Home » Survey Shows More Than 90% Of UK Teens Will Get A Car With A Stick, Are Cooler Than American Teens

Survey Shows More Than 90% Of UK Teens Will Get A Car With A Stick, Are Cooler Than American Teens

British Teen Driver
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When I was in Britain this summer I could detect, but could not define some subtle quality of English teens that made them potentially superior to American teens. They seemed to be equally as interested in their phones, Taylor Swift, and conversing too loudly as our kids. Now, thanks to a newly published survey, I know what it is: Way more of them will reportedly be buying cars with manual transmissions.

I’m on dangerous ground here, as encouraging the Brits to hold onto anachronistic or ahistorical notions is something I generally try not to do. They’re pretty good at doing that for themselves.

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But a manual transmission is actually the kind of anachronism I think we can all support. God Save The Manuals!

According to a survey performed by the British driving school Young Driver for the purposes of generating press coverage, about 98% of British 16-year-olds planned on getting a used car. This makes sense. Cars are expensive and giving a kid a new car isn’t always financially wise. Here are the full stats:

Almost two thirds of the respondents (64%) said the new driver would have their own car when they passed their test – with 8% already having one lined up. One in three (29%) said the new driver would solely have use of their parent’s car to begin with. Only 3% would have no access to a vehicle.

Of the new drivers who will be getting a car, the Young Driver research revealed that:

  • 98% will get a used vehicle
  • 84% will get a petrol, 12% diesel and 4% electric
  • 92% will get a manual

When asked how much they were likely to spend on a new car, only 4% said they planned on forking out more than £10,000. Seven percent were looking at cars under £1,000, with the average amount, from all the responses, being £4,124. In 60% of cases the car would be bought by a parent or other family member, and for 40% it would be the driver themselves.

I also think the average car cost of £4,124 also makes sense (because of the skidding GBP that’s about $5,000). The diesel take rate is way higher than what you’d find in the United States, but that’s just a result of the number of diesels available.

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What I’m obviously interested in is that 92% will get a manual transmission. That’s a big number, even for Britain. According to this report in U.S. News and World Report, automatics outpaced manual sales in the United Kingdom for the first time ever, but there was an even more interesting stat:

But statistics from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency prove the trend is real. Last year, out of the 1.6 million driving tests it administered, 202,506 were taken in automatics, or 12.7% of the total. That may seem like a negligible amount, but it’s an increase of more than 90% from just five years ago.

I think you can take the number of kids who take a test with a manual as a sign of how many kids think they’ll need to know how to drive a car with a stick shift and, one could argue, the increased number of electric cars negates that reality. Still, you gotta live in the present.

The company doesn’t provide a ton of insight into the methodology, but surveying 16-year-olds currently taking driver’s ed courses makes a lot of sense to me.

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If I had to guess what’s going on here, a lot of this is just the reality of buying a cheap car in the United Kingdom. A brief search of AutoTrader UK shows that, of about 50,000 used cars for sale under £5,000, approximately 80% are equipped with manual transmissions.

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Also, one of them is this car. Hell yeah.

Subaru Not Wrx

I can just picture some cool-ass British 17-year-old named Nigel or Gemma or something, smoking a John Player Special while bumping Let’s Eat Grandma in that sweet, sweet (and only slightly chavy) Subaru Impreza.

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BobWellington
BobWellington
9 months ago

When I was in the UK this summer it was so nice to see all the small hatchbacks with manuals. So many had manuals that it was weird anytime I saw one with an automatic.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
9 months ago

Don’t know about the UK but in Finland if you don’t take your driving test in a manual you’re not legally allowed to drive any manual.

Theresatimetocomment
Theresatimetocomment
9 months ago

Renting a car anywhere but North America is fun, because the standard transmission is still usually a manual. Rowing gears makes even the most pedestrian car fun. America hurts my heart.

Pat Douglas Barron
Pat Douglas Barron
9 months ago

Manual vehicle transmissions are commonplace in many countries around the world. In South Africa you can’t get a driver’s license without knowing how to drive a stick-shift vehicle. In my opinion, you shouldn’t be allowed on the road if you can’t drive stick…

SageWestyTulsa
SageWestyTulsa
9 months ago

One of my proudest accomplishments to date as a father was procuring a tired-but-solid ’98 BMW 318ti 5sp (with California roof!) a year or so ahead of my old daughter’s 16th birthday. I bought it from a friend for the princely sum of $500, and drug it home on a trailer.

