Driving a manual or “stick,” as most Americans call it, is not as tricky as it’s made out to be. The driving manual used to be a rite of passage in America, but our parent’s generation was the last to really learn how to drive on a stick shift.
Only 18% of the country actually knows how to drive a manual car. The news isn’t shocking as the demise of the manual has been a well-known topic that has ground the gears of automotive outlets for years. But owning and operating a manual provides more than a few benefits.
1. You’ll get awesome gas mileage.
Even though automatic cars are more fuel-efficient today than they were five or 10 years ago they still can’t compare with the manual. The whole basis of a manual runs on human intuition. A driver observes the road and terrain carefully and knows what the traffic patterns are up to.
An automatic car can not adjust as quickly as a stick shift can. With the right driver behind the wheel, a manual transmission can be extremely cost-effective when it comes to filling the tank up. Not to mention that automatic transmissions are extraordinarily complex and when they break, they cost a lot to fix. But with a manual transmission, they hardly fail, and most people ever have to repair is the clutch.
2. Manuals are usually more reliable.
When you chose to drive a stick shift, you need two hands and two feet at all times. Without knowing it, you’re a safer driver because it makes it harder to text and talk on the phone. You are less likely to be hypnotized by the road, and most of your friends won’t ask to borrow your car. Many parents believed that when a teenager is first learning how to drive, they should all have to learn manual.
3. Your insurance rate could go down.
No matter what kind of transmission you drive you will need car insurance for it. When a 16-year-old is learning to drive insurance companies already set a pretty high deductible. But if you hold a manual license you would only pay 5% extra on your insurance plan compared to a driver who holds an automatic license who will pay 43% more, yikes!
4. You’re in control.
Many drivers who chose to drive a manual will tell you that they have better control over their vehicles. The driver always knows exactly where the power is going whether it is to the engine or wheels. If the weather is bad the car will also have better traction and is pretty great for off-roading expeditions.
5. You drive one and you’ve driven them all.
It is a little-known fact that knowing how to drive a manual is a marketable skill. As a driver, you will be able to operate any type of vehicles like a tractor, truck, van, or even a Jaguar.
6. They’re cost-effective.
Manual transmissions need a lot less looking after and yearly maintenance which means the car will last longer. A manual transmission that is cared for correctly will be very low maintenance to the owner. Mechanics will know at some point in the car’s life it will need to have the gear oil drained and changed and most recommend ever 75k miles, which is a lot!
If you look at an automatic transmission the fluid needs to be changed every 30k miles and have multiple oil changes a year. Most car companies do offer a lifetime transmission that usually lasts 180k miles but once they die there is no fixing it.
7. Some find manual know-how sexy.
If all the above reasons haven’t sold you on a manual transmission how about the cool factor. Driving a manual can be a turn-on for men and women. The gear shift will have you looking sexy in the eyes of your partner.