Did you know that if you have an automatic driving license in the UAE you are not allowed to drive a manual vehicle? An automatic-only driving license by definition prevents you from legally driving a manual-gearbox car on public roads in the UAE. Bear that in mind before you buy a car in Dubai, UAE with manual transmission! For people who wish to be able to drive both or switch to a manual one, RTA Dubai has some encouraging news.
Applying for a manual driving license in the UAE used to be a daunting prospect. Regardless of the fact that you can drive an automatic car, you had to register for lessons, pass an assessment from an authorized driving school, and then take a manual-transmission driving test. Starting October, RTA’s new rules will soon do away with those extensive restrictions allowing automatic license holders to take a test for a manual car without any lessons beforehand.
Since in getting your automatic license you were already made aware of the road rules, it makes sense to skip straight to the test. This test will be specifically designed to gauge your ability to drive manual cars while observing road rules.
According to Director of Drivers’ Licensing at the RTA, the test focuses on the handling of the manual gear system rather than driving skills. Dealing with manual transmission cars requires a certain set of skills that are not relevant in an automatic transmission car. Hence, drivers will be judged on the attention paid to the road while shifting gears, the ability to shift gears without getting distracted by the task, and how they cope with the smooth shifting of gears while driving.
Don’t worry, failing this test won’t mean that your license for automatic vehicles will be snatched away. It will only mean that you might need some lessons or find a way to tackle your weaknesses before re-applying for the test. On the other hand, passing the test would mean you can legally drive both manual and automatic transmission cars on public roads in the UAE.
So if you feel an automatic-only license is holding you back, simply convert your license to a manual one after passing the driving test. And if you are looking to buy a car in Dubai, UAE, whether it’s an automatic or one with a manual gearbox, CarSwitch has a large inventory of well-maintained used cars for sale in the UAE to choose from. We hope you enjoy the switchin’ experience!