Driving and Automatic

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  • #154906 Reply

    After a lifetime of driving manual cars I have a test drive booked on Sunday in my first automatic. Any tips or advice on what to watch or look out for would be most appreciated.

    The test is in a Corolla Sports Touring Hybrid.

Viewing 25 replies - 26 through 50 (of 52 total)
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  • #154975 Reply

    With torque converter automatics, it’s my habit to knock back into neutral if I’m going to be stopped a while, at lights for example, so no tendency to creep and more economical too.

    #154979 Reply

    1) Tie left foot to bottom of seat!

    2)  Keep left hand under bum until needed.

    Current car BMW X2 2.0i Sport sDrive Auto 2019 with Sport pack
    Last car Ford Focus Titanium 1.5 TDCI

    "Men fight for liberty & win it with hard knocks. Their children brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves" - D.H. Lawrence

    #154981 Reply

    Yeah that’s what I told Mrs ajn Joss, worked for her now she’s totally use to the auto driving, the auto hold hand brake she loves too..

    #155100 Reply

    It’s worth bearing in mind the difference between a true auto with torque converter & an automatic manual which won’t have auto creep. A surprising number these days are electrically operated manual boxes.

    I think personally throwing left foot braking into the mix for a test drive auto newbie is just confusing the matter. There’s nothing wrong with people who do that who do it well BUT the number of nasty accidents up here caused by elderly drivers doing that & accelerating at the same time, foot slips off brake & car shoots off into a shop window as happened in Cromer Morrisons recently.

    #155101 Reply

    I just can’t see what is so difficult about driving with one foot.

    #155102 Reply

    We are told that left foot braking is too violent and too strong. We are also told that old people have their foot slip off the brake when they are accelerating. Why I wonder does their foot slip off the brake pedal? Why not the accelerator, which is usually smaller anyway. Its much more likely that they stuck their one foot on the accelerator thinking they were braking. But that would not suit the narrative would it? That these two footed drivers are lethal. Of course that ignores the fact that with this super powerful foot clamped on the brake the car would not go anywhere anyway. Group think is a wonderful thing. If anybody took the trouble to look up the facts they would find it is elderly drivers stamping down with their right foot on the accelerator thinking its the brake that causes nearly every accident. Their reflexes are then too slow to adjust that right foot off the accelerator and onto the brake. Again that would not suit group think. useful tips by all means like ‘creep’ but cease the carping about one or two feet. Next time you see a car bearing down on you as a pedestrian or in your rear view mirror, pray its a two footed driver since at speed it can make a 20 metre difference. And that can mean life or death. Let someone work out for them self how to drive, stop hinting someone has a problem if they don’t want to drive with one foot.

    #155104 Reply

    sif really seems to be taking issue with this…. and a few others aren’t helping either

    Firstly no one said it was illegal so don’t know why you made that point?

    Elderly people get dopey and do dopey things, that’s why they crash…

    The question was related to someone who has been driving a manual car for a lifetime trying an automatic for the first time…. talking about 2 footed braking or using your left because your right is weak or amputated isn’t relevant. I use hand controls but don’t advocate for them because they can brake quicker?

    “Next time you see a car bearing down on you pray it’s a two footed driver”? What a load of rubbish… why not pray it isn’t a manual gearbox, or pray they’re paying attention, or that their brakes and tyres are in good condition….

    When you are driving you should either be accelerating or braking, not trying to do both at the same time and the easiest way to manage this is to use one foot…. if you drive differently because of a disability then that is specific to you and not relevant to the OP.

    #155106 Reply

    Hhhhmmmm I feel it’s time to perform an EMERGENCY stop now, and get out…😂🤣

    Its all getting a bit missing the junction on a roundabout multiple times for me…

    Enjoy the test drive Sunday Fiestared👍👍



    #155108 Reply
    Ian Price

    The way I got use to auto from manual, was to sit on my left leg. Soon got use to using right foot only for braking.

    #155113 Reply

    @ajn Enjoy the test drive Sunday Fiestared

    Thank you, I’m looking forward to it.

    #155121 Reply
    Glos Guy

    As others have said, just forget that your left leg exists! I first drove autos in Florida around 30 years ago and couldn’t wait to embrace them in the UK thereafter. Had a mix of autos and manuals for the next 10 years but over the past 20 years I’ve just had autos. I liken it to manual versus electric windows. You’d never want to go back to manually winding a window up and down! Good quality modern autos have better performance and economy than the manual versions and are so much nicer to drive. You never lose the knack of driving a manual though. I drive lots of different cars each year and many are manuals. I can jump into any car and be comfortable driving it within minutes. The sole exception was a LWB van recently when moving my daughter. The worst manual gearbox on earth!

    #155176 Reply

    WOW!  WOW!  WOW!

