automatic or manual car
Table of Contents

    Learning to drive is a huge milestone. The opportunity to drive on local Perth roads and visiting friends and family across the country provides a newfound freedom. Having your license can also improve job prospects, also leading in to the opportunity of booking truck driving lessons and driving larger vehicles on Perth roads.

    But what should you learn to drive first… a manual car or an automatic car? Before you get behind the wheel, here’s what you should know about both drive types.

    We’ll start with the most common question: What’s the difference between an automatic car and a manual car?

    It all comes down to the transmission.

    • Manual cars have traditional gearboxes, or transmissions. In other words, you shift through the gears to drive the car. The cars have three pedals; brake, accelerator, and clutch. You use the clutch pedal to change gears.
    • Automatic cars don’t have the same gearbox. Once you put the car in “drive” or “D”, the automatic transmission does the work for you. You don’t need a clutch pedal.

    Now that we’re clear on the technical difference between manual and automatic cars, let’s look at the features of each so you can choose the right transmission to suit your needs.

    Manual Transmission

    manual car manual transmission

    It can be a little harder to learn to drive a manual car; after all, there’s an extra pedal. But don’t let that put you off or let you get nervous. With sufficient manual driving lessons from friendly and experienced Perth driving instructors, you’ll be able to overcome any nerves and learn to drive with confidence.

    Here are some key facts to know first before learning to drive a manual car.

    • Cheaper to Run

    Overall, manual cars cost less to maintain in the long run. The reason is that automatic machinery is more complex than manual, so it’s more expensive to diagnose the problem and fix automatic transmissions.

    That said, it’s usually cheaper to fix a manual transmission than an automatic. The only exception is the clutch pedal which can be an expensive repair.

    • Better Fuel Economy

    Because manual transmissions are less complex than automatic transmissions, they’re more fuel-efficient. You’ll probably find you spend less money on fuel driving a manual car compared to automatic car.

    • No More Driving Tests

    Once you pass your manual driving test, you’re entitled to drive an automatic, too. There’s no need to sit a second driving test, because you’ve already shown you can control a manual and abide by all local WA road rules.

    • Enhanced Control

    With manual transmission, you’re always in control. You can instantly change gears to suit the road conditions. This is great for moving between urban areas and open stretches.

    Automatic Transmission

    automatic car automatic transmission

    Automatic cars are increasingly popular because they’re so convenient. They might cost a little more than manual cars, but they have their own benefits. Before booking your automatic driving lessons, read through these key points about automatic transmissions.

    • Driver-Friendly

    There’s no doubt that it’s easier to work an automatic transmission. You don’t need to coordinate gear changes, for one thing. And, you don’t need to worry about stalling in heavy traffic. You can keep both hands on the wheel and enjoy the drive.

    • Great for Urban Areas

    When you’re in heavy traffic, it’s hard work changing gears frequently. It’s tiring on both feet since you’re on the clutch so often. Automatic cars take the strain off your feet so you can stay alert and focus on the traffic.

    • Easier to Learn

    What all this means is that automatic cars are easier to learn. If you’re nervous about learning to drive, or you struggle with hill starts and changing gears, you should consider an automatic car. Automatic transmissions let you concentrate on road conditions rather than stressing over gear changes and working the clutch.

    So, How Do I Decide Between An Automatic Car or Manual Car?

    Choosing between manual transmission and automatic transmission is really a matter of personal preference. Through professional and informational driving lessons with experienced instructors, we will make sure you are confident and ready to pass the driving test first time regardless of transmission option.

    Whichever car you go for, our specialist driving instructors can’t wait to get you on the road. Contact us today to find out more and book your first driving lesson.

    Are manual or automatic cars better?

    There are pros and cons to both manual and automatic cars. Manual transmissions tend to be more fuel-efficient, but they require more upkeep and are not as well-suited for city driving. Automatic cars are more expensive to maintain, but they’re easier to drive in traffic-heavy areas.

    Ultimately, the best car for you depends on your needs and preferences. If you do a lot of stop-and-go driving in the city, an automatic car might be a better choice. If you’re looking for a car that’s cheaper to operate and maintain, a manual transmission might be the way to go. Consider your driving habits and budget when making your decision.

    How do you change gears on a manual car?

    To change gears on a manual car, you will need to do the following:

    • First, ease off the accelerator and press the clutch pedal down.
    • Then, shift the gear stick into the desired gear.
    • Finally, release the clutch pedal slowly while simultaneously applying pressure on the accelerator pedal.

    Doing this will help ensure a smooth gear change. If done correctly, you should hear and feel a slight click as the new gear engages.

    Can you drive a manual car with an automatic licence?

    If you pass your driving test in an automatic vehicle, you will be restricted to driving automatic vehicles. However, if you have a full manual licence, you can drive both manual and automatic vehicles.

    If you have an automatic (C-A class) licence but want to learn to drive a manual you need to sit a practical driving test with the DoT to remove the restriction on the licence.

    Australian road signs.

    Understanding Road Signs in Western Australia

    Before confidently getting behind the wheel of a car, all learner drivers should study and learn about Australian road signs. Find common traffic signs here »

    How to drive a manual car black gearstick.

    How to Drive a Manual Car

    Learning how to change gears in a manual car can be tricky at first. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide on how to change gears in a manual car »

    Girl receiving learners permit after sitting driving test.

    How to Get Your Learner’s Permit in WA

    Ready to get your learner’s permit in Western Australia? Follow our 6 step guide and get started with local driving lessons from Eclipse Driving School »

    Fill out our booking form and we will be in touch.