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The Easy Way to Drive an Automatic Car

Ready to embrace Automatic Car Driving? Let’s get you started!

Congratulations on choosing to drive an automatic car – a fantastic decision! With their convenience and ease, automatics offer a seamless driving experience. Before you know it, you’ll be effortlessly cruising the open road. The keys to mastering this type of driving are simple—knowing how to move off smoothly, stopping confidently, and managing your speed.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to get started with an automatic car. Soon enough, driving will feel like second nature, and you’ll be good to go. So, buckle up, and follow the tips below.

Why Choose Automatic Cars?

Many people opt for automatic cars for their convenience and simplicity. Unlike manual transmission, there’s no need to deal with a pedal or manually shift gears. Just hop in, start the engine, pick your driving mode, and let go!

For new drivers, opting for an automatic car eliminates the challenge of coordinating between the clutch, shifter, and accelerator. Learning automatic driving lessons in Birmingham becomes more manageable, allowing them to focus on road rules and traffic navigation. Additionally, families find automatics appealing because multiple drivers with varying skill levels can easily operate the vehicle. Automatic cars are also great for women with no experience in driving and one can take advantage of the lessons by female driving instructors in Birmingham to learn how to operate and drive with ease.

Automatic cars also shine in stop-and-go traffic situations, as they eliminate the constant need for shifting gears. The transmission intuitively shifts to a lower gear for added power and smoothly transitions back to higher gears during cruising. As a bonus, this may also improve fuel efficiency in certain models.

Given these numerous benefits, it’s no surprise that automatic transmissions are the preferred choice for the vast majority of drivers.

How do Automatic Cars operate?

Unlike manual transmission, which requires the use of a clutch pedal and stick shift to change gears, automatic cars can handle these changes on their own.

Within automatic transmissions, a system of clutches, bands, and gears automatically shifts to the appropriate gear ratio based on the vehicle’s speed. When you press the gas pedal, the transmission senses the acceleration and smoothly shifts into higher gears with higher ratios, ensuring the engine stays within its optimal power range.

Conversely, as you release the gas pedal to the coast or slow down, the transmission shifts into lower gears with lower gear ratios to match the decreasing speed. This constant shifting between different gear ratios is the key to automatic transmissions providing a consistently smooth driving experience.

The Different Types of Automatic Gearboxes

When it comes to automatic transmissions, you will encounter several main types, each offering its own set of advantages and characteristics.

Knowing these can enhance your understanding of your automatic car’s operation and help you make the most of your driving experience.

1. Conventional Automatic Gearboxes

Conventional Automatic Gearboxes, common in older vehicles, feature a fixed set of gears, typically ranging from three to six speeds. They provide smooth driving by adjusting the speed and engine load. While straightforward to operate, they may offer a different fuel efficiency than modern alternatives such as Continuous Variable Transmissions or dual-clutch, which provide smoother gear changes and better power optimisation. Nonetheless, many drivers still appreciate the simplicity and reliability of conventional automatics.

2. Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVT)

Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs) utilise pulleys connected by a belt, eliminating fixed gears. This innovative design allows the pulley to adjust continuously, providing a seamless transition through an infinite range of gear ratios. CVTs excel at keeping the engine within its optimal power range, adapting to various driving conditions. As a result, they are commonly found in many newer models, particularly hybrids, where their efficiency and smooth performance contribute to an enhanced driving experience.

3. Dual-Clutch Automatics

Dual-clutch automatics are automated manual transmissions employing a pair of clutches to swiftly pre-select the next gear, enabling faster and smoother shifts than conventional automatics. While they offer superior performance and efficiency, they may not possess different refinement than other transmission types. Nonetheless, dual-clutch automatics are favoured in high-performance vehicles, where precise gear changes contribute to an exhilarating driving experience.

4. Automated (Intelligent) Manual Gearboxes

Automated Manual Gearboxes, or automated manual transmissions, share mechanical similarities with manuals but shift automatically. They usually feature a fixed set of gears, offering efficiency, yet may not be as smooth as other automatics, particularly at low speeds. However, certain drivers appreciate the sense of control and connection these transmissions provide, as they allow for a more engaged driving experience akin to a manual car while still being user-friendly in heavy traffic or stop-and-go situations.

In summary, the various types of automatic gearboxes each have their strengths and characteristics. Understanding how your specific transmission works will help you enjoy and optimise your driving experience.

Advantages of an Automatic Car: Effortless, Comfortable and Safe

The advantages of automatic cars are evident in their effortless operation, providing a hassle-free driving experience without the complexities of manual gear changes and engine stalling.

This simplicity translates into convenience and comfort, allowing drivers to focus solely on the road, even in heavy traffic or challenging terrains.

Moreover, automatic vehicles prioritise safety, especially for new drivers or those unfamiliar with manual transmissions. By eliminating the need for clutch control and shifting, drivers can concentrate fully on their surroundings, reducing the risk of accidents. Additionally, many automatics feature safety mechanisms that prevent rolling in reverse and minimise stalling-related mishaps.

Another appealing aspect is the improved fuel efficiency offered by modern automatic transmissions. With advancements in technology and computer controls, many automatics now boast six or more speeds, enabling optimal power range adjustments based on speed and load. Some models even adapt to individual driving styles, maximising overall fuel economy.

In summary, automatic transmissions make driving easier, provide a comfortable ride, prioritise safety and offer impressive fuel efficiency, making them a practical and popular choice for a wide range of drivers.

Step-by-Step: Driving an Automatic car

Driving an automatic car can be a breeze once you understand the essentials of moving off, stopping and accelerating smoothly. It’s a straightforward process that becomes intuitive with practice.

Moving Off

At red lights or stop signs, ensure your automatic transmission is in ‘Park’ or ‘Neutral’ and firmly press the brake pedal. When ready to go, shift into ‘Drive’ and gradually release the brake while gently pressing the gas pedal. Merge into the traffic attentively, considering other vehicles and pedestrians.


To come to a smooth stop, lift your foot off the gas and gently apply the brake. The automatic transmission will automatically downshift through the gears as you decelerate until you reach a complete stop. For momentary stops, switch to ‘Neutral’ while keeping your foot on the brake, and for longer stops or when leaving the vehicle, put the transmission in ‘Park’.


When it’s time to accelerate, shift to ‘Drive’ and press the gas pedal. The automatic transmission will seamlessly shift the gears as your speed increases. For the smoothest acceleration and optimal efficiency, press the pedal steadily in one fluid motion rather than stomping on it. Once you’re in motion, ease up on the pedal to maintain your speed.

Driving an automatic car is an intuitive experience. With practice in moving off, stopping and accelerating, you’ll cruise the roads with confidence. Prioritise safely, adhere to traffic rules and relish the newfound freedom of driving an automatic car.

Starting an Automatic Car

  1. Ensure the car is in Park (P) mode, preventing the wheels from moving.
  2. Fasten your seatbelt and adjust the mirrors for optimal visibility.
  3. Ensure all passengers have buckled up before proceeding.
  4. Press the brake pedal firmly with your right foot and switch on the ignition.
  5. With the brake pedal pressed, pick reverse (R) or another preferred driving mode.
  6. Check mirrors and blindspots, and exercise extra caution in reverse.
  7. Release the parking brake by pushing down the lever.
  8. Gradually release the brake pedal, allowing the vehicle to move in the selected gear.
  9. Apply gentle pressure to the gas pedal to accelerate smoothly.
  10. When stopping, release the gas pedal and apply the brakes to a complete stop.
  11. Shift to Park (P) mode and engage the parking brake to secure the transmission and wheels.
  12. Turn off the ignition and remove the keys to conclude your journey.

By following these steps, you’ll confidently navigate an automatic vehicle and travel safely. Happy Driving!

How to Stop an Automatic Car? 

To stop an automatic car, begin by gradually releasing your foot from the accelerator pedal. As the car starts to slow down, use your right foot to gently apply the brake pedal. Press the brake pedal smoothly and evenly until the car comes to a complete stop.


Apply steady pressure to the brake pedal, avoiding sudden or forceful braking. As the car slows, you may need to apply more pressure to continue decelerating. However, maintain a gradual and balanced braking approach. In emergency situations, apply firm pressure to the pedal but avoid locking up the wheels, as it can lead to skidding and loss of control.

