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Learn to Drive a Manual or Automatic Car Swiftly

By Juhi Walia
12 October 2022, 11:51 AM

Two colleagues living in the same building leave the office simultaneously, and while one reaches home early, the other takes a longer time. The difference in timing is because one of them had been driving, and the other had not. 

Now, knowing how to drive is quite convenient as it eliminates the time spent waiting for public transport. However, some factors, such as the ones mentioned below, might dissuade one from learning how to drive:

  • Rising traffic
  • The risk of damage to self due to unsafe roads etc.

Nonetheless, if one is determined enough, the above obstacles can be overcome with time.

Additionally, vehicular insurance providers provide excellent car insurance policies to cover all expenses in case of unwanted mishaps such as accidents to self or third-party accidents etc. and so on.  

Now, from the vehicular perspective, with respect to driving, it is advantageous to drive a manual car as their low price ensures a lower car insurance premium cost. In contrast, the same is higher for an automatic vehicle. This is because automatic gearbox replacement or repairs are expensive.

You can explore more about manual and automatic cars and how to drive them below before deciding on either one.

What is a Manual Car?

A manual car can be distinguished by the presence of a:

  • A clutch pedal that assists in changing gears while on the go
  • Stick shift to engage and change gears

These cars require you to handle them carefully as they need your active hand-eye coordination, the lack of which could either stall or halt your vehicle or otherwise. In simple terms, a car with three pedals is manual, as the third pedal denotes the clutch. 

Steps to Learn How to Drive a Manual Car Fast

A manual car can be put into motion by following the steps below:

  • Begin by stepping on the clutch, holding it down, and moving the gear shaft to first gear.
  • For most cars, the first gear is on the top left side.
  • Move the right foot to the accelerator pedal and press down gently to move the vehicle as necessary.
  • Slowly remove the left foot from the clutch pedal after the right foot presses down on the accelerator, and with that, the car will begin to move.
  • Be extra cautious not to move either of the feet too suddenly from the clutch or the brake. If you do so, the car's engine will turn off, and the driver must go to the first step in the previous section.
  • By now, the feet should be totally off the clutch and brakes, and the driver must only engage the accelerator.
  • When the drivers feel the car is in momentum, they must engage the second gear  only after first lowering the clutch.
  • To engage the second gear, shift the gear shaft straight down and release the clutch pedal only after the right foot begins to press on the accelerator pedal.
  • As the car gains speed, move your right foot away from the accelerator and lower the clutch to shift to the third gear on the upper right side in a half 'H' motion.
  • Continue in the same way with the fourth gear too.
  • If the driver brakes or lowers the speed, they should also reduce the gear.
  • The lowest gear for a moving car is the second gear. Moving to first gear can damage the tranny synchronizers.

How to Halt a Manual Car?

The vehicle needs to come to a dead stop at traffic signals and while parking the car. The procedure is as follows:

At the traffic signal, bring the car to a dead halt by pressing the clutch first, then the brakes, and moving the gear shaft to neutral. Once the traffic signal turns green, move the gear shaft to gear one and follow all steps mentioned above.

When the drivers park the car, they must follow the same procedure, and when the vehicle is no longer in motion, shift to the first gear, shut the ignition, lock the car, and proceed. Engaging the handbrake at this stage is advisable to ensure that the vehicle doesn't move.

What is an Automatic Car?

A four-wheeler with only the accelerator and brakes and no clutch is an automatic car. The automatic car is equipped with an automatic transmission eliminating the need to change gears manually.

An automated vehicle does have a gear shaft, and however, its only function is:

P - Engage the park gear before using the handbrake for parking the car

D - The drive gear to put the car in motion

R - Reverse gear for reversing the automobile

N- The neutral gear is a functional gear to tow the car

The automatic transmission or the gearbox governs the car's speed and rotational force and automatically moves to a higher gear when the vehicle speeds up and a lower gear when it slows down.

The gearbox uses internal oil pressure and sensors to detect the speed of the moving automobile to shift gears automatically.

With the change in speed, the transmission disconnects from the engine to signal the gearbox to engage the appropriate gear. The torque converter handles the entire operation.

So how will a new driver know if the car is automatic or manual?

The driver must only look at the car pedals; if the car has only two pedals, it is an automatic car, but if it has three pedals, it is a manual one. It is easy to drive an automatic can with the steps to follow.

Read more - 10 Cheapest Automatic Cars In India - Price, Mileage, Specifications

Steps to Drive an Automatic Automobile

Here is how you can start an automatic car:

  • Get into the driver's seat and look for two-foot pedals; the one to the right is the accelerator, and the one to the left is the brakes.
  • The driver will hold the brakes down with their left foot and start the car by turning the car key in the ignition or pressing the start button.
  • The driver must decide what to do, i.e., move forward or reverse the car
  • Engage the shifter to D to move forward and the R to reverse the car.
  • Be careful to move your foot gradually from the brakes as the vehicle moves forward by applying the accelerator pedal with the right foot.
  • Keep a steady pressure on the accelerator pedal to keep the car in motion.
  • As the automobile gains speed, the gearbox will automatically engage the gears as the speed increases by flooring the accelerator or decreases on the pressing of the brakes

How to Bring an Automatic Car to Stop?

The automatic transmission will continue to lower the gear until the driver continues to bring the speed down by taking the right foot on the accelerator pedal. The following step helps the new driver park the car.

  • Stop the car by reducing the car's speed and then hit the brakes until the vehicle comes to a dead halt
  • When the car is no more in motion, keep the foot on the brake and move the shifter to P
  • Find the handrail, which could be a button or lever by the automatic gear selector, and engage it
  • Finally, turn off the ignition

Now, new drivers are more prone to accidents while bringing their vehicles to a halt since they are less experienced. This results in:

  • Damage to their car
  • Any third-party human or property applicable

In such scenarios, if the driver doesn't have a comprehensive car insurance policy, it will be an out-of-the-pocket expense for the driver, which can cost much.

In Review

In comparison, the driver can learn to drive an automatic automobile faster than a manual one.

That is because a manual car driver needs time to practice his moves so that the feet and hands move in sync. But you ensure a marginally lesser or financially viable amount as car insurance premium than automatic vehicles.

New drivers prefer an automatic car because there is no need to shift gear during the drive, and they can concentrate only on driving the car.



1. Which car drives faster, manual or automatic?

An automobile with an automatic transmission is typically simpler to learn to drive; all the driver needs to do is press the "D" button to move the car forward and R to move it backwards. The driver must ensure the appropriate gear for the pace and road conditions when driving a manual car, which often has up to seven speeds.

2. What is the function of the automatic gear selector in an automatic car?

The automatic car does not function on manual gear, so it has a shifter shaft to change settings between drive, park, neutral, reverse, and occasionally low gear.

3. What does the term 'P.R.N.D.S' mean for automatic vehicles?

An automatic vehicle gear selector has four options. P is for parking, R is for reversing, N is for neutral, D is for driving the car, and S is for sport mode on a conventional automatic gearstick. The shifter shaft in some cars over the L (low) modes maintains a low vehicle speed while maintaining a high engine RPM for more pulling force throughout the drive.

4. Is it challenging to learn to drive a manual car?

Engaging the gears and brakes can be challenging and require much practice. But with time and practice, drivers will know how long to hold the clutch before releasing it and how to engage the gears simultaneously and hit the brakes whenever necessary, and soon, they will be a pro at driving a manual car.

5. Which to choose between manual and automatic cars?

It will depend firmly on your wants, comfort and budget. A manual car comes at a lower price but doesn't have mechanics as powerful as is the case with an automatic car. 

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