The credit crunch still seems to be very much at large and is even affecting national driving schools. You may have heard that one of the UK’s largest driving schools, BSM  (British School of Motoring) that has been operating for 100 years, has been taken over by one of its biggest rivals, the AA. Not only that, but the company was taken over for the price of £1! Now that really is as “cheap as chips”!

BSM have now been purchased


The driving school who taught the Queen to drive went into administration, causing a cut price take-over, leaving the AA driving school to buy the motoring organisation within minutes. BSM’s problems seem to have begun since they experienced a £10million management buyout in November 2009. The driving school had plans to reach an employment of 3000 instructors but sadly failed and left the company open for sale. There were many reasons contributing to BSM’s downfall. One of them was the fact that they widely use trainee driving instructors, which is quite funny when the AA has taken over and their main selling point is the fact that they don’t use trainee driving instructors. You’re safe with driveJohnson’s we don’t use trainee driving instructors for reward. BSM regularly started to appear on consumer programmes such as ‘watchdog’ because of their poor services such as taking a pupil for test in an un-taxed car and then being turned away by the driving test examiner and some instructors were not even turning up for their pupils test on the big day.  The company also faced problems with their signature cars, Fiat 500 super-mini’s and were forced to replace 3,250 of them due to  driving examiners complaining that the back of the car was too small for physical comfort. The Fiat 500 seems to be popular choice for the females, however the male pupils didn’t take a major shine to the vehicle.


Although all of the business jargon seems a bit dull, daily routines for driving schools in Bedford and learners, will remain the same as usual. Both company’s will continue to work under separate brands but BSM will be in the care of AA’s head company, Acromas. Matthew Hammond, administrator for BSM assured current learners that they will be able to carry on with their driving lessons as normal as the sale ensured everyone that daily business would not be interrupted.


Furthermore, despite the fact of BSM now being under the AA, it is actually BSM who employs more driving instructors and teach more students to drive each year than the AA.  The British School of Motoring has 2,100 instructors, with the AA having 1,900 and teaching 25,000 learners a year with the BSM instructing 30,000 per year.


‘Anthony Johnson’ the owner of driveJohnson’s recently trained a trainee driving instructor who had failed his ability to teach test twice under BSM in Bedford. He was on his 3rd and final attempt and fortunately Anthony Johnson helped him through the last stage of qualifying to be a driving instructor. Anthony said “Steven was in a right pickle, he was working under BSM providing driving lessons in Bedford, with no guidance. It was like they didn’t care, which to be fair they didn’t they had just been bought out by the AA for £1, they had head offices closing left, right and centre and poor Steven didn’t know where to turn. Steven was a great man, very bubbly and now he has received the correct training and qualified he will be a good acquisition for BSM. It will take time for the AA to sort all of this out, I look forward to seeing how they manage one company that uses qualified driving instructors and BSM that don’t.”


With their promises of not interrupting daily routines, things should seem pretty normal for both instructors and their pupils…hopefully!


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