Should I learn to drive an automatic or manual car?

There are several different factors that will help you decide if you should learn to drive an automatic or manual vehicle including personal choice and what cars are readily available for you to practice in. In Queensland, if you gain your license in an automatic car, you are not permitted to drive a manual car until you successfully pass another practical driving test with Queensland Transport in a manual vehicle. If you pass a manual driving test, you have the freedom to choose to drive either manual or automatic vehicles.

Our Gold Coast driving school strongly recommends that if you have the choice that you learn to drive a manual vehicle. This is not only because of the many advantages that driving a manual vehicle gives you, but also because when you learn to drive a manual vehicle you learn to become more in tune with the vehicles balance, control and flow which gives you a better understanding of driving and how your car works.

Generally most students want to learn to drive an automatic because they are easier to drive and they want their drivers license NOW, but we encourage you to think of the long term benefits of learning to drive a manual (not to mention the extra time and costs of having to sit for another practical driving test later on). Every learner driver our Gold Coast driving school has taught to drive a manual is very glad that they persisted with it. With only a few driving lessons with one of our fun and friendly driving instructors on the Gold Coast, we will have you driving a manual comfortably in no time.



  • Once you get your manual drivers licence, you have a choice to drive either a manual or automatic vehicle. You never know when having a manual drivers license might come in handy (driving other vehicles which aren’t your own, job requirements, emergency situations and having more options when purchasing a vehicle.
  • You can control the performance of the car more easily.
  • You learn to become more in tune with your vehicle, how it runs and gain more skills.
  • Manual vehicles are usually cheaper to buy, cheaper to run and cheaper to fix. Manual vehicles rev at a lower rate than automatics and are generally more fuel efficient.
  • They are more fun to drive than automatics.


  • A manual car can be hard work if you drive regularly in heavy stop start traffic for long periods of time.
  • Learning to drive a manual can be more costly if you don’t have use of a manual vehicle to practice in.
  • It can take longer to master learning to drive a manual than an automatic vehicle



  • An automatic makes heavy traffic driving easier
  • Easier and generally quicker to learn to drive


  • Can only drive automatic vehicles
  • Less fuel-efficient than a manual. As mentioned above, the rev rate of an automatic car is generally higher than a manual, meaning that more fuel is used.
  • Autos can be out of sync with the needs of the road. Often autos choose a gear that is not exactly what you need. Although some models do allow override, this can still be in between where you need it, and can be annoying. Manuals allow you to have complete control over your revs.
  • If you are a more experienced driver, or like to drive for fun, autos can be boring. They can also have a much slower take off than manuals.
  • Automatic vehicles cost more to buy, run and fix.
  • Learning to drive an automatic can be more costly if you don’t have use of an automatic vehicle to practice in.

With all the facts, assess your situation and what transmission will work for you. As a driving school, we generally recommend when possible to learn to drive a manual vehicle. It gives you plenty more options once you have your licence… who knows what car and situations you will be put in the future. Perservere with it, it’s worth the great accomoplishment when you get your manual P Plates!