Hello
Guest

Sponsored Links


Topic: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?  (Read 595 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

  • *
  • Posts: 47

  • Liked: 17
  • Joined: May 2017
How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« on: April 05, 2018, 09:59:08 AM »
I've had my first couple of driving lessons in the UK, and my instructor basically just told me he doesn't want to work with me anymore. :( He think it'll take me so long to drive a manual car properly that, since I've been driving for years, I'd be better off just taking the automatic test.

I found the lessons extremely frustrating - he's extremely nitpicky about my driving (I do have bad habits to unlearn, of course) and slams on the instructor break at minor mistakes I could self-correct. After four hours of lessons, I didn't leave first gear. I don't know if this is just his style or this is typical of driving lessons in the UK.

I drove for many years in the US with an automatic, and I really wanted to learn a manual since I know that's how most cars are made here. For those of you who made the switch, how long did it take to learn a manual car in the UK?


  • *
  • Posts: 13969

  • Liked: 3123
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2018, 10:09:54 AM »
I can't help on the manual front, as I learned in the USA when I was 16.

But your instructor sounds like a Class A Jerk.  Sounds like you are lucky to be rid!

You need to gel with the instructor.  If you want to learn a manual, go for it.  Though there is no shame in an automatic only license if you want to go that route (automatics are growing in popularity and not too difficult to come by anymore).

Do you have a partner that could help you learn the basics of driving a manual?  And yeah, someone needs to get you into second gear.   :D


  • *
  • Posts: 2689

  • Liked: 72
  • Joined: Feb 2007
  • Location: Biggleswade
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2018, 10:12:16 AM »
There are thousands of driving instructors in the UK; try a different one.  :)


  • *
  • Posts: 4511

  • Liked: 1016
  • Joined: Sep 2015
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 10:52:50 AM »
Ditto what everyone said, get a better instructor and drive a manual if you want. 

Learning to drive in the UK is hard for anyone and learning to drive a stick at the same time would be a tall order.  You have nothing to feel bad about.


  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3689

  • Liked: 555
  • Joined: Aug 2012
  • Location: Southwest Wales
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2018, 12:18:11 PM »
I absolutely agree that you got unlucky with that first instructor.  A few years ago, I had an introductory lesson with an instructor in the Salisbury area.  I knew I was going to be fine with further tuition, but I also knew I didn't want to work with that instructor anymore.  We did not gel.  Then I put off learning for the test until after we moved (which took a few more years than expected, so I went a long time not driving in the UK!). The instructor I found after the move was perfect for me.  Laid back enough to feel understanding, but knowledgeable enough to teach me what I needed to know for the test.

As for driving a manual, I learned in the US when my older sister got a truck and then joined the Army and left it behind (free "car"!).  It took a bit of practice on my family's land, far away from everybody and everything, but I soon got the hang of it.  Before she left, my sister took me out to the land and stopped the truck at the bottom of a steep dip in our driveway; my job was to get the truck up from there to the flat part of the land.  She said if I could do that, I could drive a manual.  She wasn't right about much, but she was right about that.  I definitely got the feel for it that day.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 12:19:56 PM by jfkimberly »
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!


  • *
  • Posts: 2191

  • Liked: 431
  • Joined: Apr 2016
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 04:53:05 PM »
I learned to drive manual in the dealership parking lot in the US when I bought my last car. I was on a budget and didn't want to pay for an automatic transmission when the manual is better for snow driving anyways. But it admittedly took a few weeks of daily driving to actually feel comfortable with it because I'm a high stress individual and don't do change well.

Sounds like you definitely need a new instructor!


  • *
  • Posts: 369

  • Liked: 11
  • Joined: Jul 2011
  • Location: Midlands
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 05:33:49 PM »
It's important to find an instructor who you're comfortable with. There are a lot of bad ones out there. I had two before I found the guy who I passed my test with. Them, not me lol. The first guy was such a jerk to me and acted like he didn't want to be there, second was better but very unreliable, third was the winner. Ditch your instructor and move on to someone else.

I had only driven autos before and I was a VERY nervous driver in the UK to begin with. My husband gave me a few lessons on the basics of a manual, but I had no desire to drive one and just knew it wasn't for me... much to his disappointment (he got over it). I did have to do a bit of digging to find automatic instructors, but finding an automatic car was easy.

I passed my test a year and a half ago, and never once had regrets about not learning to drive manual. Everyone is different. If you're interested in keeping up with manual, go for it. If not, there's nothing wrong with going back to automatic.
4/2015 Married
7/29/2015 Spousal visa received


  • *
  • Posts: 47

  • Liked: 17
  • Joined: May 2017
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2018, 01:43:15 PM »
Thanks for your encouraging responses! My instructor is actually very nice, not a yeller at all, but perhaps I should've known he wasn't the best fit when he told me I'd have to "unlearn everything" from driving in the US and didn't really respect my years of driving a car. I'm open to getting an automatic license but want to give manual a shot first. (My spouse is Canadian and drives automatic too, so he's no help. ;) He was able to trade in his license for a UK one without taking the test.)

