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Manual or Automatic Licence?


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#1 Brumby Jack

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:14 PM

My DD has just got her learner’s permit and we are currently trying to decide whether she should aim to get a manual or automatic licence. We don’t have regular access to a driving school due to living a long way from any big towns that have these, and our family only owns automatic cars. So most of her driving practice will be in these. We will possibly try to organise some lessons from a driving school when we are on holidays over Christmas, but I don’t know whether to book her in for lessons in a manual car or just stick to automatic. If she were to go for a manual licence, we may be able to see if we could possibly borrow a car from someone for her to practice in and do her driving test. But I’m wondering whether it is worth it? What sort of licence are your teens getting? Is a manual licence really necessary considering most newer cars are automatic these days?

#2 IamOzgirl

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:16 PM

I learnt in an auto because that’s all my parents had.

I am not sure if the current rules but I was only restricted to auto whilst on my Ps.

After finishing my Ps I got a manual car and I took lessons then.

#3 born.a.girl

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:17 PM

I'd just stick with automatic.

Can't remember how long it is before you can automatically drive a manual after you first get your licence, and it's Vic anyway which may be different from where you are.

Personally, I'm not sure it's a good idea to switch between auto and manual as a learner.

#4 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:19 PM

They will be learning in a manual here but we own a a manual and an auto.

Some states you cannot drive a manual with an automatic licence ever.

I switched between manual and auto when learning to drive, it was never an issue.

#5 Dianalynch

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:22 PM

I have never driven a manual, I’m in my 40s. It depends what your kids want, but there’s no real reason to drive a manual unless they want to.

#6 Soontobegran

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:23 PM

Manual here..Not negotiable for our children.
All their first cars which we helped them buy were manuals, they were welcome to buy their own automatics.

#7 MooGuru

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:33 PM

I was always firm about the idea of learning to drive a manual. Having said that a family member is apparently the only driver at their school with a manual licence so maybe I overestimate how much of a *need* it is.

#8 SeaPrincess

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:35 PM

We know someone who is a driving instructor and he says manual is pointless if there is no manual vehicle to drive. In WA, the licence categories are different, so if you get an automatic licence, you can only drive an automatic car.

#9 IamOzgirl

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:36 PM

My family were the same, and adamant with my sister.

When it got to me no manual in the family and couldn’t afford lessons so auto it was.

And to be honest I will probably never own a manual again. But I do think it is good I can drive one.

Ex DP had a manual car for work. That would be an issue in the future I suppose.

Interestingly knowing his family I am surprised he knows how to drive a manual...

#10 seayork2002

Posted 25 November 2019 - 07:57 PM

We do not own a car but if car buy one DS will need to learn on that as it will be his at the time (if he wants it that is)

I don't drive but DH learnt to drive where manuals are the norm but drives an auto here.

Not sure what we will buy but if it is an automatic there is no point DS driving a manual if we have to supervise him getting his hours up.

Then again I have driven a manual (once with DH closing his eyes and whilst gritting his teeth) so if I can do it anyone can!

#11 Keepswimming

Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:02 PM

We have a fleet of vehicles at work some are manual, some are auto. I am relieved I have the ability to drive any as it would be restrictive in my work (science) to not be able to operate them all. Could be something to consider for the future.
Also if you live rurally I would definitely go manual, you dont want to get stuck somewhere remote if the driver is injured or something and not be able to drive out.

#12 Blue Shoe

Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:02 PM

I chose to buy a manual car, but I feel like I’m in the minority. Even when I was buying it (at about 8.5 months pregnant) the sales guy was trying to talk me out of it. I was replacing an existing manual car which I had bought because I felt driving one was the best way to become proficient in it, having been raised with the idea that you might never know when you’ll need to have that skill (emergency situation etc).
Maybe think about what sort of budget you might have for a future car for your DD (as in, will she be self finding something budget or are you expecting to contribute to help her buy something newer and safer) and then see what the ratio of new/used cars is on a car sales website?

#13 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:15 PM

I learnt in a manual but only driven automatic since. I have had company cars in different companies and manual cars were rare and getting auto rentals has never been an issue. If you need manual to drive a truck or bus etc you have to get a truck license anyway.
Personally I feel autos allow you to concretrate on looking around for hazards outside and not worrying which gear you are in, pressing in the clutch etc. ( that's my own opinion).
Autis have come a long way since the 70s. Plus electric cars etc are more likely to be auto in the future.

Edited to add. However if your child has a burning desire to join the armed forces, yes a manual license could be required.

Edited by Kiwi Bicycle, 25 November 2019 - 08:27 PM.


#14 *Ker*

Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:35 PM

When I was young, my mum was at my nan's house and went into labour 6 weeks early. Her car was parked behind Nan's and as it was a manual, Nan couldn't move it to take her to hospital. She had to find a neighbour home to move it for her. I'm able to drive both and have had a mix of auto and manual.

#15 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:42 PM

Driving a manual is a good skill to have. DH had to teach himself how to drive a manual, because site vehicles were manuals, and he only got his auto license. I had to help teach him. I like knowing I can jump in any car, and some trucks, and get it moving.

But it’s a good skill to have, not something that you need to get your licence in these days. So many cars are autos, even older cheaper cars that might be their first car. So I would just get the auto license, but also teach her how to drive a manual car later on.

Even trucks and buses are become automatic these days. Won’t be long before a manual transmission is a thing of the past.