Over the next few months, she and I went completely through the cooling system, did some cosmetic tidying, and swapped in a replacement transmission as the original was missing 2nd gear. I also did a single-mass flywheel conversion while I was at it.

Once the mechanicals were up to snuff, we spent a few hours over the course of a week on learning to use the clutch, the finer points of shifting, etc. before she started venturing out on her own around the neighborhood. By the time school started in the fall, she was proficient enough to commute to high school through city traffic.

She’s off to college now, and we’ve since replaced the Ti with an automatic Golf (long story). She misses a manual trans, and will know how to drive one for the rest of her life. The two younger kids will also start on manuals (assuming they’re still to be found) when their time comes.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
9 months ago

When asked how much they were likely to spend on a new car, only 4% said they planned on forking out more than £10,000.

Aka, buying a car with their parents money or they have no concept of money.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
9 months ago

The first thing I think of when reading about this is what people say vs what they will actually do.

In my first hand observation, half of the people out there don’t ‘walk the talk’.

Gasoline isnt’ cheap in the UK. And I have a feeling that if any of those teens did some homework on what they will spend on fuel and other things like taxes, chances are many of them won’t get an ICE vehicle.

AAANND… for those that do, when they find they’re having to pay a lot for fuel and taxes and learn about how much less a BEV costs to operate, chances are that before long they’ll make the switch… particularly for cases where they have the ability to charge at home.

Last edited 9 months ago by Manwich Sandwich
JDE
JDE
9 months ago

Two things, It is telling that the brits require Drivers training courses, that seems to be a thing of the past in America. I realize there are still some training courses, but the number of Highschool History teachers driving a small 4 door in the summer with a second brake and steering wheel installed passenger side is not something I see at all anymore.

2 – in Europe in general manual transmissions are still somewhat available. The God forsaken CVT or worse cheap Dual Clutch setups replaced the good old manual 5 speed shitbox base trans. so you basically have to really want a stick to actually find one outside of say a Jeep or a Pony Car. and those are generally not in that cheap car sweet spot that high school drivers are in.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
9 months ago
Reply to  JDE

Driving school is required in every US state for people under 18 AFAIK.

but the number of Highschool History teachers driving a small 4 door in the summer with a second brake and steering wheel installed passenger side is not something I see at all anymore.

Driving courses are taught at dedicated driving schools these days. You must be… older, I’m in my early 30’s and I don’t even think that was really a thing anymore when I got my license nearly 15 years ago.

There must be a driving school near my house, because I still see plenty of drivers ed cars these days cruising through my neighborhood, but they’re not modified with secondary steering wheels and pedals.

Last edited 9 months ago by Yes I Drive A 240
JDE
JDE
9 months ago

But do they teach kids to drive a manual transmission?

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
9 months ago
Reply to  JDE

I have no idea. I learned how to drive stick before I was old enough to drive a car so I never asked.

Angry Bob
Angry Bob
9 months ago

My son wants an electric car when he’s old enough.

I’ve failed as a gearhead father.

But at least he rides a dirt bike with a real clutch.

Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson
9 months ago
Reply to  Angry Bob

My kids have been brainwashed by TV and Youtube to think a Tesla is the ultimate car to buy.
I continue to point out hot rods and muscle cars, hoping to one day convince them otherwise.

JDE
JDE
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Jackson

I know at one point My Daughter was sort of smitten by Youtube famous people showing off teslas and Lambo’s but she has realized most of those people were lame and is currently vying for the 6 Speed SRT8 or the 68 4 speed Camaro for her first car…..I will say though, I would rather swap an LS in the Scout and have her in a brick that can roll over stuff over high powered rear wheel drive stuff from the start.

Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson
9 months ago
Reply to  JDE

Keep fighting the good fight!
I keep putting mine in my Silverado with a straight pipe, and letting them hear it sing the song of its people.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
9 months ago
Reply to  Chris Jackson

My kids have been brainwashed by TV and Youtube to think a Tesla is the ultimate car to buy.”

As a daily driver, they are correct.

