Manual or automatic?

When it comes to buying or hiring a car, you have to decide whether you want manual or automatic. Both offer a fantastic driving experience and have their pros and cons. So, we’re going to talk you through each to help you make your buying or hiring decision.

Manual transmission

With a manual transmission, you get greater control over the car. You choose when it goes up or down a gear which can be very useful, especially in rainy or wintry conditions. They’re also easier (and often cheaper – unless it’s the clutch!) to maintain because the design has been around for longer and they’re typically less complex than automatics.  

However, having to take one hand off the wheel to change gear isn’t as safe as keeping both firmly on the wheel and your full concentration on the road ahead. Plus, with the constant changing of the clutch, you might experience leg ache when driving in congested areas as your left foot doesn’t get to rest.

manual car gear stick

Automatic transmission

With automatic transmission, you typically get a much smoother ride as the driver isn’t having to manually control gear shifts. That’s a real plus when you’re having to stop and start a lot in traffic as you’re not constantly having to pump the clutch and jostle any passengers.

Instead, you are able to simply focus on the road ahead, knowing the car will handle all the changes. That leaves you better able to concentrate on tricky junctions and navigation, your speed, and your road position.

However, so people find automatics less enjoyable to drive, as there’s not the same connection between car and driver. Repairs are typically more complex on an automatic car too, so it could be costly if something were to go wrong on the road.

Which is best?

Whether you choose to buy or hire manual or automatic vehicles completely depends on you and your driving preferences. Many people find automatics simpler to drive, and if you hold a manual driving licence, you are legally allowed to drive an automatic too. However, if you’ve only got a licence to drive automatic, you can’t legally drive a manual car, because the skills needed to drive safely are different.

Automatic may well be the norm in the future though, as more people shift to hybrid and electric cars. These new models don’t come with manual transmission, lower environmental impact, and are often more reliable than manual cars.

Hire from us

Meashams have both manual and automatic cars available for hire. For 2020, we’ve introduced a Toyota hybrid into our fleet too! So, if you’re thinking about making the switch, hire from us first to see whether you like driving hybrid!

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