The popularity of manual transmissions has been decreasing for years now. You could wonder if it’s even worth it to learn to drive a manual. There are still vehicles sold today that offer a manual transmission, so it’s not a completely lost cause. Are there any distinct advantages to learning how to drive stick?
Manual vs. automatic: which is more popular?
While there are still many people that will defend the superiority and likability of a manual transmission, the stick shift has lost its appeal over the years. Stats from October 2019 show that only 1.2% of new cars sold in the past year had manual transmissions. That’s down from the 3% that were sold in 2016. In the European Union, however, manual transmissions are still the majority.
Those that are all-in with manuals say the vehicles are more engaging with the driver having full control over the gears and when to shift them. Some even say that manuals deter car thieves.
But automatic transmission lovers note that their beloved cars are less complex for new drivers to master, easier to drive in stop-and-go traffic, and are more readily available for buyers.
The advantages of learning how to drive manual
If manual transmissions are a fading trend, why learn to drive one at all? As noted above, they offer more control and can be more thrilling to drive. And because so many people haven’t bothered with learning to drive them, there’s slightly less risk of your car being stolen.
But there are other, more significant reasons to learn to drive a manual. One of the most important reasons is that manual transmissions costs less to repair when problems arise. Not to mention, they can sometimes be less expensive to purchase in the first place.
But drivers should think beyond that. The most compelling reason to learn to drive a manual is preparedness. That’s right. Upon learning to drive a stick shift, you’ll be ready for any situation. Whether it be driving an intoxicated friend home in their car, driving a racecar, or renting a car overseas, you’ll be ready.
Where to learn to drive a manual car
Learning how to drive a stick shift is a learning process because it takes more active use of your body and a knack for feeling the car when it’s ready to shift. But it’s not impossible.
If you have a friend that has a manual car, see if they can give you a few lessons. No one you know has one? That’s okay, too. That’s because technology and social media have made it possible to learn to drive a manual without actually having a car to practice with.
A simple Google search for ‘where to learn to drive a manual’ will produce several YouTube videos and websites with lessons. There are even businesses that offer stick shift driving lessons.
It may help to know how this type of transmission works, as understanding the ins and outs of the workings of the transmission can give you additional insight into driving one. You can also learn the top tips for making the most of your manual transmission vehicle so you’ll be aware of the things not to do when driving one.
Should you learn to drive a manual?
Before you can decide if you should learn to drive a manual transmission, you’ll need to determine if it’s worth it to you. It also helps to consider that people typically don’t give manuals a chance because they’re afraid of the learning curve. The thing is, you can do anything you put your mind to. So if you’ve got the time, why not give it a chance?