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How to choose between an automatic or manual gearbox

There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding between an automatic or manual gearbox: consumption, comfort and driving habits. Here are some tips.

Manual vs automatic gearbox: how to choose

When deciding on a car, one aspect to consider is the gearbox as there are two different systems: automatic and manual. Until recently, automatic gearboxes were rarely preferred but today, with all the modern technology, it has become much more difficult to choose, especially because there are many advantages to an automatic gearbox, which we will look at in more detail.

Manual or automatic gearbox: how they work

Before looking in detail at the various points to take into account when you are choosing between a manual or automatic gearbox, it is helpful to learn how the two systems differ. Essentially, an automatic transmission system does not have a clutch pedal and the gears change on their own based on the engine speed. A manual gearbox, on the other hand, is the traditional system, which has a clutch pedal so that you can change gears yourself.

This difference means that an automatic could be more comfortable and easier to use, especially for people who spend many hours at the wheel, but there are also other factors that should not be overlooked.

Driving comfort: is a manual or automatic gearbox better?

When it comes to driving comfort, as mentioned, an automatic gearbox can certainly offer a higher level of comfort than a manual gearbox, mostly because it does not require continuous pressure on the clutch pedal for every gear change, which is especially frequent in traffic.

Driving an automatic car means that you can concentrate exclusively on the road without having to change gear manually, taking the stress off your legs. However, it is also said that many drivers prefer a manual gearbox so that they can enjoy a more complete and personal driving experience, which is something that more traditional car fans have no intention of giving up.

Cost differences between automatic and manual gearboxes

If you are unsure about whether to choose a manual or automatic gearbox, the costs could be another important factor to consider. Automatic cars generally have a higher purchase price than the same models with a manual gearbox, around £900 more, and they also come with higher maintenance costs.

If you choose a car with an automatic gearbox, you need to top up the oil more often to prevent the components from becoming damaged and worn early. Finally, in terms of costs, you should also bear in mind that automatic and manual gearboxes have different consumption levels: automatics tend to have a higher fuel consumption than a traditional gearbox.

Hire cars: more and more automatic options

While the factors mentioned above should be considered when choosing a manual or automatic gearbox, there are commercial options available that mean that you do not have to worry about certain costs, such as maintenance costs, for example. This is the case with long-term hire: many car hire companies offer several models with an automatic gearbox because they offer greater driving comfort for people who spend many hours on the road, and the hire company takes care of the costs related to the purchase and maintenance.

This option should not be undervalued, as it combines an automatic gearbox with highly affordable commercial offers. Therefore, if you prefer a gearbox without a clutch but you are worried about the costs, you could consider long-term hire and choose the car you like best with convenient and flexible conditions.