Stick Shift Driving: Know the Pros and Cons

Stick shifts, also known as manual transmission vehicles, have created passionate preferences among car lovers for decades. Some people love them while others either don’t know how to drive one or prefer less conscious effort. If you’re considering purchasing a vehicle, whether or not to choose a stick shift model comes down to personal preference. Like with any other purchase, doing your research can help you make the best decision for your budget and needs. There are several important aspects of manual vehicles that all potential buyers should know.

Enjoy Better Fuel Economy and Less Maintenance

One of the biggest benefits of stick shift models is that not only can you typically purchase a quality manual vehicle for less than the automatic transmission version of the same vehicle, but the better fuel economy for the manual model can potentially save you money by spending less on gas over its lifespan. Most people experience a 15 percent increase in fuel economy on average when they switch from automatic to manual.

In addition, manual transmissions are not as complexly built as automatics, so they tend to have less maintenance problems and breakdowns. The prospect of a dependable vehicle that may require fewer repairs and have easy-to-diagnose problems is a stress reliever for those with little inclination to spend time on their car.

Educate Yourself on the Disadvantages of Driving a Stick Shift

There are a few drawbacks to manual transmissions that may affect your purchase decision. Learning how to drive a stick shift is very different than learning automatic transmission. If you’re the kind of person who has been in a few accidents or enjoys blasting the music loud rather than concentrating fully on the road, the transition to a manual driving style may be challenging.

Be prepared to miss some shift transitions and have your car stall the first few times you hit the road. While the unpleasant sound might be jarring at first, it is preventable through practice and experience. Going uphill can be intimidating for beginners; you will need to learn how to pull away from the hill you are driving over or otherwise you run the risk of rolling into the vehicle behind you. Driving manual can be very enjoyable for some and nerve-racking for others; it is recommended that you test drive a vehicle to determine which driving style suits you best.

There are both potential pros and cons in owning a manual transmission vehicle. Deciding whether or not to purchase one depends on your budget and overall preference.