One difference between manual and automatic transmissions is the manner in which they are operated when driving a motor vehicle. Some other differences include the cost and maintenance of each transmission.
Manual transmissions are also called standards. To operate a car with this type of transmission, the driver must manually shift gears with his hand while depressing a clutch pedal. This must be done when the vehicle reaches the appropriate speed, or the car may jump or stall. In a vehicle with an automatic transmission, the gears shift automatically when the appropriate speeds are reached. The driver does not have to shift the gears or depress the clutch pedal.
Automobiles with manual transmissions can cost thousands of dollars less than their automatic counterparts. Mileage for standards is also better, with these cars getting at least 2 more miles per gallon of gas.
The cost savings extend to the maintenance of manual transmissions as well. When problems do arise, the repair bill for a manual transmission is significantly lower because it costs less for mechanics to work on a manual transmission than an automatic version. Additionally, automatic transmissions generally break down more often than standards, resulting in more frequent maintenance needs.