You pull up in the traffic stream, dip the clutch and sit there with the car in gear, ready to move off. Twenty yards down the road you go through the whole rigmarole again. You think there must be a better way of driving than this.
Congratulations – you’re ready for your first car with an automatic gearbox.
It’s a moment many drivers put off because they feel it impinges on their control, but if you regularly get caught in heavy commuter traffic, an auto is essential. In fact, many large cars don’t give you any choice, and those that do command higher resale values as autos.
Ah, but what do we mean by automatic? There are various methods of letting the car change gear unaided, and it’s important to understand the differences – or you may end up being sold something you won’t like.
Remember, too, that if you pass your driving test in an auto and you're not licensed to drive a manual. Pass in a manual and you can drive either.
Read on to find out more, and take a look in our glossary here to look up other motoring terms you may not understand.