Hot rods and muscle cars are great in their own way. But they make for terrible daily drivers. And I’m saying that as a male who is nearly 50 years old who likes them.

Lokki
Lokki
9 months ago

Shift, shift through the gears
Just ignore the grind you hear
Don’t worry about the noise
Your dad is the only one it annoys

Drive, but not in my car, because you likely won’t get very far
Fish the shifter all around, till your tranny gears are  custom ground
For too late you shift and high the revs will fly
And clutch you’ll burn and it will fry
And your transmission full of debris 
Is what all your poor mechanic is gonna see..

Grind, Brit-girl, grind 
Stir that stick , maybe some random gear you’ll find 
And when at last the transmission  is done
Just call Dad; he’ll buy you another one
For careless  you drive  and high you rev
Just go ahead and fish around and ignore that shrieking sound
And as iPhone in your hand you wave
You’ll  casually send another gearbox to an early grave

Last edited 9 months ago by Lokki
Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
9 months ago

I’m in the UK. My other half works in an office mostly staffed by kids in their 20s. One of the company cars is an auto, and none of the kids wanted to drive it. It turns out they didn’t know how to drive an auto, and had questions like “how do I start it if I can’t push down the clutch”, “what does the gear stick do” and, my favourite, “how do I make it change gear”.

She explained to just cram their left foot under the seat so they won’t keep flooring the brakes when they go for the clutch, then just drive it.

I wanted her to tell them to make sure the lever was in Ready position before driving but she’s not mean like I am.

She also had to explain to one of them recently what sixth gear is for in a manual. They had bought a new car, their first with a sixth gear, and had said “I never drive fast enough to get to sixth gear”.
They drive to work on a 70mph road.

In summary: non-car people know almost nothing about cars. Also kids in the UK aren’t magically all cool car people despite being able to count to five (sometimes six) with one hand while pushing with one foot. It’s mundane here.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
9 months ago
Reply to  Captain Muppet

After years of having a 5MT and going to a 6MT, on the test drive of the current car both I and the other hand would simply stop shifting once we got to 5. The old shift pattern was heavily etched into our both our minds.

I think, what Americans might not understand, that if you do your test in the UK in an automatic: your license is restricted to automatics only. It only makes sense to know how to drive a manual, as it opens the door fully to used vehicles in your budget.

Myk El
Myk El
9 months ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

I got my first 6MT 20 years ago and have had one for 19 of the last 20 years. I occasionally I need to drive my nephew’s 5MT I have to remind myself not to try and go for 6th as on his car…the position I know as 6th is reverse.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
9 months ago
Reply to  Myk El

Reverse should always be adjacent to first. It’s a consistent location and less likely that you’ll try to mash it into reverse whilst on the move.

And those gearboxes where first is down-and-to-the-left (which are not heavy trucks, or a track-only vehicle) should be burnt to the ground.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
9 months ago

That is an EXTREMELY chavvy Impreza.

Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
9 months ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Amen

ChefCJ
ChefCJ
9 months ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

But at least it lets you know how much you don’t want to talk to the person driving it. It’s a friendly warning system

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
9 months ago
Reply to  ChefCJ

Hahahaha.

Fred Pinto
Fred Pinto
9 months ago

Yo, I have a question to my fellow autopians kinda related to this post: regarding the split between petrol/diesel/evs, I live in Brazil and here most of the cars come out of the factories with flex fuel sensors so they can run on ethanol. Why this kind of thing didn’t work out in the euro and us markets as well?

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
9 months ago
Reply to  Fred Pinto

Cars are sold that way in the US too, but not every new car sold here is fitted with one.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
9 months ago

But you are only mildly cool if you drive a 4 or 5 spd manual, the really cool kids drive a 6 spd manual.

Chronometric
Chronometric
9 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

The really cool kids learn to cope with only 3.

BloggyMcBlogBlog
BloggyMcBlogBlog
9 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

The coolest kids drive a three on a tree!

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
9 months ago

Great, now you tell me. I see I picked the wrong day to drive to work in my four-on-the-tree ’67 SAAB 96.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
9 months ago

That steering wheel looks really BIG.

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
9 months ago

How do they expect to eat Big Macs and send text messages while driving stick?

ES
ES
9 months ago
Reply to  Bob Boxbody

once upon a time: coffee (no cup holder), bagel, camel, stick, no power steering, city traffic, you cope.

