Automatic Cars Preferred Option For More Than 1 In 3 New Car Buyers

Automatic cars are now the preferred option for a third of all new car buyers. If the trends continue, they could soon overtake manual models…

Going Automatic 

An increasing number of new car buyers in the UK are opting for models with automatic transmission. In fact, just over a third are actively seeking them out over manual options according to new sales figures. Back in the year 2000, just 14% of drivers wanted an automatic car. This rose to 18% by 2010 and reached an impressive 36% by the end of 2019. Furthermore, based on sales in 2020, this could have already have reached 40%. Now, according to the automotive information company Glass, this could surpass half of all sales within the next few years.

Jonathan Brown, Glass’s editor, commented on the shift (no pun intended). He said, “the automatic has become an automatic choice. In terms of registrations, this is a rise from just 335k in 2009 to 827k in 2019″. He added, “wholesale volume of automatic gearboxes in 2010 stood at 119k cars, increasing to 368k in 2019″. Brown attributes the transition to better fuel economy in automatics. In addition, all EVs are automatics – speeding up the process further still.

How Do Automatics Work?

Automatics, unlike manuals, don’t have a series of gears that need to be changed manually. Instead, they usually have a stick with four options. These are ‘park’, ‘reverse’, ‘neutral’ and ‘drive’, Each does exactly what it says on the tin. Park essentially takes on the role of your parking brake and neutral means the same as it does in a manual. A few automatics also provide options for first and second gears, which can help keep your speed down when descending down a steep hill. They can also help stop your wheels from spinning when on slippy surfaces.

Generally speaking, automatics are easier to drive than manuals. This goes a long way in explaining their traditional popularity in America and rising interest elsewhere; especially as roads become more congested and traffic more frequent. Advances in the technology have significantly improved fuel economy and maintenance costs have gone down. Still, some drivers will always prefer the response and control manuals offer them. It makes sense for drivers to opt for options that suit their driving styles.

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