Manual vs Automatic. Which one should you choose?

So, the old Manual vs Automatic debate!

The majority of vehicles driven in the UK are manual, however, there are benefits to both and it really does come down to personal choice.

Here we run through the pros and cons of manual vs automatic cars, to help you to decide which may be better suited to you when choosing your next car. .

So here are the basics…

A manual car has a gear system which you operate yourself using a clutch pedal and gear stick.

An automatic car doesn’t have a clutch pedal and automatically changes gear for you based on the speed you are travelling.

The majority of motorists in the UK still drive a car with a manual gearbox, but how does it compare to an automatic?

Manual Car



Driver in full control of gear selection

Usually less expensive than automatics • A manual gearbox can be better at transferring power from your engine to your wheels so can accelerate more quickly


More of an effort to drive than an automatic, particularly in stop/start traffic

More difficult to learn to drive in than an automatic



Easier to drive as no need to worry about gear changes

Useful for people with limited mobility

Better for driving in stop/start traffic


More expensive to buy than a manual

If you learn to drive in an automatic, you’re not qualified to drive a manual car


Which is more fuel efficient?

It is more about the way you drive in terms of fuel efficiency. It used to be that manuals were more fuel efficient, however, automatic transmission technology has come a long way and the gap is quickly closing.

Is it easier to learn in an automatic?

When you’re learning to drive, gear change can take a while to master, therefore it is probably easier to learn in an automatic as it allows you to keep both hands on the wheel and more focus on the road. However, if you decide to learn in an automatic, you should be aware that you will not be qualified to drive a manual car.

Another benefit of learning in an automatic is that you are unlikely to stall – which saves you the embarrassment of stalling on hill starts or just as the traffic lights change.

Which is cheaper to insure?

While there doesn’t tend to be a huge difference in premiums between manual and automatic cars, automatics can be more expensive to insure.

This is typically because automatic gearboxes cost more to replace than manuals and are often found in higher specification vehicles.

It’s worth noting that insurance premiums for drivers who only have an automatic licence are usually considerably higher than for drivers with a full licence. This is certainly something to consider if you are starting out as a learner driver.


In summary, a manual car would be better for someone travelling longer distances, as it can be a more enjoyable and rewarding drive.

An automatic may be better suited to someone who does lots of urban driving or has limited mobility.

But the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your choice and it’s right for you.

For more great content, or to browse thousands of quality used cars, both manual and automatic, visit our website!