With the DIA's National Driver and Rider Training Conference only a few days away, sponsors Collingwood have shared their reasons to why they have sponsored this huge event and take a look back at their best moment of 2016.
To book your place on the conference, please click here.
Who are you and a brief history?
Learner Driving Centre (LDC) is a family run, national driving school which has been in operation for nearly 30 years. According to Paul McArdle, the Managing Director, the aim of the business is to be the best rather than the biggest and the passion for quality that has shaped the way the business is today.
LDC have a network of franchised driving schools covering much of the UK from as far north as Inverness to as far south as Penzance. LDC believes their franchise offers the best value when compared to all similar franchise’s currently in the market place and it’s easy to see why with a basic weekly charge of only £45 (without a car) and £125 with a fully maintained 5 door Ford Zetec 1.0 Ecoboost 100 hbp. Other car options are also available. This weekly fee covers all the support and resources you need to run a modern driving school business under the name xxx's LDC driving school where xxx is the franchisees first name.
So what makes LDC so different from other driving school franchises?
Well the first thing is the emphasis on quality rather than quantity. The company seem to have a genuine desire to help each franchisee to be the best they can be and to ensure they know all aspects of how to run a successful driving school business. Even though this seems counter intuitive as what is to stop the franchisee leaving once they have this know how? Even more strange is the fact that after 3 months the franchisee can leave with just one months notice whereas the company is tied in to providing the franchise for a minimum of 5 years with automatic right of renewal.
Most driving school franchises seem to make it difficult for their franchisees to leave by placing obstacles in there way and by making them dependant upon the franchisor for most, if not all, of the work generated so they can quickly cut off this supply and transfer pupils as soon as any notice is given.
In this regards Paul McArdle stated: "The only thing that keeps our franchisees with us is the value for money offered, the comradeship and the much higher earning potential and security that comes with being able to provide and maintain a quality product. Deciding whether to stay with LDC is easy if you believe being part of the franchise will get you at least 3 more pupils per year or enable you to charge £1 more per hour then the cost of the franchise are basically covered."
What is 2017 shaping up to be for this market leader?
LDC have plans to introduce a new instructor training course, including a residential course option for people wanting to train quickly. Of course, as with all training courses, this will be under the guidance of our ORDIT qualified tutors. After trialling a new online instructor and student hub last year which proved very popular, LDC will continue its’ development in 2017. The hub is an online facility where instructors can track their students theory and practical progress, maintain an online lesson diary if they wish, collect credit card payments and much more.
Even though LDCs relationship with the DIA is a relatively new one, LDC is looking forward to working alongside the DIA in the future. When the opportunity arose to be affiliated with the 2016 DIA Conference and Awards, LDC was keen to get involved and decided to sponsor Local Association of the Year award. LDC echo the DIA’s reasons behind why this award is so important to the industry and the driving instructors who are affiliated within.
LDC would like to congratulate all associations around the country for the outstanding work they do and gave a special mention to their organisers, as without their hard work the associations would not be possible.