Examiners’ flow chart

Blind Spots

The truck driver can’t see anyone inside the yellow areas  

Florida Ice

Rain after weeks of extremely dry weather can cause something known as the ‘Florida Ice Effect’, which can make roads incredibly slippery for at least the first thirty minutes.   It happens in the first part of a rain shower when the oils, dust, sludge and grime all get wet

What to do if you drive into water

Don’t drive into flood water that’s moving or more than 4 inches deep. Bear in mind that water levels can change quickly.If you’re driving and get trapped in flood water: It’s usually best to stay in the car and call for help. Only get out if the water’s still and

Nearly half of learners aren’t aware of the dangers of potholes

Potholes: Why Learners Need More Guidance to Avoid Catastrophe A new survey reveals that nearly two thirds (60%) of learner drivers worry about the impact of driving through a pothole while 64% encounter them on test routes. However, nearly half (44%) wouldn’t consider actually stopping and checking their vehicle after

Big driving schools

Every driving instructor in Britain is individually tested, qualified, licenced, enhanced criminal record checked, regulated by and registered with a government body called the DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency), not by any driving school. The DVSA also conduct all practical driving tests for all licensed vehicle categories. Driving schools

Preparing for your Theory Test

Before starting to use a theory app you should read The Highway Code and Know Your Traffic Signs. The theory test is based on these, and even the best theory apps only have access to 700-800 questions that the DVSA publish, however the DVSAs theory bank has thousands of questions.

What lights are on the front and back of cars?

Front: All white apart from indicators which are amber. Exception – some cars have amber sidelights (like bigger vehicles have down the sides) The white lights are: Daylight Running Lights (not on older cars, EU law since 2007, although some older cars have them) so other drivers can see you

Headlights & Fog

If you rely on your car’s automatic headlights, please remember they only work on light levels. On a bright and foggy day they will not come on, so please switch yours on manually. If visibility is reduced to under 100 metres and you can’t easily see the tail lights on

The RAC don’t have a driving school

The RAC don’t offer driving lessons and never did directly. The RAC briefly owned BSM driving school for 10 years until RAC’s parent company, Aviva, sold BSM to a German company called Arques Industries AG in February 2009. The only legacy you might notice is the RAC and BSM logos

Pass Plus

Pass Plus was started as a well intentioned government scheme to encourage new drivers to take further training after they pass their tests to improve road safety. The carrot was some insurance companies offering a small discount. These days there are very few insurance companies offering the discount and you’ll

Why Speed Matters

10 most common reasons why car crashes happen

The 10 most common reasons why car crashes happen in the UK, according to the Department for Transport (DfT). 1: Failed to look properly (42%) 2: Failed to judge other person’s path or speed (21%) 3: Careless, reckless or in a hurry (16%) 4: Loss of control (14%) 5: Poor

Did you notice the motorbike?

Danger! Parked vehicles Turning left Bikes in traffic More bikes in traffic Bikes overtaking you

how to use smart motorways

Removing hard shoulders and replacing them with ’emergency refuge areas’ is becoming increasingly common on Britain’s motorway network, but an alarming 52% of motorists are unaware of the purpose of these areas. It is imperative people get to grips with these emergency refuge areas. or ‘SOS’ lay-bys as they are now

Driving Test Rescue

If you’ve failed your driving test once or more it can be disheartening. It can make you feel like giving up.  Driving Test Rescue lessons can help you pass next time with confidence. An examiner once told me that test nerves can reduce candidates performance by up to 20%. The

Roundabouts

Most learners and new drivers will tell you that roundabouts are one of the hardest things to master and we have so many roundabouts around here of all shapes and sizes. Like anything else, once you know what you’re doing and you get the hang of them, you’ll become comfortable

Become a More Confident Driver

When you get behind the wheel do you feel like the driver or passenger in the picture? Need to lose those driving nerves? I have helped many drivers from learners to full licence holders become more confident drivers. It might surprise you, but having already taken them on the motorway

The driving test: a history

1903 – First driving licence is introduced as a way of identifying vehicles and their drivers. The fee, paid over the counter at the Post Office, is five shillings – that’s equivalent to £25 today. 1931 – The first edition of the Highway Code is published by the Ministry of

1935 and 1968 Driving Tests

See the 1935 Driving Test here See the 1968 Driving Test here The Driving Test; a history

Motorway Driving Lessons

Do you feel confident driving on motorways, joining them from slip-roads and lane-changing? Are you happy driving at speeds of up to 70mph (where and when it’s appropriate), or does it scare you? Do you understand the signs, road markings, coloured studs and overhead lit-up gantry signs, especially on the

What is an intensive course?

