Buying a car can be an exciting but frustrating experience. This is especially true when it’s time for a teenager to learn to drive. Many parents are hesitant to allow their children to practice on the family cars. They prefer to buy a second-hand model for such purposes. This is also a way of ensuring that the new car owners will take special care of their own vehicle.
The dilemma then arises—should we buy an automatic or a manual car for our child? The popular response is a no-brainer. “Please dad, I would love to drive an automatic car. All my friends have them.”
Before rushing out to please your children, remember that they will more than likely be operating their chosen car when taking a driving test. No problem, except that if an automatic transmission car is used for the test, the driver will only receive a licence for an automatic vehicle. There sits the challenge!
This could be bad news if the driver should decide one day to drive a car with a manual transmission. This is not allowed. The driver must undergo another test at a manual driving school. This situation could have been avoided in the first place by taking a driving test with a manual car. In other words, if learner drivers take a driving test in an automatic car and pass the test, they will only be issued with a licence that allows them to drive an automatic car.
Many drivers might go through life only driving an automatic vehicle. However, there might be occasions when they are asked to be a dedicated driver for a friend after a special occasion. That is fine, but only if the car is automatic. Adult children could be asked to drive their parents’ manual cars sometimes. Again, there will be a problem if they only have a driving licence for automatic vehicles.
In future, when buying a car for a learner driver bear in mind that some day he or she might want to get behind the wheel of another car that might turn out to be manually operated.
What is the difference between an automatic and a manual vehicle? When considering a first car there are some issues to consider. Generally, manual vehicles are somewhat less expensive than their automatic counterparts. At the same time, manual transmission cars don’t use as much fuel. They also give the driver better control. On the other hand, automatic cars are easier to drive.
The upkeep of manual cars is not as expensive. Mechanics confirm that automatic gear boxes are more challenging and therefore servicing can sometimes be expensive.
Perhaps when making an appointment with a driving school, it would be wise to ask a professional opinion on whether or not your child should learn to drive with a manual or automatic transmission vehicle.
It is well worth remembering that after a manual car has served its purpose and your child has finally passed the P1 and P2 driving tests, an automatic transmission car could be the next step.