British School of Motoring opts for Italian cars
31 July 2009

The British School of Motoring (BSM) has ended its 16-year relationship with Vauxhall by swapping it’s basic learner driver vehicle from the Vauxhall Corsa to the Fiat 500.

The move is seen as a major blow to Vauxhall, as BSM claims that around 70 per cent of new licence holders buy the same model in which they leant to drive.

Additionally, BSM is offering a £500 discount on all Fiat cars to drivers who pass their tests with it.

Around 130,000 learner drivers per year will be learning in one of BSM’s 14,000 Fiat 500s. More than 70 per cent of these can be expected to buy the same model in which they learnt to drive in.

Fiat managing director Andrew Humberstone said: “This new partnership with BSM marks a significant return for us into the fleet sector and continues our strategy of commercial growth, the driving influence of which is sound economics, not purely volume.

“Our strategy is not just about selling cars as we have been carefully developing a more strategic approach so as to encourage partnership agreements. As a simple rule of thumb, if we are not making money at a local level, we would not be interested in competing for the business. Our plan is to take the brand up to a higher level. That’s why it’s important to respect our customers by protecting residual values.”

Humberstone maintained that the relationship between Fiat and BSM will be highly beneficial for both brands and that it “will not affect residual values in any negative sense”.

Katie Morley

Our Verdict

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is a deserved success story for the brand, offering bags of style, a fine drive and low costs

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?