Is it easier to learn to drive an automatic car?

Yes, it is much more straightforward. Learning to drive without having to think about gear shifting is simpler and can result in a much less stressful experience. As a consequence, it's easier to focus your attention on what is happening around the car, for example using mirrors and watching out for hazards on the road.

Can you stall an automatic car?

An automatic car will not stall unless it has a fault, so under normal circumstances the answer is no, it will not stall. This can increase your confidence when moving the car away from roundabouts and traffic lights, for example.

Which foot should I use to drive an automatic?

Automatic cars have two pedals: accelerator (gas) and brake. When driving normally, you should use one foot to drive, usually the right, to prevent accidentally using the brake and accelerator at the same time. However when manoeuvring at low speed, for example when parking, some drivers choose to operate the brake with the left foot and accelerator with the right, although personally, I don't use this method. Instead, when manoeuvring, I make use of the tendency of an automatic car to "creep" when it's in drive or reverse. When referring to automatic cars, creep means that the car will move slowly without pressing the accelerator pedal, in other words you can manoeuvre the car at low speed by simply using the brake pedal.

If I pass my driving test in an automatic can I drive a manual?

In the UK if you pass in an automatic car then you are fully-licenced to drive automatic vehicles only. For most people this is not a problem but if you need to drive manual vehicles you should learn to drive in a manual car. However, you should be aware that from 2035 all cars sold in the UK will be electric and such vehicles are all automatic. Several car manufacturers now only offer automatic gearboxes, so in effect manual gearboxes are already starting to be phased out in preparation for the shift to cleaner electric vehicles.

What's the difference between automatic and manual?

In a manual car you will need to change gears yourself (in co-ordination with a clutch pedal) to match the engine speed (rpm) to the road speed of the car (mph) as you drive. In an automatic car all that you need to do is select drive (D) and the car will automatically change gears for you as you speed up and slown down.

Frequently Asked Questions

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