Opinion On Automatic to Manual

quest4me2 Forumite Posts: 28
10 Posts
Ok, I'll be brief.

I have an automatic DL, and I have been driving for 8 years, with no problems. I'm mid 40's.

At 19, I took lessons in a manual car, but I failed my test three times due to anxiety, nerves and the fact I had dyspraxia which wasn't diagnosed until my 30's. From what I remember my actual driving, changing gear etc., was all ok, it was the manoeuvres which posed a problem, such as a 3-point turn etc. All of which I can do now with no problem.

I keep wondering is it worth taking some manual lessons to convert my licence, this is something I have wanted to do, but is it really worth it. Other than more choice of cars, and of course manual cars are often cheaper than automatics.

The car I currently drive is not my own, but is automatic, but I am looking to buy my own cheap run around, and of course manuals are often better than automatics when it comes to small cars or so I am led to believe.

Thoughts on converting? The average cost of lessons £75 for two hours. How many hours is it likely to take me. I only took 10 hours of lessons before getting my automatic licence, and I passed the test with no minors back then.


  • knightstyle
    knightstyle Forumite Posts: 6,926
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    Soon all cars will be automatic as electric cars become the norm.  Manual cars used to be more economical but lately it seems modern automatics have the edge.
    My DW is disabled and has had to have an automatic for the past 25 years and we would not go back to manual, several family members feel the same after driving out automatics over the years.
  • skycatcher
    skycatcher Forumite Posts: 311
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper
    We've just changed to an auto diesel Captur from a manual i30 and wouldn't go back to manual. The gearbox is slick and smooth and returns over 50MPG even on short journeys on local roads.
  • dipsomaniac
    dipsomaniac Forumite Posts: 6,738
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    edited 29 March 2022 at 5:09PM
    Can't understand why all cars aren't auto.  I have driven a auto since 2003.  So much smoother for you and your passengers. Hill starts arent a problem. Lot easier for people with a lazy left leg. Win win win

    Disclaimer: this post is not preaching🙂
    "The Holy Writ of Gloucester Rugby Club demands: first, that the forwards shall win the ball; second, that the forwards shall keep the ball; and third, the backs shall buy the beer." - Doug Ibbotson
  • coffeehound
    coffeehound Forumite Posts: 5,581
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    It was less of a chore to drive a manual 20+ years ago because traffic moved more freely.  But now with congestion, traffic lights, traffic calming and whatnot, it's become tedious.  I would just dodge learning manual in your situation, to be honest
  • iwb100
    iwb100 Forumite Posts: 614
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    No point. There is virtually no future for manuals and even the existing petrol manuals are either equivalently matched by autos or bettered. 
  • Bigwheels1111
    Bigwheels1111 Forumite Posts: 2,025
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Drove manual motor bikes, cars, Hgv1 and very old buses for best part of 1 million miles.
    Had an auto 6 speed for 5.6 years and would never go back.
  • Petriix
    Petriix Forumite Posts: 1,966
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Single gear EV all the way. Gearboxes are so last century. 
  • moneymoner
    moneymoner Forumite Posts: 54
    10 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 30 March 2022 at 12:47AM
    I used to drive manual's and always sniggered at auto's. When I finally bought an auto I was so upset with myself for not giving them a chance years ago. The modern autos are so much more responsive than a manual. The manual 1st and 2nd are still always available and even a sport mode if it's a performance car. Less maintence and usually the auto boxes outlive the engine. Get a steptronic or tiptronic if you can afford one, it will put a smile on your face.
    Without complaints, there will be no progress.
    Blah Blah.
  • cymruchris
    cymruchris Forumite Posts: 4,640
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Having spent a few years living in Asia where automatics are the norm, and manuals are the rarity, and having driven autos myself for over 20 years - I wouldn't be changing, and neither will the country I was living in either. They are better in traffic, more relaxing to drive when you want them to be, and there are still sporty models available if ever you want them (I drive an auto Merc SLK now with a 3.5 litre engine - has a 0-60 of something silly - but is equally comfortable in urban driving). If I were in your position, I'd not bother trying manuals again...
    An ex-bankrupt on a journey of recovery. Feel free to send me a DM reference credit building credit cards from the usual suspects :) Happy to help others going through what I've been through!
  • Goudy
    Goudy Forumite Posts: 1,312
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    Stick with Auto but make sure you choose the right one as some Autos in small cars are actually automated manuals and they don't drive very well.
    Most automated manuals will not creep, ie slowly creep forward or backwards when you release the brake without applying the accelerator.
    To make them move you have to apply the accelerator and that makes parking, reversing, hill starts etc more difficult as you really have to use both feet, one on accelerator and one covering the brake.
    They can also be quite jerky when they change.

    These automated manuals were a cheap and fairly efficient way of producing a small "automatic" cars and a lot of manufacturers tried them, but recently they have started to move away from them as there are better options these days.

    They also tend to be less reliable, some famously so like Fiats Dualogic.

    A lot of small cars these days tend to use CVT or dual clutch systems though a few did still fit the tried and tested torque convertor autos, but they tended to sap a lot of power from a small engine which made them a bit juicy on fuel and have higher emissions.
    The rest will be automated manuals which often have odd names like Sensodrive, Tronic, Dualogic or listed as Semi Automatics, give them a miss.
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