The move is part of a concerted effort by the company to reduce accident and insurance costs and ensure staff safety as well as enhance the professionalism. Initially about 300 drivers will receive training at Honda's site in Slough using two Honda Accords, but rolling out the programme to its 190 dealerships is under consideration. A Honda spokesman said: 'Asking our staff to do one day's training is not unreasonable considering that if you use a computer you will be trained how to operate it and yet the potential benefits of helping people drive properly are so much greater given the amount of harm that can be caused by misuse.'
The company insists accident records are not excessive, but it is keen to reduce the number of collisions, including car park bumps and scrapes, and therefore reduce insurance premiums. Honda also aims to enhance its public image. 'Our staff are company ambassadors and we want them to display a high level of driving skill, particularly as it's not unusual for our area managers to cover about 60,000 miles a year,' the spokesman said. This is another key win for the AA, following success in gaining training contracts with the National Grid, Royal Mail, TNT and British Steel.