car repair abu dhabi al zaabi autocare logo

How to Drive Automatic Car- a Beginner’s Guide?

How to Drive Automatic Car

When you’ve driven a manual transmission all your life, an automatic might seem alien to you. Autos are easier to drive once you get used to them. You only need to put the automatic car in D (drive mode) to make it move. However, this does not mean you can learn to drive an automatic without practicing.

People who are unfamiliar with how to drive an automatic car may find it quite confusing to switch from manual to automatic transmission.

In this article, we will explain how automatic cars differ from manual cars. We will also go over how to drive an automatic car.

Read our blog on Picking the Perfect Auto Body Shop for Car Repairs.

How Do Manual And Automatic Cars Differ?

Automatic cars have two pedals, while manual cars have three. This is the most noticeable visual difference between them. Manual cars need to be driven using the brakes, accelerators, and clutch, while automatic vehicles only need to be driven using the first two.

Automatic cars also don’t require you to change gears since the gearbox does that for you. Compared to a manual car, where you need to change the gears manually, you can keep two hands on the steering at all times. Those who are new to driving may also feel more comfortable driving with two hands this way. So, automatic cars can seem less intimidating.

Different Types Of Automatic Transmissions

Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)

In an automatic transmission, an actuator and an onboard computer determine which gear to shift at which engine speed. AMTs have a selector stick that is used to select the drive mode. Once engaged, sit back, relax, and drive. You will feel a slight jerk during up and downshifts when the automatic gear changes.

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Compared to a conventional automatic transmission, CVTs offer smooth and seamless shifts between gears. CVTs use belts and pulley systems to continuously adjust gear ratios, resulting in a more enjoyable driving experience. As they offer better fuel efficiency and improved performance, CVTs are becoming increasingly popular in smaller cars.

Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)

Known also as Direct-Shift Gearbox Transmission (DSG), Dual Clutch Transmissions are extremely smooth, responsive and sporty. High-performance cars usually use DCT gearboxes since they are the fastest automatic gearbox. They shift quickly and smoothly, and they downshift instantly when overtaking.

Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG)

Combined with manual and automatic transmission features, DSG is a type of automatic transmission. High-performance sports cars usually use DSG, which uses two separate clutches for odd and even gears. DSG offers smoother and faster gear changes than traditional automatic transmissions.

How To Drive Auto Transmission

Things To Know Before Starting The Driving Process

  • The shifter should be moved from P (park) to D (drive) if you want to go forward or R (reverse) if you want to go backward.
  • While moving forward, leave the car in D (drive). Automatic transmissions select the gear that better matches the vehicle’s speed.
  • Before you turn off and engage the parking brake, put the car in park (P).

Driving The Automatic Car

  • Set your seat to a comfortable position and adjust your mirrors so that you can see the road clearly. 
  • Place the key in the ignition and turn it to “ON.” Your car may have a push-button starter. Press it.
  • To avoid the car lurching forward, step on the brake pedal and release the handbrake.
  • Put the gear stick in the ‘D’ (Drive) position. Then, slowly release the brake pedal to begin moving your vehicle.

Slowing Down and Stopping

With your right foot, you can slow down by pressing the brake. It won’t be a problem to slow the car down even though it’s in gear. It takes practice to learn how much pressure to apply to the brake. When you apply the brakes, make sure you apply enough to slow the car down until you can stop but don’t slam on the brakes unless in an emergency.


A final step in this procedure for driving an automatic car is to gradually push the brake pedal and switch the gear to P to stop the car completely. Use the ignition key to turn off the engine. After that, turn off the headlights and exit the car.

Pros Of Driving An Automatic Car


Automatics are easy to drive, which is why many people prefer to drive them. Once you put your car, truck, or SUV in Drive, you’re ready to go. Keeping your eyes on the road and navigating the vehicle is all you need to do. The vehicle shifts gears for you. Some people prefer to control their gears instead of driving automatics. It is still true that automatic transmissions provide a much easier driving experience than stick shifts, which is why many people prefer them.

Better Acceleration

When you start your car engine from a standstill, an automatic car starts very quickly. Starting the vehicle does not require stepping off the fuel to shift gears. The automatic transmitter allows the engine to accelerate more quickly because it is in close proximity to its torque-perfect position.

