Driving school is in top gear to meet rising prices

112240-939_BIZ_ALL_DRIVERS_SR_22/6/11'Matthew Best (left) and Lee Bonnici  (right) from All Drivers Academy how have diversified their business to offset fuel price rises.''Picture:Steve Reid 112240-939
112240-939_BIZ_ALL_DRIVERS_SR_22/6/11'Matthew Best (left) and Lee Bonnici (right) from All Drivers Academy how have diversified their business to offset fuel price rises.''Picture:Steve Reid 112240-939
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A PORTSMOUTH driving school is meeting the challenge of rising fuel prices by offering an academic qualification to those who pass their test.

All Drivers Academy was launched last year by Matt Best and Lee Bonnici, who have more than 20 years of experience between them.

But with rising costs threatening the firm, the pair decided to get new qualifications to offer their students something more, including now being able to offer a BTEC in safe driving.

Matt said: ‘We are the only driving school in Portsmouth which can award this qualification, which certainly puts us ahead of the competition.

‘The best driving lessons can only be given by actually driving a car, not sitting in a classroom or watching an instructional video.

‘With the price of fuel so high nowadays, it’s a huge concern for us.

‘Lots of people are choosing not to learn to drive because everything is so expensive – people just can’t afford driving lessons with the general cost of living. We can’t put our prices up either because there is so much competition in the industry, it just wouldn’t work.’

Matt and Lee hope to incorporate the BTEC into local schools and colleges in the future.

Meanwhile, their involvement with local secondary schools is rapidly growing with the introduction of their new initiative, The Driving Project.

It offers pupils the chance to get behind the wheel earlier than usual.

Lee said: ‘We taught 220 students over a period of 10 weeks, giving them a lesson in basic car control on the school grounds.

‘The feedback we received was very positive and we now hope to roll the programme out in other secondary schools in the area.’