Townsville Bulletin

Motorists toss away manuals

- CORMAC PEARSON

QUEENSLAND­ERS are ditching the clutch, with only 41 per cent of the 60,000 licences granted last year being for manual drivers.

That’s a 4 per cent drop on 2018 and a 21 per cent drop from 2009.

Queensland Motor Transport Authority CEO Rod Camm said the trend would continue, and could even fall at a quicker rate due to the increasing prominence of electric cars.

“It used to be a rite of passage and a credibilit­y test for young people to learn to drive a manual vehicle,” Mr Camm said.

“But advances in engine technology over the past decade have really optimised the performanc­e of automatic transmissi­on vehicles and minimised the gap that used to exist compared to manuals.”

Mr Camm said with no performanc­e setback and improved efficiency, the manual option just “isn’t as attractive to buyers anymore”.

“And with electric vehicle technology becoming increasing­ly more available, I think we are going to see this decline continue, as all electric vehicles are ‘automatic’,” he said.

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