Driving School Headboards & Roofboxes

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3 Reasons to have a Driving School Roof Box

Many instructors use headboards or roofboxes and many don’t – so who is right? What will be the best for you?

Well the answer is to weigh up the pros and cons…

Here are some of the arguments against

  • cost (around £100)
  • worse fuel economy
  • don’t like to be seen as a driving school when off duty
  • damage to car in removing and replacing it
  • hassle to remove and replace
  • potential for vandalism if left on overnight

and now the pros

  1. Improves brand awareness
  2. Makes your driving school look more professional
  3. Potential for people to take down your details when they see you car

So you will see that my number of cons is greater than the pros. However, in my view the pros considerably outweigh the cons. In terms of cost- if you get a new sign every 5 years that’s still only costing you £20 a year. So it only needs to generate one extra lesson per year to pay for itself!

In terms of fuel economy, you can minimise the extra cost by investing in an aero style sign. tests in my own car showed an improvement in fuel economy of around 3mpg by using an aero style roof sign rather than a traditional roof box.

In my opinion the small extra cost in increased fuel consumption say 1-2% is outweighed by the benefits outlined in 1 to 3 above.

More about driving school headboards

Driving school roof boxes normally come in one or two parts: the hood and the base. Either the hood part is glued or bonded in some way to the base, or is fixed with small plastic nuts and bolts. The headboard is secured to the roof of the car using between two and five very strong magnets. They are usually designed to withstand speeds of up to 70 mph.

It is possible that the magnets can scratch the roof of the car. Two ways to solve this potential problem is that some roof boxes have rubber sleeves for the magnets or alternatively you can apply a film to the roof of your car to stop scratching.

If your roofbox doesn’t come with a film you could get a short length of vinyl such as that used for car graphics from ebay  and apply that to the roof where the roofbox will be placed. This will help with potential scratching but take care that the edge of the sign does not dent the roof as you lift it up at an angle.

Will the sign go yellow with age?

Most driving school headboards are now made of materials that will not discolour with age. However it is worth checking with the supplier.

Driving School Aero Roof Signs

Recently a number of aero headboards have become very popular. These give less wind resistance so better mpg and look a bit sleeker. The disadvantage of these however is that you have less usable space for lettering to the front and rear.

Here is an example aero roof sign from PMN Ltd

An aero sign on my own car saw an improvement in mpg compared with my previous traditional style roof sign of 6% from 55.3mpg to 58.6mpg

Headboard Lettering

It is best to use lettering with a simple easy to read font such as Arial and strong bold colours and to use as few letters a possible. Consider leaving off the words driving school or school of motoring.

Just have the basic name, phone number and regulation Red L. It can be a good idea to have a reflective L on one side to face the back of the car for night driving.

How much does a driving school headboard cost?

Most driving school car headboards can be obtained for under £100 including lettering. aero boards may be a little more expensive but are worth the investment as they look more modern and are more fuel efficient

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