Lease-trading site Swapalease.com coined the term “manual drift” for a horrible plague upon the modern automobi—er, um, the rate at which drivers are abandoning the manual transmission. According to the latest analysis of their users’ data, men are saying farewell to the stick faster than women.
Swapalease.com analyzed over 50,000 of their records going back to 2012, and noticed that there’s been a 22% drop in interest in manuals over that time period.
While the take rate for manuals has declined for both genders, it’s dropped sharper among men. The percentage of men out of those who leased manuals on Swapalease.com’s service dropped from 85.4% in 2012 to 81.2% in 2015. Thus, women using the service aren’t moving away from the manual transmission as quickly as the dudes are.
Leased cars are rarely used as track toys, though, and are more often used as daily drivers. If you live somewhere with miserable traffic, a manual daily driver makes less sense.
There are also other factors at work here, such as the fact that some new cars aren’t even offered with three pedals anymore—a phenomenon that’s perhaps the most noticeable (and painful) among high-end performance cars.
The percentage of women leasing a manual has always also been rather small: 14.6% of Swapalease.com’s leasers in 2012, and 18.8% in 2015. Automatics have been pushed towards women for years, dating all the way back to the garbage ads of the 1950s. Shoot, I didn’t even learn how to drive a manual car until college, when friends (not parents) taught me how.
Either way, now that I can drive a car with three pedals, you’re going to have to pry the stick out of my beater 944 from my cold, dead, dainty woman-hands. Keep that three-pedal dream alive.
Note: Patrick Frawley pointed out something worth noting: Swapalease.com’s numbers for 2015 actually add up to 101%. We’ve since reached out to the site to see if this was a typo and if so, if it had any bearing on their conclusions about their userbase.
CORRECTION: There was indeed a typo in Swapalease.com’s release. The percentage of manual drivers who were women in 2015 has been corrected from 19.8% to 18.8% above. This did not change the conclusions of their study.