Should I learn to drive Manual or Automatic?

When you gain your probationary drivers licence there are some specific conditions which restrict what you can with it for the four years until you gain your full drivers licence. One of these conditions focuses on the type of vehicle you can drive when it comes to the transmission (also known as the gearbox).

A probationary driver issued with an automatic drivers licence cannot drive a vehicle with a manual transmission, however a probationary driver with a manual licence can drive an automatic.

This means that you must consider what type of licence you might require for your future intentions.

Do you wish to move overseas to a country such as the United Kingdom where manual vehicles are more commonplace? Do you think you might need a manual drivers licence for future work purposes, driving utility vehicles which may have manual transmissions? Do you see a future you in a high-performance vehicle or collectable car which has a manual transmission?

You can always convert to a manual drivers licence during your probationary drivers licence, however this requires additional training to learn how to drive a vehicle with this transmission type and you will be required to complete another drive test to prove you can competently operate a manual motor vehicle in traffic.

Manual driving lessons include instruction on how to operate a car with a manual transmission and learning how to use the specific characteristics of these vehicles in everyday driving. Manual vehicles are increasingly less common due to improving modern technology with automatic transmissions, and so these factors contribute to manual driving lessons being slightly more expensive than automatic lessons.

There are added benefits in learning to drive a manual vehicle. Firstly, manual vehicles are typically more fuel efficient as power is transmitted in a more direct manner between the engine, gearbox and wheels. Automatic transmissions tend to lose a significant amount of power along the way to the wheels due to how they work. (This varies depending on different car models and has generally improved over time.)

The second benefit is that when you learn to drive a manual you also learn how to become more involved in operating a motor vehicle and your safety improves as it causes you to think more about what you need to do.

Driving becomes less of an automated process and involves more thought process each time you drive. Driving a manual vehicle causes you to observe what’s happening on the road in front and to further think ahead and plan ahead, so that you are more aware of the vehicle’s road speed versus engine speed (an important part of manual driving) and what you are approaching, eg. an intersection or roundabout.

Ultimately it is an individual’s decision about whether to learn to drive a manual or automatic vehicle and is influenced by their future plans and the slightly higher cost involved in learning in a manual vehicle.

To find out more about our manual driving lesson packages, please view our Discount Packages page by following this link:

https://www.vipdrivingschool.com.au/discount-lesson-packages/