There are many distinct types of cars. The possibilities are unlimited when looking for a new car, from choices in drivetrains like front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive to choices in engine type like conventional gas and electric. The type of transmission you choose when purchasing an automobile is a crucial choice.

There are two different transmission types available for modern cars: automatic and manual. A vehicle with an automatic gearbox does the gear-shifting for you, whereas a manual transmission requires the driver to do it. To shift or not to shift therefore becomes the question.


What distinguishes a manual from an automatic car?

Let’s start with the fundamentals: in a manual car, you control the gear system manually by shifting the gear stick and depressing the clutch pedal. A car without a clutch pedal automatically shifts gears for you in accordance with the pace you’re going.

Continue reading to learn more.


Manual transmission

Stick shifts are often used to describe automobiles having a manual or conventional transmission. The driver shifts gears manually as they accelerate and decelerate their car using a stick shift.

The shift lever, which is situated on the center console, is linked to the transmission by a linkage.

Using a manual transmission also necessitates using the clutch pedal, which is situated to the left of the brake pedal. The clutch mechanism, which is situated between the engine and the transmission, disengages when the clutch pedal is pressed. In order to change gears, you must depress the clutch pedal to stop the transmission from receiving power from the engine.

The driver depresses the clutch pedal to shift gears, pushes the shifter to the chosen gear, and then lets off of the clutch pedal to re-engage the engine’s power with the transmission. It takes some work to learn to drive a stick. If the clutch pedal is depressed too quickly, the engine will stall; if depressed too slowly, it may result in premature wear.

Practice makes perfect.


Quick facts:

  • Requires a lot of input from the driver, who must choose and change gears.
  • A manual transmission is found in less than 3% of Philippine automobiles.
  • More than 80% of automobiles sold in Europe and Asia are manual.



  • Lower cost of acquisition.
  • Many motorists enjoy having a sense of control.
  • Efficient with fuel.
  • Racecar and performance drivers prefer this superior acceleration.
  • more affordable to service.



  • Requires practice to become proficient with.
  • Clutch, gas, and shifting must all be coordinated by the driver.
  • Decreased resale value
  • Driving in stop-and-go traffic can be challenging.
  • Less generally accessible.


Automatic transmission

In contrast to automatic transmissions, where the driver only needs to pick D on the shifter, the driver actively participates in driving a vehicle with a manual transmission. The car autonomously completes gear shifts on its own using fluid pressure.

The planetary gear set is the automatic transmission’s brains. The various gear ratios that the transmission uses are produced by this component.

Automatic transmission fluid provides the pressure required to engage the bands and clutches that determine what gear the car should be in. This fluid aids in propulsion in addition to cooling and lubricating the transmission’s working parts.

The drivetrain is connected to a torque converter, which functions like a clutch on a manual transmission. Planetary gears are locked and unlocked with fluid to change gear ratios. There is no action required on the part of the driver for this automatic shifting.


Quick facts:

  • Minimal input from the driver is needed—just put the car in gear and go!
  • 95% of the cars sold in the US have automatic transmissions, making them very common.
  • Relies on a planetary gear set and automatic transmission fluid.



  • Less stress due to ease of use.
  • Increased resale value
  • Widely accessible
  • Fantastic in busy traffic.
  • Suitable for novices.



  • More expensive than a manual buy.
  • Greater repair expenses.
  • Less fuel-efficient historically than manual, however the difference is shrinking.


Read also: Expensive Cars to Insure


Top factors for Comparison to help you choose better



Automatic gearboxes are more expensive to fix than manual transmissions, buying insurance for an automatic car is always more expensive. This is true not only for the higher cost of the car itself to acquire.

Therefore, when buying a new car, this results in a higher on-road price of the vehicle. Additionally, it significantly raises the cost of long-term car ownership because automatic autos have higher insurance policy renewal costs. The higher risk associated with insuring vehicles with automatic transmissions is another factor driving up insurance costs.

While a manual transmission automobile isn’t particularly vulnerable to harm when a vehicle is driven on, say, a wet street, things could potentially go quite wrong in the case of an automatic car because a mechatronics failure can occur very quickly in circumstances like these.


Fuel Efficiency

It’s a common fallacy that automatic vehicles are less fuel-efficient than manual vehicles. Actually, because to technological advancements, automated transmissions are now almost as fuel-efficient as manual ones.

In fact, for many models, dual-clutch automatic transmissions have proven to be even more economical than their manual counterparts. This merely implies that, whichever transmission type you choose, fuel economy will essentially remain a constant irrespective of your choice.


Fun to Drive

Even if this is a very personal preference, it is indisputable that a manual transmission gives you total control over the gearbox and engine speed. An automatic gearbox might still let you choose manual shifting, but because there isn’t a manual clutch, it isn’t the same as a traditional manual transmission.

So, according to purists, a car with a manual transmission is always a better option than one with an automatic for people looking for an exhilarating driving experience.



Select the transmission type that best suits your demands when choosing the kind of transmission for your next car. If you commute frequently, an automatic transmission might be simpler to use in stop-and-go traffic than a normal one.

However, you might want to think about a manual if performance and the driving experience are important to you. If there will be other drivers, it is something else to consider. You will have to continue using an automatic if they aren’t willing to drive a stick shift.


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