few cars we've had have been automatic.

EasilyBored Thu 18-Apr-13 09:41:49

I struggled at first, but one day it just 'clicked' and changing gear is just natural now. I think sometimes the problem is just over thinking what you are doing, and after a while changing up or down is just a matter of muscle memory. I would try and persevere for a bit longer with a manual, as you can always drive an automatic after your test, and you have the flexibility to then drive pretty much any car.

I actually struggled with an automatic when I was in the USA, I couldn't cope with the way it rolled forward unless you were braking and added to the whole wrong-side-of the-road nightmare, it was all a bit too much for me!

WaynettaSlobsLover Thu 18-Apr-13 09:42:00

Thanks everyone for the replies smile

Sokmonsta Thu 18-Apr-13 09:42:22

I passed a manual test 7 years ago. But last year got a new car which happens to be automatic. I was terrified. I'd never driven an auto before and the first time was, well interesting. But I love it now. It is so easy and my fuel economy is much better.

If you want to pass your test sooner rather than later you have nothing to lose by going for an auto. But if you ever want to drive manual cars, you will have to take your test again. For that reason alone I would persist if learning in a manual car then get a automatic once you've passed.

Chrysanthemum5 Thu 18-Apr-13 09:42:26

I passed my test in a manual car, and drove a manual for a while. Then I stopped driving for a long time, and after DC2 was born I decided to try again. I had refresher lessons in a manual, and was able to drive our family car. When DC 1 started a new school, and I moved jobs to a new location, my MIL gave me her old automatic car as we needed two cars. I loved it! I do a lot of town driving, and I think it's fine.

I know people say you need to be able to use a manual if you want to drive, but I just don't get that. There are loads of functions that we trust the car to perform without us having to do it so I don't see why changing gear is any different.

The only thing I would say is that if you can only drive automatic then it does restrict you when buying a car, or hiring one.

SchroSawMargeryDaw Thu 18-Apr-13 09:44:07

I'm due in July too! grin

I haven't actually tried a manual so can't compare but driving an automatic is like driving a big bumper car, I like that I can concentrate on the driving part rather than worrying about gears and the clutch.

We've been doing the country roads for the past couple of weeks and it is so much fun, I look forward to every

CuriosityCola Thu 18-Apr-13 09:44:24

I would highly recommend automatic driving lessons. Ignore, ignore, ignore all the myths and rubbish that surrounds them. My first automatic lesson was amazing. For the first time I felt like I was in control of the car and that my awareness of everything around me was at the level it should be. Far more aware of hazards, than thinking about gear changes.

As a side note, I don't automatics are just suited to the US hmm. I live in a city centre and it makes driving much easier.

orangepudding Thu 18-Apr-13 09:44:30

It took me many many lessons to get used to using gears. One lesson it just seemed to click and become second nature but it was very close to my first test.
I did tell my instructor I wanted to change to automatic but he refused and said I would get there eventually and thank him later. Also we have a manual car which dh would not change for an automatic!

Hopasholic Thu 18-Apr-13 09:45:14

Well I passed my test in a manual car but.......... I found that afterwards I really struggled driving my own car ( an old one!). I stalled all the time and it really dented my confidence and I sold it & didn't drive for a year.

I now have an automatic yaris, it's really old but looks brand new & drives like a dream. My DH has since bought an automatic & he drives all over the country. His has an override option for accelerating ( on motorways for example). Mine doesn't but I can say I've had any problems. It's great!

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