Auto or Manual?

Feb 16, 2016 | All About Cars | 0 comments

Which is better? A manual or an automatic car? This is a question we get asked quite a lot via Facebook and in our showroom so we thought we would put a few of the pros and cons in a blog as it may help you make a decision when you decide to buy your next car.

Manual Car Vs Automatic Car

From talking to our customers we have found there are those that buy a car for practical reasons, to get them from A to B. Then there are those that like to drive. They want to get out on the road and enjoy their car. Generally, the people who enjoy driving are the ones who buy manual cars. They want complete control over the car. Everyone else just wants a car that’s comfortable, no fuss and easy to drive. 


Generally, manual cars are not as expensive when compared to automatics. Also, they are cheaper to run. For example, if the gear box goes in a manual it can be replaced quite easily. However, in an automatic the gear system is far more complex so will cost more to replace. 

Back in the day automatic cars were notoriously bad at fuel consumption. It would cost a small fortune when compared to a manual car. However, autos have improved a lot over the years. Automatics are built better and have tech in them which can help with fuel usage. Many automatics now have a system where the engine stops when the brake has been pushed and the car has stopped. When the foot is lifted from the brake the engine restarts again. It’s great for when you suddenly hit traffic and definitely helps conserve fuel. On the downside when you are at a busy junction and you finally see a gap to pull out in, you need to wait for the engine to restart so you can pull away. Timing is everything as you may miss your gap if you take your foot off at the wrong time. On the plus side, you won’t stall an automatic when you pull away at a junction. That is something I still dread now even after all my years of driving. Pulling away in 1st gear then the car conks out and I am surrounded by people angrily blowing their horns as I am in their way. 

There is a bit more wear and tear on the brakes in an auto. This is due to the car automatically moving when the brake isn’t pushed. At a junction, rather than holding it on the clutch, as you would in a manual, you have stop the car with the brake pedal. 

Overall which is better? 

Now THAT’S the question. The honest answer is it is all down to personal preference. Sometimes I like to drive a manual car. I like to be in control of everything. I can change gear when I want and get the best speed and performance out of the car. It feels fun. However, I also like to drive an automatic. If I am driving around a busy town or city and have to stop and start due to bad traffic its far easier in an auto. My left leg gets a rest. Also, on long drives I can concentrate more on the roads, I can have both hands on the wheel at all times. It’s a far smoother ride. Oh and it’s far less stressful in an auto. If you keep hitting traffic you don’t have to keep manually changing up and changing down every few minutes. Let the car do it and stay relaxed. 

With regard to the cost, yes the manual looks cheaper on paper, however there are lots of variables that can affect that. Fuel for example, regardless of whether you are in a manual or an auto, if you drive badly you will burn fuel very quickly. If you drive carefully and safely your fuel consumption will be a lot less. Lots of cars show you how many miles per gallon you get and it changes depending on how you drive. Also, regardless of which car you have if you take lots of short trips it will burn fuel quicker than if you took lots of longer journeys. 

We always say to anyone who is thinking of buying a car, take it for a test drive. If you have only ever had a manual and fancy an auto, just try before you buy. You might like it. I have heard people say time and time again that once they have driven an auto they have never gone back to manual. 

What do you think? Do you prefer a manual car or an automatic? We have many manual and auto cars in stock and our team are more than happy to answer your questions. Why not pop in and take a car for a test drive or give a call on 01708 863247 if you have any questions. Alternatively, leave a comment on our Facebook page and we will get back to you.