driving car worries!!

heya. Im thinking of changing to a automatic car as feel like im having slight problems when driving a manual. Even though my legs are weak i felt fine driving a manual for a while however last nite something kinda scary happened which is worrying me…bacisally all of a sudden when was driving started to feel like i cudnt feel my feet and some sort of numbness which i havent had before(and is hard to explain) and it got so bad that i struggled to find my feet to brake and clutch at a set of lights but luckily i did mange to find the pedals but it terrified me and now im scared to go out incase it happens again and something worse could happen… has anyone else had any car trouble and maby got a automatic to hopefully make the whole driving issue easier?



Hi Coleen!

Yes me! It was one of the first (but best things I did). My first relapse which led to diagnosis really affected my left leg, I couldnt drive for sometime anyway due to Optic Neuritis - but when I could I just knew there was no way my leg was strong enough for my clutch.

So, we soon found out that automatic cars are more expensive so we had to trade both mine and my husbands cars in to buy one (2nd hand). I had a Renault Scenic at first and now I have a Vauxhall Zafira - both have been great cars but I do prefer the Zafira. Not having to worry about the clutch and my leg made me feel so much happier about driving when I got back behind the wheel. I also had to undertake a driving assesment - cos the DVLA said I had to, but you can have one of those by choice and I must say they are really really good - they can help you decide what kind of car will be best for you and your needs. My car just changes gear automatically but you can get ones where you can change gears on panels by the steering wheel and so on. I dont know where you live but I did mine with Wessex Drivability - you use one of their cars and just have a plod around the town, they dont assess you for parrel parking or anything like that - just normal driving.

Good Luck!


Hi Colleen,

I’ve just changed my manual for an automatic and I love it. It’s the best decision I made. My left leg is very weak and I couldn’t cope with all the traffic going into and out of work every day. If I had to coast along changing from stop to start all the time, my left leg would wobble uncontrollably on the clutch and I had to wait about 5 mins before I could get out of the car whenever I parked up. Now, my left leg doesn’t know what to do with itself. I just part exchanged my manual Honda Jazz for an automatic one and it’s fab. If you’re having problems with your left leg, I would definitely recommend changing to an automatic - I’m really enjoying driving again.


thanks for the response…it definately seems that automatic is the way to go…will now start my reseach into price etc… tbh i dont need the car that much as work from home atm but its just nice to have now and again as walkings kinda outa the question.

:slight_smile: coleen

Same here - I changed last April and have never looked back. I always thought autos were old people’s cars (no offence meant!) but now I’ve had one (at 32) I’ll never go back. Hubby had changed his too now! It also helps on ‘brain fog’ days as there’s one less thing to think about. X

I’ve been thinking about this too. My left leg has a mind of its own when I’m tired, so queueing on the M25 has become interesting to say the least. Also going to need something a bit higher too, these legs of mine aren’t made for low slung sporty hatchbacks any more!

Hi, I started with a troublesome left leg and did drive an automatic car, so not needing to use my left leg was fine.

But over a few months, my right leg became unreliable too.

i could`ve gone for hand controls but lost my confidence. Plus as hubby had his own car, he chauffeured me to where I needed to be.

Before you spend quite a lot of dosh on a straight automatic car, think about what would happen if both legs were unreliable…maybe hand contols would be better while you are changing your car.

If ever I want to take up driving again, I`d go for a drive from wheelchair car, with all hand controls.

I have looked at these cars and see it costs around £15k to get a car adapted!!!

But low mileage used ones start at around £6k.

Keep safe.

luv Pollx

My right leg is the bad one. Can you get automatic cars with excellerator for left foot.

Moyna x

Hi Coleen,

Yes, I changed to an automatic three weeks ago due to weak left leg and problems with clutch.

Difficult to find automatic cars where I live. Ended up going to motorpoint the car supermarket and getting a

Hyundai i30 I LOVE IT!!! No more expensive than a manual. You can put automatic in the search to see whats available.Lots of honda jazz, nissan note etc.

Automatics now are so smooth when they change gear but are fuel efficient as you’re always in the right gear. Hill starts were my fear but it holds on the steepest slope.

Good luck,

Jen x

Hi Moyna,

Indeed you can have a car adapted for left foot accelerating!!

I got my car through Motability and had it adapted to include/use hand-controls. I was very fortunate that the Firm fitting the hand-controls overlooked blanking-off the foot pedals so I’m lucky enough to have the choice of braking/accelerating by foot (as normal) or by hand.

This way, I’m covered in case my right leg (…stiff at the best of times) becomes just plain dangerous.

My car has an auto gearbox, but includes ‘flappy-paddles’ on the steering column …which I’ve never been tempted to try !!

If you are eligible for Motability, it’s worth having a look at the adaptations that are possible …often with no extra charge. Only thing to remember is that modifications can only be carried out to an automatic vehicle!!

Hope this helps ?


Well, Coleen,

I drove automatics for years - from choice.

When the MonSter struck, and the left leg function went right down the tube, it was a case of “so what”.

From personal experience a 1.6 to 2 litre diesel matched to an automatic transmission is very easy to drive, and the throttle response curve is ideal for a hand throttle should you ever need one.



I’ve only ever driven autos. I didn’t learn to drive until I got my motorbility car! I had to switch to hand controls a few years ago but even yhis is getting hard now. I really need to move nearer to work!


Hi Dom, I have no dx yet so unlikely to get motability car. However I have an extremely disabled son and have one for him (who does not drive). I wonder if I could get that car adapted for me next time it is due for change.


Moyna x

Hi Coleen

I changed to an automatic a couple of years ago as my left arm was heavy and stiff and changing gears especially in town driving was becoming very difficult and also remembering to change gear was becoming a problem. It was one extra thing to think about when the brain fog descended when I was fatigued.

I love my little Toyota Aygo which is actually semi automatic and I can override the gearbox in icy weather. It put the fun back into driving for me. I’m not sure it would have helped during my biggie relapse when my feet were entirely numb (absolutely no feeling whatsoever) and I did have to stop driving for a month back then. I have now heard about contraptions that can fit onto the pedals to convert to hand controls which can be taken off when you recover so I’m going to look into those just in case.

Tracey x

I can certainly recommend auto cars, I have a little 3 door 2 litre Toyota Rav 4, she’s 16 years old but she’s great if a little heavy on fuel. Windscreen is big so don’t have to worry about craning my neck too much. I’ve always driven an auto through choice as I really don’t want to think about chaging gears.