FirstCar Academy aims to ‘make new drivers smarter’

12.00 | 2 October 2017 | | 3 comments

FirstCar has launched a new, free-to-use, e-learning platform aimed at pre-learner, learner and newly qualified drivers aged 15-21 years – and is encouraging road safety teams to promote the resource in their area.

Unveiled on Friday (29 Sept), the FirstCar Academy comprises a series of 14 short videos (modules) designed to raise awareness of important road safety issues including how to be a good passenger, hazards, motorway driving and driver distractions.

Candidates need to correctly answer one question per module in order to progress to the next level. In total, it takes around 60 minutes to complete all 14 online modules. A pass, merit or distinction is awarded based on the number of attempts taken to answer all the questions.

On completion of the final module, the candidate can download a certificate which gives access to a series of exclusive offers. On the month of ‘graduation’, the candidate is automatically entered into a monthly prize draw for £100 – as well as an annual prize draw through which one person will win the use of a car for year. A runner up prize of £1,000 is being supplied by the headline sponsor Adrian Flux Insurance.

To mark the launch, FirstCar has produced a short introductory video explaining how the new Academy works.

FirstCar is encouraging road safety professionals to promote the resource to new drivers in their area – and has produced promotional flyers which are free to order.

James Evans, founder of FirstCar who has developed the FirstCar Academy, said: “For over a decade FirstCar has been at the forefront of providing new driver resources, predominantly publishing specialist printed magazines for these high-risk drivers to make them safer road users.

“In this digital world, it is only right that FirstCar looks to engage further with these drivers online.”

Gerry Bucke, general manager at Adrian Flux Insurance said: “Learning to drive and owning your first car can be expensive, and this is an excellent free resource available online.

“The courses are thorough, informative and helpful. It’s essential new drivers have a solid foundation of skills, knowledge and understanding – and the topics covered will support them with safely navigating the roads.”

Categories: Young drivers, Driver training.



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    Thank you for your comments.

    Peter – you are absolutely right that many people are choosing to start driving later, probably because of cost and the impracticality of taking a car away to university. We believe that maximum value will be derived by pre, learner and newly qualified drivers rather than those with several months experience behind the wheel. As you rightly say, we would be well-advised to drop the reference to ‘age’ and focus more on ‘stage’.

    Matt – we will be running an evaluation once FCA has enough users through it to provide a good sample. At this stage, we have simply taken the content from FirstCar magazine and turned it into a video-based digital resource; in that sense, I suppose you could say FirstCar magazine has been the pilot in terms of content – however, I completely agree that we must demonstrate the online, video-based method of delivery to be an effective way of imparting knowledge and influencing driver/passenger behaviour. Very happy to involve you in the evaluation planning stages if that’s of interest? Your expertise in this area would be very welcome.

    James Evans, FirstCar Founder
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I’ve had a look at the site and can’t find any information on the evidence base behind the content or what evidence of effectiveness has been found from any pilot schemes. Is this information available?

    Matt Staton, Cambridgeshire
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    What I have seen looks good however it is an interesting age range? We have tended to think of young drivers as 17 to 25 so going for the 15 to 21 seems strange.

    That said, many youngsters are not taking up driving until well past their 21st birthday. This could be because the costs of learning, buying and insuring a vehicle on top of university fees makes for a big debt to carry. I hope as it is for new drivers the age range will be extended.

    Peter City of Westminster
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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