What make and model of car are you learning to drive in?
Or if you’re just looking to start lessons… What sort of car are you wanting to learn to drive in? Have you given it any thought? Does it matter? Do you really even have a choice?
Over the years I’ve had several different models, but they’ve all been a similar style of car: Peugeot 106, Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 207. Some had 3 doors, some had 5. Most were diesel, one was petrol. Two were black, two were green and one was red (seriously… that matters to some callers!).
I’ve always seen my tuition car as a ‘tuition car’, nothing more. They are all ‘good’ cars. Small, economical, reliable… and relatively easy to drive. Repair costs, if needed, are minimal as parts are available everywhere. Insurance (although one of my pet hates, especially when a new driver with a car worth £1000 has to pay £4000 a year insurance!!) is relatively low compared to my wife’s personal insurance – she goes mad every year when she sees how ‘little’ I pay compared with her 1.9L sports tourer. But there seems to be a trend, certainly in Coventry, for driving instructors to get a ‘flash’ car or at least a more upmarket or unusual car to teach in. Why, I wonder?
The sort of upgrades I’m talking about are things like Mini Coopers, Audi A1 or A3, Mercedes A Class or B Class… One ADI even has a convertible!
I spoke to one ADI with an Audi A1 who told me he gets a ‘better class of client’ and ‘can charge more’ as a result. Again I ask, why? Are people really willing to pay an extra £5.00 per hour to get behind the wheel of an Audi or Mercedes? What are they paying for here… the car or the tuition?
But it’s true. I had an offer to join a National driving school who exclusively use premium cars – Their basic lesson price is a whopping £35 per hour, £10 more than I currently charge, and just because of the brand name. Does it mean the instructors are any good? I’ll let you decide that one.
Where will it end?
I know people pay seriously high prices to drive a super car, just check out this offer – http://www.virginexperiencedays.co.uk/lamborghini-thrill/
I reckon I could live on £115.00 per hour – It might just about cover the insurance!
So let’s open the debate…
Would you be prepared to pay more per hour for driving lessons if the car used was a more up-market car than the usual Fiesta, Corsa or 207?
Are driving lessons in Audis, Mercedes, Alpha Romeos, etc. worth more of your money?
Would you be prepared to pay a premium price for a premium car such as an Aston Martin or Ferrari?
OR… would you look for a driving school with a Mitsubishi I-MIEV or Smart Car and expect a cut price deal?
Share you thoughts in the box below.
Whatever car you do choose to learn in, you will be learning the same skills, the same rules, the same manoeuvres and trying to avoid the same mistakes as everyone else. To give yourself a headstart download a copy of my ebook ‘The Easy Way To Pass Your Driving Test’ or sign up for video lessons at ‘Virtual Driving School’.
A bit of ‘industry news’ now…
Since the DVSA has decided to scrap the counterpart for the driving licence, the one question asked by pupils and instructors has been:
“What do I do if I change my address? Do I need to get my details changed each time?”
One concern is the threat of a £1000 fine if you have false details on your driving licence, another is the need to have your correct address details when you present of a driving test.
On the subject of the fine, understand I am not a lawyer and have no legal standing here, but my personal understanding is that a provisional driving licence is NOT an official ID document, only a full driving licence has that status. As such the address is not relevant.
As for the driving test… The examiner will ask you if the details are correct. If they are he/she will offer to have your full licence sent to you automatically (assuming you passed) and will keep your provisional. If the details are wrong it will be your responsibility to send off your provisional along with your pass certificate and licence application form. Your full licence will then be sent back with your updated details.
Honestly… the counterpart system worked so much better. Change for change sake, again!
AND TALKING OF CHANGE…
I’m hearing all sorts of rumours about changes to the driving test. Changes ARE coming but whether they will make for a better test is (as usual) debatable. I’ll collect all the info I can find over the next week or so and report back. Then we can all have our say.
As always, please leave your comments or email me if you prefer. If there’s anything you want me to look into or answer for you, just ask.
My car’s in for a service next week so I have a day off – WooHoo! – so it might be a good time to open a discussion about privateer versus franchise instructor. Not so much which is best because that depends on the individual not the school, but on the costs involved for the ADI and the motivation to teach.