Automatic Driving Lessons in North Dublin
Automatic or Manual? That is a question we hear a lot as driving instructors. Here is my opinion on the topic.
Automatic cars are becoming increasingly popular nowadays with an increase in automatic and electric cars being sold in Ireland. DoneDeal reported that in the first 3 months of 2019, 19000 automatic cars rolled off the forecourts – a record high for the transmission. In my experience, automatic cars are becoming more popular because they are so easy to drive. They are easier because there is no clutch and gears to be managed.
When driving automatic cars, there are usually 4 options on your gears. P – park, R – reverse, N – neutral and D – drive. Usually, when you start your car, the gear lever would be in Park. By pressing down on your footbrake and moving the gear lever down to the Drive option on your gear lever, the car is automatically ready to move off. The reason you hold down on the footbrake is to prevent the car from rolling forward. When it is safe to do so, the car will move off with ease and without the constant fear of cutting out.
The diagram about displays a typical automatic gear lever. As you can see, the letters are displayed on the gears and selecting your gear seems pretty straight forward.
Manual gear boxed on the other hand has more steps involved in getting your car to move off. First of all, you have to press the clutch down to the ground. From this position, selecting your gear is possible. Without pressing the clutch down, selecting your gear is impossible without completely destroying your gearbox. Providing you want to go straight ahead, you would press the clutch down, select first gear, gently release the clutch to the “biting point.” The biting point is where your clutch and gear is engaged and the car is ready to move off. When it is safe to do so, you would release the clutch a little more, about the thickness of a coin and apply a little pressure to your accelerator. As your revs will be increasing because of the pressure on the accelerator, slowly come off the clutch and your gear will be fully engaged and you will be driving.
The diagram above displays a typical manual gear lever. As you can see, there are gears 1 – 5, N meaning neutral and R meaning reverse.
It is easy to see why automatic cars are becoming more popular. As there is no clutch or gears to negotiate, driving becomes far more fun and enjoyable.
When you are learning how to drive, sometimes people get so wrapped up in the gears they find it difficult to learn anything else. They worry about “cutting out” when moving off and do not check their mirrors and blind spots.
I would recommend anyone who struggles with gears to drive automatic as it is much easier and fun. If you pass your test in an automatic, your licence will only allow you to drive an automatic car. This can create some issues when they want to borrow a parents or friends car that is a manual transmission.