What’s Cheaper to Insure – An Automatic or Manual Vehicle?

Last Updated on December 5, 2022

Manual vehicles are declining in popularity. People simply don’t know how to drive stick-shift vehicles anymore. However, many drivers still choose to drive manual vehicles. The difference in insurance costs is one of the reasons why.

What’s the cheaper to insure – a manual or an automatic vehicle? Today, we’re explaining the difference between insuring automatic and manual vehicles.

Automatic Cars Are More Expensive to Insure than Manual Cars

Automatic cars tend to cost more to insure than manual cars. Automatic cars are also costlier to repair. The difference is not significant. However, there is a difference.automatic or manual cheaper to insure

UK-based car insurance provider Admiral conducted a study and found that premiums were 5.63% higher for automatic vehicles compared to manual vehicles.

“This seemed mostly driven by the increased costs of an insurance claim for an automatic and also an increased claim frequency,” explained Admiral.

In other words, automatic cars experienced more breakdowns than manual vehicles. And, when automatic vehicles require repairs, those repairs tend to be more expensive. All of this means higher costs for insurance providers who insure automatic vehicles. Insurance companies pass these higher costs onto the drivers of automatic vehicles.

Your Insurance Company Always Analyzes your Car’s Make, Model, Year, and Type

Your insurance company looks at hundreds of factors to provide you with a personalized rate on car insurance. Your car’s make, model, year, and type all play a crucial role in the price you pay for car insurance.

Yes, your car’s transmission – also known as the gearbox – will affect the price you pay for car insurance. Your insurance company will likely ask whether you’re driving a car with an automatic or manual transmission. If you don’t know what kind of transmission you have, you can find this information in your owner’s manual, under the hood, on the driver’s side door frame, or even by running a VIN search online. Depending on whether you have an automatic or manual transmission, you might pay more or less for car insurance.

Your car’s transmission type is a relatively minor factor in the price of your car insurance. There are dozens of other factors that will have a bigger effect on your car insurance rates, including all of the following:

Some People Drive More Safely in an Automatic Vehicle

Some drivers make a different argument when comparing the costs of insuring an automatic vehicle versus a manual vehicle.

This argument boils down to this:

Yes, automatic cars are slightly more expensive to insure, but some people are more likely to get into a collision in a manual vehicle than an automatic one, which will raise your rates in the long run.

There’s no significant difference in accident statistics between manual and automatic vehicles. Otherwise, insurance companies would charge significantly different rates to drivers of either type of vehicle.

However, certain people are more comfortable driving an automatic vehicle than a manual one. You might have more experience driving an automatic car, for example. That leads to a reduced risk of accidents and safer driving habits.

Automatic cars can also be easier to drive and park on hills. Manual cars are more likely to stall. Some drivers find manual cars to be more restrictive than automatic cars.

If you are more comfortable driving an automatic car, then automatic cars can be cheaper to insure in the long run. All it takes is one accident, one parking mistake, or one stalled vehicle collision to cause your rates to rise.

The difference in insurance prices between an automatic and manual vehicle is about 5%, but the difference in insurance prices between a driver with a clean driving record and a bad driving record can be up to 100%.

Of course, other drivers feel safer driving a manual vehicle – so this certainly doesn’t hold true for all drivers.

Final Word – Automatic vs. Manual Insurance Premiums

Ultimately, automatic cars are generally slightly more expensive to insure than manual cars.

The reason is simple: car insurance premiums are higher for automatic cars because the repairs for automatic transmissions are more expensive – and more frequently required – than repairs on cars with manual transmissions. Your insurance company pays higher compensation on automatic vehicle claims, and they’ll pass these higher costs onto drivers like you.

Of course, the difference in price between automatic and manual vehicles isn’t significant enough to warrant dropping your insurance plan or switching providers instantly. The difference, with most insurance companies, is between 2% and 7%. Nevertheless, the difference in insurance prices between manual and automatic vehicles is one of many things to consider when shopping for vehicles.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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