An intensive driving course or “crash course” is a series of driving lessons taken over a short period of time, typically between 1-2 weeks of very full-on sessions up to 6 hours a day. So, instead of having a lesson or two every week and spreading it over several weeks

How to jump start a car – expert guidance from the RAC

 

passing cyclists

When passing cyclists try to give them at least 1.5 metres of clearance. They may wobble, especially uphill, on uneven or bumpy road surfaces, cattle grids or over speed humps, swerve to avoid potholes and drain covers, or a strong wind could push them into your path. They may even

How many driving lessons will i need?

According to the DVSA, most people have had about 47 hours of professional driving tuition plus 20 hours of private practice before they pass their practical driving test. This is a national average for 17-23yr olds. It will be easier and quicker in rural areas and harder in and around

Sorry mate, i didn’t see you there

Do we always see those around us? How much does our environment register? What draws our eyes to dangers or distractions? Bearing in mind that actually seeing what you are doing is essential when driving, are you aware of saccadic masking? If you remember the advert ‘Think once, think twice,

HOW ANTI-LOCK BRAKING SYSTEMS (ABS) HELP TO KEEP YOU SAFE

Dutch Reach

Using the Dutch Reach is straightforward – simply open your car door with the hand that is furthest from the door. e.g. as a driver uses your left hand, as a passenger use your right hand.. It will force you to turn your body more, so you’re much more likely

Refresher Driving Courses

Want to become a more confident driver? Or perhaps you’re just a little out of practice? My courses for full licence holders can set you on the road to being at ease and in control behind the wheel. Build your own course: I am happy to give bespoke training for

Parking Tickets, 10 mins Grace

As of the 6 April 2015 the law requires that a penalty charge notice (PCN) must not be issued to a vehicle which has stayed parked in a designated parking place on or off street (council run car parks) beyond the permitted parking period for a period of time not

Repeater Traffic Lights

Have you ever felt confused when you see a lot of traffic lights all close together? If so then you’re not alone as many drivers find it overwhelming. However once you understand that some of them are repeater lights for you and others are repeater lights for drivers coming from

Overtaking

On a dual carriageway when the vehicle you want to move in front of looks far away in your door mirror are you just judging their distance or judging their speed relative to yours too? Are they gaining on you? You need to be going as fast or faster than

When to take your test

An examiner told me that test nerves can knock a driving test candidate’s performance down by up to 20%. Logic dictates that if you go into your test when you’re at least 20% above test standard, then you’ll have a very high chance of passing it. Passing your test easily

Ten to two and crossing your hands steering

Many of my pupils tell me their parents warned them not to cross their hands or hold the wheel in any other way then at ten to two (imagine a clock face), or take one hand off the wheel (other than to change gear) on driving lessons or on their

How to recognise a genuine driving instructor

To legally charge for driving lessons a driving instructor must have either a pink badge (trainee) or a green badge (fully qualified) displayed in their car window. Always check the expiry date. Either of these badges tell you that the instructor has regular Extended Criminal Record Checks and has passed

the true tolerance of speed cameras

The actual leniency of speed cameras has been revealed in new research – and you might be surprised at the results. According to information from police forces around the country, the vast majority of fixed cameras in the UK will only be activated by motorists going 10% above the speed

Dealing With Emergency Vehicles

You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or traffic officer and incident support vehicles using flashing amber lights. When one approaches do not panic. Ask yourself if they need your

Selective GEAR CHANGING

Many years ago driving instructors taught their pupils to always change up and down through the gears sequentially because the old cars struggled with anything else and brakes weren’t very good, so we had to use our gears to help the car to slow down. Modern cars are much improved

RURAL ROADS ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS IN BRITAIN

With more than half of fatal crashes occurring on country roads in Britain, car drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists are all at an increased risk of a fatal road accident.   Statistics found on www.gov.uk show that country roads in the UK are responsible for 50% of fatal crashes (in 2014). Although motorways

How automatically dimming car mirrors work

Clever light-sensing technology allows mirrors in some modern cars to dim at night to avoid bright headlights behind from dazzling you. There is a sensor at the back of the interior mirror, it can sense darkness outside when it’s close to night time (or a dark tunnel etc). There is

Drink-driving – what you need to know

Let’s start with the obvious: If you’re driving, don’t drink. If you’re drinking, don’t drive. But some are still muddled about the specifics on how much they can drink and still be able to hop in the car. In the interest of clearing up the confusion, here’s what you need to know.

