Different Driving Different Drivers
The increasing amount of city traffic in Nairobi demands that you are far more comfortable driving an automatic car. This is especially so for those who commute on a regular basis to and fro home to work and vice versa. The last thing you want is to concentrate too much on the road and put pressure on your foot and leg for the clutch.
But what is the main difference between an automatic and manual car?
Easy to drive, both hands on the wheel and no bother with clutch
Easy on the hills, hardly any stalling
Great for city traffic and parking
Better fuel efficiency
Will not get stolen easily and helps you get out of a situation faster if you are an expert driver
Better control of the car
The cons depend on personal choice and status quotient.
While most developed countries still use manual transmission cars, here in Kenya we are heavily dependent on the automatic transmission. For the county to county drive is surely better to use a manual car, but the Nairobi traffic definitely works better with the automatic.
The interesting situation is to invent the new way to travel in our cities. We have an excellent opportunity to have learnt lessons from the West and implement new ways to commute. For example image if there was already a metro in Kisumu and that connected its nearby towns too? Or we started Driverless cars somewhere in Embu? Kericho definitely would do well if it had a see through bullet train, which passes the tea plantations, just imagine the tourism business that is possible.
The manual transmission will possibly never go out of building because that is the source of basic driving and every driver must still remember know how to use such a car. You never know which situation you maybe faced with. Those who enjoy the Safaris and National Park drives will attest to the fact that the manual car gives better maneuvering and sense of adventure than the comfort luxurious four-wheel drive automatic. The manual transmissions are excellent for your motor sports passion.
Generally in Nairobi it is not the type of the car that has a problem, it is the type of driver and our traffic rules and/or situation. We are at the mercy of the Traffic Cops and spend hours in standstill traffic, so there is a big attitude of the first to the traffic crossing gets home and we are willing to overlap, change lanes etc.
Then there is the status bullying, bigger cars drive worse just because they think they own the road. Smaller cars are not less and can just jump on you but that’s the problem. The driving skills are poor and because we are usually driving an automatic, most are on the phone or dreaming into thin air.
Before you purchase a car, seriously consider the following:
What is your everyday route?
Is the parking available where you work?
Can you afford the full comprehensive insurance?
Are you accident prone?
Do you drive at night a lot?
Do you need a family car?
Does your image really matter to you?
Can you keep up with the annual service?
Recently I found that having a Mitumba car, with replacement of parts annually, plus service turns out way expensive. If only the market for smaller cars from showroom can open up, it is more cost effective to go for a brand new small vehicle even if it is automatic and make a wiser investment.