    I’m sat here wondering why I’ve been driving manual cars for so long. I had my test drive and was a bit concerned about driving an automatic for the first time. Making it even worse the salesman gave me the car and said I’ll see you in 20 minutes.

    I had ‘planned’ a journey on Google maps but it was over so quick that I did another lap and, this time, added in a detour which took me onto the local bypass and then, sadly back to the dealership.

    Thanks to everyone on here for all the help, it has been really appreciated. All I need to do now is sit and wait for my new Toyota Hybrid to be built.

    #155177 Reply
    Glos Guy

    Well done. You won’t regret it. Some things are best embraced. It’s a bit like retirement. When did you last hear someone say “I wish that I’d retired later”? 😂

    #155179 Reply


    #155184 Reply

    The issue isn’t so much left or right foot braking but more one foot v. two feet. As has already been mentioned plenty of people have the use of only the left foot, which is fine because the foot is only going to be pressing one pedal at a time. And that’s the point, those who build the muscle memory of left foot braking and right foot accelerating stand a very good chance, when the chips are down and instinct kicks in, of stamping on the brake with one foot while stamping on the accelerator with the other, often with disastrous consequences. By maintaining the foot off accelerator onto brake instinct (and relearning to keep the clutch foot doing nothing, which is learnt very quickly) you eliminate this, very real, possibility.

    #155185 Reply

    Well done, FiestaRed. You seem to have enjoyed it all. Sure you will do the same when the beast arrives.

    #155189 Reply

    @Tharg Well done, FiestaRed. You seem to have enjoyed it all. Sure you will do the same when the beast arrives.

    Now, having checked the Toyota website, I think it was a 2.0 litre car I was sent out in, not the 1.8 I had requested. After my problems with my handover from Vauxhall, this leaves me wondering if, when you reach retirement age, does everyone think you suddenly become stupid and not check things out on pages like this one?

    #155192 Reply

    Yup, FR. Ageism, the price of maturity and wisdom!

    #155197 Reply

    Glad the test drive went well 🙂  Was going to add watch your speed to the list….

    Until getting our SEAT with the DSG I’d only driven manuals and you get used to “knowing” your speed based on the selected gear and the sound / rpm of the engine – the DSG (most of the time) shifts so smoothly that its easy to keep your foot down without realising your going faster then you think.

    Not a problem now but for the first couple of weeks it took some getting used to.

    #155200 Reply

    I fully agree with you there TJ. As I mentioned I included the local bypass on my last lap and was surprised when I looked at the speedo.

    On my Astra ST I have a warning set to remind me when I exceed the limits I have set. Hope there’s something similar on the Toyota.

    #155205 Reply

    You can download the user manuals here:


    Choose generic search then Corolla HB/TS – english – 2021. You can leave the month blank.



    Daughters motability car SEAT Arona 1.6 diesel manual Excellence Lux.
    My car SEAT Ibiza SE Tec 1.2 petrol TSI 2017.
    Motability car on order Vauxhall Grandland 1.5 diesel automatic Ultimate.

    #155207 Reply

    @Marc Thanks for the link to the manuals, I’ll read through them until the day I finally get a hard copy.

    #155250 Reply

    You can download Toyota specs here:


    Choose the Carolla Price list (equipment and specs), make sure you read the specs for the estate towards the end of the pdf not all specs are the same for the same trim but different body shape, for example the GR Sport hatch has 18 inch wheels, on the estate it’s only 18 inch wheels on the 2 litre the 1.8 has 17 inch wheels.



    Daughters motability car SEAT Arona 1.6 diesel manual Excellence Lux.
    My car SEAT Ibiza SE Tec 1.2 petrol TSI 2017.
    Motability car on order Vauxhall Grandland 1.5 diesel automatic Ultimate.

    #155257 Reply

    @Marc The smaller alloys on the sports tourer is something I’ve just spotted.

    #155316 Reply

    One other thing that I don’t think been mentioned is “Idle creep”? When you come to a stop at traffic lights or crawling in stop start traffic if you take your foot off the brake the car will start creeping forward so keep your foot on the brake until you want to move forward then pop over to the accelerator and away you go. Some cars have “auto-hold” built in with the likes of VAG cars that hold the car at stop for as long as you like and until you press the accelerator but many including the KIA I have now, the auto-hold only holds for two seconds to prevent the car rolling back when travelling in an up hill direction and gives you a very short time to get your foot off the brake and on to the gas.

    The Toyota Corolla has auto hold so no idle creep, it’s a button next to the hand brake button. You have to press it to initiate the system after starting the car, once it’s switched on the car will hold after coming to a halt using the foot brake and will release on pressing the accelerator, if still stationary after 3 minutes the car will automatically apply the parking brake.

    Daughters motability car SEAT Arona 1.6 diesel manual Excellence Lux.
    My car SEAT Ibiza SE Tec 1.2 petrol TSI 2017.
    Motability car on order Vauxhall Grandland 1.5 diesel automatic Ultimate.

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