Learning to drive is a rite of passage for all of us. After a few years of driving, it is easy to forget that once we got behind the wheel for the first time and tried to work out what the controls all did.
Passing the test and getting a licence can be made much easier by choosing the right car to learn in. Professional driving instructors will also need to consider running costs and choose a car which is something they’d like to drive when there is not a pupil in the driving seat.
Eden’s sales teams are experts in helping instructors find the best cars for driving instructors. Here are the factors you’ll need to consider, along with some of their top picks.
Most drivers will still choose to learn and pass their test in a car fitted with a manual gearbox as it allows them to drive any car in the future. However, as more new cars are now being fitted with autos – including all electric and PHEV models – then the number of learners choosing to make life easier by opting to learn in an auto is set to increase.
Becoming an instructor who specialises in autos or electric cars can give you a marketing advantage but will narrow your client base.
It makes sense that smaller cars are easier to manoeuvre, which will make it simpler for a learner to master tricky parts of the test such as parallel parking. You’ll also need to compare the turning circle as the ability to make tighter turns could mean one less shuffle into a space.
Students will come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s vital that they are able to get comfortable and be able to see out of the car in all situations. Smaller windows may look stylish, but they will make life more difficult for novice drivers.
Also consider the instruments and mirrors. Digital speedometers like those fitted to the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 are ideal as they allow the driver, instructor, and examiner to see at a glance if limits are being observed.
Any car which works for a living must earn its keep, and a more economical car will pay you back faster. It’s not just the fuel consumption which you’ll need to factor into a business plan – add up the insurance quotes, servicing and even tyre replacement costs. The experts at Eden will be happy to talk you through the figures.
Your workplace should be as safe as possible, and that is true in a car as much as in a factory or office. Your pupils will appreciate a car which has been proven to perform well in independent crash tests and has the latest accident prevention software. Models such as the Suzuki Swift, Vauxhall Corsa,Peugeot 208, Mazda 2 and Hyundai i20 have all been given strong four-star scores by the EuroNCAP organisation.
Technology such as rear-view cameras and parking sensors may not prevent serious accidents, but they could prevent a scrape which will take your car off the road for a few days and push up your insurance costs.
They might not admit it, but your pupils will prefer learning in a car which has some street cred. This will be especially true for the younger drivers who are being picked up from school! You will want to be seen driving a good-looking car too, so think about the model you think best reflects your business. Also consider where you will put livery and the essential ‘L’ plates. Eden’s experts will be on hand to make your chosen car as affordable as possible and talk you through everything from signwriting to dual-control conversions.