Image of an Automatic Gear Knob.

Demand for automatic cars doubles since 2014

Interest in automatic cars has doubled since 2014, according to new research.

The number of searches made specifically for automatic transmission vehicles has risen to 18.6 per cent this year up from 9.9 per cent in 2014.

This increase in demand has also be met by a surge in the number of used automatic vehicles becoming available for sale, according to AA Cars, the AA’s used car website. It reflects a push in the level of automatic vehicles being produced in the UK. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 40 per cent of new cars registered in 2017 were driven through an automatic gearbox – double the number recorded in 2007.

James Fairclough, CEO of AA Cars comments: “Automatic vehicles are being manufactured in greater numbers, but it is pleasing to see that drivers are responding positively to this added supply with even more of them actively searching for these cars.

“The increasing interest in electric cars is partly behind these figures, as the vast majority on sale are automatic and they are growing in popularity in the used car market.

“It is also no surprise to see that congested London is one of the best-stocked areas for automatic cars as they require much less effort to drive when someone is stuck in stop-start traffic.

A survey of 20,000 drivers also found that more than half believed that automatics were easier to drive, with just nine per cent saying that they were more difficult than manuals.

However, 32 per cent of motorists felt that driving wasn’t as enjoyable without a manual gearbox, contrasting the 20 per cent who thought that driving an automatic car was just as enjoyable as it is in a manual one.