Should driving a car with gears be an automatic choice

Thursday 1st December, 2011 at 11:12 COMMENTS (0)

Although most people choose to learn to drive in a manual car (with the traditional gears and clutch pedal), automatics are becoming more popular, especially if the learner has had difficulties with gears or has limited mobility. 

It is worth noting that when you do pass a driving test in a manual car and gain a full driving licence you can go on to drive a manual or automatic car in the future.  If, however, you pass your test in an automatic that's the only sort of car you're then qualified to drive. 

In an automatic you don't have to learn to use the clutch and gears, which makes the physical job of driving much easier and means you can give more of your attention to what's happening on the road. 

If you have ever driven a car with an automatic transmission, then you know that there are two big differences between an automatic transmission and a manual transmission, if you haven't then you will need to know that:

There is no clutch pedal in an automatic transmission car.  There is no gear lever in an automatic transmission car but instead a selector.  Once you put the transmission into drive, everything else is automatic.  The transmission senses an selects the gear according to the road speed and load on the engine. 

Both the automatic transmission and a manual transmission (with its clutch) accomplish exactly the same thing, but they do it in totally different ways. 

Automatic gears
When driving an automatic car the usual layout for a gear selector is:
P - Park - this locks all the gears and should be used when stationary. 
R - Reverse
N - Neutral - No gear is selected. 
D - Drive - This is used for driving forward. 
1 - First Gear. 
2 - Second Gear. 
Note: Some automatic cars may have extra selections than those shown above

Many people make the decision to drive a car with automatic transmission due to previous concerns with gears, but learning to drive any vehicle is not easy. 

So choosing a car with an automatic transmission means the physical task is simpler, but, it should be said, that with the correct guidance and practice, learning to drive in a car with gears could be just as easy. 

Remember, that larger driving schools like Karen's School of Motoring have both manual and automatic vehicles so you have the opportunity to change between the two types if necessary. 

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Further reading:

Why why why did it all go wrong


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