Learning to drive can be a daunting experience: there’s a lot to learn about controlling your car, road rules and behaviour, identifying hazards and general safe driving techniques. You’ll probably also begin planning what type of car you want to drive in the future, and the choice of whether to get manual or automatic driving lessons will come up.
That last bit is important because how comfortable you feel behind the wheel will influence your overall learning experience, from how fast and how well you learn and retain knowledge to how confident you are when you eventually begin driving solo.
If you don’t need to learn how to drive manual, then learning to drive in an automatic car can simplify your learning experience and make for a smoother and more enjoyable time.
While there are advantages to learning manual, in this article we’ll go over 5 advantages of getting driving lessons in an automatic car.
1. A simpler learning experience
The main advantage of driving a car with automatic transmission is how much simpler the experience is right from the moment you get in the car, including the process of actually starting your car up.
In a manual you have to hold the clutch down while you start the ignition, and then while driving you have to spend your time juggling clutch and gear shifts whenever increasing or decreasing speed. In an automatic car this process is handled by the car itself, which lets you focus more on the road, traffic, communicating with your driving instructor, and identifying potential hazards.
2. Automatic is more common in Australia
In other parts of the world, manual transmission is still more common, and some vehicles such as vans with manual transmission are still more popular. However, cars with automatic transmission are far more common in Australia than manual cars, and it’s far more likely your family owns an automatic car - especially if the car is only a few years old.
You will also find far more driving instructors offering automatic driving lessons, and depending on the driving school you may even find that getting your driving lessons in a manual will cost you extra due to their limited supply of manual driving instructors.
3. Avoid stalling the car
One of the largest factors that delays learner drivers from taking those first steps and getting driving lessons to begin with is the thought of stalling the car in busy traffic. This can feel especially scary if you’re learning to drive in Sydney, Melbourne, or another large city with lots of traffic, or in an area that requires lots of stopping and starting on hills.
It is not possible for you to stall an automatic car (usually), as the way an automatic car transfers power from the engine to the wheel drive is different and doesn’t rely on manual input from the driver using the clutch.
4. Focus more on developing hazard perception skills
Automatic cars don’t require as much coordination as driving a manual, since you’re not trying to divide your attention between external things like traffic and hazards, and internal things such as engine sounds, clutch and gear shift timings, or even successfully getting the stick into the correct gear.
Automatic driving lessons allow the learner driver to give the road, other traffic, and hazard identification that little bit more focus, and many beginner drivers find it easier to learn when they can give their full attention to communicating with their driving instructor.
Some people genuinely enjoy driving manual and feel like an automatic isn’t as engaging, or they will argue that learning manual will make you a better driver and you should learn in one from the beginning. While it’s true that learning in a manual teaches you advanced skills, learning in an automatic will not impact your ability to learn the most important elements of driving which will keep you safe on the road - and you may find that it helps you pay that extra bit of attention to the road.
5. Keep both hands on the wheel
In an automatic car, you’re able to keep both your hands on the steering wheel for much longer because you aren’t required to change gears manually. For more nervous learner drivers, this can help with confidence and feeling that you have more control of the car at all times.
If you just want to learn in the most comfortable setting, or if you’re just not sure you’ll ever use a manual car in the future and don’t think it’s necessary, then getting automatic driving lessons is a good way to help you gain the confidence and experience you need on the road. There’s nothing stopping you coming back to it later on if you really want to learn to drive manual, and you can always bridge that skill gap when you’ve got a good base of confidence to build from.
Are you looking to find local automatic driving instructors near you? Then check out our online booking platform below.
Book driving lessons online today in under 60 seconds with EzLicence and get yourself on the right track to driving safely and successfully. If after a few lessons you’re feeling confident enough to move to manual driving lessons, then changing your instructor is a hassle free process through our online booking portal.