Manual or automatic transmission

Transmission Guide: Manual vs Automatic

If you’re vehicle-shopping and you can’t decide between an automatic or manual transmission, there are a few important things to consider before making a purchase.


Both options have pros and cons, but ultimately the choice will depend on what you are comfortable with as a driver. Here are a few points of comparison to help you decide which transmission is right for you. 

Manual is usually cheaper than automatic transmission

The modern engineering behind automatic transmissions tends to make them a bit more expensive than manual transmissions.

Mazda 3 2007 manual transmission pedals

That said, if you don’t know how to drive a manual vehicle, then the extra money is probably worth it. If you know how to drive manually, then paying less for a manual vehicle makes good sense.


Buying used cars tends to make the price margin a bit smaller, though. You may not notice a significant price difference between a used automatic and a used manual vehicle, and in that case, a little extra money for an automatic would probably be worth it.

Manual transmissions use less fuel than automatic

Manual transmissions provide a gas mileage improvement of up to 5 miles per gallon, which is significant. This is because the driver is in full control of acceleration speed, which generally leads to less revving of the engine. 


Newer automatic transmissions have significantly improved gas mileage, but they are also much more expensive than older cars. They also generally require less maintenance, which means less time going to transmission shops.


If you ever do have trouble with your manual transmission, though, visit the transmission shop in Chattanooga for all your manual service needs.

The bottom line is – if you’re looking for an affordable vehicle with great gas mileage, and you’re willing to learn a new skill – a manual car is your best bet.

Mazda 3 2007 with automatic transmissions

But, manual vehicles are harder to drive

This is the only mentionable drawback of driving a manual vehicle, and how much it affects your driving experience depends on where you live.


The reason automatic vehicles are so popular is because they are more convenient than manual vehicles. Driving up and down steep hills, for example, can be particularly difficult in a manual vehicle. 


If convenience is your primary concern, or if you live in a crowded city with lots of hills, an automatic transmission is your best bet. 


Driving an automatic or manual vehicle depends on your preferences and budget, so it’s important to closely evaluate your needs before making a purchase.