scrunkie
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I've been learning to drive for a few weeks (I've had about 15hours of lessons) but I feel like I'm not really getting the hang of the clutch control and I'm just generally really bad at remembering to do everything whilst driving. I've spent about £300 on lessons already and will probably need at least another 15hours, maybe more so an extra £3-400 before I'm ready for the test.

I won't be able to drive a manual car when I pass (I can't afford the insurance!) but I can get insured on my mums car (which is an automatic) so I'm just questioning what the point of me learning manual is?

My mum hasn't had any issues finding an affordable automatic car - there's plenty around. Why do we need to learn manual? Isn't the future in automatic?

Anyway, I'm not really sure what to do. On the one hand, I've started so I might as well finish it right? But on the other, I could spend way less money if I just switch to automatic lessons, get the test done quicker and be able to drive.

(I'm 22 btw so a little late with learning)...
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Durhamgirl96
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I'm in the same boat, I had many hours of driving lessons a couple of years back and just couldn't seem to get the hang of clutch control. I've been told to look into automatic cars, I think that you should look into a refund for the remaining hours and look for an instructor who drives an automatic.
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scrunkie
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(Original post by Durhamgirl96)
I'm in the same boat, I had many hours of driving lessons a couple of years back and just couldn't seem to get the hang of clutch control. I've been told to look into automatic cars, I think that you should look into a refund for the remaining hours and look for an instructor who drives an automatic.
I only pay upfront for the next lesson and can change instructors whenever if I just let her know but I'm just not sure if it's a waste to switch now after having so many lessons in a manual?
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carrotstar
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The restriction is that you will never be able to legally drive a manual car. Say if you went on holiday with someone and they wanted to insure you on their manual drive to share driving, you wouldn't be able to. Or if you wanted to get a family member home in their car because they were I'll, you wouldn't be able to. Also if you went on holiday and wanted to hire a car you'd be more restricted. It just gives you more options in the future really.
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scrunkie
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(Original post by carrotstar)
The restriction is that you will never be able to legally drive a manual car. Say if you went on holiday with someone and they wanted to insure you on their manual drive to share driving, you wouldn't be able to. Or if you wanted to get a family member home in their car because they were I'll, you wouldn't be able to. Also if you went on holiday and wanted to hire a car you'd be more restricted. It just gives you more options in the future really.
I get that, but realistically that will probably never be an issue. Although I don't know what the future will hold... As for the family member, my family all drive automatics because of health issues / they just found a cheaper car etc. Is the future not in automatic cars?

My issue is 1. clutch control and 2. I'm too busy focusing on the gears and clutch that I'm not focusing as much as I want to on the road - I can't tell if it's because I'm still learning and just haven't had experience or if my brain isn't wired to concentrate on that many things at once :laugh:
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cherryred90s
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(Original post by scrunkie)
I've been learning to drive for a few weeks (I've had about 15hours of lessons) but I feel like I'm not really getting the hang of the clutch control and I'm just generally really bad at remembering to do everything whilst driving. I've spent about £300 on lessons already and will probably need at least another 15hours, maybe more so an extra £3-400 before I'm ready for the test.

I won't be able to drive a manual car when I pass (I can't afford the insurance!) but I can get insured on my mums car (which is an automatic) so I'm just questioning what the point of me learning manual is?

My mum hasn't had any issues finding an affordable automatic car - there's plenty around. Why do we need to learn manual? Isn't the future in automatic?

Anyway, I'm not really sure what to do. On the one hand, I've started so I might as well finish it right? But on the other, I could spend way less money if I just switch to automatic lessons, get the test done quicker and be able to drive.

