Manual or Automatic Transmission?

posted 1 year ago in The Lounge
  • poll: Can you drive a manual transmission? Would you want to?
    YES, I can drive a manual transmission, and I prefer it. : (48 votes)
    44 %
    YES, I can drive a manual transmission, but I prefer an automatic. : (24 votes)
    22 %
    NO, I do not know how to drive a manual transmission, but I'd like to learn. : (9 votes)
    8 %
    NO, I do not know how to drive a manual transmission, and I have no interest in learning. : (28 votes)
    26 %
  • Post # 16
    232 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    I learned to drive in a manual car some 12 years ago and that was the last time I did. I’ve driven automatic since then and cannot get to grips with a manual for the life of me. I think if I took driving lessons again I would be able to get to grips with it, I just need practice and a patient tutor.

    Manuals are definitely more common where I’m from and where I’m living now. Darling Husband drives one and its his preference.

    I wouldn’t buy a manual car if I had the choice. I feel more in control in an automatic (and all manual drivers I know say the opposite) and all my auto cars have retained a higher market value compared to their manual counterparts. That leaves me with more value to offer when trading in.

    Post # 17
    1342 posts
    Bumble bee

    I live in the U.K. and pretty much everyone learnt to drive in a manual, automatics are available here but the vast majority of cars are manual. Tbh I have no desire to drive an automatic because I prefer to have full control of the car and I don’t feel like it’s “real driving” if you’re not changing gears etc. 

    Post # 18
    1973 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    I learnt to drive in a manual and struggled.  So moved to an automatic and have had autos every since. I can drive a manual if I have to. Just not my husband’s sports car!! He hates autos and drove 15 hours to pick up the only manual of his car in the country 

    Post # 19
    1255 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2018 - The Venue, Barkisland, UK

    Virtually everybody in the UK learns to drive in a manual. Manual cars are very common here (I’m not sure what the exact split is, but most people I know own a manual transmission car) so whilst you can learn to drive in an automatic, it’s a bit limiting.

    I had three manual cars before my current automatic. I have a commute in stop start traffic and the automatic transmission is a dream for that. I may go back to a manual at some point though; entirely dependent on the cars available in my budget and the nature of my driving at the time.

    Post # 20
    10695 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: City, State

    echomomm :  

    Manuals are such fun!  But, the last time I owned one was in a little car I had to repo from the ex (great story there). 

    The only way I was able to wash out of a bad lease (I was young once) was to buy a stripped down demo.  Anyone here old enough to remember the Ford Probe?  Great cars, I had two.

    I told the sales rep I would buy the car that night, if he could teach me how to drive a 5 speed.  And, he did.  No mean feat in San Diego with its hilly terrain.

    I spent about a week trying to avoid stopping on hilltops.  After that, it becomes just about as automatic as an automatic.

    Unfortunately, for me, there was a downside.  It put some nasty strain on my SI joints, causing a lot of pain. Prior injuries made me predisposed.

    I really haven’t looked around to see if less manuals are available. It would make sense, though.  Dealers stand to make a heck of a lot more money repairing/replacing automatic transmissions.

    Post # 21
    7778 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I can drive a manual, but prefer an automatic. I don’t know how readily available they are because I haven’t been in the market for an automatic for quite a while. I drove an automatic when I met and married my husband (married 8 years now). He can’t drive automatic, and we agreed it was more practical going forward if we bought cars we both could drive- just in case we ever needed to. 

    Post # 22
    281 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2018

    My first car was a manual. When I switched to an automatic I was devastated. A couple years ago fi and I bought a new car, and I demanded a manual. Its a little two door car with no guts but excellent gas mileage, which was important to us. The job I was working at the time was in a small town and the daily commute was 45 minutes each way through hilly back roads. I loved the manual for that, especially in the winter. I had so much more control over my vehicle. We moved to a big city, and I thought I would hate the manual in traffic, but after I couple days I didn’t mind it all. I absolutely prefer a manual. After our wedding we are going to look at “family cars” which pains us because, well gas mileage, but my fi’s car is falling apart. He will take my little manual, and I will take the bigger vehicle. We are desperately trying to find manual options with enough room for a couple of carseats (Once kids are both in forward facing carseats we will switch back to a sudan), but there aren’t a whole lot out there.

