Since cars with automatic transmission may be easier to drive than manual, many drivers, especially younger ones, only learned how to drive automatic. However, they might be missing out on the many benefits of driving a stick shift, such as the following:
Manual driving is more economical
If you check with any car dealer or car buying service, you will likely learn that you can buy a car with a manual transmission for a lot less than a car of the same model with an automatic transmission. There are some exceptions to this, however, like most BMWs with manual transmission that are the same price as the automatic.
Generally, the gearboxes of cars with manual transmission have simpler components and have no complex hydraulics or electronics that could burden the car down. Most manual cars also weigh less and have more gears than automatic vehicles, which could let you get more miles out of the fuel you use for the car and help you save up on fuel costs.
Better understanding of transmissions
When you are learning to drive a stick shift, one of the first things you will learn is the car’s transmission system. You will learn how the clutch and the gas pedals factor into the operation of your car, allowing you to have a better idea of how the vehicle works overall. When something goes wrong with your car, having a better understanding of its transmission would make it easier for you to diagnose and fix the problem.
When you drive an automatic, you might use your free hand to reach for your phone and use it while driving. But when you are driving a stick shift, you will lose this free hand, and be less likely to drive while distracted.
It could make you a more aware driver too, since the manual driving process requires most — if not all — off your limbs. When they need to brake for a red light ahead, automatic drivers will only need to brake their car. Stick shift drivers, on the other hand, must slow down ahead of time, downshift, and time their brake with the light, all of which requires precaution, focus and alertness that ensures better road safety.
In 2014, three teenagers from Seattle tried to steal an elderly woman’s car. They demanded the car keys at gunpoint, which the woman handed over. Once they were in the car, however, they kept trying and failing to start the car. After several futile attempts at driving off, they eventually gave up and ran away. Why did they keep failing? The vehicle had manual transmission and they did not know how to drive it.
This might be a very specific and possibly isolated case, and does not immediately mean that a stick shift car will not be stolen at all. However, since there may be fewer people who could drive a manual transmission, there might be fewer car thieves who would not know how to drive one as well.
Learning how to drive a stick shift might not be as easy as driving an automatic transmission, but it has more benefits aside from these. Whichever type of car you prefer driving though, make sure to drive safe and sober.