This year at Drive Learn Achieve we celebrate our tenth birthday. Ten years of teaching Cardiff’s learner drivers, ten years of test passes and ten years of close shaves!
In July 2007 DLA launched with the ambition of getting to July 2008. We had a fleet that comprised of a well worn Toyota Yaris, 100 freshly printed business cards and a young driving instructor that was still learning the trade but keen as mustard (still don’t know what that means). We’ve had our learners take us up one-way streets (the wrong way), around roundabouts (the wrong way) and have taught thousands how to negotiate Cardiff’s most notorious junctions the right way (Gabalfa interchange and Culverhouse Cross included).
We quickly realised that we were going to be popular. We started the process of interviewing instructors that were interested in joining our team. Most didn’t make it. We demand the highest standards of professionalism in the industry and this meant that sometimes ‘the fit’ wasn’t right. We’ve now assembled a group that understand our approach and deliver excellent customer service.
in 2010 we opened our Facebook and Twitter accounts and we continue to use these platforms to interact with the public and shamelessly plug our test passes.
In March 2011 Apple released the iPad2 and the geeky version of us was in the queue to pick ours up on its UK release date. We knew it would be a game changer for driver education and it was. The interaction and understanding between pupil and instructor increased exponentially and we now couldn’t live without them – both our pupils and iPads!
Cardiff’s practical driving test centre moved from Fairwater to Llanishen in 2013 and with it came the introduction of the bay park manoeuvre. The test has also seen the introduction of the Hazard perception part of the theory test, basic car maintenance questions, independent driving and later this year we’ll see the Sat Nav test introduced. Keeping up with these changes is a challenge but we’re of the opinion that if it makes the roads safer, embrace it.
In 2016 we started to offer instructor/ADI training to people who feel that they can contribute to society and its roads by not freaking out when headed towards a lamppost. This is an acquired skill and takes nerves of steel – bizarrely we really enjoy it.
We’ve taught pupils from all walks of life. From taxi drivers to university lecturers, bricklayers to rugby players, DJ’s to opera singers. We’ve moulded them all into safe drivers for life and we continue to enjoy the journey with them.
We’ve grown from a glint in the eye to one of Cardiff’s best driving schools. Here’s to the next ten years!