Nobody forgets their very first car. I can still recall the overall excitement of the process, having to choose a make, model, and if I wanted mine in auto (automatic) or manual drive. Before buying your first car, let us discuss some advantages and disadvantages when choosing an automatic transmission over a manual one. Hopefully, it will make a choice a little easier!
An automatic car, as a first car, is a prevalent choice. Automatics make learning how to drive easy, as you don’t have to worry about clutch control and gear shifting, making them simpler and safer to navigate (heavy traffic and stop-and-go situations). An automatic also has excellent resale value.
Over 95% of all car owners in the United States drives an automatic car. In recent years, manual and automatic vehicles have been on the same playing field regarding fuel consumption and price. This article will discuss why buying an automatic car is a good choice for first-time drivers.
Why Should Your First Car Be An Automatic?
The choice between an auto or a manual vehicle seems pretty obvious at first glance-the one changes gears for you, while the other option will have you change it manually with a clutch pedal and gear shifter.
Some people instantly go for the automatic as it appears to be the more leisurely ride (less driver’s input required to operate the vehicle). Still, there are more factors to consider before parting with your or dad’s money!
Advantages Of Owning An Automatic Car
There are many advantages of buying an automatic car; some are dependent on your driving style, while others enhance certain driving conditions. Nonetheless here are some positives when it comes to automatic cars:
1. Learning How To Drive Is Easier In An Automatic
Before you buy your first motor vehicle, you need to learn how to drive one, and it may seem like a long journey before you can master this skill. Many a learner driver is filled with fear and apprehension when they climb behind the wheel for the first time, however, in an automatic:
- You only have to focus on two pedals (brake and gas) to get the vehicle moving.
- There’s no need to worry about a clutch pedal and a manual gear stick when changing gears.
- You can keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times, which is considered a safer way of driving.
2. Driving An Automatic Is Considered Much Safer And Easier Than Driving A Manual
Driving an automatic car is so straightforward that in various nations around the world, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Poland, and Austria, to name a few, learner drivers take their certification tests in manual transmission cars to get their licenses.
Manual drivers may resist this claim, but when it comes to simple mechanics, an automatic car is easier to drive because of the following:
- Unlike driving a manual car– where you are in charge of the clutch and subsequent up and down gear shifts (when decreasing and increasing speed)- an automatic will change gears for you, controlling your speed accordingly.
- You won’t suffer from driver’s fatigue navigating through peak traffic (usually stop-and-go in nature), which can become a problem when controlling your clutch manually with frequent gear changes (pressure on the left leg) and stopping.
- Stalling is not an issue when you are in an automatic. For example, when navigating a stop-start hill, it is much easier to do it in a vehicle that does it for you automatically than in a car where the proper clutch and handbrake control are necessary.
- Parking is also much easier as you don’t have to fiddle with the clutch and gas pedal. Keep your foot on the footbrake, gently releasing it to allow the vehicle to “creep” into the position that you want.
- Some automatic models won’t allow you to remove the transmission key if you do not put it in the “park” position-which locks the car’s transmission and prevents it from moving- unlike a manual car where the driver needs to remember to pull up the handbrake and leave the car in gear.
- Automatic cars, in general, will shift gears more accurately and faster than most manual drivers can manage- cutting out any mistakes when it comes to changing gears- and most importantly, mistimed gears changes that could damage the gearbox.
- Drivers of automatics are not distracted by manually changing gears, which allows them more time to observe the road and traffic conditions (potential hazards) and generally leads to more awareness on the road.
3. Automatics Are Everywhere
The total sales of new cars- passenger cars, commercial vans, and light trucks-totaled 14,697,837 in the United States in 2020, of which over 95% was automatics. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. Most car dealerships will have manual cars in stock (Volkswagen, Miata, and Mini); however, you will mostly find only automatics regarding certain brands of vehicles.
When it’s time to trade-in or resell your vehicle, most people living in America will be looking to buy an automatic as this is the type of car that most are used to driving, and your automatic car will have value if it is in good shape. Car dealerships will also have no problem taking your car from you, as they prefer an automatic on their floor, a manual not as much.
If you are into sports cars like Mustangs, Camaros, and Corvettes, they are still made with stick shifts, as they have a loyal fan base who loves the thrill of driving them manually.
4) Automatics Are Fuel Efficient
There is a general belief that manual cars are lighter on gas than their automatic counterparts, which was true back in the day.
One of the main reasons America started their love affair with automatics was that gas was not as expensive in the United States compared to many European countries. You could afford to drive a gas-guzzling automatic.
Whereas in Europe, it made more financial sense to drive a fuel-efficient manual model.
Fast forward to today, and you will find that car technology has developed so much, and in such a way, that some automatic models outperform their manual counterparts when it comes to miles-per-gallon.
5) Automatics Offer The Best Of Both Worlds
Why don’t you go for both if you feel a bit torn when choosing between an automatic and a manual? Many people think that driving automatics is dull, whereas a manual car is a more thrilling and enjoyable driving experience.
Whatever your stance on this subjective matter, you can choose to have the best of both:
Tiptronic/Steptronic automatics offer the driver the option of driving the car as a manual-with a sequential gearchange– or as a responsive automatic, offering the driver a two-in-one experience.
Disadvantages Of Buying An Automatic Car?
The most significant factor that needs considering before you buy an automatic is the cost of replacing a faulty transmission. When purchasing a new car, this should not be an issue; however, when buying second-hand automatics, it is advised that you get the transmission checked out before you commit to the purchase.
Manual transmission systems are less costly to replace when they start acting up. When it comes to automatics, you will be paying for the technology that takes away the added responsibility of changing gears.
New Automatic cars could be slightly more expensive when compared to similar manual models. Still, in recent years the cost of either option has been evenly matched to where the overall cost is not having a significant impact on the decision process.
Life is full of choices, even more so when you are buying your very first car. Manual cars have been left behind when it comes to car sales. Most people in America only drive and buy automatics as it is considered the more straightforward and safer type of driving. In other words, the crowd has spoken.
With fuel consumption and general performance being on par with their manual counterparts, there is almost no valid reason not to buy an automatic, only if you are a die-hard fan of the stick shift and a sports car lover!
If you want the best of both worlds, buying a Tiptronic model will let you have just that- a manual and automatic car- all rolled into one!
Before buying any used vehicle, it’s always worth investing a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and a ton of other uglies.
You may also like the following posts: