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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Focus on Ford........Great Marketing.

The AA Driving School,in the U.K. has announced that it plans to continue its association with that doyen of car Manufacturers, the Ford Motor Company.
All 1800 AA Instructors will be receiving the new 1.6 litre Ford Focus every six months; a staggering 3,600 cars per annum.

Of course our resources are a little less ambitious, as Driving Schools here in Ireland. While it is wonderful to have a car changed frequently it is also a huge cost since depreciation takes a huge chunk off the value of any new car the day you drive it out of the showroom.Still I imagine Ford actually have full time chauffeurs employed just to deliver their Focus to the A.A's happy Instructors.

Personally ,I wouldn't be happy to change a car every six months,you are only just getting used to it by then and understanding it's foibles.For many years I was the proud Driver of a company car which was changed every two years and usually, at the end of a contract Hire agreement, you could buy the outgoing car at a very reasonable price from the Supplier.The advantage of this being that you knew the whole history of the car and how many times you had put it into the ditch or how many replacement parts had been fitted.

Cars cost a huge amount of money to run even if you don't do a whole lot of mileage.A company car is worth a large Salary increase( a very large one ) since you can take the car into the garage every time a pidgeon poops on it and not worry have you too much month left at the end of the money.

The age of a Driving School car is not a definitive guide to the standard of Tuition you will receive in it. Absolutely nothing wrong with a car that is four,five, or even six years old, providing the owner takes a pride in its appearance and has an understanding of sound mechanical principles.

Some small cars cost a lot more than others and you see a plethora(it's my Concise Oxford Day!) of vehicles with Driving School signs these days.Sadly a lot of these have come from Regions the other side of the Planet and are cheap and nasty and in my view not a good advertisement for a Driving School.These strange vehicles may be easy to put on the road, but will not hold their value and I believe, just like purchasing a house, the day you buy it is the day you sell it.

Frankly I would rather spend more money on a reliable marque knowing that it will still look good after five years,whether I am still driving it or not.I suppose it is a free country and Driving Schools starting off need to be aware of costs, which are considerable,and will be much more so when the much vaunted Agency for Regulation and monitoring of Driving Schools is in action.

When will that be? Anybody's guess.We have had three Government Ministers responsible for overseeing this dramtic event since it was first announced many years ago and one secretary to the Minister whose prime responsibility was the implementation of this legislation.This latter individual was found driving not so long ago the wrong way up a dual carriageway ; but we live in hope that one day our standards will be much improved and our accident statistics more in line with other countries in Europe instead of being almost the worst.
Safe Driving

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