Thinking about taking automatic driving lessons in Oxford?

We look at the difference between automatic and manual driving and how it might affect you.

We’ve all been there, accelerator, brake, clutch and gearbox, now coordinate them whilst steering, watching the road – at least three cars in front too – and remembering where we are going (and it could rain or the windows steam….).

Some of us master this expert choreography faster than others, for some it comes naturally for others it doesn’t. If that’s you then this may be one of the key reasons for choosing to learn in and drive an automatic vehicle. If you need to pass quickly or just feel you are struggling too much with a manual gearbox automatic lessons might be a good choice. Remove the stress of this feat of coordination and you confidence and performance will increase, remove the complication of learning this added skill and it could save you 15 hours of driving lessons.  So it can work out cheaper too.  There may be other reasons for choosing automatic driving lessons, if you have a disability this may be more appropriate to your ability. Or you may already own or have access to an automatic car. Whatever the reasons there are some implications and some information you might want to consider:

Automatic and manual vehicles here are the facts:

  • An automatic car has an automatic transmission or gearbox, so the gears change automatically as the car moves. There are still first, second and reverse gears. A manual change will be required to reverse or in certain situations like a steep incline.
  • In a manual car extra judgement is required, and physical coordination to change gear as the driving situation requires. This can be frequent in traffic and in built up areas where there are many obstacles to navigate.
  • In America automatic vehicles are the norm. In Europe only 20% of cars (Source: Wikipedia) are automatics, manual gearboxes are the norm.

Implications of an automatic driving license:

  • If you take an automatic driving test, and pass, you will only be legally entitled to drive automatic cars, to later have a manual driving license you will need to take a manual driving test, and will likely need further driving lessons.
  • If you drive as part of your job, or are required to drive company vehicles, as most vehicles are manual a manual driving license may be more appropriate. It’s worth checking the expectations of your employer and considering if you will want or need to move jobs or careers in the future.
  • Automatic cars use slightly more fuel per mile than manual cars and automatics in the UK and Europe are more expensive.
  • There is less choice in the UK and Europe when you are buying or renting a car. Car rental may be especially difficult.
  • If you need a courtesy car from your garage or insurers again an automatic might not be available.

There is a lot consider and learning to drive in an automatic or a manual car is not a decision to take lightly.  Here at LDA we can help you to make the decision about automatic lessons in Oxford either when you start to learn, or if you feel you need to change from manual to automatic driving lessons or vice versa during your course of driving lessons. Our qualified and experienced instructors will take time and patience to help you with the best method for you. If you are looking for a manual or automatic driving school in Oxford please get in touch.