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What are the differences beween Manual Transaction (MT) and Automatic Trwansaction (AT) ?

mt-at

On your decision to get a driving license, and after consultation and some research, a question would occur as to which of MT or AT is better for me …
It is normal to have these questions, as this is your first experience of getting a driving license.
We will explain, and suggest, from a view point of a foreinger residing in Japan, which would be better for you.

Table of contents

  • 1. What are the MT and AT ?
  • 2. What are the differences at the driving school ?
    • Hours of lessons and cost
    • How to convert the license from the one for AT to another for MT ?
  • 3. How do others do ?
  • 4. Frequently asked questions (yes, you’d have many… )

1. What are the MT ? And AT ?

MT = manual transaction, AT = automatic transaction
MT is an abbreviation for the manual transaction and AT for the automatic transaction
On MT, you do the gear shifting by yourself, and on AT, the system does it for you.
On MT, you should operate cluch pedal together with the acceration and blaking pedals.
As you have to deal with multiple pedals for the gear shfting, MT would technically be more difficult

2. What are differences at the driving school ?

・Hours of lessons and cost
An easily maneuvable AT is easier to learn and saves three hours of your time and 15,000 to 20,000 Yen.
During the MT lessons, you may drive an AT vehivle occassionally, but not for the MT license.
You may switch from MT to AT but not vice versa.
Please be aware of it.

Hours for skill lessons Hours for lessons of theory, rules and regulations The lesson cars
Vehicles for the MT 34 hours 26 hours MT vehicles plus AT vehicles
Vehicles for the AT only 31 hours 26 hours AT Vehicles only
hourly differencess 3 hours 0 hours None

AT免許をMT免許へ切り替えるには?

Hours for skill lessons Hours for lessons of theory, rules and regulations The lesson cars
Conversion from the AT license to the MT one (lifting of the resrtiction) 4 hours Nil hour MT only

It would generally cost you 50,000 to 60,000 Yen, depending on the school.
To lift the restriction and convert the AT to the MT, it would cost you dearly.

In case you would drive a MT vehicle abroad in future, we recommend you now to opt the MT license.
You may drive abroad with an international license converged from the Japanese licese.
In many countries, MT vehicles are still popular and economical in renting.

3.How is everyone doing ?

In Japan, 99% of the new car sales is AT vehicles, so the more popular option is the AT license.
An AT license is good enough for daily life.
The ratio between these two licenses is shown below.
In 2018 alone, the number of applicants for MT and AT licenses were …
For the MT vehicles … 477,053 applicants (39.3%)
For AT … 738,024 (60.7%. (Cited from the official statistics of the driving licenses)
The AT drivers are still incresing
About 80 % of the female drivers have the AT license

4. More FAQs

Q. Are the MT lessons conducted all with a MT vehicle ?
A. Since the lessons include the AT manupulation too, you can drive both AT and MT vehicles with your MT license.
Q. Since the lessons include the AT manupulation too, you can drive both AT and MT vehicles with your MT license.
A. Yes, you can (but not the other way around).
At some driving schools, the switching would cost.

Q. Do I have to start from the beginning, if I wish to convert my AT license to MT ?
A. You may take “release of the restriction” process.
With four hour skill lessons (could be longer) and passing of the skill test, you would graduate …
And at the driving school, the restriction shall be released so as to enable you to drive a MT vehicle

Summing up

How was it ?
We hope our information would be useful to you to get a Japanese driving license.

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Please feel free
to ask.

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※JDLは4ヶ国語であなたの自動車免許取得のサポートします。

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