How To Drive Rental Car Manual Transmission
Learning how to drive a rental car with a manual transmission may seem like a breeze if you already know how to drive a stick shift, but you still have to know the shift pattern and get used to the clutch in the strange car. It might take a moment to get used to the rental car's manual transmission, so make sure you're comfortable with the car before hitting the open road. Follow the tips below to learn how to drive a rental car with a manual transmission.
- Check the shift pattern on the manual stick transmission knob. Chances are excellent that the shift pattern is the classic "H" that you're used to, but look just to be sure. This is particularly important if you're renting a manual transmission in a foreign country.
- Know how many gears the manual transmission has. Depending on the price range of the car you've rented, your manual transmission rental car might have from four to six gears. If it has four, you have no overdrive gear (fifth gear), so don't expect to save gas on that long car trip.
- Get comfortable with the clutch before leaving the rental area. Since rental cars are driven by many different types of drivers, the clutch in a manual transmission may not feel the same as the clutch in your one-car-owner car at home. Get very comfortable with the release of the clutch by practicing a few quick starts and stops in the rental car area.
- If you're renting a car where the shift is on the left (the wheel is on the right), make sure you're comfortable with shifting with your left hand. The pattern of the shift will probably still be an "H," but check just to make sure.