Why Learn to Drive a Manual Transmission


With the improvements being made in the area of automatic transmissions on vehicles, the fuel savings has become minimal at best. So, why take the time to learn to drive a standard transmission? There are several reasons for at least learning to drive a stick-shift car; even if you end up never needing to use this knowledge.

Versatility During an Emergency

There are times in life where circumstance is beyond our control; a car accident, break down, or travel situation where you will need to rent a car to name a few. In these situations, you are already under enough stress; so you don’t need to add to your already tense mood by discovering that the rental company is out of vehicles with automatic transmissions. Knowing how to drive a standard transmission eliminates these types of worries; because if you know how to drive a stick, you can drive any vehicle.

Learning to Ride

For anyone who has the desire to learn to ride a motorcycle, they will find that learning the shifting process on a motorcycle is easier to master when you have a background in driving a standard transmission vehicle.

The shifting pattern on older bikes may be performed with the feet, but having the coordination and experience with a stick-shift will shorten the learning curve when you transition this knowledge over to a motorcycle. Plus, newer motorcycles have re-designed the transmission system so that more of the shifting features are at your hands; making it similar in approach to driving a car with a manual transmission.

Travel Abroad Fearlessly

Automatic transmission cars may be more popular than standard transmissions, but when you travel through Europe and other parts of the world you will find that automatic transmission vehicles are difficult to find.

The extremely high gas prices in Europe combined with narrow streets have created a very loyal manual transmission consumer base for those purchasing cars in those countries. The idea is that standard transmissions are better on gas mileage, and at $7 or more per gallon, even a little savings goes a long way.

Because most locals drive standard transmissions, rental companies in other countries carry very few if any automatic transmission cars in their inventory. Doing so lowers the rental company’s overhead costs since automatic transmission cars are usually more expensive to buy.

Vehicle Costs

Besides the fact that the purchase price of an automatic vehicle typically runs several thousand dollars higher than you will pay for the same vehicle in a stick-shift; repair costs are also lower. Since standard transmissions have fewer components and computer circuitry to break and need to be replaced, repair costs and general maintenance are less on vehicles with manual transmissions.

Knowing how to drive a standard transmission vehicle is a skill that every driver if not everyone should learn. This is a skill that provides you with more versatility when it comes to the type of vehicle that you drive providing you with the ability to travel, save money, and feel reassured that no matter the circumstances you have the knowledge that you need to drive whatever is thrown your way.