Should you buy a manual or automatic car?

Every car owner knows that driving and owning a car can be expensive. There are a number of ways in which you can save money on car maintenance but how do you save money when buying a car? Can the type of transmission you choose help to cut costs? The guide below helps you decide whether you should invest in a manual or automatic car and the benefits of each. When buying a car, it can come down to personal preference whether you prefer to drive manual or automatic, but it can also affect car insurance rates too. UK Car Finance have put together everything you need to know.

What’s the difference between manual and automatic?

The difference between a manual and automatic car is the gearbox. A manual car has a gearbox which you manually operate yourself. An automatic car doesn’t have a gearbox and instead changes gears for you, based on your speed. The majority of cars in the UK are manual but automatic cars have grown in popularity in recent years.

Should you buy a manual car?

Manual cars usually have 5 gears and 3 pedals and needs the driver to change up or down depending on the speed. Manual cars have a clutch, brake and accelerator and the clutch needs to be pressed down in order for the gears to be changed by the driver.

Pros of manual cars:

  • A manual license enables you to also drive automatic cars
  • Manuals are more common
  • Manual cars can usually be fixed at lower rates
  • Can be a more efficient choice compared to older automatic models
  • Gives the driver more connection with the car
  • Driver has more control over the car

Cons of owning a manual car:

  • Changing gears can be distracting and one hand leave the steering wheel to change gears
  • Can be uncomfortable when stuck in slow moving traffic

Should you get an automatic car?

Automatic cars on finance can be a great way to spread the cost of owning your automatic car. Automatic cars don’t have a gearbox and only have two pedals: a brake and accelerator. They have a gear stick which usually has four modes: park, reverse, neutral and drive. The automatic transmission does the work for you and drives only need to out the car in ‘drive’ then get to their destination with no need to change gears.

Pros of automatic cars:

  • Easier to handle and provides a smoother ride
  • More attention on the road
  • Can be more reliable than manual cars
  • Modern automatics are more efficient than manuals
  • Easier to learn to drive
  • Less effort and more comfortable in rush hour traffic

Cons of automatic cars:

  • More expensive to buy outright than manual cars
  • Can be more tedious to drive and less of a physical connection with the car
  • Car insurance premiums can be higher
  • You can’t drive manual cars with an automatic only license
  • Can be more expensive to repair

How to choose between automatic or manual cars:

When deciding between manual or automatic cars, it ultimately comes down to budget and what sort of driving experience you want. Automatic cars can be more expensive to buy and also maintain but they are much easier to drive and also requires less effort from the driver. If you drive on motorways and dual carriage ways, automatic cars can provide a much smoother drive than manual cars. However, you may be more suited to a manual car if you prefer to feel more connected to the road and be in control of the vehicle. They can also be easier to handle in winter conditions such as cold and ice.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.