“Annual driving appraisals aren’t compulsory - but they should be”

Mike Rutherford thinks a compulsory driving appraisal every year could be one of the best investments a motorist can make

Opinion Mike driving appraisal

You wouldn’t believe how often broadcasters wheel me into their studios to discuss the thorny subject of ‘retests’ for motorists in certain age groups.

One minute, pensioners with half-century-old licences are the problem. The next, it’s newly qualified youngsters who are branded the worst drivers on the road.

Do I detect age discrimination here?  Please, can we stop putting fear into young and old folk with threats of automatic ‘retesting’ and, in turn, the possible loss of their full licences and modest cars?  

UK's worst speeders revealed

What’s wrong with ALL qualified drivers being legally required to sit and steer their way through professional driving appraisals (not tests) once a year? For each 60-minute assessment they’d pay around £20, or a little more if driving the appraiser’s car. 

Only qualified driving instructors could qualify as appraisers, and it would mean more work for existing driving schools, plus potential and much needed employment prospects for would-be instructors/appraisers/assessors. 

The icing on the cake is that the training industry and its workers will earn more while appraising 30 million-plus drivers per annum. HM Treasury will rake in additional corporate and employee taxes. Britain will get richer. 

Driverless cars to be tested on UK roads

The counter argument goes that already cash-strapped drivers will be £20 a year poorer. But will they? Perhaps forward-thinking car insurers can pick up the tab for some or most of their customers. After all, a policy holder who consistently receives brief but glowing written assessments is surely bound to have fewer prangs.

Maybe firms who employ company car drivers will pay the fee on behalf of their staffers. And what better affordable birthday present from grandma to grandson than a £20 appraisal booked with a driving school convenient to him? 

But even if you’re on your own and must pay it yourself, consider the modest annual spend one of the best investments you’ll make during the course of each motoring year. 

Voluntarily, I’ve just done my first appraisal  and will definitely be going back for more. Like personal health checks, gas boiler inspections and routine servicing on cars, annual driving appraisals aren’t compulsory – but they should be. 

Do you think annual driving appraisals should be rolled out for motorists? Let us know in the comments below...

Recommended

'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'
Opinion

'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the switch to an all-electric UK car market hasn't been thought through
26 Nov 2020
'MINI’s brand focus needs to rub off on BMW, too'
Opinion

'MINI’s brand focus needs to rub off on BMW, too'

BMW needs to regain its identity and should look to MINI for inspiration, says Steve Fowler
28 Oct 2020
'The Pop-Up Motor Show is a simple idea at precisely the right time'
Opinion

'The Pop-Up Motor Show is a simple idea at precisely the right time'

Mike Rutherford thinks the new Pop-Up Motor Show can be the perfect way to serve the demands of Britain's car users
11 Oct 2020
'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020

Most Popular

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review
Audi A6

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review

The new Audi A6 50 TFSI e brings plug-in hybrid power to the A6 range for the first time
10 Nov 2020
New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled
Mercedes S-Class

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has made its official debut, with lashings of technology and even more imposing styling
19 Nov 2020
How to transfer a number plate from one car to another
MINI number plate change
Tips & advice

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another

Need to know how to transfer a number plate between vehicles? Our step-by-step guide breaks it down
22 Nov 2020