Autocar has launched a new safer driving initiative for learner drivers. Autocar Start includes a new Smart Fortwo, comprehensive insurance and 40 hours of tuition from the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, for a £500 deposit and £299 per month over three years.
The scheme provides learners with both the peace of mind of knowing all their fixed costs upfront and the guarantee that they are driving a fully insured, reliable vehicle with training from professional instructors.
After six months, each Autocar Start member will be rewarded with cashback on his or her insurance policy for driving safely, ascertained via Carrot Insurance’s in-car black box data recorder. The cashback is paid to a pre-paid Mastercard and can be used wherever credit and debit cards are accepted.
The scheme has been launched in the wake of the government’s green paper investigating the introduction of a minimum learning period before candidates are permitted to sit their driving test. This would enable learners to take lessons on motorways, in adverse weather conditions or during darkness.
New drivers who receive six penalty points might also be subjected to a longer probationary period of three years, while rewards could be introduced for those who embrace additional training and keep clean licences.
Young drivers will be taught by a Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy instructor in a dual-control Mercedes-Benz A-Class or B-Class. The Driving Academy will provide training both before and after the driving test.
Built on the principle that all drivers are different and that, when it comes to learning to drive, one size doesn’t fit all, Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy offers tuition that is tailored to each individual.
Using a series of pioneering tools, such as online personal risk assessment, e-learning modules and post-lesson self-evaluation forms, students will discover how their individual personality, emotions and attitude can impact their ability to be safe and responsible drivers.
Robert East, National Operations & Development Manager, Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, commented: “Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy uses a new coaching technique, rather than instructing students on how to drive.
"This motivates drivers to make the right decisions through self evaluation, without relying on short-term instructions to simply help them pass their test.”
Once qualified, a Smart Fortwo coupé pulse capable of averaging 67.3mpg is supplied for the new driver.