We set up Elmbridge Automatic in 1998 to deal exclusively with automatic driving tuition in the Surrey area. We owned and managed Hampton Court School of Motoring from 1992 until recently when we sold this part of our business in order to concentrate totally on automatic tuition.
In 1998, with more than six years experience of running a driving school which offered only manual lessons and an increasing number of enquiries for automatic, we were convinced that there was a potential market for us to try and attract. To the amusement of nearly every other instructor in the area, who said we were idiots (yes, that's a direct quote!) and there was not sufficient demand and that we would never make it profitable, we took the plunge and established the new driving school. And twenty years later we are still going strong.
We are very busy helping people who want to learn quickly and this is definitely possible in an automatic. We teach plenty of people who thought after many manual lessons that they would never quite master the clutch and gears to the standard required to obtain a Full Licence. We also offer lessons to students with various disabilities who physically cannot drive a manual car. And the fact that we specialise in automatic tuition is what initially introduced us to the large American Community in the London, Surrey and Berkshire area, to the extent that the majority of Elmbridge Automatic’s current pupils are from the U.S.A. This includes many students who attend the various international schools in the Surrey area, and a great number of experienced adult drivers who already have a full U.S. licence and need to obtain the UK equivalent.
If a UK Driving Test is taken in an automatic car, the licence is restricted to driving automatic vehicles only. The majority of drivers in the UK use a vehicle with manual transmission and just 21% of vehicles in this country are automatics. Less than 12% of UK Driving Tests every year are taken in automatic cars, and very few driving schools offer Automatic lessons because of the comparatively low demand for this type of tuition.