You’re at the point in your life where you either want to learn to drive, or you need to. You’ve decided you want to learn how to drive in a manual car, and you may have a few people that say they’re willing to teach you and help you get some experience behind the wheel.
Friends and family are well meaning and supportive, but making sure you have the right teacher can have a big impact on your learning experience and on how many lessons to learn to drive. A manual car is more complex to drive than an automatic, and it may take you a bit longer to learn if you try to do it without the appropriate guidance.
A friend who assures you they “learnt easily” with minimal lessons may have developed bad habits without realising it, and just because they claim to know how to drive a manual car doesn’t necessarily mean they themselves can actually teach someone else to do the same.
Between car control, the road rules, and learning how to spot and react to hazards, there’s a lot of information to learn and retain, and a good driving instructor can play a large role in how effectively you learn.
In this article we’re going to look at some of the reasons manual car driving lessons for beginners are so important.
1. Learn to drive properly and avoid damaging your car
If you plan on learning how to drive a manual car, then learning to drive with a qualified driving instructor can help save you from a whole lot of car related trouble later on.
Cars are expensive and not every family happens to have a spare car sitting around specifically for you to use for learning to drive. Depending on the age and condition of the car you have available for learning to drive in, the components might not cope well with the skipped gears and car stalls a fresh learner driver will experience (especially during early driving lessons).
A driving instructor qualified to teach manual driving lessons can help you learn to quickly and accurately change gears without damaging your car, and can help you learn the sounds your car makes when you’re ready to change gears.
For a lot of learner drivers, the majority of driving lessons are taken using the driving instructor’s car. This means the driving instructor will be used to the sounds and movements of the car, and will have a much better understanding of how effectively you are changing gears and controlling your speed.
2. Driving instructors are used to your lack of experience
While you might be able to learn how to drive a manual at home with a parent or a friend, it’s unlikely they’re going to be very proficient at teaching manual car driving lessons for beginners.
That’s not a criticism of parents trying to teach their kids to drive, but rather an acknowledgement that driving instructors are trained and qualified to use effective teaching methods for students at a variety of stages in learning to drive - training that many parents aren’t likely to have had.
Knowing a skill and being able to teach it are very different, and although we can all claim to have an endless supply of patience, the truth is that teaching any skill can be a challenge for people who aren’t trained to do so - especially if the student is completely new.
Driving experience with an experienced driver is still useful however. In fact, it’s worth using a driving instructor to learn new skills, then using the time between driving lessons to further develop your skills and build up driving experience while practicing with family members or friends.
3. Manual driving lessons keep you more alert
A qualified driving instructor will usually take a balanced approach to teaching that encourages you to develop your technical driving skills and road awareness (including hazard perception) skills at the same time.
Driving a manual car requires you to be more aware of the car itself in addition to observing hazards and road rules. Learning to drive a manual car will teach you how to more effectively distribute your attention across a range of variables while driving, which in turn will help you to become a safer driver.
Additionally if you choose to switch to an automatic car in the future after learning to drive in a manual car, you will likely find it to be a much easier experience. In fact many people who do the majority of their driving in a manual car describe driving an automatic car as being a lot more relaxing.
4. Learn better control over your car
Learning with a driving instructor can also help you pick up good driving habits more effectively than when learning with a parent or friend.
Much like we mentioned earlier when talking about effective teaching, you may know a range of people that already know how to drive and can perform the most advanced driving skills themselves, but they might not be capable of passing that information on to you very effectively.
They may not even be doing it correctly themselves, and if you learn the wrong technique and then try to use it during the driving test you will likely fail.
Driving skills are taught the way they are by driving instructors because they offer the safest driving experience. You may find it frustrating when you have to physically turn and look over your shoulder to check your blind-spot while changing lanes, but a split second of inconvenience can save your life or at least prevent you from having a costly accident.
5. Road rules change regularly
This not only applies to manual driving lessons, but also to automatic driving lessons. Road rules can change regularly and your parents and friends who have been driving for a while may not have kept up with all of the changes.
Driving lessons can be a good way to not only learn the current road rules properly from a qualified driving instructor, but so you can be sure your supervising drivers are giving you the correct information.
6. Help you prepare for the driving test
If you want to get a licence that allows you to drive a manual car, then you might need to pass the driving test in a manual car.
One of the best ways to prepare for your driving test is to take driving lessons with a qualified driving instructor. They will be able to give you advice on what you can do to prepare for the test with feedback on specific skills to practice, or correcting any bad habits you may be forming and which could cause you to fail the driving test.
So now you might wonder, why take driving lessons in a manual in the first place if it’s “harder” and less common? Well, there’s one final and very good reason, and that is...
7. You can drive (almost) any kind of car
Learning to drive and then passing the test in an automatic car will earn you a “restricted” licence in some states, named so because it only allows you to drive automatic cars. However, if you learn to drive and pass the driving test in a manual car you will be given an “unrestricted” licence which legally allows you to drive either a manual or an automatic car later.
Many cars are automatic, but in some circumstances your only option for driving a vehicle will be one with a manual transmission.
You may be ‘wondering ‘how many lessons to learn to drive a manual car?’ The answer to this question depends on your personal driving history and also your aptitude for learning to drive, we all learn at different speeds. It’s always best to seek guidance from your driving instructor.
If you’re planning to start learning to drive a manual soon, then check out our range of qualified driving instructors offering manual driving lessons near you. To begin, enter your postcode into the instructor finder form below, compare driving instructors, and make your choice.