My driving instructor has suggested i do automatic lessons rather than manual? Watch

Everlong92
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Hey,

Look for advice on driving lessons, i had my 3rd lesson recently and my instructor suggested automatic lessons might be better for me. I'm just doing the basics so for... POM. Driving out from a space, driving a little then trying to drive the car park into a space. I struggle with the gears and clutch and trying to remember the order and my lessons have been fairly spaced out so it's been difficult to remember what I've done.

I already explained to my instructor is takes me a while to pick things up and learn. After my last lesson a few days ago, part through the lesson after I'd stopped she asked me how i was getting on and i did say i felt i could do better and don't feel like I've progressed.

Due to me struggling with the clutch and gears she suggested automatic lessons may be better for me as i do not have to think about gears and clutch. She explained that she doesn't want me potentially spending thousands on lessons when an automatic car may be better suited to me and i could pass quicker.

I've had no prior experience with driving before these lessons. My instructor advised she had suggested the same to other pupils who struggled with gears/clutch and she said it really depends if i have the time and money, that she would be happy to continue with lessons.

I feel as though she is trying to be supportive and perhaps with her experience she can tell that i will continue to struggle with learning the gears.

I'm prettt disheartened and not sure what to now. I want to continue doing driving lessons and part of me wants to prove her wrong! Lol

Any advice would be really appreciated
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C_2020
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I would say that your instructor is probably just trying to get you passed quickly so it looks better on her record, and that's why your instructor may be recommending driving an automatic however, you'll be stuck to driving automatics for the rest of your life unless you take the manual test again. Everybody struggles with the clutch and gear you just need a lot of practice and patience and it will come naturally. You'll find the best biting points for different cars and much you need to accelerate on hill starts etc.

I recommend if possible getting insured on your parents car or someone you know who has been driving for two years or more as it will allow you to go out and get as much practice as needed. Also learners insurance is dead cheap anyways.

I hope this is of some use good luck.
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shnac99
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Atleast she’s not trying to get money out of you, most instructors wouldn’t say anything because they know if you require more lessons, they get more money.
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OddOnes
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I don't think 3 lessons is enough to judge that... But then again she's the instructor.

I know my old instructor dropped someone who had made no progress after 10 lessons. If I were you I'd give it a go for a bit longer.

I passed in a manual but had no intention of ever owing any car that wasn't an automatic.
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kkboyk
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Thats pretty normal and it's only your 3rd lesson, especially if you're only doing an hour worth of lessons so it just seems like they're rushing you. I didn't get the hang of it until my 7th hour and was never suggested to do automatic, just more practice and it's the same for you. Not everyone learns at the same pace: some will need much more practice and confidence whilst other won't. If you're not making any progress by your 15th hour then yeah an automatic is a better alternative.
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PhoenixFortune
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I would have thought that judging your overall ability after just 3 lessons is a bit premature. If you pass the automatic test, you can't drive a manual car (unless you go on to pass the manual test), which will be very limiting for you - especially in terms of car choices later on.

I know of a few people who switched to the automatic test after hundreds of hours of lessons and multiple failed manual tests (I'm talking 5+). I don't think you're quite at that stage yet.
Last edited by PhoenixFortune; 4 weeks ago
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Everlong92
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(Original post by C_2020)
I would say that your instructor is probably just trying to get you passed quickly so it looks better on her record, and that's why your instructor may be recommending driving an automatic however, you'll be stuck to driving automatics for the rest of your life unless you take the manual test again. Everybody struggles with the clutch and gear you just need a lot of practice and patience and it will come naturally. You'll find the best biting points for different cars and much you need to accelerate on hill starts etc.

I recommend if possible getting insured on your parents car or someone you know who has been driving for two years or more as it will allow you to go out and get as much practice as needed. Also learners insurance is dead cheap anyways.

I hope this is of some use good luck.
Thanks for your advice, i think I'll ask a family member if they would be able to do that with me.
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Everlong92
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(Original post by shnac99)
Atleast she’s not trying to get money out of you, most instructors wouldn’t say anything because they know if you require more lessons, they get more money.
Yeah i think she is trying to help me but it's knocked my confidence seeing as I've basically only had 3 hours in lessons, i am probably taking it too personal though
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Everlong92
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(Original post by OddOnes)
I don't think 3 lessons is enough to judge that... But then again she's the instructor.

I know my old instructor dropped someone who had made no progress after 10 lessons. If I were you I'd give it a go for a bit longer.

