What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a manual car?

Where Can I Find the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)?

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that act as a unique identifier for the vehicle. A VIN displays the car's unique features, specifications and manufacturer.

The VIN can be found in a couple of places including on the car's registration label (1), on the compliance plate in the engine bay (2) or on the passenger side windshield (3), or on one of the door posts (where the door latches when it is closed) (4). See the image below:

Look for the VIN in these other locations:

  • Insurance card/Insurance policy
  • Vehicle title and registration certificate


Have you ever owned a manual car? If you haven't, and you've always wanted to drive one, why not buy a used manual? They're great fun, and aren't nearly as difficult to drive properly as some people believe. In fact, once you get the feeling of the clutch (which is different in each car), you'll be driving around as if it were second nature. If you do choose to buy a used manual car in the near future, make sure you check that it has a clean history with a CarHistory report.

But why do more people choose to drive automatic cars? For one thing, automatic cars are abundant in Australia - both new and used. Even as far back as 2010, automatic cars accounted for over 70 per cent of the new car market in Australia, and just over a quarter of new driving licences in the same period were sat in manual cars1. People don't seem to be as keen on the clutch and gear option anymore, while some others would never drive an automatic.

Could a manual car be more fun than an automatic?


Why are automatic cars more popular than manuals?

To start with, automatic transmissions allow a smoother ride for inexperienced drivers. They don't have to worry about changing gears at the right time and doing the perfect hill-start when they're just beginning, which makes automatics good options for learners.

Automatic cars are also more common, as previously referenced. Although new manual cars tend to be cheaper than automatics2, people prefer the practicality of automatics, and seem willing to pay more for it. Driving a manual requires more concentration, even on short trips, and many don't enjoy driving enough to choose the more active option.

So why are manual cars still an option?

Feeling the car's heartbeat when you've got your foot down is a feeling you can't replicate in an automatic.

There are a few car enthusiasts who still love the feeling of a manual gearbox. Feeling the car's heartbeat when you've got your foot down is something you can't replicate in an automatic, and many people find that factor takes away from how enjoyable driving can be.

Manufacturers wouldn't persist with designing and selling manual cars if nobody was buying them, so it's obvious that there's still a market for the clutch. Further, if you are learning how to drive, it's a great idea to start out in a manual and even sit your licence in one. In some states, you must have had your full licence for some time before you can legally drive a manual car3. Knowing how to and being allowed to are different things, so don't get caught out in a manual without an appropriate licence.

Think a manual car might be for you? Find a suitable one to buy and check it out in-depth with a CarHistory report today.

1. AutoGuide. Should you buy a car with a manual transmission? Accessed January 2017.

2. Drive. Automatic for the people. Accessed January 2017.

3. Allianz. The shift away from manual vehicles. Accessed January 2017.

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