Safer to Operate

It is slightly safer to drive an automatic transmission car than a manual transmission car since you can keep both hands on the wheel without being distracted. Maintaining your focus on the road and checking the road’s condition and vital signs will help you avoid veering off course. An automatic vehicle allows you to remain comfortable and in control as you do not have to move your hand and leg to change gears constantly.

Power And Torque

A manual car is less powerful than an automatic car. With different gear make-ups, the car’s power is evenly distributed over a greater area, increasing its power. Vehicles with automatic transmissions have torque converters that increase torque. The higher torque acceleration boosts speed for automatic cars both at the ignition and while driving.

Fuel Economy

Modern automatic transmissions typically offer similar or better fuel economy than manual transmissions, even in vehicles requiring more power, such as commercial vehicles or minibusses. The automatic transmission determines exactly how much power and torque it needs at any given time, so it will always be in the correct gear to maximize pull while consuming the least amount of fuel.

Cons Of Driving An Automatic Car

Higher Maintenance Cost

The complexity of automatic transmissions is generally higher than that of manual transmissions. It will be necessary to perform more frequent and expensive maintenance on them. A manual car of the same model and make has a longer lifespan than an automatic.

May Impair Driver’s Focus

A manual car requires greater concentration since the driver must shift gears manually. Driving an automatic car requires less concentration. As a result, drivers may engage in distracting activities while driving, which can result in accidents.

Boring To Drive

Some drivers feel that automatic transmissions take the fun out of driving. They enjoy changing gears and feeling more connected to their car physically. It can even be difficult to adjust to not having a clutch for someone who is used to changing gears.

Automatic Driving Test: Is It Easier To Pass?

The test for automatic car drivers is the same as for manual car drivers. All that differs is the type of vehicle you drive.

It will still be your examiner’s decision whether you pass or fail based on how many mistakes you make during the test. You’ll still have to answer “show me, tell me” questions and perform driving maneuvers successfully.

The gears aren’t as important in an automatic driving test, so you might argue that it’s easier. Your driving instructor won’t recommend taking your test until they feel you are absolutely ready, regardless of whether you are learning automatic or manual.

So, ultimately, passing an automatic driving test isn’t harder or easier. Your actions will determine everything!


How to use the handbrake of an automatic car?

Depending on your car, there may be a handbrake between the seats, near the bottom of the steering column where it meets the dashboard, or a button bearing the parking brake sign. You can engage it by pulling on it.

The release method depends on the handbrake type: if the handbrake is located between the seats, push the button at the top, then lift and push down. If the handbrake is under the dashboard, pull it a little and twist the handle to disengage it again.

Does every electric car have an automatic transmission?

Just as automatic cars have become more common these days, electric cars are doing the same. Almost all electric cars are automatic, the majority percentage. There are, however, a few electric cars that also have manual transmissions.

Is it possible to drive an automatic car with a manual license?

Having a manual driving license does not mean you cannot drive an automatic car (provided you are fully insured). Despite the fact that driving an automatic car is arguably easier than driving a manual car, don’t let this distract you. In spite of the fact that you aren’t doing much to drive the car, you need to pay attention to the road and the surrounding area.

Does an automatic car cost more than a manual one?

Due to the complex components used in automatic transmissions, automatic cars can be more expensive to purchase than manual cars. Additionally, if something goes wrong with them, they can be more costly to fix. A modern automatic car is, however, more fuel-efficient than a manual car, so you will save money in the long run. 

What’s a semi-automatic car?

Semi-automatic transmissions combine manual and automatic gearboxes, allowing drivers to enjoy the best of both worlds. In semi-automatic cars, paddle shifters (or a modified shift lever) are mounted on the steering wheel to provide the driver with easy gear selection. The driver uses unshifting and downshifting to change gears.

Final Words

The experience of driving an automatic car is simplified and enjoyable, particularly for beginners. As long as you learn the basic controls, understand gear positions, master acceleration, and braking techniques, and follow safe driving practices, you’ll be a confident automatic car driver in no time. It takes plenty of practice to become an expert, so be sure to invest enough time behind the wheel to gain experience and build your skills. You might face some minor accidents while learning, but don’t worry; Al Zaabi Autocare is here to fix your car.