BSM and Fiat in landmark deal

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BSM and Italian car giant Fiat have today announced their partnership which will see Fiat as the new fleet provider for BSM (the British School of Motoring), the UK’s most popular driving school.

Fiat will provide BSM with 14,000 cars over the next four years, most of them the award-winning Fiat 500 – Car of the Year 2008 – along with the popular Grande Punto model.

The fleet vehicle is the biggest depiction of the BSM brand, and the introduction of the stylish Fiat 500 design is intended to appeal to new learners by echoing the brand’s iconic feel. BSM will start to take delivery of the new fleet this summer and complete the exchange of all fleet by the end of the year.

BSM has a network of 94 UK driving centres from Inverness to Truro and teaches more than 130,000 learners a year. The agreement will make the Fiat 500 even more visible on Britain’s roads – and help Fiat with its plan to target the 500 at the key young drivers market.

BSM is confident that the change of car will give new drivers a superior learning experience, with features including:

  • Manoeuvrability – the Fiat 500, with a length of just 3.5 metres and a turning circle of 9.2 metres, is easy to drive and offers exceptional manoeuvrability;
  • Safety – the Fiat 500 has more safety features than any other small car and achieved five stars in the tough Euro NCAP crash test programme;
  • Environment – the Fiat 500 engine meets the toughest Euro 5 exhaust emissions standards and has improved fuel efficiency when compared with BSM’s previous fleet. The 500’s 1.2-litre 51 kW engine returns 5.1 l/100 km in the combined cycle and emits just 119 g/km CO2. The model is also available in the UK with eco:Drive which analyses driving styles and helps drivers use less fuel;
  • Visibility – the Fiat 500 model also offers greater visibility than the previous fleet, with a smaller dashboard and larger wing mirrors.

The new partnership will include a special offer for learner drivers wishing to purchase a Fiat once they have passed their test. The car manufacturer is offering an exclusive £500 discount on all new Fiat models to BSM learners, making the range even more accessible and economical for new drivers.

“We believe very strongly that the car we use for our fleet is the strongest depiction of our brand so it was of the utmost importance for us to find a car that shares both the heritage of BSM and the brand’s modern outlook and appeal,” says Abu Shafi, managing director, BSM.

“We feel that the partnership of BSM with the Fiat 500 has a great synergy and we are looking forward to introducing such an iconic fleet with an improved learning experience.”

“This fantastic new agreement puts an award-winning car alongside the best-known driving school in the UK, and I am delighted we are involved in it,” says Andrew Humberstone, managing director, Fiat Group Automobiles UK. “This puts us right where we want to be – in the High Streets of Britain’s towns and cities, demonstrating to new motorists the delights of driving a new Fiat.”

BSM previously partnered with Vauxhall who provided over 3,500 of their Corsa and Astra models to the company. The new deal will include the Fiat 500 and Grande Punto model for disabled learners.

In South Africa, the 500 is available in three funky versions: 1.2 Pop (R155 100, 1.4 Lounge and 1.4 Sport – the latter two models carry the same sticker price of R194 200.