EVs drive popularity of automatic vehicles

New research has found that car buyers are increasingly favouring automatic cars over manual.

The number of automatic-only driving licence holders has more than doubled in the past 10 years, according to BookMyGarage.

Based on statistics from the DVLA, it found that the number of licence holders in Great Britain which are automatic-only has risen from 550,000 to 1.1 million between 2012 and 2022. The biggest annual increase came in the past year, when there was an 11.1% increase in automatic-only licence holders.

In total, there are an estimated 41 million licence holders in Great Britain. This means automatic-only licence holders make up around 2.7% of the total number, compared to just 1.5% of the 37 million license holders a decade ago.

The steady rise of automatic licence holders appears to be following the trend of the rising popularity of both Electric Vehicles (EVs); automatic cars outsold manual cars in 2020 for the first time, and this year there has already been a 48.8% year-to-date increase in UK EV sales, with an additional 45,078 electric vehicles being sold, according to data from the SMMT.

Jessica Potts, head of marketing at BookMyGarage.com, said: “The rise in automatic-only driving licences over the past decade is no surprise when you consider the general shift towards EVs and hybrids, as well as the shift towards petrol and diesel cars equipped with automatic gearboxes.

“Some people may see the demise of the manual gearbox as a bit of a shame, but technology has moved on dramatically and now most automatics deliver improved fuel efficiency and driver convenience.”