When you are looking for your next family car, a common question nearly everyone asks is whether to go for an automatic or save a bit of money and buy a manual. If you’ve got kids, another thing you might think about is having the time or the patience to be changing gears all the time. That’s much harder to do when they are screaming in the back. So today we look at some of the reasons for choosing an automatic family car are instead of driving something manual, why it matters and how it would help your family’s comfort and ride on the road.
9 out 10 cars bought in Australia are automatics
Did you know that 9 out 10 cars sold in Australia are automatics? That’s what Australian families prefer that figure sounded a bit high to me so I had googled it to see what things are like in other countries. I ended up on confused.com where does a whole ride up on what the people are the UK prefer.
The last thing you want to be doing is changing gears when the kids are screaming in the back.
Surprisingly it’s quite the opposite 8 out of every 10 cars sold there are manuals and only two are Automatics. Our distances are longer because of the shear size of Australia.
When you’re driving long distances, especially on the family road trips, you will need to make sure that everyone’s comfortable. The last thing you want to be doing is changing gears when the kids are screaming in the back.
Why Australian families prefer automatic family cars?
Australian families prefer to get automatic transmissions because this so much comfortable to drive.
When you’re driving the kids around there’s enough distractions in the car and the last thing you want us to be changing gears. With Automatics there’s no need to worry about that.
If you’re driving around in traffic such as most of us getting to and from work then you’re more than likely stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.
In a manual you always trying to switch between the clutch and accelerator. Doing too much of that will probably give you a sore foot. If you’re like me you probably prefer to not have aching feet by the end of the day just because they’ve been driving in traffic.
Automatics cost more to buy
Well Automatic cars do cost more to buy they are a lot cheaper in the long term. To get the comfort that automatic family cars offer you will probably have to pay between $2,000 to $2,500 more for it depending on the make of the car. This will mean comfort on those family road trips.
Servicing and maintenance of manual cars
Even though Automatic cars are more expensive to buy, you don’t end up with spending time on servicing burnt clutches which you get with driving a manual car or a long period of time.
The cost of replacing a clutch can be between $1000 to $2,000 depending on the make of the car. To top that off you end up with having to put up with changing gears all the time. No wonder Australian families prefer automatic cars over manuals.
Do automatics cost more to run?
So there’s been a myth going around that automatic cars cost a lot more to run. Well that was the case up until recently, automatic cars these days are a whole lot more efficient many of them are even cheaper to run than their manual brothers.
They drink less petrol and give you more kilometres per tank. That’s saving for the family budget. An example is the Mitsubishi Outlander which is a pretty popular family car that we also covered in the best value family cars article. It uses more petrol in manual then it does in automatic models.
Resale value of Automatic cars
When the family has outgrown this new car and it’s time for you to sell to buy something new, selling an automatic will get you more for its resale than if it was a manual.
More and more people want an automatic family car and don’t want the hassle of driving something that takes too much effort especially on our busy roads.
Go automatic or manual in a family car?
In a family car, I would recommend paying a bit more upfront and getting an automatic. This will mean you have comfortable family trips and less distractions while switching gears in a manual. To top that off automatic transmissions in cars these days are a whole lot cheaper to run and maintaining them is not as expensive as maintaining a manual car.
If you drive to work in bumper to bumper traffic, you will appreciate how easy it is to drive an automatic family car. When you’re spending that sort of money on buying a new family car paying a bit more upfront, might actually save you a lot more in the long run.