Automatic vehicles enjoy a strong hegemony in the United States, a trend that has not completely managed to cross the Atlantic. Whilst automatic vehicles enjoy a large and dedicated segment of motorists here in the UK, their victory is far from complete.
Let’s look at the case for and against automatic vehicles.
Many feel that the automatic nature of these cars actually detracts from the fun and experience of driving. This includes everything from the pleasure many gain from a rapid and seamless gear shift all the way through the gears as they take their vehicle from 0 to 70mph, equally it removes the quiet sense of satisfaction gained from the immaculate clutch control of holding out through an uphill climb. However, counter to this argument many automatic converts would argue that you soon forget these trivialities when you experience the pleasure of instant transition through the gears.
An argument which many manual fans have used against conversion to automatic is the fact that automatic cars utilise substantially greater levels of fuel. This means that manual drivers enjoy slightly greater levels of fuel efficiency when models are cross compared. It is not just in the mileage where automatic driving incurs a greater cost. The initial purchase cost, or ongoing monthly lease costs, will be higher also with an automatic.
The increased costs for the privilege of being an automatic driver do finish there, it is also likely that you will also incur higher insurance costs.
However, it is not all financial gloom! Automatic vehicles retain far higher levels of their value over time when compared with manual cars- providing exceptional financial benefits when it comes to trading in. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about abusing your clutch with an automatic- late gear changes and riding the clutch simply are not factors. This means there are no incurred costs for clutch replacement.
A further indisputable argument in favour of automatics is that of safety. You cannot dispute that automatics are safer than manual vehicles. This is because motorists are free to leave both hands on the wheel for the duration of their driving time.
Currently less than 20% of all private cars on the roads of the UK are automatic. This is an increase on the figures of the previous decade, a further increase in this percentage looks set to occur over the coming year. Whether our roads will eventually become dominated by automatic vehicles is currently unpredictable.
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