There is no denying that most seventeen year olds are excited by this milestone age for one reason, and that is the opportunity to get behind the wheel and drive a car.
It can give you that sense of freedom you have never felt before, and finally a little independence. However, before you do anything, you need to obtain a provisional license, learn to drive and pass that theory and practical test. There are two types of car transmission that you can drive.
A car with a manual gearbox where you need to learn to change the gears, and a car with an automatic gearbox where the vehicle does the gear change for you.
Getting the right license
Originally you will be provided with a provisional driving license. This gives you the permission needed to start learning to drive on the road with an accredited instructor in a learner car. This gives you the chance to start learning the ins and outs of driving a car.
A manual gearbox means that not only do you need to control the car with steering, but you also need to control the clutch and gear changes.
It can sound very complex, but once you get into the rhythm of gear changing and understanding when your vehicle will need to be in a different gear, it will become second nature. However, not all people can pass their tests and learn to drive in a manual car, and so may take that option of learning in an automatic and passing their test.
This will then give you a driving license for an automatic vehicle only.
The differences between manual and automatic
Of course the main big difference between an automatic car and a manual car is the presence of a clutch and a gearbox that needs manually changing.
As you learn to drive in a manual car, you will understand when you need to change the gears up, depending on the speed and type of driving you’re doing, and when the gears need to be changed down as you reduce your speed or drive on a speed restricted road.
An automatic car will do all of this for you, and the clutch pedal will not be present next to the brake or accelerator. Learning in an automatic car means you will likely be focusing more of the control of the car in terms of speed and steering.
Which means that you will only be able to drive these sorts of cars.
Can you drive a manual vehicle with an automatic license?
The answer to this question would be no. If you take automatic driving lessons then you will only be able to control and understand the workings of an automatic car.
Driving on the road and becoming road legal after passing your test in an automatic vehicle will mean that you only have the expertise and knock edge to drive an automatic car. If you would then want to drive a manual car then you will need to retake your test.
To do that you will have to have manual driving lessons so that you can learn how to operate the clutch pedal and the gearbox manually.
Can you drive an automatic vehicle with a manual license?
The answer to this question would be yes. If you have taken manual driving lessons and learned how to drive a manual gearbox, then driving an automatic simply means you don’t have to do that option when driving the car.
Passing your test in a manual car means that you are identifying in the operation of a vehicle and road safety, and therefore whether you drive with a manual gearbox or switch into an automatic, the knowledge you have is enough to operate both types of vehicles.
This is why it is important to try and ensure that you learn in a manual car. Understanding the clutch and gear pedals means that when you pass your test you can drive any type of car and even a light commercial vehicle confidently.
Whether you take manual driving lessons or opt for automatic driving lessons many of you just want the opportunity to get out on the open road and enjoy that independence. Alongside the gearbox differences you will also need to have the confidence eout on the road as well as have a good understanding of the workings of your car. From brake lights and indicators to fuel and oil levels.
Hopefully this has given you a better understand of the difference between an automatic and manual car and why you may need to have a specific license depending on how you pass your test.