Manual vs Automatic Transmission: Pros & Cons

Here's a simple breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of a manual and an automatic transmission in a car.

By Carandbike Team


2 mins read


Published on August 25, 2022

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  • Manual transmission is still the preferred option in India
  • Automatics are a boon in heavy traffic situations
  • The sales of automatic cars is catching up

one of the very first questions that most likely pops into everyone's mind when they decide to buy a new car is whether to go for an automatic or manual transmission. It's a good question to ask, considering that both transmission types have their own pros and cons. And both also have their own set of loyalists who will always try to sway you in their preferred direction. But it's better to know the facts yourself before making your own choice. That's why we decided to list out the pros and cons of automatic and manual transmissions by elaborating on the various aspects of driving that they influence.


Pros of automatic transmission cars

  1. Easier to learn: Automatic transmission cars do not feature a clutch and hence require only one foot of yours to be active for switching between the brake and the accelerator. Their gear-changing mechanism is also very uncomplicated.
  2. Better safety: Since the left hand of the driver is almost always free, they can rest it on the steering wheel, giving them more control over the car. And with no gears to change, again and again, they can concentrate more on the road ahead of them instead of the clutch and the stick shift.
  3. Best for heavy traffic: The constant stress of switching gears by repeatedly hitting the clutch is hell for drivers. That's why automatic cars have a big advantage when driving in heavy traffic.

Cons of automatic transmission cars

  1. Costly maintenance: A car with an automatic transmission requires much more maintenance than a manual car due to the complex nature of its gearbox. It also requires regular tune-ups and could have multiple issues to deal with.
  2. High initial cost: Again, the complex nature of the automatic gearbox means that such cars always have a higher base price compared to manual transmission cars. 

Pros of manual transmission cars

  1. Better fuel consumption: Such cars are known to save owners around 5% to 15% on their fuel costs during their lifetimes.
  2. Inexpensive maintenance: The less complicated nature of the gearbox means that lesser number of repairs are needed for the same, thus lowering your car's maintenance costs overall.
  3. Increased control: While automatic cars choose the ideal gear for any situation on their own, manual cars hand that decision to you and allow you to gain more control when you anticipate various scenarios.

Cons of manual transmission cars

  1. Difficult to master: Learning to drive manual transmission cars is no menial task. The hand-eye coordination needed when hitting the clutch and shifting the stick in the right direction is difficult to come by in the first few attempts. So, someone who's driven a manual car will find it incredibly easy to drive an automatic one.
  2. Traffic woes: In heavy traffic, having to hit the clutch and shift gears regularly is absolutely frustrating. Manual cars must hence be avoided by people who find themselves in such situations often.

Now that you know all the pros and cons of automatic and manual transmission cars, you can make your own choice easily.

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