British drivers are increasingly choosing automatic over manual, data shows

Improved economy and driveability is seeing more and more motorists turn their back on manual gearboxes

British drivers are increasingly choosing automatic over manual, data shows

UK sales of new cars with an automatic transmission has rocketed by 55 per cent in the last four years and demand for automatic gearboxes is growing 300 per cent faster than the total market growth.

New analysis has found that 45 per cent of all enquiries now relate to cars with automatic transmissions.

Mike Best of Contract Hire and Leasing, the leasing website behind the findings, said: “New automatic transmissions are extremely intelligent.

“It’s now common to see seven and even nine-speed automatic transmissions, such as the Mercedes-Benz 9G-tronic.

“They enable smooth, efficient driving at low revs, therefore burning far less fuel and reducing emissions.

“Manuals often create bad driving habits such as over-revving, riding the clutch and using the wrong gear.

“These are things that cause wear-and-tear, as well as increase fuel consumption and emissions.”

Alternatively fuelled cars

It’s thought the rise of alternatively fuelled cars has also seen the market shift towards automatics as these models usually come with an auto – plug-in hybrids very rarely have a manual option, while electric cars typically only have one ‘gear’ so don’t require shifting.

Best added: “As manufacturers unveil more EV and hybrid models, more efficient automatic transmissions and push forward with autonomous driving technology, the death of the manual may not be far away.”

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