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If you’re planning to rent any vehicle, you’re likely thinking about having to deal with a manual transmission—after all, it’s what everyone drives.
Nowadays though, cars with automatic transmissions are becoming more commonplace, especially as much of the world’s vehicle makers transition to creating cars that run efficiently in regards to costs.
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Driving a car, especially on a family holiday, doesn’t have to be that much of a hassle. That’s a good enough reason alone to consider an automatic car hire over a manual one.
In this article, we’re going to briefly review the differences between manual and automatic transmission vehicles and why you should consider an automatic car rental for your next holiday.
Automatic transmissions, also referred to as automatic gearboxes, are automatic vehicle transmissions that immediately switch gear ratios as the vehicle drives. This relieves the driver of having to manually shift the gears, as they would with a manual transmission vehicle.
Due to this mechanism of action, many people increasingly prefer automatic transmission vehicles over their manual counterparts.
Automatic Car Hire FAQ
|I need to hire an automatic car in France?|
|It should be no problem as long as you reserve a car early. The busiest locations include Nice Airport, Paris CDG, Toulouse, Carcassonne etc|
|Is it true that the majority of cars in Europe are manual?|
|Yes, It's estimated that less than 20% of cars in Europe are automatic.|
|Can I hire an automatic car in the UK?|
|Of course. Stick to what you know and rent an automatic car in London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh etc|
|Are there many automatic vehicles in the United Kingdom?|
|The number is growing steadily. Over 8 million are in use. Car manufacturers have seen an increased demand for automatic transmissions.|
|Is it easier to drive an automatic car versus a manual?|
|Many people will say Yes. Of course it depends very much on what you are used to. Changing gears is faster in many automatics these days so picking up speed can happen quicker.|
|Will I be able to rent an automatic car in Italy?|
|Automatics are not particularly popular in Italy so again it will depend on how early you book. Some of the busiest destinations include Milan, Rome. Bergamo Airport, Brindisi Airport, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia and more.|
|I see a lot more automatic cars on the road these days. Are they growing in popularity?|
|Absolutely, year on year increases suggest that this trend is not likely to change anytime soon|
|How about Portugal? Can I get an automatic car hire in Faro Airport or Lisbon, Porto etc?|
|Yes, there should be reasonable availability. Reports suggest that car hire firms have around 20% automatics in their fleets.|
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Most modern cars have what’s known as a hydraulic automatic transmission; larger versions of this device are naturally used in much larger vehicles.
This particular transmission makes use of a fluid coupling, instead of a friction clutch, and performs the characteristic gear changes by unlocking and locking its associated planetary gears system.
Increased popularity over the years
Automatic transmissions are very popular in North America. They’ve been made available in practically most cars since the 1950s. In Europe, however, automatic transmissions account for around 20 per cent of drivers’ preferences regarding their choice in transmission.
The lack of popularity doesn’t mean that automatic transmissions aren’t available in Europe—because they are.
Why Choose an Automatic Car Hire over a Manual?
There’s a reason why automatic transmissions are gaining popularity throughout Europe: they’re not as difficult to drive as manual transmission vehicles.
Although European drivers will always know how operate manual transmission, since that instruction is long ingrained in their minds, some may want to, well, take a break from such precise controls.
If you’re heading off on holiday or just want a break from manual controls, automatic transmission vehicles can give you such a freedom.
First and foremost, you might not be able to drive automatic without being permitted to do so. If you’ve already been tried for a manual license and, thus, hold one, you’ll be able to freely drive both manual and automatic.
Automatic versus Manual
Although both transmissions perform the same task, they ultimately possess various differences. Let’s take a look:
As mentioned, an automatic transmission will shift gears automatically. You won’t need to worry about working with a clutch pedal, as it only uses an accelerator pedal and brake pedal.
Although you’ll have to use the brakes more often to maintain control of the car, it’s still a decidedly easier vehicle to operate on the road for most.
Manual transmissions require you to shift the gears up and down on your own. Due to this, manual cars have three pedals: the brake pedal, the accelerator pedal and the clutch pedal.
The nature of manual transmission vehicles make them difficult to learn at first, but many drivers adapt to them fast. They’re also considerably more fuel efficient; automatic vehicles, however, are catching up in that regard.
Which transmission will you choose?
Driving a manual transmission vehicle is as normal as it’s admirable in other parts in the world. But, there’s a reason why automatic vehicles are becoming popular.
With a transmission that’s automatic, you don’t have to make concessions to ensure you’re safely operating the car —pedals and all. If you’re driving on unfamiliar roads, to provide an example, you won’t feel nervous about running into road troubles while treading unfamiliar territory.
Of course, that’s not the only reason why we highly recommend an automatic car hire.
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If you’re driving around a luxury car rental or a spacious minivan, wouldn’t you want the actual driving to be easier?
Wouldn’t be preferable if you didn’t worry too much about whether you’re driving well or not? I mean, you shouldn’t concern yourself with such trivialities while you’re driving around an entire party of people.
If that were one reason to consider automatic car rental over manual, that would be it. The lack of needing to worry about safely maneuvering a luxury or larger vehicle around while you’re on holiday.
So, how do you go about getting your preferred choice. Well, to start, securing an automatic rental car is a little tricky, given the prevalence of manual vehicles. Most rentacar places, however, will have a stock of automatic vehicles for rental. You just need to get there first—and well before other locals and tourists who need an automatic car hire.
Book well in advance. You don’t know if they’ll have any automatic cars available, and if they do, they might be already reserved.
You’re likely to find more automatic cars available at rental places, now since they’re becoming more popular among the crowd. But, you shouldn’t take any chances, particularly if you need that car well in advance.
You might need to pay more than what you would renting a manual transmission, so that presents another reason why it’s best to book well in advance.
Remember: planning ahead will save you money and let you take advantage of driving a small automatic car on your next holiday.
Why Hire an Automatic Car?
The popularity of automatic vehicles is becoming apparent, especially in recent times. So, why should you use automatic car hire when you can go manual instead?
Vehicles with automatic transmissions are easier to manoeuvre around on the road and more or less afford you a ‘peace of mind’ when you are in unfamiliar territory.
Simply put, if you’re thinking about going with your family on holiday, renting an automatic might be your best option.