Automatic Driving Lessons Newbury

Peter Skelton Driving School provide automatic driving lessons in Newbury. Automatic driving lessons were something of a rarity many years ago to the extent I rarely ever got asked if I do them. Nowadays possibly 50 per cent of enquiries are for such lessons.

Why choose Peter Skelton Driving School
    • Male and female instructors
    • Manual and automatic
    • Catering to nervous and anxious pupils
    • All lessons are taken at your own pace
    • High pass rates
    • Intensive and semi-intensive courses available
    • Free theory training
    • The highest standards of tuition
    • Motorway lessons
    • Refresher lessons
Automatic Driving Lessons Newbury

Now is a good time if you do want to take automatic lessons. We have instructors at the ready to teach you. All lessons will be conducted at your own pace. All instructors are trained and work to the highest standards. It is something we insist on. You are not just taking driving lessons to pass a test but to also help you to become a safe and competent driver. Our instructors will guide you step by step through all the skills required, starting with the very basics up to driving independently. We will of course tailor your lessons to your current ability level as some people may have driven before or have a better or natural aptitude to driving.

Automatic cars have improved so much over the years compared to what they were many years ago and as a result are much more responsive compared to how they used to be. Many people who drive a lot of miles each year prefer them to save the constant gear changes.

There is another reason for the change over too and that is the advent and constantly improving electric cars. The range of the electric car can now be around 300 miles compared to 80 miles found until fairly recently. Electric cars are incredibly cheap to run with a full charge from home costing less than £5. Charging points are becoming more common place too; on the street, gyms, supermarkets and car parks. There are certainly a lot more around Newbury than there were a couple of years ago.

The important thing to realise about electric cars is that they are all automatic. There is no clutch and not even any gears, just an electric motor. In fact there are not many moving parts at all which makes maintenance not only easier but also cheaper. Currently we don’t have an electric car at Peter Skelton Driving School but will be looking to add one in the near future.
The most difficult part of driving a traditional manual car is the clutch. It requires a fair amount of skill and control to master it properly. Even when pupils are close to test standards they still will occasionally make a mistake with the clutch, not necessarily a big mistake but a one that will cause the car to jerk or nearly stall. In fact even experienced drivers will sometimes stall which is usually caused by moving the clutch too fast while moving off.

One other part of the manual car that can cause some problems are the gears. It can be a problem when changing gear at the wrong time and at the wrong speed. I will often say to the pupil “Listen to the engine, how does it sound?” A deep sound suggests the gear is too high. A high pitched sound suggests the gear is too low.

Another problem that can occur with the gears is selecting the wrong gear accidently. For example it’s easy to select 4 instead of 2 or 5 instead of 3. In fact the first pupil I ever had who failed a driving test changed from 5 to 1 instead of 5 to 3! That had the effect of making the engine sound very high pitched and also slowed the car very suddenly. I sat in the back of that driving test, as I do on most tests, and I distinctly remember the effect it had on the car. The benefit of me sitting in on tests is that it helps me to learn as an instructor. As a result I work with pupils to male sure they know how to change gears correctly and smoothly.

With an automatic car there is no clutch and the gears are changed, as the name suggests, automatically, or in the case of electric cars, no gear change at all. Therefore the 2 most difficult parts of a manual car are taken away from the driver. That can certainly makes driving around Newbury much easier.

So why doesn’t everyone take automatic driving lessons if they are so much easier. Well the answer currently lies in the fact that if you pass your test in a manual car you can drive both a manual and an automatic car. The same is not true if you pass in an automatic car. Manual cars are still the most popular cars currently but that will slowly change. However there will still be a strong second hand market for cheap manual cars, which is why I believe manuals will still be the most popular choice for young drivers for many years to come.

So the choice is still yours. Whichever type of car you learn in will not be a bad decision. There are plenty of pros and cons whichever way you look at it. Please feel free to contact us if you need help making your decision.

Newbury is a small market town situated in Berkshire around 25 miles from Oxford, 26 miles from Winchester, 27 miles from Swindon and 20 miles from Basingstoke. It lies on the River Kennet with a population of about 41,000 people and is adjacent to the town of Thatcham. A number of historical buildings lie in or near the town such as; Donnington Castle, Highclere Castle and Shaw House. The town was founded by the Normans after the conquest in the late period of the 11th century, hence why there was no mention of it in the Doomsday book. Later in the 16th century the town was a centre for the cloth trade with “Jack of Newbury” setting up what is believed to be the countries first factory. In fact it’s believed there was a bet made that a man’s suit couldn’t be made in 1 day with the wool having been taken from a sheep’s back earlier that day giving rise to the “Newbury Coat”.


“I’ve passed my exam on my first attempt thanks to Peter Skelton and especially my instructor Tomasz. I’d like to thank you for all your efforts and great lessons.”

Baris Mancar – Newbury – Automatic

“I’m so thankful for Pete (Burke) being my instructor. He’s so calm and patient and it’s thanks to him that I passed my driving test first time with 1 minor.”

Holly Gillingham – Newbury – Manual

“Peter (Skelton) was amazing, thank you so much! I passed first time and I’ve never been happier, the best!”

Brooke Harmerston-Shepherd – Newbury – Manual

“I learned to drive with Peter Skelton Driving, and Louise was my driving instructor, Louise is a lovely teacher, she was always really friendly and patient.”

Charlotte Taylor – Thatcham – Manual

Why our customers choose Peter Skelton Driving School