(I'm 22 btw so a little late with learning)...
It takes time to be confident when it comes to clutch control. I wasn't a particularly fast learner but it will eventually just 'click'. IMO, 15hrs isn't enough to determine that you will never get the hang of it. Had you said you were on your 40th hour or so and still hadn't mastered it then I'd agree that switching to auto might be the better option. I think you should stick it out a little longer.
Even though you may be driving an auto after you pass, an auto licence is still limiting and you never know what situations you may end up in. It saves you the trouble of having to do more lessons to obtain a manual licence if you change your mind in the future, and I've never heard of anyone who has regretted passing in a manual car.
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scrunkie
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(Original post by cherryred90s)
It takes time to be confident when it comes to clutch control. I wasn't a particularly fast learner but it will eventually just 'click'. IMO, 15hrs isn't enough to determine that you will never get the hang of it. Had you said you were on your 40th hour or so and still hadn't mastered it then I'd agree that switching to auto might be the better option. I think you should stick it out a little longer.
Even though you may be driving an auto after you pass, an auto licence is still limiting and you never know what situations you may end up in. It saves you the trouble of having to do more lessons to obtain a manual licence if you change your mind in the future, and I've never heard of anyone who has regretted passing in a manual car.
That's true, I'm just trying to see if it's worth switching now and save myself an extra £400 in lessons - then again if I do decide to switch after that many lessons, I would only need a couple in an automatic before I take the test because I would technically already know how to drive?
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Durhamgirl96
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If you think you'd be better off in an automatic, you have nothing to lose, really. It's easier for me with ADHD to have less to focus on road-wise.
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Durhamgirl96
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I had done 8 months of lessons at an hour, sometimes two a week and I was no closer. (That's the experience I'm speaking of.)
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cherryred90s
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(Original post by scrunkie)
That's true, I'm just trying to see if it's worth switching now and save myself an extra £400 in lessons - then again if I do decide to switch after that many lessons, I would only need a couple in an automatic before I take the test because I would technically already know how to drive?
Are gears and clutch control the only aspect of driving that you're struggling with?
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scrunkie
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(Original post by cherryred90s)
Are gears and clutch control the only aspect of driving that you're struggling with?
The fact that I'm concentrating so hard on the clutch control and changing gears (and still the car is jumpy) means that I'm not 100% focussed on the road so I make a lot of mistakes when it comes to being aware of potential hazards etc too so I feel like unless I can master the technical side of things, I won't be ready to do the test and drive alone
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David J W
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I'd encourage you to keep going with manual now, especially as you will finish up with a licence that allows you to drive both automatic and manual cars and vans if you pass your test in a manual car. You've probably got over the worst of learning gear and clutch control, though you still have a way to go for the mechanics of driving (not just the gears and clutch) to become largely unconscious and the higher level skills (such as forward planning and hazard perception) to occupy most of your mental capacity whilst driving. The chances are it will come with time.

It is true that automatic cars are becoming more common and that automatic might ultimately be the way ahead. Electric cars do not have conventional gearboxes and can be driven on an automatic only licence. However, there is always the chance that, at some point in the future, an employer will ask you to drive a company vehicle that is manual (most vans are still manual) or you need to hire a vehicle at short notice and all you can get is a manual. I don't drive manual very often these days, as my current vehicle is automatic and Mercedes don't even offer an manual version in the UK. However, it's good to have a manual licence and years of experience driving manuals, as there are occasions where it is still very useful to be able to drive a manual vehicle.

I know the expense and extra time are bothering you, but it will be much more expensive to get yourself through a second driving test in a manual vehicle in the future just to remove a 78 (automatic only) restriction code.


It is possible to take an automatic B test now and a test for a higher category, such as BE (car/van plus heavy trailer) in a manual at a later date, which would remove the 78 restriction code from your category B (car/van). However, tests for higher categories are increasingly taken in automatics especially as most new lorries and buses are automatics (well robotised manuals, if you want to be strict, but they count as automatics for driving licence purposes). Under the current rules, you only need to pass one driving test in a manual for all your categories - current and future - not to have an automatic only restriction.


As a mature student, I'm just old enough to have got full AM (with no requirement to do CBT), B, BE, C1, C1E (limited to 8250kg MGW), D1 (not for hire and reward) and D1E (not for hire and reward, weight limit does not apply) from taking a manual car test. Those days are long gone - and rightly so. I'm especially glad that the right to ride a moped without ever taking CBT has been consigned to history.
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3121
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Go for manual, it teaches you about controlling a car and even though automatic cars do such controls automatically, they still happen in the background so it’s good to know what your car is doing.

