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Holidays

Car hire

8 replies

MsJRMEsq · 18/09/2019 13:13

How different is driving an Automatica compared to a manual? All the hire cars where we are going are automatic.

Also, how hard are the large SUVs to drive? It'll be like a RAV4 or similar. I drive a city car at the moment though I did have a people carrier in the past.

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Expressedways · 18/09/2019 14:15

Is this in the US? If so I wouldn’t worry about the big car- roads and parking spaces are much bigger too! Automatics are also very easy- you only use your left foot and be prepared that as soon as you start lifting your foot off the break the car starts moving. The gear stick might look complicated but you put your foot on the break to move it and you’ll only need to worry about Reverse, Drive and Park.

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MsJRMEsq · 19/09/2019 12:50

No, in Australia so it'll be right foot only.
I can imagine myself stalling the car often!
Do they have a clutch at all or does it just change between reverse, drive and park without one?
God I sound so stupid, I know.

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Expressedways · 19/09/2019 14:04

Sorry I don’t know why I wrote that you use your left foot- you DON’T, it’s right foot only (even in the US, where I live and drive to work ever day...)!
No clutch at at all. RIGHT foot on the break and move the stick from park into reverse or drive. Put it back into park when you park up. The stick usually abbreviates it so you’ll see P, R and D (plus sometimes some other options like N for neutral but you can ignore this unless you’re getting towed!). You can’t stall it, it’s literally impossible to stall an automatic. When you stop in traffic, even on a hill you just break as normal and then move your foot to the accelerator when you want to move off. Just like a giant go kart. Watch out that as soon as you start easing off the break the car starts moving without you needing to touch the accelerator. But I promise it’s super easy once you get used to it.

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MsJRMEsq · 19/09/2019 17:37

I now have vision of it rolling backwards on hills, we're going to a mountainous area! I'm trying to visualise doing a hill start with no clutch!
WTF was I thinking?! (I know it'll work, it just seems so weird)

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Expressedways · 19/09/2019 17:55

It won’t roll. The only way the car is going backwards is if you put it in reverse. If the car is in drive and you take your foot off all the pedals it will either hold still or start creeping forward (depending on the steepness of the hill). A hill start just isn’t a thing as it’s no different to stopping on the flat in an automatic. If you’re going to a mountainous area, you will love it, I promise!

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SpoonBlender · 19/09/2019 18:04

There's no clutch. They're basically unstallable.

With the 'gear' lever set to drive, it'll strain gently against the autobreak if it has one, or move at a snails pace but won't really go until you push the accelerator. Keep pushing the accelerator to go faster. Switch to the brake to slow down.

You won't get much in the way of engine slowing. The autobrake may be mildly annoying depending on the make/model of car, some are more auto than others. There should be automatic no-rollback, making hill starts a breeze.

There are various other things on the 'gear' lever. Reverse and Park should both be obvious - always leave the car in Park when parked. Drive is the normal go setting, 1/2/3 are signals to the gearbox to drive in lower gears, an S button is sporty mode, a * button is for icy/slidy conditions. Any other oddities, read the manual!

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MsJRMEsq · 19/09/2019 19:43

Thanks. I'm quite stressed about this trip (various reasons not for here) and can't do anything about that so I think I'm just focussing on the car as the issue if that makes any sense at all!

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pumkinspicetime · 19/09/2019 20:51

I was like you OP, really alarmed about having to drive an auto.
Now I would be very reluctant to go back to manual.
They are so easy and relaxing to drive.

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