Just a few decades ago, the majority of cars were equipped with a manual gearbox. Automatic transmissions of the day were less popular, mainly due to their exorbitant prices and questionable reliability. Still, manufacturers continued to improve these areas and by the 1990’s, automatics became so common that drivers no longer saw the need to learn how to drive stick-shift cars.
In the current age of high-tech computerized cars, the art of driving a stick shift is simply dying. What most car shoppers don’t know, however, is that there are quite a few elements of motoring that you just can’t have with an auto transmission. If you’re currently in the market for a new/used car, there are some good reasons why you might want one with a manual transmission.
Stick Shifts are More Engaging
When driving a vehicle with a manual gearbox, you’ve no choice but to be wholly immersed into the process. You’re constantly thinking about what gear the car needs to be in, whether you’re taking off, driving around town or cruising down the highway. Since you have to make all these decisions, the car demands your undivided attention. As a result, you’ll always be observing the current traffic flow. With such an engaging driving process, your chances of losing sight of the mission at hand will be minimal.
Driving a Manual Means You’re Less Distracted
Many countries are currently trying to deal with the issue of drivers using their cellphones while in control of a vehicle. If statistics are anything to go by, this is almost as dangerous as driving under influence. And while many solutions have been proposed as measures against distracted driving as a whole, the problem still continues to grow.
So maybe it’s time more people thought about switching to stick-shift automobiles. The reasoning behind this is simple: driving a stick shift demands that one uses all their limbs in controlling the car. With your hands and legs fully occupied, you’re less tempted to shift your focus to your phone, food, drink, make-up, and anything else that leads to distracted driving.
Stick Shifts Help You Save Money
Opting for a car with a manual transmission will save you money in a couple of ways. First, cars with automatic transmissions are generally priced higher than their traditional counterparts. Depending on the make and model you’re considering, the difference is quite significant, especially when you get to the affordable end of the car spectrum.
Manual transmissions are also cheaper to repair. Since they’re far less complex, it’s usually easier to identify problems when they break down. And if you’re one of those motorists who know their way around automobiles, you could even fix it on your own.
Since not many people know how to drive a stick-shift, owning one means you’ll seldom be lending it to your friends. And this is important, especially if you have an awesome sports car or high-end model that almost everyone fancies driving. On a related note, stick shifts are less likely to get stolen when compared to their auto counterparts.
Truth be told, a manual transmission isn’t really suitable for all motorists. That said, there are some good reasons why car manufacturers haven’t ditched the option altogether, which is why you might want one for your next ride. Although stick shift cars are becoming harder to find, there are still a handful of models that offer this option.