ES
ES
9 months ago
Reply to  ES

(camels and no cup holders were once upon a time, the rest still happen)

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
9 months ago
Reply to  Bob Boxbody

I drive stick and I can eat a Big Max while doing so TYVM!

Chronometric
Chronometric
9 months ago

I know a lot of Brits. Definitely more shifty.

Thomas The Tank Engine
Thomas The Tank Engine
9 months ago

I firmly believe that diving a manual requires you to pay more attention to the road, traffic, other drivers etc so that you can anticipate what gear to be in and when to be in that gear. You are constantly changing gear, and that requires you to be constantly paying attention.

Not needing to change gears yourself means you don’t need to pay as much attention because the car will always take care of that for you.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
9 months ago

I can text and drive while driving a manual just as easily as if I was in an automatic? I’ve never understood this talking point. The only difference is doing it while accelerating which is pretty hard to do regardless of what car you are in.

Studdley
Studdley
9 months ago

I think the better argument for stick is that you have to somewhat think ahead of what you’re going to do. Not as easy as slamming the pedal in the ground and cutting over 4 lanes to get to the exit ramp.

Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
9 months ago

I’ve always felt this way too.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
9 months ago

Of my four British-market cars two have manual transmissions and two have CVTs. With more manuals than automatics over there, this means that removing these has had the overall effect of increasing the proportion of remaining manuals. Then again, I wasn’t involved in bringing these four cars to the US in the first place, so I can’t claim any credit.

On the other hand, the only vehicle I have directly extracted from the UK is a French-market car with a CVT. You’re welcome.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

You can’t drop hints like that and not tell us about the cars! The only UK market car I have, I brought over, and it is a manual. I hurt their proportion slightly, but helped ours so I don’t feel bad.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
9 months ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

The manuals are an ’82 Austin Allegro 3 and an ’83 Austin Maestro Vanden Plas; the CVTs are a ’75 and a ’76 Volvo 66 GL. The French-market CVT that had found its way to the UK before becoming mine is a ’78 KV Mini 1. Yours?

My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

My Dad had an Austin Allegro, it drank a pint of oil every 100 miles. We’d back down our driveway and literally disappear in a cloud of smoke. Ahh happy days.
He had Volvo’s as well, an 82 ‘X’ reg. 343DL, then a later model four door (I guess five with the hatch) 340DL.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

96 Peugeot 306 GTi-6. It’s pretty fun but not as unique as yours

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
9 months ago

Doesn’t this really come down to the number of manuals available in the UK vs the US? If 70% of cars sold in the US were manuals, young people would buy manuals.

Brandt S
Brandt S
9 months ago
Reply to  Dodsworth

yes, and also the fact that you have to take your driving test with a manual. This is one of those “wow, look at the statistics that absolutely correspond with what one should expect given the basic facts”. There are like 100 cars in the USA sold with a manual every year these days. It’s not that people are lazy about driving (which, they are too, but that’s a separate discussion) it’s that car makers will not sell manuals here and dealers will not stock them.

Mitch
Mitch
9 months ago
Reply to  Brandt S

People also don’t want them. I used to sell cars and getting in models with a stick was usually a bummer. Either we’d had Manual Perverts like us here on this site driving in from across the state/neighboring states to buy it specifically because it was a manual, or we’d end up holding onto it forever and discounting the heck out of it because no one wanted it.

Pupmeow
Pupmeow
9 months ago
Reply to  Mitch

TIL I am a Manual Pervert.

Mitch
Mitch
9 months ago
Reply to  Pupmeow

It’s okay, this is a safe space for people like us.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 months ago
Reply to  Brandt S

You don’t have to take the test in a manual, but you get a restricted license if you take it on an auto. At least that’s my understanding, I could be wrong. Lived there for 2 years, but never drove.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
9 months ago

Not very familiar with Britain but very seldom are the smart, fun, economical decisions all the same as seems to be the case here.

MiniDave
MiniDave
9 months ago

When is this “you’re not cool unless you drive a stick” crap going to end? What the hell difference does it make whether the car is a manual? Next you guys will be saying you can’t be cool unless you have roll up windows or something! And yes, I have driven a stick most of my life, and I also have a car with an automatic. Modern automatics are more efficient, get better fuel milage, usually can be shifted manually, have quicker 0-60 times……I mean, the only difference is you don’t have to pump the clutch pedal a million times. And somehow THAT makes you cool? I just don’t get it…..

