Hanson Driving School is an independent Driving School based covering CHELMSFORD Essex, benefiting from over 31 years of experience in driving tuition in both manual & automatic transmission. Whether you are a beginner, a refresher or wish to complete your Pass Plus, Hanson Driving School prides itself on providing the very best professional tuition in a friendly, safe and relaxed environment.

Guaranteed One to One tuition with lessons tailored to your needs & capabilities delivered in a calm and patient manner;

specialising in nervous pupils.

We take pride in offering competitive, realistically priced driving lessons for quality driving instruction. To find out more or to book your driving instructor now please call us on Mobile: 07963 233 555 or send an email to hansondrivingschool@gmail.com.




If you can take your driving test in an automatic vehicle, you will only be able to drive automatic cars with your license. With a manual license, on the other hand, you are free to drive both manual and automatic vehicles, giving you much more freedom when it comes to buying a car.

How do automatic cars work?

In an automatic car, instead of the driver selecting the correct gear, the car changes up and down the gears automatically.

In place of the gear stick, there is a selector. This looks a little like a gear stick, but instead of having R,1,2,3,4,5 (and, on some cars, 6), it will usually have P, R, N, D, 1, 2, 3, although exact markings can sometimes differ.

P = Park This is the gear you should select when securing your vehicle.

R = Reverse This will lock your car into reverse gear.

N = Neutral When the car is in neutral you will not be able to move forwards or backwards, but the car won’t be secure unless you apply the handbrake too. You should select neutral when waiting at a standstill in traffic or at traffic lights in order to avoid unnecessary fuel consumption.

D = Drive You should select this gear for driving. When in drive, your gears will automatically change up and down depending on your speed and the incline of the road.

1,2,3 are, as you might expect, first second and third gear. Although you might not use these often, they allow the driver to lock the car into gear if needed. This can be useful when driving in adverse weather conditions like snow and ice, or when tackling a particularly steep hill!

So, why learn to drive in an automatic car?

Although the ratio of automatic to manual learners in the UK is relatively small, there is still a very large number of people choosing to take their driving lessons in automatic cars, and this could be for any number of reasons.

Automatic vehicles are much easier to drive for, for example, elderly and disabled people. Whilst getting used to the clutch is stress-free for some learners, many struggle to get to grips with the gears, and, in such cases, switching to an automatic car may well be the answer.

Automatic cars allow drivers to concentrate on aspects of driving other than clutch control and gear changes. It simplifies the learning process, making it much easier to get to grips with.

Things to consider before opting for automatic

Because an automatic license only allows you to drive automatic cars, you may end up having to pay more for your vehicle. As manual transmissions are currently the most popular choice amongst Brits, there may be less choice when it comes to second-hand cars, too.

Old automatic cars may also be less fuel efficient. New, modern models are fitted with the latest fuel saving technology, but older automatics may guzzle more fuel than manuals of the same age. This is partly due to the fact that you’re not able to select a gear yourself, meaning the gears might not change up as quickly as a person would do it manually. You also can’t perform block gear changes, as automatics will change, in order, up and down through the gears.


In the UK, drivers aged between 16 and 19 usually learn in a manual car, with only around 40,000 of the 720,000 driving tests sat per year for an automatic licence.

There are some clear advantages to having a manual licence over an automatic; we asked our Pricing team to help explain some of these benefits.

In general, it is typically cheaper to insure a manual car, as most automatic equivalents tend to be in a higher risk group to insure. They are normally in a higher vehicle group because the costs of repairs are higher for an automatic car - a significant point for insurers to consider when deciding which group to place a new vehicle in.

When looking at the Vauxhall Corsa, figures show that having an automatic licence is 11% more expensive than a full manual licence on the auto version of the Corsa for a 19-year-old driver with two years’ No Claims Bonus.



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