5 Surprising Benefits of Learning to Drive a Stick Shift Vehicle

5 Surprising Benefits of Learning to Drive a Stick Shift Vehicle

Learning to drive a manual transmission (also known as a “stick shift”) car can seem intimidating. After all, you can’t simply get in the vehicle, put it into Drive, and be on your way.

However, the benefits of learning to drive a manual transmission car far outweigh the potential fear and anxiety you may be feeling about learning to drive one.

Not convinced? Here are five surprising benefits of learning to drive a stick shift:

  1. Improved fuel efficiency:
    While automatic transmission cars have come a long way in terms of fuel efficiency, manual transmission cars can still have an edge. Because the driver has more control over the gears and can shift at the most optimal times, manual transmission cars can often achieve better gas mileage.
    Plus, you get a choice on how spiritedly you want to drive in a manual transmission vehicle on a given day, whereas with most automatics, you must choose between a fun vehicle with bad gas mileage or a boring vehicle with good gas mileage. If you’re feeling particularly alive, let your beast rev until red-line before shifting. If money’s a bit tight this week, shift faster and get better gas mileage. In the end, it’s up to you.

  2. Ability to drive a wider range of vehicles:
    Many rental car agencies outside of the US either only offer manual transmission vehicles. By learning to drive a stick shift, you’ll be able to take advantage of these rental options and potentially save money while traveling.
    Plus, there are some really fun vehicles (like the Civic Type R) that only come in a manual transmission so unless you learn to row your own gears, you’ll only have the opportunity to appreciate these vehicles from the passenger seat.

  3. Greater car control in emergency situations:
    In a panic stop or evasive maneuver, being able to manually downshift can give you the extra power and control you need to safely navigate the situation. This applies to various situations, including ones where you may need to do an emergency stop and even in slippery or icy conditions where you need greater control over your vehicle.

  4. More affordable car insurance premiums:
    Believe it or not, some car insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who know how to drive a manual transmission. The reasoning behind this is that such drivers are often seen as more responsible and safe on the road.

  5. Enhanced driving experience:
    Many stick shift enthusiasts argue that driving a manual transmission car is simply more fun and rewarding. The act of shifting gears and feeling the power of the car in your hands can make for a much more engaging and exhilarating driving experience. In fact, a lot of car enthusiasts become life-long advocates for manual transmissions after they purchase their first stick shift vehicle. Does it take some time, practice, and work to get to a point where you’re proficient? For sure. But is it worth it? Absolutely.

Ultimately, while learning to drive a stick shift can be challenging at first, the benefits are well worth the effort. Whether you’re looking to save money on fuel or car rentals, or just want to up your driving game, learning to drive a manual transmission car is a skill that will serve you well. And ultimately, you’d look so much cooler shifting your own gears! Together, let’s #SaveTheManuals.

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