Benefits of Having a Manual Car

Benefits of Having a Manual Car

Drivers in the UK have traditionally favoured the manual transmission car over the automatic. However, 2022 will see the first year where that tradition is broken with 54 percent of all new car sales being automatics.

Considering the increasing popularity of electric cars, all of which are automatic and hybrids, most of which are also automatic, it’s inevitable that manual transmission is living on borrowed time.

But let’s not forget about used car sales. With 84.2 percent of driving test candidates still preferring to take the manual test (DVSA statistics, June 2022), the used car market for manual transmissions is as strong as ever. With dwindling sales of new manual cars, let’s look to see if there’s still any benefits in buying and owning a manual car.

Manual Cars are Cheaper to Buy

For those that have just passed the driving test, the majority will have a limited budget and will be seeking a vehicle from the used car market. Manual cars are less complex than automatics, consequently the manual version of the same car model will be cheaper.

…and More Choice

A decade ago, sales of manual cars accounted for 80 percent of all new car sales. That means there’s a huge choice of older, cheaper manual cars out there. A huge benefit for anyone looking for a manual car with a strict budget in mind.

Manual Cars are Cheaper to Insure

Due to manual cars being cheaper to purchase, it means that generally they’re cheaper to insure. This also comes down to repair costs with automatic cars costing more to repair than the manual equivalent. How much you save on your car insurance by having a manual car varies on several factors, but you’ll be looking at a saving of 5.63 percent for choosing a manual over an automatic.

Hiring a Manual Car is Cheaper

Throughout Europe, the manual car has until recently, been the preferred choice for all drivers. As with the UK, that means there’s a lot of manual cars, both older and newer to choose from. It also means that if you’re looking to hire a car in Europe, you’ll not only find manual cars cheaper to hire, but will also have far more choice.

However, if you’re you’re heading over the pond into America or Canada, the opposite is true as their preferred choice of vehicle is by far the automatic transmission. The same can be said for other popular destinations such as Australia and New Zealand.

It’s Cheaper to Repair a Manual Car

Well, if there’s a problem with the transmission, then it’s definitely cheaper if you have a manual car. There are different types of automatic car transmission: Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT), Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and the traditional torque converter.

Whatever the type of automatic transmission used, it’s an awful lot more complex than a manual transmission and involves a lot more components that can can go wrong.

By comparison, a manual transmission is simple and has solid, proven technology that usually lasts the life of the car. The only exception is the clutch which may need changing, though this depends on how the car’s been driven.

You Have More Control in a Manual Car

With all the different types of automatic transmissions, they’ll never give you the total control that comes with a manual. Some drivers simply aren’t bothered about the high level of control gained by skilfully operating the car’s manual clutch pedal, along with a perfectly times gear change, but if that’s your thing, then it can only be a manual.

Clutch control with a perfectly synchronised gear, rev-matching, optimising engine torque, slipping the clutch are all control techniques you can use when driving a manual car. They take time to master, but once you’re there, that level of control makes it difficult for some drivers to even consider an automatic.

Manual Cars are More Fun to Drive

Manual cars are more fun to drive because of the hands-on nature of driving. Driving a manual car is a tactile and engaging experience where you’ll feel more connected to the car and road.

Manual Cars are More Fuel Efficient

Manual cars can be more fuel efficient than their automatic equivalents but there are a lot of variables here. Years ago, automatic cars were slow, heavy, clunky and fuel inefficient, but today’s technology has made significant improvements.

Automatics now come with more gears, often more than manuals and are intelligent enough to select a gear and change gears with optimal fuel efficiency as a priority. In terms of fuel efficiency, you could probably still outperform an automatic, but it would require a consistently high standard of eco-driving, which let’s be honest, most drivers out there don’t have.

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