5 Reasons why Manual Transmission is better

Manual Transmission cars are getting rarer and rarer in Singapore as the vast benefits and prices of automatic transmission cars become cheaper. With that said, learning manual cars is still one of the staples of learning how to drive in Singapore. If you are not convinced, maybe at the end of this article you’ll start to see why. You can also read here to find out how to better make your decision

Manual Transmission Cars are Cheaper

It might not seem so but did you know that an automatic transmission variant of the same model can cost up to $10,000 more than it’s manual brother? Just take a look at any showroom or even used cars and you’ll realise that the cost difference is pretty large. Almost worth 1 year of depreciation. Manual cars are cheaper firstly because they just are not as popular as automatic cars. Therefore it makes more sense to charge higher for the automatic cars. In addition, repairs on the transmission are cheaper for manual cars compared to automatic transmission cars due to its simplicity.

Manual Cars Are More Engaging

Manual transmission cars are the epitome of engagement. Ask any car fanatic and they’ll swear by manual transmission vehicles. Manual cars are just much engaging and fun to drive. You control the speed, the revolutions the engine makes and even the amount of torque the gearbox provides by shifting the gears. In contrast, all you get to do is vary the amount pressure you put on the accelerator in an automatic transmission car.


Learning Manual is much cheaper

Learning how to drive in Singapore is already expensive enough. If you are learning from a private driving instructor, did you know that automatic transmission lessons can cost up to $6 more per hour? This might not seem alot but multiple this by 15 lessons and you would have already saved close to $100 dollars. Manual instructors are also more available than automatic instructors from our knowledge as well as more females tend to prefer learn automatic transmission cars. Take a lot at the latest rates today And this will probably bring me to my next point.

Its a Pride Thing

As mentioned earlier, if you are a guy and took automatic transmission lessons, you’ve probably been made fun of in army or within your circle of friends. Manual transmission cars are harder to learn and for guys who take automatic transmission cars, they are often seen as “pussy” or “weak” for not being able to cope with manual transmission cars. Don’t believe me? ask any of your male colleagues or friends and you’ll understand why. If you are a female and want to take manual transmission cars, good on you! You’ll probably have the respect of other guys and they’ll probably trust you more when you are under the wheel. Its a stereotypical action but it can’t be avoided =/

You can Grasp the Concept of Driving any Vehicle Anywhere

If you are intending to learn motorcycles or even drive industrial vehicles in the future, it is almost certain that you will be able to grasp the concept of driving these vehicles faster then if you took automatic transmission lessons. All of the above said vehicles are usually manual transmission and since you have already learnt the concept of a clutch and biting point, you’ll probably learn the necessary skills much faster. In addition, if you go overseas, some vehicles or countries only offer manual transmission cars which you will be able to operate. So don’t look at the small picture of the small population of manual cars in Singapore. You’ll probably find the need to learn manual cars in the future too!

Pass Your Driving Test the First Try

Pass Your Driving Test The First Try

Everything that has to do with the motor industry is expensive in Singapore. Whether it is owning a vehicle to even learning how to drive, both are just as expensive. Therefore, it is essential that you get the basics right when learning to drive and always try to pass your driving test on the first try. From September 2016 to August 2017, the traffic police in Singapore released some critical results that will help us understand the passing rates of each centre in Singapore and is in the table below:

Class 3 (1st timer)
Driving CentreTotal testedNumber passedPassing %
Singapore Safety

Driving Centre

Bukit Batok

Driving Centre

Comfort Driving Centre7088352149.7%
*Other Candidates16624564634.0%


*Other candidates refer to private candidates which is also what you can find from students learning from Private Driving Instructors.

It is clear to see that driving centres have a higher percentage rate but it is important to understand how do they have such a lead against private instructors. To understand this, we have to take a look at the method of teaching.

Driving Centres teaching approach

Driving Centres takes on a school approach, firstly, you start with an introductory lesson with theory lessons on what is needed while driving. Only upon clearing the few theory lessons then are you able to advance to the next step. The practical lessons.

 Each practical lesson is structured in specific manner which means you have to clear each stage at every lesson. The lesson will begin with you behind the wheel in the driving centre and repeatedly driving the same course which you are required to learn. For the purpose of example, we will take for instance, changing from first gear to third gear. Learners will then circle the driving centre repeatedly changing from gear 1 to gear 3 till you become familiar with that action. At the end of the lesson, the instructor will then assess your ability to complete that certain action. If he/she feels that you are not comfortable doing that action, you will have to repeat the same lesson again.

From this example, you can tell that the schools are extremely thorough in their approach to learning and it ensures that students are about 90% ready to take the practical traffic police test. failure to meet the their requirements for each lesson would mean repeating the same course over and over till you pass. However, this method is extremely strict and can be boring for the student when you have to repeat the action over the course of 100 minutes.

Private Driving Instructor’s teaching approach

Where private driving instructor’s teach approach differs is in the flexibility. Their teaching methods will definitely differ from each instructor but the key characteristic they have for their lesson is to ensure they cover a large range of driving skills within a particular lesson. 

The instructor usually starts off with the basics before asking you to drive around the streets of Singapore. Because they are not confined to the driving circuits unlike schools, lessons usually incorporates a range of key skill sets at a go. From left turning, right turning and even U-turns. In this manner, you receive a more holistic approach to learning and not confined to a single action like driving centres. However, the flaw in this is you do not get the same amount of practice for the specific actions like students from schools. As such, private students usually lack the discipline the driving centre students have.

Most students are always anxious to take their driving test and this can be their downfall especially if they are not thoroughly ready for it yet. Moreover, because there are no restrictions like the school has. In the end, students are faced with the consequence of failing and wasting their time and effort when they take the risk of taking their practical lessons.


Private Instructors are usually horrible teachers when it comes to driving. However, they are the ones who have a wealth of experience because of the amount of years they have been in the industry. When learning from private driving instructors, make sure that you take your time and not rush through the lessons. Always make sure you are comfortable with every skill set before booking your traffic police tests. Always remember that taking more lessons is always cheaper than failing your test. And with the difference of pricing from driving centres, learning privately is still the cheapest and fastest ways to pass.

If you would like to learn from a private driving instructor, we have a whole database of instructors at every venue and transmission option for you to learn from. Click here to find out more.