Manual vs Automatic Car: Which One Is Best For You?

Despite decades of technological advances, modern cars are still run by one of two systems: manual vs automatic. Often, the choice of which one to use is impacted by culture. In Europe, for example – where manual cars are the norm – most driving instructions will teach their students using manual transmissions. 

Most families and wider social groups also drive manual cars. Which means the sensible choice is to do the same. Contrast that with the USA, on the other hand, where just 5% of vehicles sold are manual, and the difference in which regions drive certain cars becomes clear.

If you’re not entirely sure why all these matters, there are some important differences between the two. Not only do they change how the car performs but they could also change your insurance price. If you’re thinking about which one is right for you, it is worthwhile considering the manual vs automatic pros and cons before you make a decision. We have put together this guide to help you decide – let’s get started.

Manual Cars: Pros & Cons

manual car

There are many drivers out there who learned how to drive using a manual gearbox. Because of this, having the ability to choose when to change gears feels like an integral part of the driving experience. 

Many drivers will tell you that there is nothing like that feeling of connection you have between you and the machine when you can control the car’s acceleration and gear shifts. But aside from this feeling, owning a manual car has many other benefits that help make it the most popular type of car in the UK.

Most experts would agree that manual vehicles allow for a higher degree of acceleration on the road. This is because they allow the driver to decide when the right time to shift is, rather than making that decision for them.

As a result, manual cars give the driver more freedom to enjoy a more authentic driving experience. An experience that puts you in control instead of the car’s internal mechanisms.

Cars with manual gearboxes tend to be cheaper to maintain, owing to the simpler technology used to make them work. If something goes wrong with a manual car, it is usually easier and less expensive to repair. With the only caveat being if the clutch itself was to break. 

Automatic Cars: Pros & Cons 

automatic cars

For all the benefits of manual vehicles, there is no getting around the fact that automatic cars are much simpler to drive. If you’re on a long trip, not having to worry about changing gears can be a huge plus.

Driving in traffic is also much easier with an automatic as you won’t have to worry about your leg becoming sore from endlessly holding the bite point. Many city drivers prefer automatic cars because it means they don’t have to sit in traffic while dealing with those additional pedals. You can forget about having one hand on the gear stick and focus solely only on the road.

Learner drivers will find automatic cars a much simpler alternative to the complicated processes needed to drive a manual car. When you’re first learning, not having to worry about changing gear or stalling makes driving safer and less stressful. This is why many learners opt to practice in cars with automatic gearboxes.

Automatics look to be the car of the future. Most electric cars that are made today are essentially automatic. As the shift towards electric transportation gains pace, manual gearboxes could soon become a thing of the past. If you’re looking to find a vehicle that is immune to potential changes in transportation, an automatic might be the right choice.

Automatic Gear Vs Manual Gear Mileage


It is a long-held belief that manual cars are more fuel-efficient and get better mileage than automatic ones. As modern automatics have become more advanced, they are far less likely to use up more fuel than corresponding manual vehicles. 

However, for older cars, this statement remains largely true. Older manual cars operate with a very simple function that limits the burning of excess fuel. Whereas older automatic cars can sometimes suffer from clumsy designs and outdated technology. So, if the choice is between a second hand automatic or manual car, you can be fairly certain that the manual version will be less expensive to run.

Not only can manual cars save you money at the petrol pump, but they can also be far less expensive to buy. Because of the complex gearboxes they use, most automatic cars on the market today are more expensive than their manual counterparts. 

However, a larger initial purchase price will also likely mean that, should you resell the car, an automatic would be more valuable than a manual.

Manual Vs Automatic Transmission


When it comes to insuring your vehicle, there are substantial differences between the two types of transmission.

Insurance premiums tend to be higher for automatic cars because of the car’s initial value and the cost to repair it. 

These are all things to consider when you are deciding what car to buy. And you could end up saving a lot of cash by being informed of your options.  

Choosing The Right Fit

Choosing between cars can often feel overwhelming. There are so many different factors to consider – that’s before you’ve started to think about specifics. Luckily, there are a number of services that make this easier.

FairSquare has a massive variety of cars available on their website, which should make your choice much easier. With a host of automatic and manual cars to choose from, you can weigh up the pros and cons of each one with just a few clicks. The search function allows you to view results based on whichever factors you value the most. Whether it’s a price, make, or finance option, FairSquare helps pair you with the perfect car.

Both automatic and manual cars come with significant advantages and disadvantages. Automatic cars simplify the driving experience and could be here to stay. But they are expensive and less efficient.

Manual cars will save you money and give you a purer driving experience. But, they require more effort and skill to operate.

Regardless, by knowing the differences and using tools like FairSquare’s search engine, you can find the right fit for you. Cruising along in an automatic or zooming off down the motorway in a manual are both attractive prospects. And with a little research, you will be able to decide which one you prefer. 

We hope that you found this guide useful. Whilst you’re here, why not check out some more of our helpful guides? Such as What To Ask When Buying A Used Car and When Is The Best Time To Buy A Used Car?

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