The title doesn’t exactly say it all. You don’t need to exclusively drive a stick shift, or ditch your automatic car. But everyone, for at least some part of their driving career, should drive a manual transmission car. But why you say? Why would I revert to older technology? Well there are several reasons!
- Because it’s fun! Driving a stick shift allows you to feel the power of your engine and become more aware of your driving. The movement in shifting gears; moving levers with your hands and kicking the clutch, make for a more engaging driving experience.
- Before it’s too late. Technology is great, we all love our smartphones, and it’s advancing faster every year. Self-driving cars are a focal point of discussion as both car companies and tech companies make plans to introduce automated cars to the public. It’s not hard to imagine a not too distant future where people simply don’t drive themselves very often, if at all. So experience the fun in driving stick while you still can!
- It’s more economical. Driving a manual transmission is actually the more economical choice for two reasons: one, driving a manual transmission and shifting gears yourself is more fuel efficient and improves your MPG, and two, because manual transmission cars are cheaper to buy than their fully automatic counterparts. However, this is mostly true for cars before 2014 at this point, as automatic transmission technology has improved. But, this usually holds true, especially when looking for used cars.
- Theft-deterrent. Thieves are usually not the brightest people around, that is why they have resorted to stealing cars. They are also lazy, going for the easiest heist they can pull off. Learning to drive a manual does take some work, and if you have a stick shift, there’s at least a chance a thief who breaks into your car won’t know how to drive away with it!
- Emergencies. The last, and probably the most important reason to drive a stick shift is so that you know how to drive one in case of an emergency. Most cars these days are automatic, but not all. If you’re in the car with someone driving a manual transmission and they have a heart attack or become unable to drive, then knowing how to safely drive a manual car can become a matter of life and death. Hopefully you never find yourself in this situation, but it never hurts to be prepared.
So if you don’t already know how to drive a stick shift, find a friend or make your next vehicle a manual transmission, you’ll be glad you did while you can!