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
9 months ago
Reply to  MiniDave

You just wouldn’t understand.

MiniDave
MiniDave
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

And you say that because????? I own two manual shift cars and two automatics, so how do I not understand? I live with both daily….
I DO understand…..it’s one of those cute internet things that get repeated constantly and aren’t even remotely true……but it gets clicks

Last edited 9 months ago by MiniDave
Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
9 months ago
Reply to  MiniDave

Just having fun with a namesake and because everyone uses it. My real explanation is it is human nature. For us car people if we have 2 car loving neighbors one who can DIY most anything and another rich who can pay for most anything we are more impressed by the guy or girl who can DYI. But would like to be rich enough to chose. IMHO

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
9 months ago
Reply to  MiniDave

The long version is you are not cool unless you drive a stick and know the firing order of a V8.

Joshua Jones
Joshua Jones
9 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. But my 5-speed truck (with manual crank windows) is only a 4-cyl. I would have to look up the firing order for that.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
9 months ago
Reply to  Joshua Jones

What bothers me about my Buick v6 is that the firing order is listed as 6-1-2-3-4-5. Why not just list as 1-2-3-4-5-6. It is so neat and orderly that way.

CivoLee
CivoLee
9 months ago
Reply to  MiniDave

I think it comes down to being able to do something others can’t. For example, I pride myself in being able to listen to some pretty heavy metal for about an hour before getting bored, whereas a lot of people would be too scared to listen to more than one song, if that…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  CivoLee

What’s so scary to “a lot of people” about heavy metal?

CivoLee
CivoLee
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Some people find the aggression/lyrical imagery to be off-putting…

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  CivoLee

Oh the pearl clutching…

I had a friend in middle school who was a big Iron Maiden fan. He listened to metal I think mostly to upset his born again Christian parents (this was Regan era 1980s). He had lots of issues, enough he put me off metal for a long time.

It wasn’t until many years later I found a copy of “Live after Death” that somehow had ended up in my collection. I decided to give it a fair try and listened to it as an adult, making sure to read the lyrics and when possible get the background of the song. Now I’m a fan. It takes serious talent to put an early 19th century English poem to music to not only become a greatest hit at the time but have the staying power to still be good 40 years later.

Phuzz
Phuzz
9 months ago
Reply to  MiniDave

In the UK, when I was learning to drive, there was a perception that doing the auto-only driving test implied that you weren’t good enough to pass whilst shifting your own gears.
I definitely knew a few people who found driving difficult and failed their test a few times, deciding to go for an auto-only test because “it’s one less thing to think about”.
Back then (about twenty something years ago), generally only luxury cars had automatic gearboxes, so there was also the perception that choosing an auto was out of laziness.

VanGuy
VanGuy
9 months ago
Reply to  MiniDave

I feel this way too. Enjoy your manual transmission if you have one, but I love my eCVT and I’m sure I’ll enjoy an EV when I get to experience one.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
9 months ago
Reply to  MiniDave

You’re not wrong. Just need to lay off the caffeine a little later in the day.

All joking aside I think the article was a little tongue in cheek. A little. I do tend to agree with you though. I’ve driven plenty of manuals and it is more fun until the adventure of doing it wears off.

I still remember the first time I drove an 18-speed transmission. It was an experience, but boy howdy that would get tedious FAST.

Also remember driving non-synchro 4 speeds. Rev matching and all that is soo interesting, until it’s not. Then you’re just stuck with it.

Or, how about a 3 speed and a separate overdrive switch on the dash. Quirky and cool until you’re just done with it.

How about an automatic with a hurst his and hers shifter? The original flappy paddle. I used the “his” maybe twice, fun, for a couple goes and then forgetaboutit.

davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
9 months ago
Reply to  MiniDave

The more things you know how to do, whatever it is, the cooler you are.

Aaron Headly
Aaron Headly
9 months ago

I took my test in my mom’s three-year-old yellow 1976 Corolla station wagon. Very much a manual. I had some points docked for yelling at a pedestrian, but I passed.

davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
9 months ago

Confirmed my suspicion on this on Quora:
You can only have one driving licence in the UK, if you passed your driving test in an automatic car your licence only allows youth drive an auto, but if you passed in a manual transmission car the licence covers both manual and automatic transmission cars.

