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Manual or Automatic Licence?


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#51 boatiebabe

Posted 26 November 2019 - 09:55 AM

DD is getting her Ls in March next year.

We drive automatics but learned on manuals.

DDs grandfather said he would buy her a new car when she got her licence but with one stipulation - she would have to learn on a manual. She can buy whatever car she likes (ie auto or manual) when she gets her Ps.

So we are in the market for a small second hand manual car she can learn on. Another bonus is we don't have to increase the insurance premiums on our pricey cars.

DS won't be far behind in learning to drive, so will be able to learn on the manual too, and then we'll sell it.

We travel OS quite a bit, and strangely enough, they really seem to like manuals in the countries we visit, so it makes sense for our kids to be able to drive both.

I don't often drive a manual these days but it's nice to know that I can do it when needed. I always think I might go on Amazing Race one day, so being able to drive a manual is key!!! :rofl:  

But like many PPs have noted, automatic cars are really they way of the future (you just can't shift as efficiently as a computer can do it!) so you could probably get by your whole life without ever driving a manual - except for taking part in a reality show!

#52 EPZ

Posted 26 November 2019 - 09:58 AM

Manual is definitely beneficial.  Though there used to be a lot more around. I would struggle to  think of anyone I know who has one.  Very common in the 80's, all my friends drove manuals.

#53 UndergroundKelpie

Posted 26 November 2019 - 10:19 AM

All 3 of my kids 13, 11 and 5 can drive a manual paddock basher already. They started on quad bikes. It's not difficult and a bit of a necessary skill.

I was going to upgrade my Landcruiser to a 200 series but then found out they only come in Auto. I will stick with my 80s series Manual and replace the engine when it goes instead.

#54 MayaTheGrinch

Posted 26 November 2019 - 10:21 AM

Driving a manual is a good skill to have. A lot of jobs I know if in the town I live in, advertise for a class C licence (which is the manual one in WA), so it can impact in that perspective. But if you can't easily access one then it makes it harder to practice.

Also some people just are not suitable to learn how to drive a manual. My sister is one. I learned because that's what I had available. And if I'm perfectly honest I prefer a manual car, though I drive an automatic (because I couldn't get what I wanted in a manual).

#55 seayork2002

Posted 26 November 2019 - 10:23 AM

I know some trade/farm vehicles are manual but every job I have had where there are company cars around (office based) have all been automatic.

#56 dadwasathome

Posted 26 November 2019 - 10:27 AM

Once you have the skills and knowledge to control a vehicle and be a safe road user, you can reasonably easily learn the skill of operating a manual gearbox. I support the NSW rule rather than any retesting to "convert"

#57 marple

Posted 26 November 2019 - 10:51 AM

yes. its not hard  as i said above it takes a few goes and a few hours . surprised so many people are so perturbed about learners using a manual but i didnt know aboot having to retest in some states. wouldnt stress  if in nsw.

#58 Demera

Posted 26 November 2019 - 11:05 AM

There are still manual vehicles in the pool at my work.  A millennial employee was in a spot of bother when the vehicle allocated to her position was manual.  She couldn't drive it even after instruction from a qualified driving instructor (a member of her team).  It put everyone else out that she had to repeatedly borrow other vehicles to do her job.

That said, manuals are becoming more rare, and eventually there just won't be any around.

I had the benefit of learning to drive a manual ute on the farm and I hope we'll still have a manual for my daughters to learn when they're old enough.

#59 born.a.girl

Posted 26 November 2019 - 11:29 AM

View Postmarple, on 26 November 2019 - 10:51 AM, said:

yes. its not hard  as i said above it takes a few goes and a few hours . surprised so many people are so perturbed about learners using a manual but i didnt know aboot having to retest in some states. wouldnt stress  if in nsw.

Nor in Victoria. Our daughter's knee has strengthened to the point where she no longer needs a brace to exercise, so learning to drive a manual is realistic.  I doubt it will take her long.  It's not as though it's a life sentence to start in an auto.
It was a PITA for us because we had one manual and one turbo (which she could learn in but not drive with Ps at that stage). For the OP though, it's going to be a PITA to do manual. An auto licence is a massive jump from no licence.

