JDM have used many vehicles since our founding in 1993. We began with an iconic car of its day, the Peugeot 205. We replaced that with the Peugeot 306 and then went on to have a combination of Peugeot 106 and Citroen Saxo cars as our fleet grew in the early part of the 21st Century. We then moved on to the Peugeot 206 and we followed that in June, 2006 by replacing those with the new Toyota Yaris.
THE RELIABLE TOOLS OF OUR TRADE
DRIVING SCHOOL FLEET
Now in 2016, our instructors are responsible for sourcing their own vehicles and as we grow and develop over the next few years, we may have a much more diverse fleet of cars available.
Today we have TWO Toyota Yaris (One petrol and one diesel) and a Skoda Fabia.(petrol)
Air Con and Power Steering is standard as are electric windows and electrically adjustable side mirrors. The seats and steering wheel are height and length adjustable allowing shorter and taller drivers a chance to enjoy the comfort that average size people expect.
CAR MAINTENANCE QUESTIONS
IN 2003, THE DRIVING TEST WAS UPGRADED TO INCLUDE TWO QUESTIONS ON CAR MAINTENANCE.
One of the reasons we chose the Yaris was that all the items that the candidate will need to point out when answering these questions are easy to see and easy to reach.
For example the bonnet of a Yaris is quite small, so it is easy for anyone of any build to lift up, even on a windy day.
For example, checking the oil! The main bonnet catch is situated below the steering column, level with the drivers right knee. It is easy to locate and light to pull and release the bonnet.
Walking round to the front of the car, the safety catch is in the center of the bonnet and can be reached even by short fingers. The bonnet can then be raised and held up by the “prop”.
The dipstick for checking the oil is near the front of the car and has a bright yellow handle. Very easy to see and to point out to the examiner.
At this stage, the candidate would describe removing the dipstick, wiping splashed oil from it and then inserting and removing the dipstick to get a true reading of the actual oil level, which should of course be in between the minimum and maximum markers.
The Headlight switches are located on the stalks to the left of the steering column. The same stalk is pushed up/down for the indicators in the same direction as the wheel would turn. Twisting the stalk activates the sidelights and then a further twist for dipped headlights. To activate the main beam, you simply push the stalk away from you. A blue light on the dashboard will tell you this main or full beam has been activated.
Twisting the inner part of this stalk will switch on the rear fog light and an orange light on the dash will indicate this has been done. REMEMBER, fog lights should only be used when normal visibility has dropped to a 100m (The length of a straight sprint running track or an average football field) The washers and wipers are operated by the right hand stalk with the horn in the center of the steering column.
The Yaris has a very modern look and feel to the dashboard. The panel actually sits in the center of the car. On some vehicles, the speed is displayed digitally as simple numbers rather than a dial so there is no doubt when you are driving at 30mph. Other models use a digitally enhanced dial system. The full range of warning lights will illuminate when you first switch on the ignition and most of these (air bag, ABS, engine management etc) will go out shortly after or as soon as you start the engine. As a safety feature, the YARIS can only be started with the clutch pedal pushed fully in, so turning the key should not result in accidentally firing up the engine.
SERVICE AND MAINTENANCE
NO SKIMPING ON SAFETY AND RELIABILITY
Cut price driving lessons inevitably lead to companies seeking ways to cut costs. At JDM, we believe that safety and reliability CAN NOT be compromised.
The Yaris has a recommended service interval of 10000 miles. Our policy is to stick to this up to 40000 miles and then to increase the frequency of servicing to every 8000 miles (eg: 48K, 56K, 64K).
This extra servicing should result in fewer opportunities for the cars to break down, although we have been extremely pleased with the record of these outstanding cars so far.
JDM are a genuinely local business and we try, where possible to choose local suppliers and to be loyal to our suppliers.
For this reason our car servicing and maintenance is handled by a locally based garage. Not only do we receive better prices, but we are convinced we receive quicker and more thorough attention. In the past, we have had cars serviced by main dealers and they have been off road all day for a simple service. Now we can have a service, new brakes or even a clutch fitted and still be on the road again in the afternoon.