The benefits of teaching in a manual car vs. automatic

Manual cars dominate the UK roads; however, it would seem that our driving preferences are beginning to shift gear and since 2007, there has been a 70% increase in automatic car sales. At present, it is estimated that for every 10 manual driving tests, there is an automatic test taken. If you’re a qualified Driving Instructor, you will have been trained to teach in manual and automatic transmission vehicles. However, if you start up your own business as a driving instructor, the chances are that you’ll invest in a manual car, since there is still greater demand for manual testing than automatic.

Since automatic cars are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, who knows what the future holds for manual transmission cars. What is certain though, is that at present, the benefits of teaching new drivers in a manual car outweigh those of an automatic and this article will tell you why.

The difference between manual and automatic vehicles

As you’ll probably be aware, manual cars have a gear box and automatic cars do not. This means that the different transmissions have different pedal layouts, as a manual car requires you to use three pedals, to accelerate and brake with a clutch, to change gears. Depending on the spec of the car and the size of the engine, a manual could have between one and six gears.

In contrast, an automatic is much simpler, having two pedals, one to accelerate and the other to brake. This is because automatic transmission cars will change gears for you, based on the speed that you’re travelling. This is made possible by a series of sensors within the car which evaluate the oil pressure of the car and change gears accordingly. Automatic vehicles do have a gearstick, which shifts into park, reverse, neutral and drive mode.

The advantages of teaching in an automatic car

Learning to drive in an automatic car could mean that learners won’t require so many driving lessons, since it’s far easier to get the hang of. Additionally, it can be an great alternative if the driver has struggled to pass in a manual car and has had to spend an excessive amount on re-taking their test.

What’s more, electric cars are likely to dominate our roads in the future and since they’re automatic, there should be little need for manual driving, however, it’s going to be quite a few years before this happens.

The benefits of teaching in a manual car

If you teach your students in a manual car, then their skills are also transferrable to automatic transmission driving, providing greater scope for car purchases for the future. When learning to drive a manual car, your clients will require more tutorage than if they were to take their test in an automatic, since the manual driving experience is more complicated. This means that teaching drivers in a manual car could benefit them in the future, but also could see a greater return for instructors.

What’s more, in terms of the actual performance of the car, manual cars are superior in their ability to transfer engine power to the wheels, meaning that you can accelerate more quickly. Though technological advances in automatic cars mean that they are catching up, at present, that technology would require you to part with a hefty sum of money. A manual car can also prove more economic, as repairs and maintenance to the gearbox can be cheaper than repairs to automatic systems.

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