Manual or Automatic Transmission: Which is better?

When planning to buy a new car, one of the thoughts is likely to be the choice between a manual or automatic transmission. In the past, many individuals may have turned down automatics because they are less fuel-efficient. Traditionally, automatic transmissions can use up to 10% extra fuel than their manual equivalent.

But everyone agrees that a gearbox is vital to the inner workings of any car. There’s no common consensus on which type of gearbox is better – automatic or manual.

Ultimately, both gears have their unique benefits and drawbacks. However, where one is perfect in one situation, it can be absolutely rubbish in another.

Automatic Vs Manual Cars

So before making any decision, take a moment and familiarize yourself with the advantages of automatic and manual cars.

What is Automatic Transmission?

Automatic cars allow the car to modify gears without driver intervention. To do this, they use transmission fluid, which cools and lubricates parts of the transmission. A torque converter uses hydraulic pressure to communicate between the engine and transmission. It allows the vehicle to shift smoothly and prevent stalling.

Driving an automatic vehicle is less tricky because the driver doesn’t need to worry about shifting gears. 

However, they offer benefits over manual transmissions in various vital areas.

manual or automatic transmission


1. Easy to use

While there is nothing complicated about shifting and operating a clutch, it still takes a little practice before most drivers comfortably learn to independently utilize each of their limbs to control a manual transmission vehicle.

Automatic transmissions are much simpler and take significantly less time for the driver to learn.

2. Fewer Manual Constraints

Instructors teach new drivers that the safest way to drive is to keep both hands firmly on the wheel.

It is possible when driving a vehicle with an automatic transmission, but not with a manual transmission.

Better for sloped areas: If you have less experience in driving, you may find that steep inclines with a manual transmission are challenging to navigate. Especially when you are trying to do it from a deadlock.

Automatic transmissions take care of this problem. It allows your vehicle to work efficiently no matter how steep the slope.

3. Significantly reduced risk of stalling 

There are few more awkward and embarrassing things than accidentally blocking your vehicle just as the light changes.

While in an automatic transmission, stalling occurs when there is a mechanical problem in the car.

4. Easy to use in heavy traffic

Manual transmissions require more work for drivers to start, accelerate, decelerate, and stop.

It isn’t usually a problem. However, when a sedan can’t pick up speed in heavy traffic, drivers may find that constant restarting becomes a difficult task.

Automatic transmissions enable the driver to move in heavy traffic without pressing more than a single pedal.


1. More expensive to maintain

Automatic transmissions are usually more complicated than manual ones.

With many working parts, it often takes longer for mechanics to fix them, ultimately costing the driver more over time.

2. Not Eligible to Learn Manually

Some states in the US require you to take a manual driver’s license test before legally driving a manual car.

What is Manual Transmission?

Manual transmissions, also referred to as standard gearbox, are operating manually. As the car accelerates and decelerates, it needs the driver to shift gears manually with the gearshift. Some call this kind of transmission “standard” or “stick” because it utilizes a stick-like shifter. The gear shifter is generally between the driver’s and front passenger’s seats.

When driving a vehicle with a manual gearbox, shifting gears is only half the battle. You need to consider the clutch also.

manual or automatic transmission


1. Cheaper Maintenance

With all the different machinery that goes into the automatic gearbox, it may cost you a lot of money only to keep it running correctly.

Manual transmission cars require very little maintenance, and, in general, repairs and maintenance are significantly less expensive.

Be aware, however, that the clutch is one thing that a manual transmission has and that the automatic does not have to take care of. If you quit that, you could be in trouble.

2. Better fuel efficiency

Overall, manual gearbox engines are less complicated, have more gears than automatic transmissions, and weigh less.

You may end up getting more miles out of the fuel you pump in than with an automatic.

Manual cars have been known to save up to 15% of fuel costs than automatic transmissions.

3. Reduced Risk of Theft

A large number of automatic transmissions are making their way onto the road. An entire generation has never learned the intricacies of manual transmission operation.

So, should a car thief decide to take a closer look at your car to prepare for theft? There’s a pretty good chance that simply having a manual transmission will be sufficient to discourage the criminal.

4. Better Control

Automatic cars were designed to select the best gear for every situation. However, they tend to play it safe, shift into too high a gear, and waste engine power.

Simultaneously, they are built to react to situations they have confronted, not allowing the driver to anticipate an oncoming situation or intentionally select a lower gear for an additional boost in performance.

Manual gearboxes give the driver more control over the sedan.


1. Harder to Learn

Learning the manual can often take more time as you have to shift the gear yourself.

2. Driving in heavy traffic

Driving in heavy traffic can be difficult due to constant restarting and manual gear shifts.


Generally, automatic sedans are easier to utilize and more relaxing for the driver, while manual vehicles are cheaper and more complex.

There are exceptions to any rule; however, the only way to know which choice is right for you is to have a test drive.

After all, you might require to get from point A to point B, but how you make the journey is entirely up to you! 

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