Advanced search

Automatic v manual - help please!!!!

(38 Posts)
DrivenNutty Tue 26-Mar-13 14:19:37

Hi all,

I have recently started taking driving lessons in a manual car. The instructor is great and she says I am making good progress. This is my second attempt at learning to drive - my first attempt was back in my youth (I am 31 now) and it scared the life out of me. I made my excuses to stop the lessons and never went back. I have never felt the need to drive and not into cars one bit. So why learn? I hear you ask.

Well, my husband and I recently separated after 10years of marriage and he was the driver. Now it's just me and my two boys and I am sick and tired of having to rely on friends and family to take me grocery shopping and we live 1.5miles away from the school, so everyday, it's a 3 mile round trip for me and my boys in ALL weather. I don't mind walking - in fact I think it's great the kids are getting exercise on a daily basis, but the last straw came the other day when it was pouring down with rain (when is it never?) and by the time we got home, we were soaked through.

So I applied for my provisional and signed up for some lessons. The thought occured to me that I am wasting time trying to master the clutch and gear changing etc etc when I could be learning in an automatic and have all that done for me!! I have already spent 4 hours (that's £96) on trying to change gears smoothly and I am still not there yet.

Am just thinking, should I switch to auto? I know if I did, then I'll only be able to drive an auto, apparently they are more expensive to run and to buy with less availability. I literally only want to learn to drive to get my groceries and the school run when the weather is really ghastly.

Any adivce?

P.S sorry for this essay!!!

ImpatientOne Sat 20-Apr-13 20:10:30

Great news Driven smile

Although I have a manual licence 3 of the 4 cars I regularly drive are autos - mine is the only manual and when I next change my car I will be going auto!

Good luck with the lessons and test!

LunaticFringe Sat 20-Apr-13 20:23:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lomaamina Sat 20-Apr-13 20:47:20

Thanks for the update driven - I'm so pleased to hear you've joined the chosen few who know that driving is more than manipulating a stick grin. You're well on your way to a licence now.

BornInACrossFireHurricane Thu 25-Apr-13 09:39:02

Glad I have come across this thread! I've booked an automatic lesson in the next cuple of weeks- I have had manual lessons (with different instructors) and a fair amount of road experience in the past but I keep giving up. I need to pass quickly and I'm too sleep deprived with two toddlers to faff around.

Hope your lessons are still going well OP!

OrbisNonSufficit Thu 25-Apr-13 09:44:25

Absolutely stick with the manual. Such a hassle to be restricted to an auto forever - cost, hire cars etc etc. Also I think driving a manual teaches you more about cars and makes you a better driver. The trick is to learn how to sense the clutch point without having to worry about all the other stuff like traffic. When I was learning my mum took me to a local car park (deserted) with a slight slope and made me practice hill starts for ages. Do you have a friend with a car you can practice in for a few hours?

DrivenNutty Sat 27-Apr-13 14:24:23

Hey all,
Thank you so much for your kind and positive words. I am feeling the love hahaha smile

I was having quite a sh*tty day, just generally feeling sorry for myself really, logged onto here and all your words have put a genuine smile on my face. So thanks all!

Right, now I am going to attack the pile of dishes in the sink and might even give the bathtub a scrub! haha!

By the way, I have booked my theory - so am currently swotting up and just can't wait to be driving (something which I never though that I would ever say). It seriously is like a heavy weight has been lifted from me, not having to worry about clutch control etc etc! smile

DrivenNutty Sat 27-Apr-13 14:29:04


You will absolutely be amazed at how easy it is to drive an auto! Wth your accumulated hours of road experience, you'll be whizzing around in no time smile Good luck with your lessons and eventual tests. I am now loving my lessons - I even managed bay parking all by myself in my last lesson!! Next lesson will be paralell parking. Instead of being nervous and feeling sick to my stomach, I am looking forward to my lesson smile

CiderwithBuda Sat 27-Apr-13 14:32:22

Only saw thread but would have recommended switching to the auto! I spent a fortune on lessons in manuals and I did finally pass on my third attempt but I hated driving. We moved overseas to a country where expats didn't drive and I didn't drive again for about 8 years. Then came to having to drive. We had an automatic at that time and DH took me out a couple of times. OMG. So much easier.

Yes its more expensive to hire cars but how often will you do that? I do it lots and DH moans occasionally so I'm considering trying a manual again. But can't see myself enjoying it. So much more to go wrong!

Branleuse Sat 27-Apr-13 14:38:21

it took me a lot longer than 4 lessons to master gears. you might be hoping for too much too soon if you thought it would be that quick.

I've recently gone over to automatic lessons and wish I hadn't wasted so much time with a manual. automatics are amazing

DrivenNutty Tue 30-Apr-13 21:37:26


Yes, autos are indeed "amazing"!!!!! I am glad that I saw the light sooner haha . . . . . . .I wasn't hoping to have mastered the gears in the few hours of manual lessons I did have, but as I was flaffing about with them, it just occurred to me that the hours I spent driving up and down the same road trying to master gears and clutch control, I could have been actually driving on the proper roads, getting some important road experience. And I was right in the sense that in my first auto lesson, I drove on the roads - something in my 9 hours of manual I never achieved!

Good luck with your lessons and your eventual tests smile

DrivenNutty Tue 30-Apr-13 21:41:30


Thank you for your reply smile

I don't envisage a scenario where I would have to hire a car . . . . I think . . . . . . . uh oh, hope I haven't just jinxed myself . . . . hehe . . . . . I love the fact that biting point, clutch control and all that other yucky stuff is a thing of the past for me smile

tyaca Tue 30-Apr-13 21:43:59

if automatics had been invented first and then manual introduced, say, ten years ago, no-one would switch over.

My ILs think i'm bonkers for only taking any auto test. i still haven't heard a convincing reason otherwise. the best they have is that i then won't be able to drive a manual. er, ok then. i'll just make sure my car is an automatic then.

monsterchild Tue 30-Apr-13 21:44:11

I live in the land of the automatic transmission (USA) and they are not more expensive to maintain. If the clutch goes, you're sunk in either car, really. And if you have kids it's easier in an auto as you can hold something and drive without using your knees to steer.

that said I have a manual and I love it, but appreciate the ease and utility of the auto. There's no shame in either.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now