Manual or Automatic Cars: Pros and Cons

Getting your first car is a big decision that requires you to make multiple choices. However, before you start shopping for ideas about the car’s color, model, manufacturer, there are two more important things that you need to decide – the budget and transmission. You can choose between two transmission types in cars, manual or automatic. Each has their pros and cons that help buyers decide what they want depending on their requirements, budget and what options appeal to them the most.

manual or automatic


When deciding whether you want to drive a manual or automatic car, you have to consider how much control you prefer to have. Manual transmission is generally a better option for the drivers who like to have greater control and involvement in the way their car functions. Despite being an old feature, it is still in demand due to its winning aspects. These are especially a favorite amongst car enthusiasts who identify the pleasures of driving a stick shift and enjoy the drive a car with manual transmission provides.



  • Manual cars are mostly cheaper than automatic ones
  • Maintenance of manual cars is not as expensive as those of automatic ones as there are multiple trained mechanics in the market who can fix up those cars
  • Cars with manual transmission have better fuel efficiency than that of automatic cars
  • Manual transmission gives the driver more control over the gears and drive power



  • Driving a manual is harder to learn as there are more controls to remember and more steps (such as switching gears)
  • Tedious to shift gears and control the shift control, clutch paddle, brakes and accelerator (gas paddle) at once
  • The probability of violating traffic rules is higher
  • The transmission has a slow response time, and the driver also takes a few seconds, which adds up to the whole response time of the car
  • Not many people today know how to operate manual cars or know how to change gears with a stick shift
  • Cars with manual transmission are not good for resale; you will get a very low value for a used car with a manual transmission in the open market



Automatic transmission is a newer technology in cars and is rapidly being adopted by drivers. The popularity of automatic cars has reduced the sale of cars with manual transmission, making them a rarity in many developed countries whose drivers have put convenience on top and control on the back burner. Automatics have a generally smoother ride in comparison to cars with manual transmission, which make it a better option.



  • Easy to learn the controls as the driver has to pay most attention to the steering wheel
  • Automatic cars are easy to drive as the driver doesn’t have to constantly change the gear
  • Better to drive on hills or through traffic where the gears constantly need to be shifted, as the car automatically shifts the gears, saving you the trouble of doing it manually
  • The car doesn’t stall as the shifting of gears is immediate; it doesn’t take time like with a manual transmission



  • Automatic cars are more expensive than those with manual transmission
  • Driving technique is more simple, which can make the ride less exciting for car enthusiasts and amateur racers
  • Automatic transmission requires more maintenance than manual ones
  • Maintenance of automatic cars is more expensive as it requires experts to do it and the parts are also generally more costly


After going through the pros and cons of cars with manual or automatic transmission, which do you find to be the more appealing option and why?


If you want to learn more about cars, tips on driving, hacks on purchase and a lot more, then keep reading other interesting articles that are on the Ottawa Honda website.