#60 Demera

Posted 26 November 2019 - 11:47 AM

I should mention from my own observation, I think learning to drive a manual does affect your driving skill.  I had an ex who learned to drive in an auto, and his driving was terrible, especially around braking late and braking while turning. I taught him to drive a manual and it made a big difference to how he approached an intersection as he had to assess his speed and select a gear before making the turn.  He became a much safer driver due to that awareness.

#61 Soontobegran

Posted 26 November 2019 - 12:19 PM

View Postdadwasathome, on 26 November 2019 - 10:27 AM, said:

Once you have the skills and knowledge to control a vehicle and be a safe road user, you can reasonably easily learn the skill of operating a manual gearbox. I support the NSW rule rather than any retesting to "convert"


Some people can not easily convert from one to the other and the distraction of trying to concentrate on changing gears and using the clutch can affect the ability to drive safely.
Certainly eventually it happens but there is the meantime.

#62 Apageintime

Posted 26 November 2019 - 12:58 PM

Manual all the way.

I prefer driving a manual car - we have one of each.

We have also offered cars to freinds in various stages of carless-ness and have had people turn it down because they couldn't drive a manual. Must be annoying to them.

I've also driven cars for work - manuals when colleague ahve not been able to.

Its easy enough to learn on your learners and gives more options later.

#63 CZ83

Posted 26 November 2019 - 01:11 PM

View PostSoontobegran, on 25 November 2019 - 07:23 PM, said:

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.

I echo this.

#64 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 26 November 2019 - 05:32 PM

View PostDemera, on 26 November 2019 - 11:47 AM, said:

I should mention from my own observation, I think learning to drive a manual does affect your driving skill.  I had an ex who learned to drive in an auto, and his driving was terrible, especially around braking late and braking while turning. I taught him to drive a manual and it made a big difference to how he approached an intersection as he had to assess his speed and select a gear before making the turn.  He became a much safer driver due to that awareness.

I observe the same in DH who has only ever driven automatic cars, approaching intersections and stopping cars is very different.

I will probably arrange for my kids to learn on a manual but they can go for the test in an automatic as we only have automatic cars (because DH doesn’t drive manual). My car has the pseudo manual where you can use padals to change gears, but there is no clutch.

Edited by Veritas Vinum Arte, 26 November 2019 - 05:32 PM.


#65 notsoretro

Posted 26 November 2019 - 05:44 PM

View Postdadwasathome, on 26 November 2019 - 09:07 AM, said:

In NSW at least it has been an option for almost 4 decades, for  initial P-plate drivers at least.
I'm surprised to read this as I got my licence in an automatic in NSW in 1986 with no such stipulation. It was very common, you did your driving school lessons in the automatic and passed the test in it and then drove whatever you wanted. My then boyfriend and parents all had manuals so it was all I had to practice on and drive when I passed the test

Edited by notsoretro, 26 November 2019 - 05:46 PM.


#66 Lesley225

Posted 26 November 2019 - 05:51 PM

I got my license in 83 too and there was no such rule.  They changed it later.

When I'm coming up to a light or turning I changed gears down to slow down - you must have to use the break much more in an auto.

#67 born.a.girl

Posted 26 November 2019 - 06:02 PM

View PostLesley225, on 26 November 2019 - 05:51 PM, said:

I got my license in 83 too and there was no such rule.  They changed it later.

When I'm coming up to a light or turning I changed gears down to slow down - you must have to use the break much more in an auto.

You take the pressure off the accelerator though to change down, then you're able to resume the pressure because you're in a lower gear.

In an auto, you just reduce the pressure on the accelerator and you're slowing down.

Obviously the brake's frequently involved in both cases but it's not as simple a comparison as 'no gears = more brake'.

#68 Backtoschoolchef

Posted 26 November 2019 - 06:26 PM

We don't have separate licenses in SA but Id probably go for auto because manual cars are becoming rarer these days.

I learned in an auto as it was all I could afford, went out and bought a manual car having never driven one because that was all I could afford, and I totally legally drove t home!

It didn't actually take that long to pick up

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 26 November 2019 - 06:26 PM.


