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New ECOlogical driving test set to win over cost-conscious businesses

14 October 2009

An ECOlogical driving test, establishing a motorist’s fuel ECOnomy and crash avoidance skills, has been launched in the UK. It is believed to be the first-ever ‘cash-saving at the wheel’ qualification and toughest-ever test of vehicle control for experienced car and van drivers.

Privately developed and operated - with a major insurer’s blessing and closely watched by Whitehall - the test’s backers hope that it will become an employment qualification highlighting that an individual is a first-class driver. The voluntary 90-minute test provides a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) and only truly safe-defensive environmentally-friendly drivers will pass.

Setting a new 21st century level of advanced driving, the test is targeting over 20 million UK business and vocational car and van drivers and their employers. Test creators the Stafford-based Approved Driving Instructors’ National Joint Council and the Croydon-based Driver Education Research Foundation say the £160 test cost ‘will be amortised in weeks to then be permanently profitable for all successful candidates’.

DERF director Professor Peter Russell says that eco-qualified drivers will prove to be attractive to employers’ as they continue to look to minimise business vehicle running costs. Already, it is claimed, that a major supermarket chain is ‘keenly interested’ and it is believed that many employers could quickly demand that their work drivers be ‘Eco Certified’. 

The Energy Saving Trust, which has launched its own smarter driver training course, has calculated that by adopting smarter driving techniques motorists could individually save £200-£250 by cutting fuel use by an average 15% a year and collectively save more than £5 billion per year in fuel costs.

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