Downshifting (Optional)

While the automatic transmission will downshift automatically during deceleration, you can manually downshift to a lower gear for increased engine braking when going downhill. Move the gear shift lever to a lower position by pressing the release button to the side or top. However, refrain from downshifting at high speeds to prevent transmission damage.

Note: This step only applies to Automatic Manual Transmission vehicles.

Coming to a Complete Stop

After stopping, keep the brake pedal pressed to remain stationary. On inclines, maintain steady pressure on the pedal to prevent rolling. For extended stops, shift the gear lever to ‘Park’ (P) to lock the transmission and secure the vehicle until you are ready to proceed again.

Wrapping Up

An automatic car offers a seamless and user-friendly experience, making it a preferred choice for many drivers. With the basics mastered, including sliding it into the driver’s seat, buckling up for safety and starting the engine with a simple push, you’ll be on your way with ease.

The smooth handling of gas and brake pedals allows for a comfortable ride, and the automatic transmission takes care of gear shifts effortlessly. Embrace the freedom and convenience that come with driving an automatic as you cruise the open road with confidence.

So, don’t hesitate to hop behind the wheel of an automatic car and enjoy the journey ahead.

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Davies Thomas
Davies Thomas
Hi, I am Mini Thomas. I would just like to say that Rashid has been an absolute star. He was punctual for every session. He was an excellent instructor, calmly explaining everything in a way that I understood. Under him, I managed to come further than I ever thought possible and I would just like to say that he is brilliant and I thoroughly recommend him for any future learners.
I passed my driving test first time with my instructor Saeed!! Best instructor ever!!
Mazni Mustafa
Mazni Mustafa
I passed my driving test today at redditch test centre. My instructor is Habib
Christos Nikoulis
Christos Nikoulis
I passed my driving test on my 1st attempt yesterday. Excellent preparation and mentorship from driving instructor Raja.
hootan parsapour
hootan parsapour
I passed first time on a new test route that I started preparing at short notice due to a last minute cancellation. This would not have been possible without Amir who went the extra mile to make sure I was ready and confident to pass. I have had my fair share of driving instructors before and during the pandemic where luck was not on my side. I ended up taking a break from driving for over a year. Getting back into driving at a time where driving instructors were in high demand, Amir took me on board and made sure I would be test-ready through continuous practice, manoevrues and mock tests to boost my confidence and learn key routes. He has been the most patient instructor I've come across while being a great communicator and supportive to make sure I achieve my goal without wasting my time, especially by getting me to keep being on the lookout for test availabilities. I'm very thankful to Amir, nothing but good things to say
shingai Chirinda
shingai Chirinda
Passed first time at King standing with the help of Habib. 10/10 instructor
Hina Khan Swati
Hina Khan Swati
Passed my test on my first attempt thanks to my instructor Ansar Jabeen. She was so punctual and utilised every single minute of my lesson to make sure i knew my routes. I really appreciate her patience and her help.
Harpreet Grewal
Harpreet Grewal
Passed my driving test on 1st attempt. Thanks to my driving instructor Salma.Very calm and knowledgeable. Thats all you need to pass your test as a new driver.
Maria Mahmood
Maria Mahmood
I passed this morning with Salma and it went really well and smoothly. I must confess that surely she is a skilled professional trader and the best among all. Before the test my instructor was very good she helped calm me before it was time to head into the test centre and we went over what would happen in the test to help relieve my nerves. She is the best instructor out their so friendly very professional and instructions are easy to understand and take in. Salma was able to easily adapt her teaching to suit me best. She is very sweet and you can tell she only wants the best out of you … she isn’t a instructor just there for the money she will tell you your mistakes and won’t move on until you have perfected it leaving you with no weaknesses.very very highly recommend her as your instructor.
Brandon c Newman Newman
Brandon c Newman Newman
Sooo happy today. I've just passed my test today at Redditch driving test centre. I was with Habib. Really nice guy and helped me to understand the roads, especially the high speed 70mp h speeds.Thanks mate😀