A Driving Instructor's Blog

Reel of magnetic tapeThis time of year must be when most ADIs renew their badges judging by the traffic recently. Someone asked me the best way to mount your badge in the car.

Well, when you get your badge, they also send you a plastic wallet to put it in, and this has a sticky side so you can attach it to the windscreen. It’s fine if it’s your first one, but I hate the damned thing. It’s too big and thick, and it messes up the glass. It gets degraded by the sun and you can’t switch it between cars (it keeps falling off if you try). And it starts to peel if you get screen cleaner anywhere near it, so the exposed sticky surface starts to attract dust and dirt, and looks bloody horrible after a few months.

There are all kinds of ‘aids’ available (at relatively huge cost for what they are), such as wallets and suckers, that you can get from eBay or specialist ADI suppliers. A lot of people apparently use Blu Tac, and some even go for Sellotape or packing tape. These mess up your windscreen, too – wit the added benefit being that they look like crap! And Blu Tac softens when it gets warm and your badge is likely to fall off (I once tried it for keeping cables tucked around the edge of the windscreen, and found that out).

I make my own mounts. I got the idea many years ago when I installed fly screens on windows in my house. They’re attached using magnetic tape – a bit like the stuff inside fridge doors (well, a lot like it, in fact).

Magnetic tape comes in two parts – A and B – representing different magnetic poles. Basically, A is attracted to B, but A will repulse A, and B will repulse B. So what you do is buy a length of each part, then cut four 1cm pieces of each. Stick a piece of side A in each corner of your badge (the tape has a peel-off adhesive back). Attach the four pieces of side B magnetically to these, then peel off the backing. Now push the whole thing carefully on to the windscreen where you want it (make sure the glass is clean and grease-free before you do this). You now have a secure magnetic mount, and you can easily take your badge off whenever you need to.

Magnetic tape costs as little as about £2 per metre, so £4 for a metre each of part A and part B and you’ll be set up for at least 20 badges. I don’t think many ADIs will see more than 10 – even if they do the job for their entire working lives. I’ve seen a few cars using this method now.

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