You can’t learn to drive a stick shift if you don’t have a stick shift car to learn on. But you can’t have a stick shift car unless if you know how to drive one. It’s a vicious circle! Ok, not really. You actually have access to many more stick shift cars than you might be aware of. Here are our top recommendations for finding a stick shift car to learn on and practice with.
Take a Stick Shift Driving Lesson
There are many stick shift driving lesson companies, ours included, that can connect you with an instructor who will provide a car for you to learn on during your lesson. Although most driving schools don’t offer manual driving lessons, some do. Your best bet is either to visit StickShiftDrivingAcademy.com to find stick shift lessons near you or go onto google and type in “Stick Shift Driving Lessons Near Me.” Google is pretty good about identifying companies that offer manual transmission driving lessons. While you won’t find a stick shift driving school in every community, you will likely find at least one near every major metropolitan area.
Driving Clubs and Groups
The internet is an awesome place to find groups for car enthusiasts. It’s chock full of people who love stick shifts and want others to share in that love. Try joining groups online on their websites and on Facebook and then posting in the newsfeed that you want to learn to drive stick shift. Someone might just be willing to help you out. If the facebook groups are not helpful, try finding car meetups in your area. I recommend using any of the following terms to find the groups: “cars and coffee near me”, “car meets near me”, “car groups near me”
Reddit is usually really good for finding people in your community who care about cars and/or who want to make some extra money on the side. If you go on Reddit, search for your town or the nearest city and type in a general post to explain that you need someone to help you learn how to drive a manual car.
The Gigs section of Facebook is a good place for finding folks who want to make a few extra bucks. So, post an ad saying you want to learn to drive stick and need someone to provide a car. You will either find someone who is willing to just rent you their car or they will take you out and teach you.
Cars for Sale
Ok, so I don’t strictly recommend this because it’s not entirely honest. But, car dealers and folks selling their cars online are usually very willing to let potential customers drive a stick shift car even if they don’t know how because there’s a potential sale in it for them. Now, if you’re not actually going to buy a car, you’ll need to decide how ethical this feels to you. You could always try being honest in saying why you want to learn how to drive manual. Who knows, they may have a spare hour or two when they’re willing to kill some time and teach you.
Friends and Family
Post something on Facebook and tag your friends and family to see if anyone you know might be willing to take you out for an hour or two. Most of them will remember learning to drive manual with one of their friends or family members and will want to pass the knowledge on. Just be sure to fill up their tank and take them out for lunch or dinner to say thanks. You’re going to put some wear and tear on the clutch and transmission, so it’s only right that you make it worth their time.
What NOT to do
Rent a Car on Turo or GetAround
You might be tempted to rent a stick shift car on a peer-to-peer website like Turo or Getaround, but I strongly recommend against this for one major reason. When you rent on one of these websites, you have to affirm that you know how to drive stick shift. If you don’t and you damage the car in any way, all of the insurance and protections will become void. You will be on the hook for any damage you cause to the car. This, of course, is on top of the fact that you’re going to have to be less than truthful with the owner of the car.
Hopefully one of these ideas will help you to learn how to drive a stick shift in no time!