They both look official, but which one is correct?

Since the 1st April 2014 the government agency that licences driving instructors has been called the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). No big deal to anyone outside my industry, but personally I like to keep up to date with my profession, whether that means only using current logos, keeping

Apply online for your first provisional driving licence

  Get your first provisional driving licence from DVLA online. Don’t use any other websites as they are agencies who will charge you more! To apply you must: be at least 15 years and 9 months old (although you can’t use it to drive a car until you’re 17). be

The Beginner’s Guide to Taking the Theory Test

Before you can take to the roads for your practical driving test, you’ll need to conquer the theory test – but what the big day actually involve? This second guide in a three-part series about learning to drive reveals what you should expect. The theory test can seem mysterious, even scary – it’s

Know Your Traffic Signs – free online!

Traffic signs play a vital role in directing, informing and controlling road users’ behaviour in an effort to make the roads as safe as possible for everyone. This makes a knowledge of traffic signs essential. Not just for new drivers or riders needing to pass their theory test, but for

The Highway Code – free online!

Many learners fail their theory tests because they don’t know or understand the Highway Code rules the questions are based on. The Highway Code is essential reading for all road users. A free online version of the Highway Code can be found here              

Top 8 Most Failed Theory Test Questions

Test your own Highway Code knowledge by checking if you know the answers to the top questions our users fail to get right when practising. The correct answers are listed at the bottom of this blog post. Good luck! 1. Safety Margins“Overall stopping distance is made up of thinking distance

Free Theory Test App

Practice multiple choice and hazard perception tests Theory Test Pro has everything you need to pass first time. You can practice multiple choice questions by topic, hazard perception tests with feedback, or alternatively revise the highway code. When you’re ready, you can put all of this together and see how

Driving Test Report Explained

Most people have never seen the items on a Driving Test Report until the end of their test. If they pass they probably won’t look at the details. If they fail  it’s too late for the explanatory notes to help them. Why not familiarise yourself with these notes before your

DVSA top 10 reasons for failing a practical driving test

This guide explains the top 10 reasons people fail the car driving test in Great Britain. You need to be a good driver to pass the driving test. This guide gives examples of the types of mistakes people make during their test. Read a quick guide about how the driving

Examiner’s Marking

On Wednesday I went on an all-day visit to The DVSA Driving Academy at Cardington to learn about how Driving Test Examiners are recruited and most importantly how they’re taught to asses faults. This visit (in addition to sitting in on over 250 of my pupils’ tests) has further improved

Slow Drivers

The number of casualties as a result of crashes caused by slow drivers increased by nearly a third in 2017. Data from the Department for Transport demonstrated that 175 people were injured and two people killed in the UK during 2017 as a result of road incidents caused by slow

You can now get a free MOT reminder

Sign up to get free reminders by text message or email when your MOT is due. When you sign up you’ll get a reminder one month before your car, van or motorcycle MOT is due. You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

Learners to be Allowed on Motorways from June 4th 2018

The Driving & Vehicles Standards Agency announced that learners will be able to head out on to UK motorways  from June 4th 2018 onwards, but only if they are with a fully qualified approved driving instructor (ADI) in a car fitted with dual controls. The DVSA says that motorway driving

Driving Eyesight Rules

You must wear glasses or contact lenses every time you drive if you need them to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’. You must tell DVLA if you’ve got any problem with your eyesight that affects both of your eyes, or the remaining eye if you only have one eye. This

Do you know in which order of priority these cars go?

Knowing and applying The Highway Code to your driving can significantly reduce the deaths and injuries that occur on our roads every day, which is a responsibility that all road users share. You will also need to know and understand these rules to pass your theory test. Many of the

What happens during a Practical Driving Test

There are 5 parts to the driving test: an eyesight check ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions general driving ability reversing your vehicle independent driving How long the test lasts You’ll drive for around 40 minutes. (You’ll drive for around 70 minutes if you’re taking an extended driving test

Practising with family or friends

The information in the image is from a research survey by Vauxhall Motors. When I see my pupils’ driving has progressed to a fair standard then I do recommend extra practice in a suitable family car if available, but starting from scratch in a car with no dual controls on

Automatic or manual?

If you pass your test in an automatic car you get a full licence to drive auto only. If you pass your test in a manual car you get full entitlement to drive either manual or automatic. Many people feel that with the growth of electric and hybrid cars that