So, if you don’t take your driving test with a manual, you basically have a restricted license. Good incentive to make sure all young drivers start with a stick!

Also, the majority of rental cars in England have a manual transmission.

Very likely to change rapidly over the next 5-10 years, though…

Last edited 9 months ago by davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
9 months ago

I was going to say this as well. It’s relatively rare to just take the automatic only test even if you plan on buying an automatic.

davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
9 months ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

What’s really sad to me is that many of these young people who don’t learn to drive a manual early on will end up never learning how to drive one, and will be precluded from enjoying so many wonderful older cars because of it. Will be interesting to see what that means as far as the depreciation of older cars as time goes on…

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
9 months ago

I was wondering what will happen in a few years as ICE cars get phased out of new car production, I would imagine it is going to get harder and harder to obtain the types of new car that people typically learn on now with a manual transmission.

davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
9 months ago
Reply to  Matthew Lange

The national mandates, if followed through with, will obviously change things very quickly. The UK ban was just pushed back to 2035, I believe.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
9 months ago

Australia was the same way for me growing up.. blew my mind when I moved to the US that I could theoretically take my test in an automatic Mini and then legally drive a stick-shift dually while pulling 10-15k pounds of trailer.. it’s honestly lunacy.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
9 months ago
Reply to  Cool Dave

Not lunacy. It’s common to take your test in an automatic even if you plan on learning manual because it’s assumed that young drivers will have an easier time focusing on the road if they don’t also have to focus on the newness and challenge of driving stick. Once you instinctively know the rules of the road and don’t have to think too much about it, adding another step in the form of manual shifting becomes easier. That’s how I did it, took my test with an automatic but learned manual later.

Another thing to note is that while you could indeed drive a stick-shift dually towing a trailer at 16, I think that’s generally assumed to be uncommon enough to not be worth worrying about. How many 16 year-olds own both a stick shift dually and a massive trailer? How many sane parents are going to let their 16 year-old drive a stick shift dually with a trailer? Frankly, if I asked if that 16 year-old can handle it and the parents say yes, I’m inclined to believe them. Plus you have to be at least 18 to get a CDL, and then you have a CDL.

changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
9 months ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

In Australia (or at least Victoria) if you are under 21 years old you have to log at least 120 hours of driving on your L’s with a supervisor before you can go for your Ps. Given it takes about 3 hours to learn a manual plenty of time to learn the other roadcraft. I did about 140 hours mainly driving the long trip to school and back in mums Auto whilst doing manual driving on the weekends with dad.

Brandon Forbes
Brandon Forbes
9 months ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

You don’t have to have a CDL to pull a trailer, and I learned to drive on a little sedan, and then was quickly told I was then driving a massive suburban, and pulled a trailer numerous times with no training on it. That’s extremely common in small farming towns. The kids who haven’t pulled a trailer are the weird ones. But I definitely was not taught, just was expected to figure it out. My dad helped me hook it up and sent me on my way. Only put one tire (dual axle trailer) over the ditch, so I counted it as a win haha.

davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
9 months ago
Reply to  Brandon Forbes

You can drive a Class A motorhome with 10,000 pounds of trailer behind you without a CDL – ha!

Phuzz
Phuzz
9 months ago

I think for a lot of people in the UK, even if you’re expecting to be mostly driving an auto, you still try for a manual licence just in case you have to eg hire a van and they only have manuals.
There was also a stigma when I was younger, that people who did their auto-only test only did that because they were too bad at driving to pass their test in a manual. (There was usually a sexist angle to this as well, but fuck that noise).

Worth adding that you can always ‘upgrade’ your license to a manual one by retaking that part of the test (in a manual, obvs).

davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
davesaddiction - Long Live OPPO!
9 months ago
Reply to  Phuzz

I honestly wish that was the way it was here, but that ship has long sailed. Even for parents who desire to have their kids learn to drive a manual, they’re hard enough to find that often they just give up and they end up getting an automatic for their first car. Thankfully we found a ’15 Mazda 6 manual for Kid A.

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