#16 MooGuru

Posted 25 November 2019 - 08:56 PM

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 25 November 2019 - 08:15 PM, said:

I learnt in a manual but only driven automatic since. I have had company cars in different companies and manual cars were rare and getting auto rentals has never been an issue. If you need manual to drive a truck or bus etc you have to get a truck license anyway.
Personally I feel autos allow you to concretrate on looking around for hazards outside and not worrying which gear you are in, pressing in the clutch etc. ( that's my own opinion).
Autis have come a long way since the 70s. Plus electric cars etc are more likely to be auto in the future.

Edited to add. However if your child has a burning desire to join the armed forces, yes a manual license could be required.

See I'm the opposite. I find driving auto it's much easier to lose focus and be distracted because there's less need to be constantly assessing traffic etc.

I'm a defensive driver and touch wood never had an accident but every "ooh crap!" those cars slowed more than I expected or other concentration related lapse of judgement that I can recall over 20ish driving years has been in an auto.

Probably just a matter of what you're used to. I've driven 85% manual 15% auto.

#17 littlepickle

Posted 25 November 2019 - 09:04 PM

We are teaching our daughter in a large manual (dual cab Ute) and an automatic (corolla). She is keen to spend some time studying overseas so thinks a manual licence will help with car hire / driving friends cars.

#18 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 25 November 2019 - 09:29 PM

I purposely bought a manual car a few years ago (after 15-odd years in an auto) as I knew both kids would be learning to drive in it in the years to come.

I think it's an important skill to have.  We now have one of each, and I agree with PP - I lose concentration a little in the auto - no need to think about speed around corners, round abouts, etc.  I'm much more connected driving my manual.

DD starts learning in a few months, and is already starting to watch gear changes and ask questions about why I'm changing up/down, and listening to the engine.  (In fact, DS is too, even though he's got another year to go).

On the other hand - my brother has a Tesla that needs very little input at all.  I know my kids will eventually be driving cars like that too - one day. But for time being, they will be learning in a manual.  I'ts non-negotiable here.  

And a PP's point was very valid for those in rural/regional areas.  You never know when you might end up isolated and NEEDING the skill.  Also in cities, but there are more likely to be another person with the ability.  I'd like my kids to be 'those' people with that ability if it was ever needed.

#19 Dianalynch

Posted 25 November 2019 - 09:49 PM

You can learn that skill if you need it later on, it’s not that difficult, in my earlier post I said I’ve never driven a manual, forgot however my first licence was a motorbike, gears involved, and I can drive a tractor. Neither was that difficult when I wanted to learn. Loads of people don’t drive and they get around just fine, so I think manual vs automatic is just not that big a deal.

#20 Quick hedgehog

Posted 25 November 2019 - 10:02 PM

probably not particularly relevant, but when we lived in the UK a couple of years ago and bought a car, far more cars were manual than auto, though I think that is slowly changing.

So there always might be unexpected times when having a manual licence is a useful thing.

#21 BusbyWilkes

Posted 25 November 2019 - 11:35 PM

We're looking online at second hand cars for my DS, and about 90% of what would be considered "first cars" are automatic.

Both adults here can drive manual (even my mum still drives her manual!), so I expected the kids to do manual. But the first is keen to do auto, so will go with what they want.

They can always get a manual licence later if they need it (armed forces, emergency services etc). When I started work, all govt fleet vehicles were manual. Now, all are automatic.


#22 ImperatorFuriosa

Posted 26 November 2019 - 02:06 AM

DS 17 got his learners permit 2 months ago and he is learning auto. We live in a very rural town and there nearest driving schools are in the city. We go monthly to the city so he has had 5 lessons in total over a 2 month span. When we go in Dec I will book him in for 2 more.

We own a auto and that's all he has to practice on at home. DP and I decided since DS is autistic and has anxiety it would be best if he started out with auto. It's hard enough learning the basics with having to figure out changing gears and all that while going around a corner.

His concentration skills need a bit of fine turning, but I think it will get better in time. The driving instructor he sees in the city has worked with drivers with special needs and rehabilitation drivers for 25 years and she has given him some good tips to help him.

If DS wants to learn manual later on after he has his licence he is free to do so. I personally think auto is best to learn first, but that's just me.

#23 skicat

Posted 26 November 2019 - 05:03 AM

We own automatic cars, grew up learning in manual. We find that every time we need to hire a car either in the USA or Europe, only manual cars are available ,even though we request an auto, so we are glad we can drive over there . Just a bit rusty at first.

#24 Milly Molly Mandy

Posted 26 November 2019 - 05:16 AM

DS will be getting his licence early next year. We own an auto and a manual so he will be learning on both and getting a manual licence. I personally think you have a much greater awareness of speed and what the car is doing driving a manual.

However if we only had an auto that is what he would get.



#25 born.a.girl

Posted 26 November 2019 - 05:19 AM

View Postskicat, on 26 November 2019 - 05:03 AM, said:

We own automatic cars, grew up learning in manual. We find that every time we need to hire a car either in the USA or Europe, only manual cars are available ,even though we request an auto, so we are glad we can drive over there . Just a bit rusty at first.

Haven't been to the US, but always hire a manual in Europe because the autos are so much more expensive. Canada was pretty much autos so surprised the US is also not.

I asked in Ireland why the massive difference in price (something like double) and she said 'because they can', that those from the US overwhelmingly want an auto and most can't drive manuals so they have no choice but to pay.

Daughter with auto licence (started with a manual, dislocated her left knee - again - and specialist said if she has a manual there will always be times in her life she can't drive with that knee) is going to learn in a manual soon, which won't take her long.

Edited by born.a.girl, 26 November 2019 - 06:15 AM.





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