Manual vs Automatic: Which is Better?

manual transmission stick is it better than automatic

Two of the most common vehicle transmission types are manual and automatic. Both essentially connect the engine to the wheels to make the vehicle move. While many drivers can operate both types of transmission, more prefer automatic transmissions simply because they seem easier to learn and handle. 

Are you wondering, should I drive a manual or automatic vehicle? And which is faster? We’ll look at the pros and cons of manual and automatic transmissions and their differences.

What’s the Difference Between Manual and Automatic Transmissions?

Every transmission features a gearbox containing a system of gears. When driving a vehicle, gears make your car go and change speeds according to the vehicle’s needs. In a manual car—also known as a stick shift, you need to choose the right gear. In an automatic car, you don’t have to select gears; the car does it for you. The only thing you need to do is make sure the car is in drive or reverse.  

Pros of Manual Cars

  • You have full control over the gears and when to shift them.
  • They usually cost less than an automatic.
  • Manual transmissions generally cost less to repair vs. automatic.
  • Controlling the shifts between gears can be fun.
  • Manual cars offer more control over the vehicle in conditions like snow and ice.
  • You can go faster quicker in a manual car.

Cons of Manual Cars

  • The selection of manual cars is limited.
  • Driving a manual can get tedious in heavy, stop-and-go traffic.
  • Manual cars have a steep learning curve.
  • A manual transmission requires precise control on hills to avoid stalling or rolling back.
  • Manual cars require coordination.
african american man driving an automatic transmission car

Pros of Automatic Cars

  • Most cars are available in automatic.
  • The transmission shifts are smoother and faster.
  • Automatic cars have better gas mileage.
  • They’re easier to drive in heavy traffic.
  • More people know how to drive automatic vs. manual cars.

Cons of Automatic Cars

  • Automatic cars cost more than manual ones.
  • The transmission has more moving parts, which leads to more expensive repair costs.
  • Thieves are much more likely to steal a vehicle with an automatic transmission.

Which Is Easier?

Generally speaking, an automatic car is usually the easiest to learn to drive. Some might argue that automatics aren’t as fun to drive as manuals, but this is purely subjective. All you have to do is put the car in drive, and you’re off. Automatics offer more transmission reliability as well.

To drive a manual car, you need to learn which of the gears (usually up to 5) is the right one for the speed and road conditions. Keep in mind that road conditions and speed can change significantly and quickly, so skill is required for a manual car. If you drive a stick shift car, you need to have the coordination to use both of your arms and legs in unison on the steering wheel, stick shift, gas, and clutch pedals. 

Both automatic and manual transmission vehicles come with their advantages and disadvantages. It mostly depends on what type of driving you do, as well as your personal preference. 

Getting ready to hit the road again? Don’t forget about car insurance! At InsureOne, our agents are ready to help you find the right coverage for you. Start your free car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices today.