Toyota Yaris
Toyota Yaris

Instructors at the 1st Drive School of Motoring agree with their pupils – the Toyota Yaris makes the ideal car for learners.

Glasgow-based 1st Drive has expanded to become Scotland’s “local national driving school” over the past four years. It was set up to make use of graduates of parent company ADI Training College, which has taught all 30 of its current instructors.

Operating from their homes, the instructors all use Toyota Yaris 1.0 petrol T2 cars, either in three or five-door form. The twelfth Yaris for 1st Drive’s northern area, which covers Invernesshire and Aberdeenshire, has just been delivered in Aberdeen.

The school describes the Yaris to prospective customers as “the best car in its class and the ideal size for the new learner. With no overhang beyond the front and back wheels, the Yaris is easy to manoeuvre either forward, reversing or parking. Yet it is also spacious inside and will be comfortable whether you’re 5ft or 6ft 4in.”

“We wanted a single car that would readily identify us,” says 1st Drive’s Director Gordon Cattanach. “The Yaris is a good model and it felt distinctive. Our main competitors use particular makes, so the Yaris gave us our own branding.”

The cars are obtained on contract hire through Lloyds TSB Autolease. Covering 25-30,000 miles a year, their replacement cycle is 18 months, with individual cars often passed on to new instructors after 12 months or so.

“We’ve had very positive feedback from pupils,” says Mr Cattanach. “They’re happy because the cars are so easy to manoeuvre, and provide such all-round vision. The good headroom is also important, especially with youngsters being so much taller today.

“The instructors also appreciate these points, and from our side the Yaris is not only reliable but it’s a very frugal car to run. Fuel consumption averages 48mpg, for example.”

Mr Cattanach describes the design of the Yaris as up-to-date and attractive – “and build quality is tremendous. When you close the door of the latest model, for example, the sound is simply not the sort you would associate with a small car!”

Published : 05/04/07 Author : Melanie Carter

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