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Old 7th June 2019, 09:01   #1
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Default Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

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It is a well-known fact that getting a driving license in India is not a big deal. Even if one follows the regular procedure, one can get his license made without much hassle. The mandatory driving test that needs to be passed is not much of an issue for most as they donít test the driving skills much. However, it seems like there is a new issue brewing up regarding the driving tests. A report by Hindustan Times says that the Pune RTO is not granting a license to those who canít drive a manual gearbox equipped car. The increasing popularity of automatic transmission equipped vehicles means that there are many who donít know how to drive with a stick shift.

According to the report, there has been an increase of applicants failing the driving test since the past few months which is conducted at the Institute Of Driving Training And Research (IDTR), Bhosari. The Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) conducts 220 tests per day and among them, nearly 10-20 applicants fail the test. These applicants are those who have been trained on automatic transmission cars. Speaking on the same, Shekhar Channe, Maharashtra state transport commissioner said,

ďAs of now, the testing tracks in the state do not have an option in the four-wheeler permanent license test, where applicants can be given the option of automatic transmission dual control four-wheeler vehicle for the test. I will have to check in our records, whether we have coordinated about this issue with the central government to make the amendments, but I will certainly look into this issue and try to find a solution.Ē

However, this case is not exactly new and the same issue has been faced by other RTOs in India previously too. According to a report by Deccan Herald, a senior Transport Department officials directed the RTOs not to turn away people coming for the test with automatic cars. This happened after a woman tweeted that she was denied a driving test since she had brought an automatic car for the test. Ravi Agarwal, a driving school owner and authorised agent at Pune RTO comments on the topic:

ďMost people coming to our driving school own an automatic transmission car. They learn to drive on that car. However, when they go for the driving test, they are asked to take the test on manual transmission car instead of the automatic. These people do not know to drive the manual car and hence, fail the test. Most people prefer buying automatic models rather than the manual version of the car. The RTO should make provision for taking the test on automatic car as many drivers are failing the test, Most of these drivers who are failing the test are women and senior citizens,Ē

It seems like there is no clear directive about the allowance of automatic cars in driving tests. This is the reason different RTOs are handling it in a diffenrt way. As an enthusiast, I would say that everyone needs to know how to drive a manual car but seeing the global shift in driving patterns, automatic cars will be much more popular in the future.
From an enthusiast view this seems to be right but what about the rest of the lot who are learning directly on automatics. With the given popularity of AT transmission in metro cities due to traffic congestion more will join the AT brigade.

Source: https://www.cartoq.com/manual-automa...o-license/amp/
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:07   #2
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Originally Posted by roby_dk View Post
From an enthusiast view this seems to be right but what about the rest of the lot who are learning directly on automatics. With the given popularity of AT transmission in metro cities due to traffic congestion more will join the AT brigade.

Source: https://www.cartoq.com/manual-automa...o-license/amp/
Is it not easier to shift from a manual to automatic compared to the other way round? Else there may be cases where people who have obtained license for AT may drive a manual sometime, making the lives of those around them in traffic miserable! In which case you would need two different licenses based on transmission which i guess isn't feasible. Let drivers learn driving a manual and later shift to AT if required, as is the case now. Its good many are failing the tests. Its already pretty simple obtaining a license, lets not further dilute it! Hope I'm not missing anything!

Last edited by abhi7013 : 7th June 2019 at 09:17.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:10   #3
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

Agree with the rule.

There is no way to enforce adherence to type of licence. Someone with AT licence is absolutely not equipped to drive a stick shift and shouldnt be allowed to.

My mom can drive a AT, but manual is out of question.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:21   #4
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

Just like 2 wheeler license has 2 categories - with gear and without gear, why can't they introduce 2 categories in 4 wheeler license also (MT and AT) ?

Rohan
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:37   #5
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
My mom can drive a AT, but manual is out of question.
Same case with my wife. She is driving an automatic transmission equipped car daily. In any situation she will never ever touch a manual car. In worst case scenario too she can't think of driving a manual, will prefer Ola or Uber.

The day I got AT for me I have rarely touched manual. With time my friends and colleagues don't offer or force me much to drive their manual cars.

For me obtaining license should be a tough job but not limited to manual or automatic.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:05   #6
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

I don't see why anyone needs to know how to drive a manual to get a license. Automatics are the future and I really don't know anyone who is looking forward to buying a manual, to experience the thrill in urban traffic at 9kmph. Times have changed and I certainly won't buy a manual however legendary the car, the majority of people looking to buy a car try to get an automatic, that's why even Maruti offers such a wide choice. The rules are being changed and hopefully good sense will prevail.

This is the equivalent of old timers saying that you need to learn to operate a steering with play to be able to drive well. Today, if your steering has play, it means that the steering mechanism is about to give up.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:15   #7
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

Driving license categories need to be updated first through an amendment of the MV act, to include the additional category of Automatic car. This, in my opinion, needs to be done when cars with automatic transmissions become the norm, i.e., sell more than 50%, in the mass market (5-10 lakh). I know that Europe has 2 categories of cars for DL - normal (i.e. manual) and automatic. Someone with an "automatic transmission car" drivers license cannot drive a manual transmission car.

Also, I am not entirely sure here, but I think the rules that govern how a car driving test is conducted ( did you know they existed??) currently make the implicit assumption that the applicant will be tested in a manual car.

