Driving automatic or manual

65 posts in this topic

Posted

OK, this is kind of peinlich, but here goes... I have a driver's licence, a REAL GERMAN one -- I do. I came from one of those states where I am not required to take any exams. Woohoo! Awesome --right?! Problem, I NEVER really learned how to drive a manual. That is all we have is a manual. We considered purchasing an Automatic for our next vehicle, but it is really taking a long time. Not even sure we could afford a second cheaper automatic vehicle at the moment, either. I am pretty desperate though. I ride my bike everywhere. I just want to be free again -- to choose.

 

So, I have practiced, but there is always a break or cut-off-point in between. I have already driven in town, too, but it is like I suffer from a blockade or fear...I don't know. I get scared that I might screw something up while driving. Shift wrong, stall, get angry people yelling stuff. I have children with me! I just feel like I will NEVER be able to get it right. I can get the car going and drive, but yes I stall or shift wrong. It gets so frustrating... I am not a bad driver, it is just the whole shifting that irritates me...hubby does not quite know what I mean. For him it is FUN...:-I

 

I would say that on average I shift properly like 60% of the time. On a better day 80%. I just think my husband makes it complicated for me to understand. I get the whole foot thingy -- the gripping. However, I still put in too much gas, or not enough, I try...I really do. I hate stalling. I really don't know what to do. I have kids and when we practice with them -- I get nervous. Should I consult a driving school? I just don't know what to do...I am one of those people that never had a manual, so...

 

THANKS MOM AND DAD WHO DID KNOW HOW TO DRIVE MANUAL!!! :-) And they never even tried teaching me, can you believe that?!

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Posted

Go to a driving school and explain the situation to them. I'm sure they'd be quite happy to give you a few lessons. Or you could go to the ADAC and do one of their special Fahrsicherheit Training days.

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Posted

I totally agree with Allers - go to a driving school!

From what you say, it seems that the whole driving thing is becoming a stress situation for you, rather than a fun one, and the best way to remove the stress is to go somewhere and practice with somebody you do not really know - driving around with hubby and kids on board and making mistakes is not so good for several reasons, but the biggest reason for you is probably the stress it brings with it.

Find a good driving school in your area and take a couple of lessons with them - nobody is going to laugh at you or make fun simple because you stall the car!

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Posted

Before you start driving a manual shift... you gotta get over that fear you have...

 

Then it will become much easier

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Posted

Standard or manual? Surely Standard or automatic.

 

Automatic isn't driving.

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Posted

Thanks, all, I think I will contact a driving school. I had been thinking about this for a longer time. I have gained some re-assurance here.

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Posted

I also have a german drivers licence due to reciprocity with Canada and I also never learned to drive manual, so renting a car here is a real problem for me. For my first move from Munich to Frankfurt I moved all my stuff in a Mercedes A class because that was pretty much the only car that had automatic transmission and was big enough to fit all my belongings. I got quite a few weird looks on the autobahn.

 

For my move back to Munich I had to pay someone to drive the transporter. I tried to learn how to drive manual (read all about it, watched you tube videos etc etc), but when I was actually in (my friend's) car, I was a complete mess. I kept stalling. My gear shifting and leg work (clutch, braking) was really uncoordinated. I gave up after 30 minutes and decided to rent the Mercedes for a whopping €200/day. I didn't want to kill myself, or worse someone else due to my driving.

 

If I do ever buy a car, I will happily pay the extra money for an automatic one. After my brief learning experience, I don't think I will ever figure out how to drive a manual car.

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Posted

 

Standard or manual? Surely Standard or automatic.Automatic isn't driving.

 

Obviously you never tried an Audi/VW DSG. Although not technically an automatic, it is heaps of fun to drive with the paddles and will outrun any similar engined Audi/VW manual transmission. But seriously, the overblown manual is awesome thing is annoying. It's not awesome unless you have a Porsche. My 968 was pure joy and I would never even think of driving an automatic version. Otherwise, manuals in family cars are a pain in the ass in a country full of traffic jams and traffic lights that stay green for 3 seconds.

 

Edit: But I still think everyone should learn how, in case you need to drive a van etc...

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Posted

 

I tried to learn how to drive manual (read all about it, watched you tube videos etc etc), but when I was actually in (my friend's) car, I was a complete mess. I kept stalling. My gear shifting and leg work (clutch, braking) was really uncoordinated. I gave up after 30 minutes

 

That's what happens to most people when they are first learning to drive, that's why most people take lessons. (Well in this country everybody takes lessons as it's a legal requirement). Practice makes perfect.

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Posted

I was in your shoes about three years ago and went the driving school route. That way, you don't mess up someone's private car or rental car, and there is someone in the car with strong nerves used to people starting off with stick shift. : ) When you call around, mention that you don't need a license and that you just want to learn to drive stick shift. They actually cut the hourly price down a bit for me, since they didn't need to do the associated bureaucratic stuff needed to register hours towards a driver's license.

