Are you planning to buy a new car? If you already have a model in mind, one thing to consider is the type of car transmission.
Basically, there are vehicles manufactured with two types of transmission – manual and automatic. Even if you know how to drive both types of vehicles, when it comes to buying a new car, you might get confused on which one to opt for and why.
How Manual and Automatic Transmission Vehicles Work
Before getting into the pros and cons of manual and automatic transmission, you need to have an idea how each transmission functions. When you use manual transmission vehicles, you have full control over the gear. You manually control the stick shaft as per the speed you like and you have the option to slow down or stop a vehicle using the gear.
Unlike manual transmission vehicles, an automatic transmission vehicle does not have a clutch pedal or a stick shaft. The transmission does all the shifting automatically.
Manual Vehicles Are Cheaper To Buy
Manual transmission vehicles are cheaper and easier to maintain, as they come with a simple design. Cars with automatic transmission, on the other hand, are built with more parts and technology making them a costlier alternative to manuals. Let’s take the example of a Proton Saga and a Perodua Alza. While the automatic version of the 2018 Proton Saga 1.3 starts from RM RM36,343, the manual transmission version starts from just RM 33,591. Which means, you save RM2,752 if you opt for the manual version. Similarly, the 2018 Perodua Alza 1.5 SE automatic version is priced at RM54,346 and it's manual counterpart at RM51,467, giving you a difference of RM2,879. No matter the make or model, you will definitely find manuals cheaper than automatic vehicles.
Manual Vehicles are Easier to Maintain
When compared to automatic vehicles, vehicles with manual transmission are easier to maintain. Usually, the servicing involves checking the transmission fluid and changing the fluid from time to time. Since automatic cars are designed with great complexity, they require much more maintenance. However, unlike manual vehicles, you don’t have to keep replacing a clutch or a stick shaft, which could cost you quite a lot.
Manual Vehicles have Better Fuel Efficiency
Since manual transmission vehicles come with a simple design, they are much more fuel efficient when compared to automatic vehicles. Automatic vehicles will need more fuel as the transmission, which is handled by the torque converter, functions automatically. Having said that, today there are many automatic cars being manufactured with more forward gears than reverse gears, making them as fuel-efficient as a manual one.
Automatic Vehicles are Easier to Drive Especially in Traffic
If you live in a city with traffic congestion, you will love driving an automatic vehicle. Automatic vehicles are smooth and effortless on roads as the transmission does the shifting for you. Though you have better control over manual vehicles, you need to be very cautious driving them, especially in traffic prone areas. Moreover, if you have to drive up a hill, you will notice the difference when you drive an automatic vehicle instead of a manual one, no matter how steep the slope is. So if you’re looking for manoeuvrability, you’ll get it from an automatic vehicle.
New Drivers Prefer Automatic Vehicles
If you have learnt to drive on a manual transmission vehicle, you’ll know how long it took you to get used to the gears and the clutch. Unlike a manual car, an automatic one has two pedals – the gas pedal and the brake pedal. With lesser number of pedals and no gears to work with, you can have both your hands of the wheel and concentrate on your driving better, which is why new drivers prefer automatic to manual vehicles.
Reselling Your Vehicle
Since manual vehicles are relatively older than automatic ones, you get a much lower price when you resell the vehicle. Also, there has been an increasing demand for automatic vehicles, reducing the price of manuals even further.
Though manual transmission cars are fuel-efficient and affordable when compared to their automatic counterpart, there has been a steep decline in the manufacture of manual cars recently. This is because people are willing to pay the extra thousands and buy a vehicle that will do the gear shift automatically. The trend is not just happening in Malaysia but across the world. Today, you might not find many manufacturers coming with manual transmission cars.
People are also foreseeing that once there is a halt in the production of manuals, they might find it difficult to get their cars serviced by professionals, especially if there is a need for spare parts. However, the people who are pro-manuals are so used to using the clutch and gear that they find it difficult to switch to automatic.
No matter which car transmission type you are opting for, you can compare models, shortlist a couple of vehicles, and see how the car type will benefit you in the long run before making a purchase. For a brand new car, you can pay 10% of the total amount as downpayment; the rest can be settled with a car loan. Make sure to compare the various car loans available in the market before applying.