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The automatic car explained

In most cases, you will learn to drive with a car that has gears in the United Kingdom.

However there are people who prefer to learn in an automatic car, and there are various driving schools that have the option of letting you drive an automatic and you can pass a driving test with an automatic, you just won't be able to drive a car that has manual transmission gears with that licence. The other way round however is fine - you can learn with gears and then drive a car that has an automatic transmission.

Therefore even if you learn in a car with gears it can be useful to know how automatics work, particularly as if you get a hire car in countries such as the US then you are more than likely going to have an automatic.

One of the main differences you'll find with an automatic is that there are only two pedals: the accelerator and the brake. This can be a little disconcerting, but the reason is simple: there is no need for the clutch because that is what you use when you are changing gears on a manual transmission car.

The gearbox in the automatic car will 'work out' automatically when it should change the gear from higher to lower or lower to higher, and in addition it also makes those changes without you needing to do anything such as depress a clutch.

If you are thinking of learning in an automatic or want to find out more, then read the article on the automatic transmission explained, which is the next article in this section.

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Your vehicle breaks down on the hard shoulder of a motorway. You decide to use your mobile phone to call for help. You should: A) stand at the rear of the vehicle while making the call B) try to repair the vehicle yourself C) get out of the vehicle by the right-hand door D) check your location from the market posts on the left

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