Now is the time to learn in an automatic

Published by Paul Loader ADI on 24/04/2022
Toyota Yaris Cross Interior

The argument over what vehicle you should learn in has always shown people in the UK prefer a manual.  However, the time to consider learning in an automatic is definitely now, and for so many reasons.


I’ve had the manual vs automatic discussion numerous times with students over the years, and have never been convinced with their reasons as to why manual vehicles are preferred, even though I have taught both over the years and also owned a mix of manual and automatic cars.  Students often argue automatic vehicles are more expensive (not true), and that they’d prefer to have the option of driving either type of car.  This is valid if you are lucky enough to have several cars to choose from each time you need to drive anywhere, but most people only have one car.  When you travel abroad, automatics are always available to hire as they are easier to drive especially when negotiating other factors such as unknown road layouts.


Automatic is defiantly easier

Even when students are told it’s twice as easy to learn in an automatic car, it would cost them half the amount of money (the savings could go towards that more expensive transmission they’d heard of) and they’d be driving on their own in half the time. Students still refuse to listen.  Us Brits do love doing things the hard way after all.  Even when, very occasionally, a student is really struggling with the multi-tasking coordination needed when learning, these factors are frequently ignored. 

in 20222 finally feels the argument is swinging in favour of learning in an automatic car.  Covid -19 and three national lock-downs have caused the biggest backlog of driving tests you could possibly imagine.  Almost 500,000 were cancelled and rescheduled, driving tests are still in great demand to this day.  There are still long waiting time for driving tests, which is still negatively affecting the ability for students to get test dates.  So it is now even more important to do all you can to pass the driving test first time – so learning in an automatic car could also increase your chances of passing the driving test.

Because the demand to learn in an automatic is far less, the waiting times are shorter.  Making the decision to learn in an automatic, could see you getting behind the wheel sooner than in a manual.  Although in Basingstoke there are fewer automatic driving schools, but the list is growing as many driving instructors are now making the switch to automatic.


More new cars are automatic

Already many car companies have said they’ll no longer be producing combustion engine vehicles in a few years.  Governments around the world are prohibiting their sale to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.  Electric cars aren’t just coming soon, they’re already here and they’re all automatic.

Even if you do not want an all-electric plug in car, you could consider a hybrid self-charging car in the future.  But for the time being it is worth remembering that you can still buy a reasonably priced automatic petrol car for a few thousand pounds.


If this isn’t the time to learn to drive in an automatic, I don’t know when will be. 

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