Replacement for Driving Instructor Car - daveyjp
My dad has been a driving instructor for about 15 years and has always had Fiesta diesels. His last one has been more of a problem than the others (X reg Flight - old shape), so he is looking at alternatives.

Requirements:

Diesel
Less than £10k to buy brand new
a/c
Dark interior
Reasonable servicing and spare parts cost
Height adjustable drivers seat

He\'s looked at Yaris, but must buy a T3 spirit (?) to get what he wants therefore expensive.

He had a Corsa as a replacement for a week and says he never wants to sit on one again!

What would you suggest as the Fiesta Zetec is coming out favourite at the mo.
Repalcement for Driving Instructor Car - PoloGirl
I knew it wasn't just me that had the Corsa hatred!

I love the 03 Micra I'm driving at the moment and I think they do a diesel for less than 10k.

Even the most basic model has loads of features that you don't get included on other cars (driver and passenger airbags, ABS, Brake Assist etc.) In fact the brakes are the best I have ever known - emergency stops could get interesting if he has this one!

I've had the Micra all weekend now and I just find it really nice to drive. I've only got the one litre (I think) which is a bit of a pain and makes it quite noisy, but the power steering is just right and the bug lights on the front make it very easy to park.

Also, this is a fun looking car and will make him stand out from the crowd. There is only one driving school round here that has Micras (I have the misfortune to live near the Wolverhampton test centre) and they're the ones that make everyone smile rather than get annoyed with the person doing 25mph!

I was dreading getting this car after my experience with the Corsa, but until you drive it you don't realise whan an improvement it is on Micras of old.

Repalcement for Driving Instructor Car - Altea Ego
I too think the micra would be ideal, except for one thing. It fails the "bin made for more than year test". IE not been in production long enough for all the bugs to be ironed out, specially for a car that is work dependent. At this moment i would stick with another fiesta.
Repalcement for Driving Instructor Car - T Lucas
Err,its a Nissan,they tend to get it right first time,not quite the same as some Euro sheds.
Repalcement for Driving Instructor Car - Altea Ego
Errr its a renault. Still feel the same way?

Repalcement for Driving Instructor Car - T Lucas
I think if you look around a Micra you won't find much Renault input,(good thing)and very importantly the people building the Micra will have a different approach and attitude to the job than the people building the Renault.
Anyone care for a Renault built in the first week back after the French summer holidays?
Repalcement for Driving Instructor Car - DavidHM
Well it shares a platform with the next Clio and the diesel engine is lifted straight from the current one, so I think there's a lot of Renault input.

Having said that, the people who build the factory and put the tooling in are from a Nissan background, and Renault's approach to its quality problems is to increase the involvement of Nissan engineers, so I still think it does okay.

Otherwise a Polo 1.4 TDi Match will do the job - height adjustable seats are a £100 extra so he might have a bit of a wait if he orders one.

A Fabia or Ibiza with the same engine won't be much, if any, cheaper and from a marketing perspective, a Polo seems like a good idea as it's a quality car that's not too girlie. (Even if they're learning, young guys tend to be quite image conscious).

And from that perspective, and the low depreciation as well, would a Mini One-D make sense? It's expensive of course, but there might be a business case for it.
Replacement for Driving Instructor Car - Welliesorter
As someone who took more driving lessons than most (mostly in Fiestas) I may be more qualified to answer than some ;) My own instructor changed from the old to the new shape Fiesta shortly before my test.

I'd say a diesel Fiesta would be a good choice. Maybe not the Zetec because the alloy wheels would be prone to damage from scraping on kerbs. I think the LX has standard air conditioning and a CD player. The seat is height adjustable and is further off the ground than the old model.

The new Fiesta looks nothing like the old one and they probably have few, if any, components in common. Nonetheless they're surprisingly similar to drive and shouldn't alarm pupils who are faced with taking their tests in an unfamiliar car.

Driving instructors favour diesels for obvious economic reasons. Diesels are also more forgiving of poor driving and are hard to stall. I always wished my instructor's car would complain more when I'd forgotten which gear I was in.

The problem is, newly qualified drivers don't usually buy diesels and struggle to adjust to petrol. One thing I found with my instructor's new Fiesta was that it was more like a petrol to drive in that you had to set the clutch and keep your foot on the accelerator when manoeuvring. The old one would happily chug along when manoeuvring without having to touch the accelerator. I'm sure if I'd only driven the old diesel Fiesta I'd have had trouble adjusting to a petrol car.

Another point about Fords is that parts are traditionally cheap. An instructor's car will need bits replacing far sooner than most: not just the stuff you'd expect to replace in any high mileage car, but things like door handles and the levers to adjust the seats.

I have heard of an instructor with a Yaris but I wonder what examiners think of them. Can the speedometer be read from the passenger seat?
Replacement for Driving Instructor Car - MichaelR
Hows about finding a bit extra cash and going for a Mini One D? Slightly more expensive to buy, but they look really funky and it could be good advertising for the driving school if among the Micras, Corsas, Clios and Fiestas your Fathers car stands out as being a Mini :)
Replacement for Driving Instructor Car - daveyjp
Thanks for the comments. As regards Fiesta Zetec v LX the main reason is the Zetec is available with a black interior, LX isn't.

Alloys aren't an issue as he has these on his current car and they haven't suffered. When you are keeping the car for 100,000+ miles scuffed alloys aren't a major concern!

Mini is a nice idea, but too expensive and the back seats are hopeless - the car is still needed for days out with family and you need decent rear seats for check tests.

All the Micars he's seen have had the light interior - the website doesn't give an impression of the interior with a darker interior, so it looks like he'll have to try and find one. The dealer says they are rare as buyers prefer the lighter interior as it gives a greater sense of space in the car.
Replacement for Driving Instructor Car - Blue {P}
The new MK6 Fiesta with the TDCi engine is supposed to be excellent, and the LX is available with Ebony cloth trim according to Ford's website which is certainly quite dark, I suppose it may depend on what exterior colour is chosen.

I own a Zetec 1.4 petrol and I love it, fantastic to drive, and I'm sure easy for a learner to pick up. Also there's a lot more space for people in the back of the new Fiesta.

The best current offer seems to be the Fiesta Flame, which is basically a Zetec, but it also has metallic paint, a quickclear windscreen, electric mirrors (probably very useful in his job) and remote locks for £9,500 with free A/C. Don't know how much the TDCi Fiesta Flame is though...

Blue
Replacement for Driving Instructor Car - daveyjp
Quick update. After a further scout round it looks like it will be another Fiesta. As well as the purchase price the other consideration was waiting times for spares, things do need replacing and people do run in to you! His mechanic can get any spares for a Ford on sameday/next day service, but he can have problems getting spares for Japanese cars (even ones made in the UK).
 

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