Why automatic cars are on the rise
Once a luxury extra, today about 35% of new cars sold are automatic, according to motor trade aficionados Glass's. This could be because technology has improved automatic gearboxes and made them more versatile, so that they’re now available in a wider range of cars than ever before. Read on for the benefits and to figure out whether automatic is right for you.
Cruise around in comfort
Changing gears in busy traffic can be a bore, so why not let an automatic do the job for you? And they’re not just simpler to drive – many automatic gearboxes now also offer a smoother, more responsive ride than ever before.
Get more for your money
Once criticised for being gas-guzzlers, improved on-board electronics have turned automatics into surprisingly green machines. These days, there are lots of cars with automatic gearboxes that do more miles per gallon on average than their manual counterparts.
Choose the one that’s right for you
Automatics have got better thanks to the growing number of automatic gearboxes available. You can choose between:
- Conventional automatics – these use a belt as a ‘torque converter’ to transfer power, offering seamless shifts
- Continually variable transmissions (CVT) – these opt for cogs, for more efficiency
- Dual clutch models – these line up gear changes in advance, for precision and control
- Semi-automatic models – these let you override the computer, by shifting gears manually with buttons or levers on the steering wheel.
Protect your car’s value
It’s true that automatics tend to be around 4% more expensive than manuals, but Glass's says that they also now retain more resale value. Their stats show that if you buy a new manual car, after two years you’ll be able to sell it for roughly 50% of its original price. With an automatic, you’ll get more like 55%.
Get the latest safety features
With on-board computers getting better and better, automatic gear changing will be integrated into broader safety features. From using a dashcam to relying on other cars in the area for the latest traffic news, there’s never been a better time to trust your car.
Want to take a bit more control of your driving? Use our O2 Drive app to monitor your journeys. Compare each trip and see how safely and efficiently you’re travelling.
See more articles to help you to drive smarter and make the most of your car.