Manual cars are cheaper to repair

28th June 2013

When it comes to MOT tests, the last thing any driver wants to hear is that they need a new gearbox; and this is especially true of anyone who drives an automatic car.

Cars with automatic transmissions are more likely to fail and when they do they are more expensive to fix than their manual counterparts, according to automotive specialist Warranty Direct.

The gearbox is one of the most expensive parts of a car to repair or replace. In some cases garage costs rise as high as £5,850, though this depends on the make and model of the vehicle. Moreover, there are many technicians who can offer a much cheaper gearbox replacement service.

Furthermore, as DVLA figures show the percentage of automatic cars on UK roads continues to rise compared with manual vehicles, analysis of 50,000 policies reveals that driving a manual is also cheaper if the box develops a fault.

The average cost of repairing an automatic gearbox is £1,070.49, the research shows. For a manual the cost is on average £824.28. In addition, auto gearboxes are more likely to fail. One in 80 automatics on the UK's roads suffers an issue every year, as opposed to one in 180 manuals. Overall, around 240,000 cars have to visit a garage each year due to a gearbox problem.

Duncan McClure Fisher, Warranty Direct managing director, said: "Automatic gearboxes are a good example of how technology has become more complex which, in turn, leads to more expensive repairs when things go wrong.

"Manufacturers are also increasingly using Direct Shift Gearboxes (DSG) which, by using two independent clutches, can achieve faster gear shift times, but are also inherently more complicated, advanced systems.

"Motorists may be surprised to find prestige marques at the wrong end of our study on gearbox failures but this may be partly down to the proliferation of automatic cars in those manufacturers’ model ranges."

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Posted by Danielle Barge