Is It Better to Hire Automatic or Manual Cars?

When it comes to hiring a vehicle, there’s plenty to think about. The vehicle’s size, the number of people it can seat and how much it’s going to cost are usually some of the initial questions that are likely to spring to mind. 

But, as well as these practical queries, it’s also important to think about your day-to-day use of the vehicle you’re hiring. This includes considering whether you should select an automatic or manual vehicle. 

At Gatwick Car & Van Rental, we’re an award-winning vehicle hire company that supplies people across Gatwick, Crawley and the surrounding parts of London with leading car and van hire. We have a fleet of more than 300 types of vehicles, with both manual and automatic options available.

In this article, we’ll take a look at both types of vehicle, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision on what’s best for you. 

What’s the difference between automatic and manual?

The main difference between automatic and manual vehicles is the way the gears work. Automatic vehicles come without a clutch, with the vehicle automatically changing gear depending on the speed you’re doing. These vehicles may still have gear sticks, but they’ll only allow the driver to alternate between driving modes such as reverse, drive, neutral and park. 

While automatic cars are growing in popularity, manual vehicles remain more common in the UK. Manual vehicles come with a standard gear stick that allows the driver to manually shift through the gears as they drive. Usually, a vehicle will have between five to seven gears. 

The benefits of automatic vehicles 

Automatic cars are popular among drivers as it removes one aspect of the driving experience, meaning the driver only needs to focus on steering, accelerating and braking. This makes automatic vehicles a particularly good option for less confident road users, as they can take control of the gears on your behalf. 

As well as being easier to drive, automatic cars also offer a smoother driving experience as you’ll always be in the gear you need, and the vehicle will seamlessly transition through the gears itself. This is a particular benefit if you’re looking to hire a car in busy cities or rush hour traffic as you won’t need to constantly hit the clutch pedal.    

They can also enhance safety as your hands will remain on the steering wheel for the majority of the time, meaning the driver can respond to potential hazards faster.

The benefits of manual vehicles 

Manual vehicles place more emphasis on the driver to take full control of all of the driving applications. This includes changing gears. 

The driver is the only person who can decide what gear to drive in, and many motorists enjoy having this control. For those confident behind the wheel, it lends itself to a more enjoyable driving experience and this sense of control can also instil a greater sense of safety and comfortability. 

Furthermore, manual cars can typically pick up speed at a faster rate when compared with automatic vehicles. This is because the gearbox is better at transferring power directly from the engine straight to the wheels. 

Are automatic or manual vehicles better?

Whether an automatic or manual car is best for you depends on a number of factors. It’s always worth considering what you’re used to driving. If you have an automatic car at home then it might be better to go for that. Conversely, if you’ve only ever driven manual cars then we’d recommend sticking with what you know. 

Plus, consider your confidence levels behind the wheel. If you’re an accomplished motorist who likes having full control then it’s likely a manual car will suit you best. However, if you would prefer some support from your vehicle, automatic cars are a great choice.

If you require any support or advice when it comes to selecting the most suitable van or car hire options for you, Gatwick Car & Van Rental is here to help. We provide leading vehicle hire services throughout London, including Gatwick and Crawley. To make a booking or find out more about what we do, get in touch with our team today.