Is This The End For Manual Driving Test?

Sat 21st May 2022

With electric cars becoming more and more a part of everyday motoring life there will come a point when manual gearboxes will be a thing of the past, and with it, the manual driving test.

Now analysts from a major UK insurer claim they know the exact year in the future that the last ever manual test will take place, 2043. Boffins from Direct Line Insurance have analysed the current and predicted uptake of EVs over the coming years to be able to plot a map to the last ever time a learner driver climbs into a manual gear vehicle to take their test.

Manual cars currently account for 70 per cent of all registered cars on the roads in this country, but in 2021, more than 50 per cent of all cars sold were automatic, no doubt boosted by the rising interest in EVs, which technically don’t require a gear stick.

Direct Line research reveals that the average lifespan of a car is approximately 14 years, and that the last new combustion engines will be sold in 2029, therefore manual driving tests should end by 2043.

“There is no doubt that the ban on petrol and diesel cars will change the face of motoring in the UK, and one significant side effect of this is a rise in automatic cars,” Ian Exworth, Direct Line director of emerging markets said.

“With a hard deadline in place, it is no surprise to see that motorists are already shifting their habits, with more people opting to learn in an automatic and moving away from manual gearboxes.

“The idea of switching from a manual car may be daunting, and nearly three fifths of motorists do not feel entirely confident about switching to automatic. 

“But with eight years to go until the ban comes into effect; we'd encourage motorists to keep an open mind and explore their options when choosing a new car. 

“The change from manual to automatic, and then on to electric, may not be as drastic as people think.”