I passed in a manual but had no intention of ever owing any car that wasn't an automatic.
Yeah i feel it's a bit soon to say that to me but i think she is drawing from experience with other pupils who have struggled. My instructor told me to contact her next week and let her know if i want to continue and said she wouldn't book another lesson to let me think... kind of makes me feel she doesn't have confidence in me.
Last edited by Everlong92; 4 weeks ago
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bj27
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Forget what your instructor says and continue with Manual. do some biting point exercises.

Eventually you'll get the hang of it. Took me 20 hours to actually get comfortable driving myself.
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Everlong92
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(Original post by kkboyk)
Thats pretty normal and it's only your 3rd lesson, especially if you're only doing an hour worth of lessons so it just seems like they're rushing you. I didn't get the hang of it until my 7th hour and was never suggested to do automatic, just more practice and it's the same for you. Not everyone learns at the same pace: some will need much more practice and confidence whilst other won't. If you're not making any progress by your 15th hour then yeah an automatic is a better alternative.
I'm going to see if it's possible to practice with a family member. I feel like if i got to practice for a few more hours I'd hopefully get the hang of it and be able to move onto practice other skills. I think I'd like to continue like you've advised and if I'm really not progressing then consider changing. I'm kind of worried my instructor doesn't want to continue though she didn't explicity say that, she's asked me to get in touch and think about it
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Everlong92
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
I would have thought that judging your overall ability after just 3 lessons is a bit premature. If you pass the automatic test, you can't drive a manual car (unless you go on to pass the manual test), which will be very limiting for you - especially in terms of car choices later on.

I know of a few people who switched to the automatic test after hundreds of hours of lessons and multiple failed manual tests (I'm talking 5+). I don't think you're quite at that stage yet.
I don't want to jump to different lessons so soon, especially after only 3 hours worth lessons. I'd like to continue and if I'm no furthet forward then consider automatic
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nuggits
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Are you driving a petrol or diesel?

Ive heard petrol cars are generally easier to drive because you can rely on the clutch a bit more.
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Zarek
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I guess she will have some experience of who has more than average problems with gears. However all new still are difficult and with practice and patience you get there. I would persist a good bit longer and prove her wrong.
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kkboyk
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(Original post by Everlong92)
I'm going to see if it's possible to practice with a family member. I feel like if i got to practice for a few more hours I'd hopefully get the hang of it and be able to move onto practice other skills. I think I'd like to continue like you've advised and if I'm really not progressing then consider changing. I'm kind of worried my instructor doesn't want to continue though she didn't explicity say that, she's asked me to get in touch and think about it
If she's still persistent on you doing automatic, it would be better to find another instructor or getting someone you know to teach you. It's just weird for her to suggest you changing so early on within 3hrs worth of lesson, and expecting you to get the hang of all of this in such short amount of time. Not to mention the average hours people do before passing as test is 45hrs.
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Everlong92
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(Original post by nuggits)
Are you driving a petrol or diesel?

Ive heard petrol cars are generally easier to drive because you can rely on the clutch a bit more.
It's petrol, yeah she had said you can use the clutch for speed also
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Everlong92
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(Original post by Zarek)
I guess she will have some experience of who has more than average problems with gears. However all new still are difficult and with practice and patience you get there. I would persist a good bit longer and prove her wrong.
Yeah i think i will continue, I'm now just unsure if i should stick with her as an instructor if she doesn't have confidence in me
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Everlong92
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(Original post by kkboyk)
If she's still persistent on you doing automatic, it would be better to find another instructor or getting someone you know to teach you. It's just weird for her to suggest you changing so early on within 3hrs worth of lesson, and expecting you to get the hang of all of this in such short amount of time. Not to mention the average hours people do before passing as test is 45hrs.
Thank you for all your comments, i definitley want to continue and will message her next week. I am questioning whether i should stick with my current instructor or choose someone else based on the fact she doesn't seem overly confident in me.
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Zarek
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(Original post by Everlong92)
Thank you for all your comments, i definitley want to continue and will message her next week. I am questioning whether i should stick with my current instructor or choose someone else based on the fact she doesn't seem overly confident in me.
To be honest if you don't have a good rapport with your instructor then I think it's good to change. You're the customer, you pay a lot and there is a choice. I really liked my instructor which helped enormously and I don't think he ever undermined my confidence. Although he did quip one that I 'liked to go out with a bang' when I nearly ran over a policeman on a zebra crossing. Weigh it up though if she has plus points too. Good luck.
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AH-64 APACHE
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Also important: An auto only licence isn't categorised as a "full UK licence" to many employers, even ones where driving is mostly irrelevant. A lot of further info on job postings state "Category B Licence" and not "Category B or Category B Automatics" and there have been cases of people not reading this and getting in trouble.
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