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Local automotive shop offers free classes on basic vehicle care, road safety
John Edwards, the partial owner of Ree's Automotive Care, teaches a participant where to find instructions and her spare tire in her vehicle during a practice class they held in November. - photo by Sabrina Kerns

Ree’s Automotive Care recently began a community outreach program for new drivers.

The business plans to hold classes about vehicle care basics and driving safety starting on Saturday, Dec. 12.

John Edwards, who is a partial owner of Ree’s Automotive Care and has more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, said the program is meant to help kids be more independent on the road and make sure they have the knowledge of their car they need to get home safe.

“I actually thought about it the other night when I sat down and watched the news and saw that a kid got killed on the road trying to change a tire,” Edwards said. “I thought, ‘You know what, kids don’t know how to do it, and neither do a lot of parents.’”

Edwards plans to teach the free classes himself at Ree’s Automotive Care, located on Tolbert Street near downtown Cumming. After making some plans with his wife, Lauren Sanchez, who also owns the shop, they decided on some lessons that would be important to go over with kids just learning to drive.

These include how to properly change a tire, how to check tire pressure, how to check the car’s fluid levels, the importance of preventative maintenance, how to jump start a car battery, what to do in case of an accident or emergency and more.

Sanchez also stressed that while these lessons were created with young drivers in mind, they will not be limited to teenagers and young adults.

“It’s something that, even as adults or as women, we aren’t necessarily taught how to do, so it’s also for the seasoned drivers as well,” Sanchez said. “It’s open to everyone.”

The couple explained that understanding the basics of taking care of and learning to fix small issues on a car can mean the difference between a teenager having to wait for what could be hours on the side of the interstate waiting for AAA or for their parent to help them versus them being able to simply fix the issue themselves and get home safe and sound.

“We don’t teach that to our kids anymore, and we don’t teach that to young women really,” Sanchez said. “I mean, I don’t remember my dad teaching me how to change a tire or where the fluids were in the car. It was something that I learned just when something happened.”

Edwards said that they have also partnered with the Cumming Police Department to have officers come by Ree’s Automotive when they have the time to help further teach everyone how they can stay safe out on the road.

They plan to hold the classes every other Saturday starting on Dec. 12, and with the pandemic worsening during the winter months, they plan to limit the classes to around eight guests each.

Edwards and Sanchez said they are excited to start the classes not only because they believe they could be helpful for new and seasoned drivers, but also because it will give them a chance to better connect with their community.

Ree’s Automotive Care has been in business for five years now, serving customers in the Cumming area, but they have wanted to grow and reach more of their community members.

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 This year, they have decided to expand into a new building, which will allow them to offer full services to their customers, and they said the program just adds that extra feeling of connectedness and trust.

“Having that involvement and people recognizing us and trusting us is extremely important,” Sanchez said.

For more information about the community outreach program or to reserve a spot in one of the classes, call Ree’s Automotive Care at 470-695-7612 or email