I went with him because everyone else I've talked to in the area has a waiting list of at least three weeks. I guess it's back to the drawing board!


  • *
  • Posts: 13969

  • Liked: 3123
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2018, 01:57:33 PM »
Thanks for your encouraging responses! My instructor is actually very nice, not a yeller at all, but perhaps I should've known he wasn't the best fit when he told me I'd have to "unlearn everything" from driving in the US and didn't really respect my years of driving a car. I'm open to getting an automatic license but want to give manual a shot first. (My spouse is Canadian and drives automatic too, so he's no help. ;) He was able to trade in his license for a UK one without taking the test.)

I went with him because everyone else I've talked to in the area has a waiting list of at least three weeks. I guess it's back to the drawing board!

You should be able to find someone who understands and respects the fact that you KNOW how to drive and have been driving safely and defensively for years.  Just you need to learn to drive a manual and how to pass the test.  :)  Good luck!  You can do this!


  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 14447

  • Also known as PB&J ;-)
  • Liked: 265
  • Joined: Sep 2007
  • Location: :-D
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2018, 02:36:49 PM »
Lots of good advice here.
For what it's worth, my British friend (she's definitely not a 17 year old learner) is learning to drive and she had to dump her first instructor because they didn't gel.  She found one much easier for her to get along with. So, no need to worry, just get a new instructor!
I've never gotten food on my underpants!
Work permit (2007) to British Citizen (2014)
You're stuck with me!


  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 10

  • Liked: 1
  • Joined: Nov 2012
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2018, 06:28:44 PM »
i drove automatics in the US for 20 years and started learning on manual last June. I did one lesson a week until around December, when I booked my test for February and ramped it up to two lessons a week (my bank acct was not happy). Buuuut, I passed my first time with 4 minors, so whilst I was sure I would never get the hang of a manual, I learned and passed in less than a year. You can definitely do it. Good luck.


  • *
  • Posts: 10886

  • Liked: 3616
  • Joined: Sep 2010
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2018, 06:38:55 PM »
i drove automatics in the US for 20 years and started learning on manual last June. I did one lesson a week until around December, when I booked my test for February and ramped it up to two lessons a week (my bank acct was not happy). Buuuut, I passed my first time with 4 minors, so whilst I was sure I would never get the hang of a manual, I learned and passed in less than a year. You can definitely do it. Good luck.

Good for you! Congratulations!  ;D
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


  • *
  • Posts: 957

  • Liked: 105
  • Joined: Feb 2016
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2018, 09:33:00 AM »
Thanks for your encouraging responses! My instructor is actually very nice, not a yeller at all, but perhaps I should've known he wasn't the best fit when he told me I'd have to "unlearn everything" from driving in the US and didn't really respect my years of driving a car. I'm open to getting an automatic license but want to give manual a shot first. (My spouse is Canadian and drives automatic too, so he's no help. ;) He was able to trade in his license for a UK one without taking the test.)

I went with him because everyone else I've talked to in the area has a waiting list of at least three weeks. I guess it's back to the drawing board!


I have a manual license but ended up buying automatic. I suggest taking the manual test, it’ll give you so many more options in the future with car buying. My next car will be manual, now that I know our roads better.

I got lucky with my instructor because it was a friend’s uncle and my spouse used him years ago (still took me a month to get booked though). However, he said he taught many Americans prior, and I think he had the patience for that. Is it worth asking around for an instructor who is good with experienced drivers from another country? Just so they know they need to help unlearn the bad habits we easily pick up.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


  • *
  • Posts: 3143

  • Liked: 473
  • Joined: Jun 2014
  • Location: Derbyshire, UK
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2018, 09:39:41 AM »
I taught myself to drive manual in the US in a weekend.

Here, it's taken me about 5 months? 3 months of x1 week lesson for 1 hour a year ago.

Now 7weeks of 2 hr lessons once a week. My test is May 1st. Earliest I could get.
The usual. American girl meets British guy. They fall into like, then into love. Then there was the big decision. The American traveled across the pond to join the Brit. And life was never the same again.


  • *
  • Posts: 2922

  • Liked: 274
  • Joined: Feb 2012
  • Location: West of Scotland
Re: How long did it take you to learn to drive a manual?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2018, 10:18:05 AM »
My dad refused to let me get my license until I could drive a manual.  I was furious at the time, but was desperate to drive, so I learned QUICKLY... in just a few days, maybe a week.  And now I'm glad my dad forced me, cos I can drive absolutely anything.

When I started to drive in the UK, I had to change instructors 3 times till I finally got one that I liked.


Sponsored Links





 

coloured_drab