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There are more manual cars for sale on heycar than automatic cars, but the tide is changing as car buyers are now favouring used automatic cars. But that doesn’t mean manual cars don’t have a place: many of the most affordable cars on sale are manuals, while the manual gearbox makes a car simpler, lighter and often more efficient. Many people prefer the feeling of control and engagement you can get with a manual car, too.
There are plenty of used manual cars for sale and usually the manual gearbox is the most affordable version of any car if offered, as automatic gearboxes are more expensive to build and install, often adding over £1,000 to the car’s price. There’s less to go wrong with a manual gearbox, while they often save weight and offer greater fuel economy than automatics. Many sports cars and hot hatchbacks come with manual gearboxes because enthusiastic drivers like being able to interact with a manual gearshift: it makes you feel more involved in the process of driving.
At the cheaper end of the market manual cars such as the Ford Fiesta are great fun to drive. The Dacia Sandero - one of the cheapest new cars for sale - has more power and noticeably better fuel economy than with the lacklustre CVT automatic option. The Honda Civic Type R is a hot hatchback with one of the best manual gearboxes on sale, while the Mazda MX-5 and Porsche Cayman are sports cars with brilliant manual shifts. You’ll struggle to find many used luxury cars or bigger SUVs for sale with manual gearboxes, however.
The first thing to check is whether or not a manual gearbox suits the car. Cars with fun engines and exciting handling can be more enjoyable as manual cars, but family SUVs, particularly those with diesel engines that require lots of gear changes, often work better as automatics. There’s less to wrong in theory with a used manual car, but often clutches and flywheels are worn by poor driving or high mileage in town. You also can’t buy any used electric cars as manuals, while very few used hybrid cars are manuals either. Some manual gearboxes have notchy shifts or sharp clutches, so it’s worth trying one before you buy.
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