A manual used to be cheaper on a new car. In fact it still is. When they advertise the lowest price for a new vehicle, they are quoting the numbers with a manual transmission. . Automatic transmission? Add another $1000 onto the price tag. A/C? Another 1000, Undercoating another grand. If you learn to drive a standard shift properly and don't haul a trailer behind you filled with rocks, turf, miscellaneous heavy junk...or drag race. You can go 6 years without touching the clutch. Many times even farther. . In city traffic with lots of stops, your clutch foot gets tired. You can up shift to third and down to second and then use brakes from that point on to stop. First is for just starting off, never shift back into it as second gear will take you from "almost a dead stop" to third gear. It makes for less shifting and more smoother ride. As for transmission problems, automatics usually have to go to an auto transmission shop as they are full of parts. So they rip you off because they are specialists. Auto transmissions have clutches too...they call them bands which clamp around the rotating shaft. They slip too. Manual transmission it is just the clutch plate. Last time I paid for one it was $150., the throwout bearing you change too and that was maybe 70...all total maybe $500 to have a mechanic do the job with the parts included. Auto trans problems are going to be double that easy. Because they all ask that "They are in collusion, all the same price." Any work you have them guesstimate the cost so you have an idea of whether you can afford to fix the car. They have a good idea what is wrong so their guess will be on the high end, to cover hidden unexpected costs. Any garage mechanic can separate a bell housing and take out and replace the clutch and throw out bearing and reassemble it. You don't need a specialist. The transmission gears are fine. Rarely do they break. Automatic only break when you drag race a lot. Besides it is a girl's car.