Whether you’ve been driving for years or you’re just starting out, chances are you’ve heard about both a manual and automatic car, but do you know the difference?

Of course, there’s the apparent difference between a manual car having gears and an automatic not, but is that it?

Before you decide on purchasing a new or used car, you have to have an idea about the specs of what you’re looking for. A dealer will always ask you whether you’re looking for a manual or an automatic.

While neither is considered better than the other, the choice of choosing which one you buy all depends on your preference and what you’re most comfortable driving with. Both types of cars have advantages, as well as a few disadvantages. Knowing what these are will also help you narrow down your search for what is best for you.

The Biggest Difference Between an Automatic and Manual Car

So, you’ve decided on the colour of the car you want, the engine type, the body style, as well as the features you’d like for it to have. Now, the question is, what kind of transmission style will suit you best?

automatic car

The main difference between these two types of cars is the fact that the one uses shifting gears and the other one doesn’t. It is the case with the manual, which allows you to switch between five gears, whenever needed. The automatic type, however, switches gears for you as you shift.

What is Gear Shifting?

Gear shifting is needed when you’re either trying to slow down, increase your cars speed, stop or after stopping, start driving again. As you increase the speed, the RPM of your engine will also increase.

Shifting gears also help indicate the safety of your engine and protect it by displaying a needle and a red line on the gauge on your car’s dashboard. To protect your engine, one has to switch gear before the needle reaches the red line area. Driving a manual car thus requires a lot more focus, where an automatic car takes care of the transmission for you, making it easier to operate.