Automatics gaining popularity

The popularity of automatic over manual transmission cars has continued to rise throughout recent years.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show an increase of more than 20% over the last 19 years, from 1998.

Rob Donaldson, UK car editor, Glass’s said, ‘There are many reasons for this increase. Over the years the sophistication and quality of automatic gearboxes has increased immeasurably and they are now available across almost all makes and models, so the additional choice has helped fuel the increase in registrations.’

He continued, ‘With more availability across models ranges and ever improving automatic style transmissions, combined with traffic increasing and queues getting longer, the ease of a non-manual has become more appealing than ever.’

UK car registration share by gearbox type
Year Manual Other
1998 86.52 13.48
1999 86.34 13.66
2000 86.14 13.86
2001 85.26 14.74
2002 85.17 14.83
2003 83.92 16.08
2004 81.76 18.24
2005 81.11 18.89
2006 80.04 19.96
2007 78.40 21.60
2008 78.59 21.41
2009 80.13 19.87
2010 77.48 22.52
2011 74.29 25.71
2012 73.33 26.67
2013 74.47 25.53
2014 72.48 27.52
2015 69.36 30.64
2016 65.25 34.75
2017 (so far) 63.223 36.78

Other gearbox types include: automatic, continuously variable transmission (CVT) and direct-shift gearbox (DSG). All provide similar driving experiences.