So many people ask whether they can drive a manual car with a licence endorsed for driving an automatic car. And, unfortunately, the short answer is no.
The reason is that when you are issued with a driving licence, it comes with a specific code that says what kind of car you can drive. For light motor vehicles, this licence code is B or EB (light motor vehicle drawing a trailer with a gross combination mass not exceeding 3500 kg). However, if you successfully pass your driver’s licence in a manual car, you are allowed to drive a manual, and an automatic car, without any worries or restrictions.
So, unfortunately, if you want to drive a manual car, but you received your driver’s licence for an automatic car, then you will need to take your licence test – from start to finish – all over again, as the traffic department does not allow you to merely change or convert your licence. This means doing your learner’s licence, the actual yard test and the road driving test, in a manual car, and of course, passing.
And we get it, an automatic car can be much easier to drive and it’s certainly easier to undertake a very nerve-racking driving test in an automatic car – as you never have to worry about your car rolling back or stalling. However, it’s worth the nerves and all the practice hours that are needed to get a manual driver’s licence – as then you have a lot more freedom to drive any car with either gearbox style. And, should you ever find yourself with no option but to get behind the wheel of a manual vehicle – that’s one less thing to worry about!