#69 Backtoschoolchef

Posted 26 November 2019 - 06:38 PM

View PostQuick hedgehog, on 25 November 2019 - 10:02 PM, said:

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,



Definitely not the case here. Quite a few aussie cars don't even offer manual as an option.

https://www.allianz....manual-vehicles

Edited by WannabeMasterchef, 26 November 2019 - 06:38 PM.


#70 liveworkplay

Posted 27 November 2019 - 10:50 AM

I just checked for our state and you must hold a full license for 3 years before you can apply to have the the automatic restriction taken off.

#71 Inkogneatoh

Posted 27 November 2019 - 12:18 PM

View PostVeritas Vinum Arte, on 26 November 2019 - 05:32 PM, said:

I observe the same in DH who has only ever driven automatic cars, approaching intersections and stopping cars is very different.

I will probably arrange for my kids to learn on a manual but they can go for the test in an automatic as we only have automatic cars (because DH doesn’t drive manual). My car has the pseudo manual where you can use padals to change gears, but there is no clutch.

I did my test in my driving instructors car. It was a car I was familiar with (I'd done about 10 lessons in it), plus it had the bonus of ticking all the road worthy boxes needed at the time for testing. From memory it cost about the same as a lesson, plus I got a mini lesson/refresher just before my test, which helped a little with my nerves.


I'm another who was taught to drive a manual . Non-negotiable, and I wasn't even allowed in an auto until I had my licence. I can also count on one hand the amount of times I've driven a manual in the 20 odd years I've had that license, and one of those was the drive back from the transport department. It's always taken 5 or so minutes to "remember", but it comes back fairly quickly. Even now I find, particularly in stop-start traffic, like rush hour with lights, that I still sit with my foot on the "clutch" and my hand on the gear stick.

My brother once had a job where he was one of only 3 people, in a team of about 12, who could drive the 2 work vehicles as they were both manual (utes). Most days they'd only need one to cart equipment, so as long as they had someone on shift who could drive they were fine. Although, more than once this meant he spent chunks of his day driving around in the air conditioning, while the others did the hard, manual labor in the tropical Summer (think cyclone clean up on a resort island).

#72 Dadto2

Posted 27 November 2019 - 12:46 PM

View PostApageintime, on 26 November 2019 - 12:58 PM, said:

Manual all the way.

I prefer driving a manual car - we have one of each.

We have also offered cars to freinds in various stages of carless-ness and have had people turn it down because they couldn't drive a manual. Must be annoying to them.

I've also driven cars for work - manuals when colleague ahve not been able to.

Its easy enough to learn on your learners and gives more options later.

I probably prefer a manual, but the semi-auto gearboxes you get in VWs and Audis are pretty amazing, especially with the gear paddles on the steering wheel and DSG gearbox.

#73 Dadto2

Posted 27 November 2019 - 12:47 PM

View PostLesley225, on 26 November 2019 - 05:51 PM, said:

I got my license in 83 too and there was no such rule.  They changed it later.

When I'm coming up to a light or turning I changed gears down to slow down - you must have to use the break much more in an auto.

I found with my VW and DSG (semi-auto) gearbox I drove it like a manual, using the gears for braking. rarely would I drive it in full auto.

#74 rjflc69

Posted 27 November 2019 - 01:24 PM

My DS (19 years old) got an auto licence (2 & a bit years ago) in QLD and is still on P plates (until the end of 3 years). If he wants to drive a manual currently he needs to display L plates and then re-sit his test in a manual regardless of how long he has his licence for (obviously he doesn't have to re-do the hours required for his original licence). We encouraged him to consider getting his manual licence initially but he was adamant he wanted to do it in an auto and in the end it was his choice. We only have auto cars and he purchased an auto (although if he had wanted a manual licence he could have bought a manual car instead as he bought his car when he had his learners).

My DD gets her learners early next year and she hasn't decided whether to go auto or manual yet. We will leave it up to her to decide but will still wave the manual flag :)

Fiona

#75 kadoodle

Posted 27 November 2019 - 09:09 PM

DD1 has only ever driven an auto, and she’s on track to get her pilots license before her drivers license. She really couldn’t care less about driving. DS1 struggles to change gears on his pushbike, and has really poor spatial awareness, so I can’t see him being able to juggle clutch, gears, brake, steering and accelerator at the same time. DS3 is only five, and I trust him to back the car onto a trailer or not stall before either of them.




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