Should You Learn How To Drive Manual?
By: Anthony Fongaro | August 2015
If you take a look at modern cars, you'll notice something missing. No, it's not a Pimp My Ride style gumball machine. The vast majority of new cars come with an automatic transmission only.
Cars with the dreaded clutch pedal have become taboo since driving an automatic takes less effort. Even cars made out of unobtanium like Ferraris and Lamborghinis don't offer cars with a manual anymore. Driving a car with a manual has become a lost art, which may leave you wondering, "is this even a skill worth learning?"
Do you really have to ask? Of course the answer is yes!
The biggest reason is that your possibilities for your next vehicle vastly increase. Since manual cars are less complex than their automatic counterparts, they are usually less expensive (so if you buy a manual Fiat, you can use that money on all the repairs you’ll have).
You’ll also have a better chance of your car not being stolen since some thieves can’t drive stick. Plus, you'll look badass changing gears with the same ferocity as every Fast and Furious movie. People with ADHD/ADD really should learn how to drive manual since it gives them something to do other than Snapchat while driving (which no one ever does).
This may be surprising, but unlike Americans, the rest of the world (who know absolutely nothing) actually prefer manuals. If you want to rent a car in not- America, you'll have to either pray there is an automatic available or make friends with someone who can drive some cheap little French or Italian car. Otherwise, you'll be made fun of for looking like a stupid and lazy Yankee.
When you finally take your brave pill and first learn, you'll quickly learn the concept of "stalling" the engine. Don't feel embarrassed the frist time this happens. However, if you do constantly stall, I suggest you make sure you’re not in rush hour traffic in Los Angeles on a Friday afternoon. Also, don't learn how to drive manual on a powerful or sporty car. Something like an unappealing 25-year old truck works best because they're so slow you won't have the ability to rear-end the car in front of you.
So if you’re stick-curious and not sure if you should learn, find that one friend with the “I would never buy it but I’m now glad you own one” Honda Civic and ask if you can stall it a few times (aka learn how to drive his or her car). Learning how to drive a manual transmission car is a skill that everyone should know. Not only does it make it so you can drive every single car ever made, but you look cool and almost no one will ever want to drive or steal your car.
Mini Cooper photo provided by Mini U.S.A.