Fiat will supply Britain's biggest driving school with 14,000 learner-cars over four years.
Planning to take your driving test at any time soon? If you are, there’s a good chance that you’ll begin your motoring career at the wheel of a Fiat. The Italian car maker has just signed a deal with the British School of Motoring – the UK’s most popular place to learn – to supply 14,000 cars between now and 2013.
BSM has 3000 instructors operating from 94 centres across Britain. It teaches 130,000 learners per year – that’s one in 10 of all those hoping to pass their tests. Most will have lessons in Fiat’s newest small car – the 500 – although there were be a small number of Grande Puntos on hand, too.
The change represents a move from Vauxhall, who previously provided Corsas and Astras as L-cars. Any such first car must be easy to drive – and the 500 has that in spades: it’s just 3.5 metres long and needs only 9.2 metres in which to turn around. It also needs to be safe –the 500 can boast seven airbags and a five-star Euro NCAP rating for adult occupant safety.
BSM started in 1910 – long before passing a driving test became a legal requirement – and helped design and put into effect the modern driving tests. Past pupils include the Queen.
Picture shows BSM’s managing directors Abu-Haris Shafi and Nikolai Kesting (centre), with Fiat’s managing director, Andrew Humberstone.