 

If you've never had to drive in Germany before, whether automatic or manual, it is still worth it to drive around with a driving school a bit. In particular, I had a hard time getting used to a lot of the "yield to cars coming from the right" bit, and was also coming from an area where I parallel parked for my driving test and didn't have to at all after that, so it was good to have practice with a driving school.

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Posted

 

It's not awesome unless you have a Porsche.

 

I have a 3,0 Z4.

 

Its awesome.

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Posted

Good news! Electric cars are on the way. None of that inefficient manual gearbox nonsense! Thats just for machos. Or silly, expensive and inefficient automatic stepped gearing. That's just for taxi drivers.

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Posted

 

OK, this is kind of peinlich, but here goes... I have a driver's licence, a REAL GERMAN one -- I do. I came from one of those states where I am not required to take any exams. Woohoo! Awesome --right?! Problem, I NEVER really learned how to drive a manual. That is all we have is a manual. We considered purchasing an Automatic for our next vehicle, but it is really taking a long time. Not even sure we could afford a second cheaper automatic vehicle at the moment, either. I am pretty desperate though. I ride my bike everywhere. I just want to be free again -- to choose.

 

So, I have practiced, but there is always a break or cut-off-point in between. I have already driven in town, too, but it is like I suffer from a blockade or fear...I don't know. I get scared that I might screw something up while driving. Shift wrong, stall, get angry people yelling stuff. I have children with me! I just feel like I will NEVER be able to get it right. I can get the car going and drive, but yes I stall or shift wrong. It gets so frustrating... I am not a bad driver, it is just the whole shifting that irritates me...hubby does not quite know what I mean. For him it is FUN...:-I

 

I would say that on average I shift properly like 60% of the time. On a better day 80%. I just think my husband makes it complicated for me to understand. I get the whole foot thingy -- the gripping. However, I still put in too much gas, or not enough, I try...I really do. I hate stalling. I really don't know what to do. I have kids and when we practice with them -- I get nervous. Should I consult a driving school? I just don't know what to do...I am one of those people that never had a manual, so...

 

THANKS MOM AND DAD WHO DID KNOW HOW TO DRIVE MANUAL!!! :-) And they never even tried teaching me, can you believe that?!

 

I relate to this so well. I actually *did* take lessons when I moved here, first from a friend, and then a lesson from a driving school. And guess what? The driving school guy said it would be robbery to let me take another lesson from him.

 

BUT...I'm still pretty terrified of manual, and haven't driven in 18 months. Just the very thought of a car that *can* stall gives me the willies. I never liked cars, but I had to learn to drive in the US and Canada as a way to get from point A to point B. And that's all I want from a car. I have absolutely no "emotional" experience from it: I just want to get from point A to point B and NOT DIE. People who prefer manual because it "feels like driving" come from some other alien parallel dimension to me. A dimension in which cars that can randomly stop are a good thing, because you can *practice* not making something that should never stop until turned off not stop. Gah!

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Posted

As the others say, even if you do get an automatic, it is wise to learn how to drive a manual because it will make renting cars, vans, etc. easier as most will also be automatic. Most driving schools are happy to give lessons for those who need a refresher so you shouldn't have trouble finding a school that is willing to just give you a few lessons. It is better to learn with a driving school because they are used to having to calm down new nervous drivers, you won't be damaging your own car if you make a mistake and probably most importantly, you probably won't get people honking and shouting at you if you stall in a car that says driving school, helping you get over your nerves. :)

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Posted

In the UK at least, you used to (and still do as far as I know) have a separate driving license for manual and automatic cars where having manual license allows you to drive automatics but not vice versa. Most people take the manual test unless they really, really can't get to grips with it. So talking some extra lessons to get the hang of manual is a great idea as they really are quite different.

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Posted

I don't get this. My son has just started driving. Before the official lessons I quickly taught him to pull away and change gears. Took I guess about an hour and he stalled maybe twice. Errr....that was it. Now he is doing the proper 16 hours out on the road with his instructor.

 

If worried about your skills just find a very quiet street (industrial estate etc) on a Sunday and spend an hour or two getting things sorted. Changing gears is the least of your worries....it's more road positioning, corners, braking, pedestrians and all the other crap that is DRIVING. If you can do that in an automatic then a manual is piss-easy.

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Posted

When I started learning manual I stalled multiple times at every intersection. Thing is, some of us have naturally anxious personalities and the whole tendency to jump the gun on preparing for doing the clutch-thingies is a huge negative when trying to drive manual. Even when I got it down to the point where I could go an hour without stalling, my heart was in my mouth at every traffic light.

 

I have no problems with any of the other aspects of driving, never a demerit point on my US and Canadian licenses.

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Posted

Also that yellow light before "go"? It doesn't help. It's the yellow light of PURE TERROR.

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"I tried to learn how to drive manual (read all about it, watched you tube videos etc etc)"

 

Some how I could not stop laughing...its like learning swimming by postal tution :=)

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