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Should I choose automatic driving lessons?

We get that everyone’s different, so we offer automatic driving lessons as well as manual at Midrive. Take your time to choose between the two, and whichever you decide to go with we’ll support you every step of the way!

The difference between automatic and manual cars lies in the way they change gears to control power and speed. While a manual car needs the driver to change gears using a gear stick and pedal, an automatic car changes gears for you.


  • It’s quicker and easier to learn in an automatic car. Since you don’t have to figure out how to change gears and work the clutch, there’s a lot less to get your head around.
  • There’s no risk of stalling. Stalling is the bane of any manual driver’s life, but an automatic car can only stall if there’s a mechanical fault. Phew!
  • Automatic cars are better on hills. Steep hills can be a scary thing for new drivers, especially if you’re starting from a stop. In an automatic, the car will take care of it for you.
  • They’re easier in heavy traffic. Just think how nice it would be not having to press the clutch and change gears every few metres. Well, it’s possible!
  • Automatics are less restrictive. The safest driving position is with both hands on the wheel, which is easy in an automatic car as there’s no gear stick to reach for!


  • Lessons are more expensive. That’s because there are fewer automatic instructors around, so the demand is higher.
  • Automatic cars are more expensive to buy. They’re also pricier to maintain and repair.
  • Automatics tend to use more fuel. That’s because automatic engines tend to weigh more and have fewer gears than manuals.
  • They give you less control. Even though they’re meant to choose the best gear for you, they can’t anticipate upcoming situations. In a manual, you can deliberately change down a gear to get that extra boost of power.
  • Automatic driving lessons give you less flexibility in the long run. An automatic licence only qualifies you to drive automatic cars, whereas with a manual licence, you can drive both manuals and automatics.

Still not sure?

If you’re struggling to decide, have a think about where you’re likely to drive most after your test. If you’re based in a congested city like London, Liverpool, Portsmouth or Nottingham, then an automatic car might be more comfortable so that you’re not constantly pressing that clutch. On the other hand, if you’re going to be using motorways, dual carriageways and country roads regularly then you might prefer the control of a manual car.

Similarly, an automatic might be your preferred choice if you live somewhere hilly, like Bristol, Sheffield, Brighton or Leeds. If, however, you live somewhere flat like Essex, Norfolk or Cambridgeshire, then you might prioritise cost and opt for a manual car.

Don’t forget that you can drive either transmission type with a manual licence, while an automatic licence limits you to automatic cars. So, if you really can’t decide between the two, opting for manual lessons might be the safer option. Of course, if you pass your driving test in an automatic and you change your mind about your transmission style, you can always upgrade your licence by retaking the practical test in a manual car.

Automatic driving lessons near me

We recognise the importance of choice, and that’s why we offer automatic driving lessons in all our UK locations. Wherever you’re based, simply type your postcode into our postcode finder, and we’ll show you the prices for your location.

Some of our most popular locations for automatic driving lessons are Birmingham, East London, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, North London, Peterborough, Sheffield, South London and West London.

Automatic driving instructors

Once you’ve selected a package and paid a £20 deposit, we’ll match you with a trusted automatic instructor near you. All our instructors are DBS security checked, fully qualified (no trainees allowed!) and have received a minimum of 4 out of 5 stars from our learners.

It’s worth noting that across the UK there are fewer automatic instructors than manual. That’s led to a high demand for automatic driving instructors nationwide! Don’t worry though, as long as you have good availability, we should still be able to match you with a top instructor within 24 hours.

We aim to get our learners out on the road for their first lesson within seven days. If you’d like to get on the road quickly, we’d recommend entering a range of Monday to Friday daytime options, as this tends to be when our instructors have the best availability. If you only enter weekend and evening options, it could take us a little longer to get you behind the wheel depending on your location. Either way, we promise our trusted instructors are worth the short wait!

Here at Midrive, we work with a range of male and female instructors. Some learners (especially females) prefer to learn with a female instructor, and if that’s the case we’ll do our best to make that happen. Just make sure that you contact our Customer Happiness team on live chat before making your booking. Be aware that as with automatic instructors, there are fewer females around and they tend to be in high demand. This means that if you request a female instructor it might take a little longer to get you matched and on the road.

How many lessons do I need?

We wish there was an easy answer to this question, but the truth of the matter is that everyone learns differently! Learning to drive requires a whole new set of skills, and while some people take to it like a match to a flame, others take a bit longer to get their head around things.

According to the DVSA, learners take an average of 47 hours of driving lessons before passing their practical driving test. You’ll be pleased to hear that our learners only take an average of 30 hours of lessons. So, with our combination of top-rated instructors and award-winning apps we must be doing something right!

If you’re taking automatic driving lessons then you could pass your test even quicker, since you won’t have the clutch pedal and gear stick to get to grips with. Many of our learners taking automatic lessons pass their test in just 20 hours!

That said, it’s important to realise that the purpose of driving lessons shouldn’t just be to get you through your test. Driving lessons are vital in making you a safe and confident driver in the long run, so try not to rush (however desperate you may be for that shiny pink driver’s licence!).

We’d recommend selecting our 30-hour package if you’re new to driving. If you do pass your test quicker, we’ll refund any unused hours (as long as you’ve taken at least 20). And the best news? Our learners are 38% more likely to pass first time!

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How it works

1. Book

Enter your postcode, choose a deal and enter your details.

2. Match

Match with a trusted instructor within 24 hours, then pay for your lessons.

3. Pass

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