I’m practicing driving manual, I don’t have an issue changing gear but I haven’t mastered when to change gear and don’t even get me started on getting into gear from neutral... I’ve stalled far too many times, don’t think I’ve managed 1 clean start up yet... the best I’ve done is stalled the engine but somehow managed to keep it going and drive off lol

you don’t have to do lessons, don’t you have a friend an off road car park to practice on and just get used to it? Once you learn about the mechanics behind manual transmission it becomes a lot easier
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carrotstar
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(Original post by scrunkie)
I get that, but realistically that will probably never be an issue. Although I don't know what the future will hold... As for the family member, my family all drive automatics because of health issues / they just found a cheaper car etc. Is the future not in automatic cars?

My issue is 1. clutch control and 2. I'm too busy focusing on the gears and clutch that I'm not focusing as much as I want to on the road - I can't tell if it's because I'm still learning and just haven't had experience or if my brain isn't wired to concentrate on that many things at once :laugh:
I know what you mean, but it took me over 100 hours learning with an instructor and in my Mum's car before I felt confident enough to pass my test, and I did so first time with no minors! Definitely pays off to have more lessons before you decide to change I think. Would it be possible after a few more lessons to be insured on your Mums car and go for a drive and see how you find it?
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scrunkie
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(Original post by carrotstar)
I know what you mean, but it took me over 100 hours learning with an instructor and in my Mum's car before I felt confident enough to pass my test, and I did so first time with no minors! Definitely pays off to have more lessons before you decide to change I think. Would it be possible after a few more lessons to be insured on your Mums car and go for a drive and see how you find it?
100 hours is a lot, no way could I afford to even do half of that! 100 * 20 = £2k just on lessons! I think I'd have like max 35 and if I'm still not doing it right or ready for the test I might just switch.

I was thinking of driving in my mums car to see how it is but when I mentioned it to my instructor, she said not to cos it'll confuse me and I'll fall further back with learning manual..

I just want to pass my test and drive! I'm so not bothered about whether it's automatic or not but I feel like I've committed to manual now!
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David J W
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(Original post by scrunkie)
100 hours is a lot, no way could I afford to even do half of that! 100 * 20 = £2k just on lessons! I think I'd have like max 35 and if I'm still not doing it right or ready for the test I might just switch.

I was thinking of driving in my mums car to see how it is but when I mentioned it to my instructor, she said not to cos it'll confuse me and I'll fall further back with learning manual..

I just want to pass my test and drive! I'm so not bothered about whether it's automatic or not but I feel like I've committed to manual now!
I believe the average is something like 40-45 hours before passing your test.

At the moment you have only had 15 hours of lessons and it is not surprising that you have yet to reach the point where the majority of the mechanics of car control is unconscious. Don't beat yourself up about making mistakes at times of high workload - that's why you're still a learner.

I'd agree with your instructor about not driving your mum's car. Going from manual to automatic or vice versa takes some getting used to, even for someone like me with nearly 24 years of driving experience almost all of which is on manual (I passed my B test on 1 September 1993; I'm a mature student). At your stage of learning it will be very confusing having an automatic car do things that you are used to doing yourself. Moreover, you cannot forget all about gears when driving automatic; you still have to have some awareness of gears not least as there are occasions where you have to lock out the higher gears.
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LavenderBlueSky88
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I think everyone finds the clutch hard at first. It does become a natural thing after a while - don't restrict yourself by going automatic.
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carrotstar
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(Original post by scrunkie)
100 hours is a lot, no way could I afford to even do half of that! 100 * 20 = £2k just on lessons! I think I'd have like max 35 and if I'm still not doing it right or ready for the test I might just switch.

I was thinking of driving in my mums car to see how it is but when I mentioned it to my instructor, she said not to cos it'll confuse me and I'll fall further back with learning manual..

I just want to pass my test and drive! I'm so not bothered about whether it's automatic or not but I feel like I've committed to manual now!
Sorry I meant I did most of the driving in my Mums car so not all 100 hours was paid lessons!
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