It is true. This Approved. Driving Instructor, hitherto a franchisee of the excellent DriversGB in. Selly Oak, has decided after some weeks' consideration, to become independent.
In practice, for my existing clients this means little changes. For new ones, it may mean new pricing: I haven't decided yet. My longer term intention is certainly to teach more locally, so in the B14 area rather than B29.
For me and my family, it means I'm at the mercy of The Free Market, and my own abilities as a self-employed worker. It's just me, at the moment, doing all the thinking, planning, typing, driving, designing, recording, spending and saving.
I must admit, it is very exciting, and not a little daunting. But, after two excellent years of support from the firm which trained me, I feel it's the right time to "go it alone" and see what happens.
According to the Daily Mail (!), EU plans will require every new car sold in the UK from October 2015 to have a 'black box' device. The gadget contains a phone-like SIM card which tracks drivers' movements; these are designed to help emergency services find vehicles in the event of a crash. The Government believes the 'eCall' device will add at least £100 to the cost of new cars, and officials also fear it could be used by police to monitor motorists' movements. But ministers admit they are "powerless" to stop [such] "Big Brother technology".
A more balanced view, on the many positive aspects, is here.
Here's what's happening right now in Lyon, France. Instead of buying professional tuition, you can rent a dual-control car per hour, and have a qualified relative supervise you. Likely here? Maybe. In France, of course, you need 20 hours' professional tuition before you can sit the State's practical test.