G is for Going Automatic


Going Auto in June 2021

Here at Inclusive Driving, we think differently. It’s time to embrace automatic as the future. Car manufacturers are already embracing it, as are the government, with a proposed ban on conventional petrol and diesel engines by 2030. This means that new cars will be hybrid-electric or full-electric and, the overwhelming majority of these are automatic.

Inclusive Driving has decided to make the switch to automatic, and has ordered a new car for June 2021: a Toyota Corolla Hybrid. Had we not experienced a 3-month lockdown in March 2020, we would have been switching next week.

Not an inferior option

It used to be that Automatic was the inferior option. Automatics were less reliable, less fuel-efficient and, when you passed your test you were severely restricted in your choice of car. While passing your driving test in an automatic will still mean you cannot drive a car with a manual gearbox, it is no longer as big a deal as people think. Even Driving Instructors are clinging to manual cars, as though it is somehow better.

Fuel-efficient driving

On paper, automatics powered by conventional petrol or diesel engine are slightly less fuel-efficient than manuals. However, the biggest factor in fuel-efficiency is your driving style. And with automatics requiring little judgment of when to change gear, overall they work out just as efficient; possibly more so.

We are excited: automatic fits in with our environmental policy. We would love to go fully electric but at the moment, logistics at home for effective recharging, make it impractical at the moment. Our plan is to be electric, with 100% renewable energy by 2023: still, seven years before the UK government makes it compulsory.

Testing times

Sadly, multiple periods of lockdown due to Covid-19 means that the transition to auto will not be as smooth as we had originally planned; and for those of you who particularly want to pass the driving test in a manual car, there is now a bit of time pressure.

Driving lessons are provisionally due to resume on 12th April 2021, giving a window of about seven weeks to take a test in the current Ford Fiesta manual before we make the switch.

We will do everything we can to support you before this deadline arrives. And no need to worry … I have a number of very instructor colleagues who will still be offering manual lessons after this date, and I trust them implicitly.


Secretly, we wanted to go auto two years ago when Inclusive Driving was born, as auto is also superior when it comes to learning to drive with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and many other disabilities … and that’s what Inclusive Driving is all about. It was again, down to purely practical matters surrounding leaving a national driving school and setting up our own company that kept us teaching manual.

As always, if you have any questions then please do contact me. I really look forward to supporting you and, as we approach the 2nd anniversary of Inclusive Driving being a thing, here’s to the next two years!

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