Last edited by KiloAlpha : 7th June 2019 at 10:18. Reason: language
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:16   #8
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

I would love an automatic, but it's my understanding that aside from the top end brands, most mass-market automatics aren't really reliable in Indian vehicles yet. Is that correct? Or old news?

Also, I'm pretty sure automatics and electric are the future. However, don't want to 'forget' how to drive a manual yet, as most vehicles on the road are still MT. So if one switches to an AT for say 5 years, does that mean one will 'forget' to drive an MT? Hear so many people from the US who drive automatics all the time make such a deal about driving an MT, that I wonder.

Last edited by am1m : 7th June 2019 at 10:18.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:18   #9
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

When are we going to be a country with a government that thinks contemporary, if not in advance? We have a minister trumpeting around having a whole electric fleet, and MV act have no provision for automatic car.

Its joke that somebody says we should learn a manual car to drive an automatic, then what about electric cars? It all requires the a small software update and a few training for rtos about the parameters to be checked while driving an automatic car, and the traffic police to cross check the transmission when they are looking at an licence with automatic only option. In real world - do they even check that for Two wheelers?

A person with automatic only skill is less likely(not unlikely) to cause an accident as they would be stalling the car in low speed. In comparison, a manual only skilled person driving an automatic can cause serious accident by unintentionally engaging brake instead of clutch while cruising.

Last edited by aadya : 7th June 2019 at 10:19. Reason: correction
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:25   #10
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

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Originally Posted by avira_tk View Post
I don't see why anyone needs to know how to drive a manual to get a license. Automatics are the future and I really don't know anyone who is looking forward to buying a manual, to experience the thrill in urban traffic at 9kmph. .
Its very easy to say but until >70% of cars on the road are automatic, this theory will not suffice. What happens if a person suddenly is forced to drive a manual, loses control due to incompetence and gets involved in a serious accident.

What other advanced countries do is have a separate category for automatic only
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:41   #11
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

My wife got her license in India last year by driving a MT car from the driving school. The RTO actually held a proper driving test and she passed it properly. But then I got her an AT car and that's all she can drive with in real world conditions now. If you make her drive an MT now - I guarantee an accident. I am planning to teach her to drive with a MT all over again...
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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
So if one switches to an AT for say 5 years, does that mean one will 'forget' to drive an MT?
I drove an AT in the US for 4.5 years. Once I got back here, I couldn't wait to get a MT car I actually like the mental exercise of hearing the engine's note and changing gears. Call me old school.
Quote:
Hear so many people from the US who drive automatics all the time make such a deal about driving an MT, that I wonder.
Oh, if you drive with a stick shift (as they refer to it), you'll find plenty of old geezers with beards to talk about it when seated on street corners on a stool. Some young guys who drive souped up cars with neon-lights make a big deal about it too. It makes you Vin Diesel apparently, if you know how to drive with a stick shift over there.
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Old 7th June 2019, 11:49   #12
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

I fully agree with the rule.

Giving a license means, authorizing a person is
1. able to handle any tough situation
2. Responsible enough to use the authority in right way.

In the case, where person is granted license but he does not know how to drive a manual LMV, it simply means, he cannot handle a manual car of same size. So, granting license is ruled out.

There are some thoughts in this thread that Automatic transmission is the future (Meaning Manual transmission cars will extinct ) and hence, a person need not know manual car driving to give license. The response to them would be:

1. Manual cars will last bare minimum, at least for another 10 years assuming that as on today (7th Jun 2019) a new manual transmission car is delivered to customers. So, Till then? If a person is granted driving license based on his auto transmission car driving skills, and if he drives a manual car and met with accident, how will the court/Insurance resolve the issue?

Can we have two separate licenses - One for Auto and one for Manual Transmission cars? This can be thought and debated

Last edited by gkveda : 7th June 2019 at 11:50.
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Old 7th June 2019, 11:50   #13
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

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Originally Posted by roby_dk View Post
The day I got AT for me I have rarely touched manual. With time my friends and colleagues don't offer or force me much to drive their manual cars.
I don't think I will be able to drive a manual now either. The left foot won't respond

AT's have been sold in India since ages. Still the RTOs have not been able to get a dual control one (some of the Maruti driving schools have it)! I guess car manufacturers would have to donate the same to the RTOs for their own sake!!
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Old 7th June 2019, 12:12   #14
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Its very easy to say but until >70% of cars on the road are automatic, this theory will not suffice. What happens if a person suddenly is forced to drive a manual, loses control due to incompetence and gets involved in a serious accident.

What other advanced countries do is have a separate category for automatic only
I didn't say anything about letting someone drive without the licence, I think those who have automatic cars needn't be bothered to learn how to operate a manual. The scenario you described is a function of law enforcement, something we as a country are terrible at. We have a few categories for two wheelers and the same can be applied to 4 wheelers.
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Old 7th June 2019, 12:58   #15
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Default re: Donít know how to drive a manual car? No licence for you, says RTO

The majority of those supporting the use of AT car for license testing are indicating that they wont use and hence this should be allowed . I don't this can be extended to the
the larger population who are not part of this community .

There is going to be a significant increase in the general population who will use this loophole, get a license and they might not drive/own an AT vehicle say for the next 10 yrs.

Eventually, the driving schools will switching from a fleet of MT cars to AT Cars as it is easier to train people in AT.

At the end, we will have a huge number of people who don't know to drive an MT car but will own an MT car.
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