The majority of car owners in Ireland drive manual cars. But which is the best option?
Unlike our neighbours in the US, the majority of cars in Ireland are manual. Nearly every new driver will learn to drive using a manual car. But what is it that attracts Irish drivers to manual cars and what are the benefits?
Your First Driving Licence
If you’re planning on taking the driving test anytime soon, it might be worth noting that if you pass your test driving an automatic car, your licence is restricted to automatic cars only. If you want to switch to driving a manual car at a later date, you’ll have to re-sit your test. However, if you pass your test driving a manual car, you’re entitled to drive either transmission type.
Running Costs of Automatic Vs Manual Cars
While automatic cars may seem like the hassle-free option to get from A to B, you may end up paying a little extra to take advantage of the benefits.
One of the main price differences you will find between automatic and manual cars is the purchase price. Automatic cars tend to cost an average of €1,000 more than manual cars. Not only that, but manual cars are usually cheaper to get serviced and require servicing less frequently.
Emissions rates of automatic cars tend to be higher which means you’ll end up paying more for the road tax on the automatic model. Fuel consumption is also higher in automatic cars.
Drivers of manual cars benefit from better control (especially in icy conditions). You’ll also notice a higher level of revving which can sound unpleasant on some ranges of automatic cars. However, this is improving with new automatic cars as they now have more gears to switch through to alleviate this.
In terms of comfort, automatic cars offer a smoother ride. An automatic car is often more suitable for drivers who are in traffic frequently, as you do not need to keep changing gears and pressing the clutch if you’re stuck in slow-moving traffic.
So if you’re looking for a smoother ride with less movement required, go with the automatic. If you’re looking for a cheaper option which gives you added control, go for the manual.
Automatic vs Manual Cars FAQ
Which car is easier to drive?
It is easier to drive an automatic car as you don’t need to get to grips with any of the gears. That challenge is removed. If you do a driving test with an automatic car then you will only be licensed to drive an automatic car.
You’re unlikely to stall in an automatic which saves you the embarrassment of stalling at a hill or traffic lights, we’ve all been there. You can only stall an automatic transmission if there’s a mechanical issue.
Are manual cars or automatics more fuel efficient?
It was the belief that automatic cars go through more petrol than manuals. Now automatic technology has improved big time. You may even find that you’ll get more kilometres from an automatic. It’s really down the year and car make/model.
Which car offers more control?
A manual gearbox allows you to choose which gear you want to use. It can give you more control and it can be beneficial in the winter months.
Are manual cars cheaper to maintain?
Manual cars typically require less maintenance as they are a less complex build than automatics. Repairs usually work out cheaper too.