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Automatic Cars - Explore the Options

Automatic cars are becoming more and more popular in the UK. Whilst they already dominate the car market in countries such as USA and Canada, manual transmission is still very much the favoured option in the UK.

This being said, there’s no shortage of automatic options when it comes to choosing your next car.

There may be many reasons some people choose an automatic car over a manual. For example, an automatic car requires less involvement from the driver, so they can be better for those with limited mobility.

What is an automatic car?

An Automatic car does not have a manual transmission that involves the driver shifting the gears as they accelerate and decelerate. The automatic transmission will shift the gear for the driver as the car accelerates or brakes.

There will be a noticeable missing clutch from the footwell, however, there will still be a gearstick present, even with an automatic car. An automatic gearstick will generally have at least four settings – park, neutral, drive and reverse.

One thing to note is that your driver’s license could limit you to driving only automatic cars, but otherwise, you can drive both manual and automatic. This is rare for the UK where manual transmission is most popular.

Automatic or manual car

You may be undecided whether to go for a manual or an automatic car when the time comes to upgrade. Despite popular belief, there really isn’t that much difference between a manual and an automatic car. From the outside, you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference. The main difference between a manual and an automatic car is the gearbox and the lack of a clutch in an automatic car. The gearbox will be present in both manual and automatic cars, but it’s apparent by the design that there is a difference.

If you’re used to a manual car, the only noticeable difference will be when the time comes for the car to go up or down in gear – a manual will require the driver to depress the clutch and change the gear using the gearbox, whereas an automatic car will change gear without the driver’s intervention.

How do you drive an automatic car?

Knowing what it’s like to drive an automatic car can help you make the decision – it can just be daunting at first if you’re unfamiliar with automatic cars.

An automatic gearbox will generally have four options; Park, Reverse, Drive and Neutral.

Park – as the name suggests, Park should be used when the car is parked up (stopped) and you have completed your journey. You don’t need to use the park option when stopped in stationary traffic.

Reverse – again, as the name suggests, this gear will be used when you plan to reverse the car. This doesn’t differ from a manual gearbox.

Drive – This gear will be for when the car is in motion and moving forward (as opposed to reversing). You won’t need to apply an additional gear until the car comes to a stop as the automatic gearbox will do the work.

Neutral – similar to a manual gearbox, neutral is used when the car is stopped for a short period of time, rather than when the journey is complete. Neutral should not be used when the car is moving forward as this is the same as coasting in a manual car.

Automatic cars require you to depress the brake, start the ignition and move the gear into drive when you are ready to move off, or reverse if you aren’t moving forwards. You can then move your foot from the brake pedal and the car will slowly move forwards.

The automatic component only really applies to gear changes when the car is in motion, you will still be required to

Used automatic cars for sale

Here at BCC Cars, we stock a wide range of quality used automatic cars, all with low mileage and affordable monthly prices. Some of the used automatic cars we stock are from popular brands such as Mercedes Benz, Hyundai, Kia, Citroen, Tesla and MG.

Hyundai automatic cars

The Hyundai range offers a number of models that come as either a manual or automatic transmission to suit your needs. Some of the Hyundai automatic cars in the range include:

Hyundai i10 – Made for the city, the Hyundai i10 is designed to easily navigate narrow streets and cope well in stop-start traffic. The small footprint means that parking is a dream and the automatic transmission will do the majority of the work for you.

Hyundai i20 – Designed to accommodate small families or those regularly travelling in city environments, the Hyundai i20 is stylish and made to navigate narrow streets with ease. As a mild hybrid, the i20 provides low emission driving, which is great for city driving.

Semi-automatic cars

To confuse matters further, there’s also semi-manual options available on the market, which means the driver can decide whether they utilise the manual gearbox or opts for the automatic gearbox. Semi-automatic cars have a combination of both a manual and automatic gearbox for this reason.

Semi-automatic gearboxes have additional options, which include manual and automatic, so you can seamlessly switch between the two.

What does semi-automatic car mean

A semi-automatic car allows you to switch the car to manual transmission if you want to take control of the car. This can often provide a smoother ride as automatic cars don’t always take into account real time situations such as road surface.

Small automatic cars

It’s not just large SUVs that come with automatic gearboxes, you can also opt for an automatic compact hatchback.

The Hyundai i10, which is one of the most compact models in the range, is available with an automatic gearbox. The i10 is best suited to city environments due to its small footprint.

Electric automatic cars

Electric cars are built differently, usually with fewer components, which can often mean there’s an automatic gearbox instead of a manual gearbox.

Because the components of an electric car are different to a conventional petrol engine, there is less requirement for a clutch and thus, a manual gearbox.

Are all electric cars automatic?

Because electric cars cannot stall, there is no need for a clutch, so most are automatic transmission, but not all. Some hybrid models are available as either a manual or an automatic transmission to suit your needs, because hybrid models still have a conventional petrol engine.

Automatic Car FAQ’s

Do automatic cars stall

Because automatic cars don’t have a clutch, they cannot stall in the same way as a manual car. Automatic cars can still stall, but it is not controlled by the clutch. If your automatic car is stalling, there is usually an issue within the engine.

Can I drive an automatic car with a manual license?

You can drive an automatic car with a manual license, but not the other way around. Manual cars require more intervention from the driver, so your license needs to state that you have passed your test in a manual. Automatic cars require less intervention so can be driven on a manual license.

7-seater automatic car

If you require a seven-seater car, you can choose to opt for an automatic transmission, for example with the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer.

Motability automatic cars

If you are in receipt of motability allowance, you can opt for an automatic car instead of a manual. Because automatic cars don’t require the manual intervention of gear changes, they are more suited to those who may have problems using a clutch.

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