Recently we wrote about the ongoing petrol price surge – and asked the UK’s driving instructors for their responses to this fuel cost crisis. We wanted to know how the price rises were affecting them and their outlook: their feelings around working as an ADI in the current climate: what their response might be; and where they think the price of a litre will end up come summer.
We received responses to our survey from approximately one thousand instructors across the country. You can see a summary of the results below.
As a thank you for taking part, participants were given the chance to enter our prize draw to win £50 to spend on fuel. Congratulations to the winner, Mat Rollason! We hope you enjoy spending it!
We asked by how much, roughly, has the price of filling your tank gone up recently: comparing the total price paid at the pumps on your last visit with the average cost you’ve previously noticed.£16.80 might not sound huge (though it’s still a big increase in a small space of time!). However, bearing in mind some respondents will only have a small tank or not always fill it to capacity, and/or that they have to refuel regularly, this could translate to a huge increase in monthly fuel spend.
When we published our survey (March 11th), the cost of a litre of petrol had just surged to an average of around £1.60.Our survey respondents were pessimistic, envisaging this reaching £1.88 by summer.Per the RAC at the time of writing today (March 29th) the average litre price already stands at 163.30p for regular petrol, 174.81p for Super Unleaded, and 177.11p for diesel.
As you can see, there was quite a spread in the responses around instructors’ outlook: from the disillusioned, to the cautious, to the more optimistic or bullish.However, it is clear that the price surge is seen as a significant threat to net business takings – and not necessarily just over the short term. This may be translated to an increase in average lesson prices across the UK: again, not necessarily just limited to the short term. On the other hand, in the longer term, some instructors may be increasingly tempted to seek another solution to high cost of fuel: such as switching to an electric vehicle.
SUMMARY: so what’s next?
It will be interesting to see how things develop this summer and beyond – with calls for further government intervention around fuel prices (and the wider cost of living crisis in general). One thing is for sure though: we must do all we can to protect livelihoods in order to dissuade good ADIs from exiting the industry. If petrol costs will remain very high, this will mean protecting instructors’ net income in other ways. Beyond pushing up lesson prices (which may dissuade some prospective learners from beginning with driving lessons at all, this may entail helping ADIs reduce other costs, such as marketing, administration, franchising fees and commissions.Another aid in boosting total net incomes would be products and services which save the ADI not just money but time – freeing them to focus on teaching, delivering the best possible customer service (great for repeat business and word of mouth), and fitting in extra time for lessons each week, or filling empty slots in their planner.Each of these pledges will remain at the heart of WeDrive’s ethos.