how many gears does a car have


How many gears does a car have?

The number of gears a car has depends on the transmission type. Historically, cars have mainly been equipped with manual transmissions, which often had up to five gears, while automatic transmissions normally have fewer.

Manual Transmissions

The most common manual transmissions used in cars historically have ranged from three to five gears. Three-speed manual transmissions were common in the early to mid-20th century, while four- and five-speed transmissions became the norm starting in the 1980s. Some cars have since been equipped with six-speed and even seven-speed manual transmissions.

Automatic Transmissions

Early automatic transmissions were usually limited to two or three gears. Most modern automatic transmissions come with four forward gears, although there are some that have five, six or even seven. Some automakers are starting to experiment with eight-speed and nine-speed automatic transmissions.

Dual-Clutch Transmissions

Dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) are relatively new types of transmissions that are becoming popular in modern cars. A DCT combines two separate manual transmissions into one and gives the driver more control over gear selection. Most DCTs have seven gears, but some cars are now equipped with eight- and nine-speed DCTs.


  • Manual transmissions – can range from three to seven gears
  • Automatic transmissions – typically have four gears, but some have up to seven
  • Dual-clutch transmissions (DCTs) – usually have seven gears, but some have eight or nine

In conclusion, the number of gears a car has depends on the transmission type. Manual transmissions usually have three to seven gears, while automatic and dual-clutch transmissions typically have four to nine gears.