Should I learn to drive in an Automatic Car?

learn in manual or automatic

As a driver who learned in manual car but now drives in automatic, I’ll give some insight into the benefits of each and give you advice on which gear box style is best for you to learn with.

I’ll go over some of the most common questions and also talk about some of the things that most people don’t think about when choosing between manual and automatic lessons.

Can I drive an automatic if I pass my test in a manual?

Yes, automatic cars are much more simple to drive than having to learn about how to use the clutch and gears. For this reason if you learn and pass your test in a manual car, you can legally drive an automatic car with your license.

Can I drive a manual if I pass my test in an automatic?

Simple answer, no you cannot legally drive a manual car if you pass your driving test in an automatic. You can upgrade your license by passing a test in a manual car which will allow you to do so.

Which should I learn?

The big question, should I learn to drive in an automatic car?

As someone who has passed in manual I would absolutely recommend learning in manual even if you plan to go straight to an automatic car.

However, there are some instances where I would recommend learning in automatic which I will discuss further on in this article.

What are the benefits of learning manual?

The main benefit is obviously that you will be able to drive almost any car you want for the foreseeable future.

Although it may be more difficult to learn, it gives you a great freedom when it comes to choosing a car to drive. Imagine the annoyance when you find the perfect car only to realise you can’t get it with an automatic gearbox.

Another benefit of manual gearbox cars is that they normally come at a slightly cheaper price than their automatic counterpart. The difference can sometimes be in the thousands of pounds.

What are the benefits of learning automatic?

The first and most important benefit of learning in automatic is that you can instantly start you focus on the roads. To put this into context, if you are learning to use a manual car, the main focus for the first few lessons is on learning to use the clutch and gearbox. This makes it much more difficult to think about lane discipline, roundabouts, traffic lights and many of the other important road tendencies.

It is also much more relaxing to learn in an automatic. No stalling, no problems with hill starts. For this reason you can learn much quicker. Learning quicker means passing your test quicker and with fewer lessons, saving you money.

In the future most cars will likely be automatic, especially with the increase in electric cars. This means it will be very easy to find a car you can drive.

Which is more fun to drive?

This is completely subjective to the driver. Some will prefer to have the clutch and change gears. It can be very satisfying when you get the hang of it.

On the other hand, automatic means you are less involved with the driving but it more simple and means you can have a more relaxing drive. If you are city driving or in rush hour then automatic can be great as you don’t have to keep using the clutch.


In conclusion, the type of car you learn to drive completely depends on the person who wants to learn.

If you are a person who stresses easily and doesn’t mind having the freedom of cars to drive then I would recommend learning in automatic. It is much simpler and you could always do a manual test in the future if it is such a problem.

If you enjoy learning new things and don’t mind putting in some work then I would reccomend learning in manual. It can be more challenging but really opens your doors with regards to cars.

Make sure you have weighed up all the pros and cons of each before deciding but remember you can always switch if you realise you have made the wrong choice.

The most important thing is that you should enjoy your driving, don’t let it become a chore.