Learn to Drive – Automatic

Why might you choose to learn in an Automatic transmission (no gear changes)?

The future is coming.... All modern hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) are automatic so it is just a matter of time until auto takes over. Are you ready to take the leap? Or is now just too soon?

automatic driving test Sevenoaks West Wickham Sidcup Bromley Tunbridge Wells

Diverse Needs and Diversity

One of the biggest benefits of Automatic driving is that there is less to do.

Is automatic easier? - No
Driving is 90% about forward planning, observations, and experience. This isn't reduced by a lack of gear changing, and sometimes if you get it wrong an auto can allow things to go wrong MORE rapidly. Therefore it isn't quicker, or easier.

Why is it better then?
The lack of gears offers a number of benefits:

Less to do inside the car - Cognitive processing (Thinking) isn't as complex when you don't need to manually choose the gear. This means you can focus on staying safe outside the car, controlling speed, steering and space around you.

Coordination - You are not required to coordinate your limbs as much, the result being a better and safer drive.

Following Instruction - When learning, those with audio-processing issues can struggle with translating instruction to action. Less instructions means less to process.

Memory -  If you are challenged when remembering steps, labels or processes then automatic cars are a simpler process.

Anxiety - Less to worry about results in less worry. We can only juggle so many balls at one time, those that find this daunting often benefit by reducing the number of balls!

Specialist Instructors - All the Better Driver Training team have a broad mix of specialisms and experience. They often know exactly what the individual needs and can offer specialised support. If they don't know the answer, then we benefit of having a whole team in place - and we are yet to find a challenge we haven't been able to help with or advise on.

Automatic gear changing

More and more drivers are joining the automatic evolution. Be it Electric, Hybrid or traditional Automatic the future is going auto.
The question for many is what are the advantages, disadvantages and options. Better Driver Training are here to support you in this decision.

Gears or no gears safe driving is important in any vehicle. We don't see automatic lessons as a quick stop to getting on the road. Observations, experience and understanding are needed in both manual or automatic. Your instructor will be able to develop these skills and deliver an educated and safe driver. Allowing you to feel confident and in control, whatever your choice.

None of this helps  with the theory - But we can!

You have to pass exactly the same theory test as a manual driver. 50 theory questions including 5 Case Study questions, and a Hazard Perception Test of 14 videos with 15 hazards to spot.

Better Driver Training can provide you with full support. Online, app, face to face, or as part of a group - we can deliver the theory training you need to prepare for the DVSA Theory Test.


There must be a downside otherwise everyone would be doing it?

Potentially yes, there is a limitation applied to the licence. If you pass in an automatic you cannot currently drive a manual car (one with a clutch).

But does this matter? That is a question each individual needs to answer.

There are benefits to passing in a manual:

  • Improved understanding of a mechanical system
  • Better forward planning skills
  • Enhanced 'multi-tasking' ability
  • Flexibility

However, if it gets you on the road, provide freedom and independence, and makes your life easier then it could be right for you.

Upgrading to Manual from Automatic

If you pass the automatic test, can you get a manual licence at a later date?

Yes - And there is no theory test needed. Once you are ready you will need to work with your instructor to book a manual test and pass it like you did with your automatic test. This can be a great way to get used to the road and driving in an automatic, freeing up vital grey matter to go back to manual driving at  later date.

Especially those with a deadline:

  • Parents-to-be
  • New Job
  • Change of lifestyle or location
  • Medical issues

Being able to focus on immediate success and return later to develop this further can be a huge asset.

Manual Licence Holder Moving to an Automatic?

With so many making the move to automatic, we are seeing an increase in the number of fully qualified drivers asking to update their skills. We offer this in a number of ways:

  • Full Licence Holder training and support
  • Advanced driving/driver training
  • UK Orientation (Foreign Licence/International Licence Holders)
  • Manual to Automatic conversion
  • New Skills/Technology support
  • Older Driver assessments
  • Refresher training/Returning to driving
  • Company/Work Driver assessing

We also offer B+e (Car and Trailer towing) and D1 (Minibus) training.

The Automatic Driving Test

The DVSA automatic driving test is exactly the same as the manual test. You do not have to specify the transmission on booking, however you should disclose any learning requirements or medical needs (including pregnancy) when booking.

'Extended tests' do not have to be longer, they meet the same criteria as a standard test, but the examiner is allocated more time to assist you.

The test will include:

1 x Tell Me and 1 x Show Me question

1 x Manoeuvre

20 minutes Sat Nav or Road Sign  drive

and about 1 in 3 tests have an Emergency Stop

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Where do you require lessons?