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How to Drive a Stick Shift in Ecuador

Posted in: Expat Hacks, Expats Everywhere, Living in Ecuador

So you’re thinking of moving to South America? Great.

Thinking of getting your drivers license? Also great.

But wait – there’s just one thing. The majority of people only know how to drive automatics. If you’re coming from Canada or the United States there’s a good chance that your car is an automatic.

But here, automatics are very rare. Some of the large SUV’s are automatic (like the Troopers and Monteros) but almost every car and all the trucks are stick-shift. There are benefits to driving a standard shift – like the better gas mileage you’ll get – and they are much more fun to drive.

Here’s a great article on About.com –  Learning to Drive a Standard Transmission Made Easy

To get started, here are three great videos that explain the mechanics of a manual transmission.

How a Manual Transmission Works

Watch on YouTube

An Animated Video of How a Manual Transmission Works

Watch on YouTube

How Clutches Work

Watch on YouTube

So, how to drive a stick-shift?

Now that we understand the basic mechanical concept, these next two videos cover what to do when you’re in the drivers seat.

Watch on YouTube

How to Drive a Standard in Traffic

Watch on YouTube

Any tips? Please include them below.

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is editor of GringosAbroad - one of the largest English language sites about Ecuador. Work with GringosAbroad. He is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands).

3 comments… add one
  • Paul & Bonnie Dec 29, 2010, 6:13 pm

    Hello Bryan and Dena,

    We are coming in the middle of January to spend two months in Cuenca. We want to get a bit of a feel for what everyday life is like there. We have lived in both Costa Rica and Panama City, Panama, but we did not find what we were looking for longterm in either place. I have a question about your trip to Salinas. You stated that you took a van. Could you please provide more detailabout the van service. We have lived at the beach before, so we are not really interested in living there full-time

    One of the biggest thing that attracts us to Cuenca is the warm and outgoing expat community. We look forward to meeting you on our visit.

    Pura Vida

    • Bryan Haines Dec 29, 2010, 6:30 pm

      Hi Paul,

      Great to hear from you. The driver we use is based in Cuenca. His name is Joselo Pesantez. Cell number: 08 029 8322 and home number is 07 238 5313.

      If you can’t get in touch with him, let me know and I’ll see if he has an email address.

      Let me know when you get into town.

      Bryan

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