Manual or Automatic?

Should I learn to Drive in a Manual or Automatic car?

We often have students call our office and ask “Should I learn to drive in a Manual or Automatic car?” Our answer: Getting your manual licence means that you can drive both automatic and manual cars. This is extremely helpful if you have friends or family members who own manual cars and you may need to drive their car one day out of necessity. We recommend manual driving lessons to anyone who may be looking to work in the following occupations:

  • Ambulance officer
  • Police
  • Fire and Rescue
  • Mining (includes reception and office work)
  • Transport Industry
  • Delivery Drivering
  • Care/Support Workers
  • Tradespersons
  • Driving Instructors
  • School Teachers (needed for driving a small bus)

We also highly recommend manual licences to those people who may be aspiring to live/travel overseas. Most vehicles in Europe are manual even at car hire companies.

Having said all of that, more than 70% of Western Australians own and drive automatic cars. There is certainly a trend towards automatic over manual in the last 10 years. Some people need to get a licence as quickly as possible and for those people we recommend automatic. On average a learner driver practicing in a manual car would need around 5 more lessons than an automatic learner driver depending on how much practice they are able to do with their supervisor. If you do not have access to a manual car at home, learning in an automatic may be preferable.

Some statstics on manual and automatic drivers:

  • 82% of Australian respondents with manual licences passed their tests on the first attempt, compared to only 74% of those with automatic licences
  • Survey results showed that drivers with automatic licences were more than twice as likely to have been in an at-fault accident when they were on their learner licence (5.4%), compared to those with manual licences (2.3%)
  • Government data reveals that manual driving tests in Queensland have had higher pass rates than automatic driving tests for the past 10 calendar years straight

These statistics were from Budget Direcct[]

We hope that helps answer your question!

Posted in Learning to Drive Tricks & Tips on Jan 24, 2022
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