    Post # 23
    428 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    When I was in high school manuals were very common in my area, but I don’t think that’s the case now. All of the cars I’ve bougt have been manuals. I sold my last car maybe five years ago and now share an automatic with my husband that I think of more as his car. Living in the city I’m happy to drive an automatic in the traffic, but if we ever have to buy a second car I’ll push for a manual. I think they’re way more fun to drive, and I like the extra control you get in the snow.

    Post # 24
    207 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2019

    I learned to drive on a manual and have always preferred it, except in traffic jams ugh. Aside from one, all my cars have been manual and my FH is the same.

    I live in the US, and while they aren’t rare, automatics are much more common. When I went looking for my current car (a MINI) my choices on colors/specs were very limited because I insisted on a manual. It was a bit cheaper though! 

    Post # 25
    4058 posts
    Honey bee

    I had to learn how to drive a manual transmission on the way back from a ski resort on snowy roads because my boyfriend at the time was sick. Much fun was had by all. Suffice it to say I’d never drive a manual transmission again. And I can switch into low gear in the snow, and it has either AWD or 4WD, so my car is great in the winter. I wouldnt drive anything else.

    Post # 26
    439 posts
    Helper bee

    Yes I can drive a manual.

    Fiancé and I both currently own manuals.

    There are days when I wish it was automatic (stop/go traffic, etc), but for the most part I am content. 

    I learned on an automatic. My best friend tried to teach me manual when we were 16/17, but I didn’t really learn until I was around 21 and my personal automatic vehicle broke down and I needed to learn to drive a manual ASAP so I could drive someone else’s car. Never looked back since then. 

    They are NOT common in my area (Florida USA). In fact when fiancé most recently purchased a vehicle (small SUV) in December of 2016 he had to do a ton of research on where he could find exactly the model he wanted in manual. 

    Fiancé is super picky about this, has only owned manual and will only own manual. He has a whole range of reasons why he believes them to be far superior to an automatic and regularly looks down his nose when he encounters people driving sports cars that he feels should be manual. 

    Post # 27
    207 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2019

    sable :  My FH is the same! He’s a big sports car enthusiast and is so offended when he sees nice sports cars with an auto transmission. We live in South Florida, so lots of fancy cars. FH will listen to them drive by, and if he hears the telltale auto shift turns his nose up. I didn’t even know you could hear the difference till I met him lol.

    Post # 28
    7814 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I can’t drive a manual though I wish I could! My hs boyfriend tried to teach me once but I could feel him cringing everytime I stalled out in his car and it was just too stressful lol. 

    My husband grew up in a middle eastern country and learned to drive on a manual, though he’s always had automatics since then. On our honeymoon, we rented a car on a small Greek island and the only option they had was a manual. At that point, it had been about 16 years since dh had been behind the wheel of a manual and his skills were rusty, to put it mildly. Driving that thing around the super narrow, winding, hilly roads of this island led to some of the most stressful and hilarious moments of our honeymoon lol. Picture two obvious tourists trying to go up a super steep hill on a single lane road with locals piling up ahead and behind us, honking and laughing at us as we keep stalling out. Good times!!! But somehow we got thru it lol. 

    Post # 29
    2510 posts
    Sugar bee

    I can only drive an automatic. It’s what I learned on and I live in the US where most cars are automatic so there’s never been a real reason to learn. My dad did try to teach me once on a manual, but he tried to teach me in a very hilly area (imagine SF where every other street is a 60 degree angle) with an expensive Audi, so it was terrifying.

    I would like to learn manual though, because I think it’s a good skill to have (for example in case of an unlikely emergency situation where the only car available was manual). I’ve also found that when traveling in Europe it can be more difficult/expensive to rent automatic vehicles, so for travel purposes it would be good to know how to drive manual. 

    In the US automatics are far more common, so it’s not strange to not know how to drive manual. That said, I’ve noticed that usually the least expensive “base model” of a car is only available in manual; and then at the other end of the line sports/luxury cars are available manual. If you’re willing to go for the inexpensive base model, you can actually get a more affordable car in manual. Other pluses I’ve heard are that you have more control over the car and they tend to get better gas mileage compared to the same car in automatic.  

    Post # 30
    3410 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    I just learned about 4 years ago but now my daily car is a manual. I prefer it for the most part because I feel more engaged in the driving process and feel like I have more control over my vehicle in general (it’s easier to pass and you can downshift, etc). But I hate it in stop and go rush hour traffic. For that simple reason, I will probably switch back to an automatic for my next vehicle. 

    ETA: manuals are generally less common anywhere in Canada .

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