“Not surprising” L Platers ditch the manual car

The State’s peak motoring body was not surprised more young drivers were steering away from getting a manual licence and opted for the ease of an automatic driver licence.

The Daily Telegraph reported 77 percent of P1 licences issued in New South Wales in the first half of 2019 were for automatic transmission only.

RACQ spokesperson Lauren Ritchie said RACQ latest Young Driver survey found similar results, with two-thirds of Queensland learner drivers responding they mostly drove an automatic vehicle.

“More car manufacturers are releasing automatic only models and more family cars these days are automatic, so learner drivers may not have access to a manual car while they’re getting their experience up,” Ms Ritchie said.

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“Automatic cars might also be appealing to young motorists as they’re easier to drive, particularly in heavy traffic.

“It’s important to remember though, in Queensland if you get your licence in an automatic, you’re restricted to only driving automatics, which is something to consider if you plan to drive a manual later on.”

Ms Ritchie reminded drivers regardless of their choice to get an automatic or manual licence, it was important for learners to get experience in a range of driving situations.

“What’s crucial is an L Plater gets as much varied on-road driving experience – different times of the day, different roads, weather, times and traffic conditions,” she said.

“Learners and their supervisors wanting to improve their skills can access a free driving lesson with a qualified driving instructor through the Keys2Drive program.”