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Automatic v Manual Cars

Posted on 14th August 2018


At HPL Motors, we have a range of both automatic and manual cars. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, and each person has their own personal preference.


Manual and automatic are just the simplified ways of saying whether the transmission in our car is indeed manual or automatic. In a manual system the driver is engaged in shifting the gears whilst in an automatic the cars does this automatically. 


In a manual the driver has to change the gears depending on the speed of the car, while an automatic does this automatically therefore it requires minimal work from the driver. 

The way the gears work is that it keeps the revolutions per minute (RPM) within a certain range, therefore gear changes are often frequent and so the driver must have good co-ordination between the clutch, break and gear. If the driver does not have this ability, then it will result in a damaged transmission. Although, this can be improved with practice and experience. Most new drivers learn on manual, as learning to drive with a gear stick means you can drive automatic in the future.

On the other hand, in an automatic, the transmission takes over to keep the RPM within the range. As it doesn’t have the difficulty in changing gears, it is an easier drive. Along with this, it reduces the risk of damaging the transmission. 

The car design is moderately different between the two functionalities as they perform differently. In a manual, the gear shift is located on the floor and the gear stick is at waist-level, meaning that the driver need to drive with hands and feet to drive the car. 

In an automatic, the gear shift may be positioned on the gear stick or the floor thus the left leg is free and not required for driving. The obvious conclusion is that automatic has an easier car design, but it does come down to personal preference. Some people enjoy the thrill of the gear change and other prefer a more relaxed car journey. 


Studies show that people who drive a manual have a higher heart beat in an accident to those who drive an automatic who, studies show, have a lower stress rate. The high heartbeat could possibly lead to more accidents, as automatics require less attention/activity from driver. Nevertheless, by driving an automatic, driver may feel they can fidget with their phone or other object, and pay less attention to the road and surroundings. 

Importantly, manuals are frequently £1,000 less than automatic models and have cheaper and fewer repairs. At the same time, a manual have better gas mileage resulting in being a more efficient car. Despite these facts, automatics require less stress and ‘thinking’ action to drive the car. It is preferred by parents as it allows them to drive with lots of noise. However, it is more difficult for mechanics to work with the gear box.


To explore our range of automatic cars, click here.

Alternatively, check out our manual cars here.


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