Saturday, 30 January 2010

Will longer Driving Lessons Improve my Chances of Passing the Driving Test

Do longer driving lessons improve your chances of passing 1st time, yes they do around 25%
of people who fail their test fail in the last 10 minutes of the test, the main reason for this is lack of concentration. As most driving schools offer 1hr or 2hr lessons and most pupils will do 1hr lesson rather than a 2hr lesson, mainly because of cost, this means they never actually drive to test standard for the length of time the practical test takes, which is approx 40 minutes long.

With a 1hr lesson once you have done all of the maneuvers including the emergency stop your drive time
will be 30 minutes or less which means you never have to concentrate for longer than this period of time.
We have found the best length lesson to be 1.5hrs, a 1hr lesson is to short a 2hr lesson can be to long
for many people, with a 1.5hr lesson  this does mean  pupils will drive for periods of 45 minutes plus, so they do learn to concentrate for longer periods of time, which does increase their chances of passing 1st time.

This is one of the reasons our 1st Time pass rate is so high, the national average is only 33% but we consistently achieve a 1st Time pass rate of 50-60%, we do also suggest to pupils if they are doing private practice to drive for longer than 1hr session this does help as well.

The aim is to get pupils to drive to test standard for longer periods of time and to consistently follow the safe systems of driving they have been taught, if they can achieve this then this will greatly improve their chances of passing 1st Time.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

All Approved Driving Instructors are Not Equal

All driving Instructors who take payment for driving lessons must legally be registered with the DSA, they have to pay a license fee to be registered.

A fully qualified Instructor normally referred to as an ADI is issued with a green badge, this means they are fully qualified and have completed and passed all of their training, a trainee Instructor is issued with a pink badge
normally referred to as a PDI, this means they are training to become a driving Instructor but are not yet

The current pass rate for trainee Instructors is only 25%- 30%  so most of these trainees will fail, the trainee
license is normally only issued for 6 months while they are training, both badge types must be displayed in the
training car when teaching pupils, this is a legal requirement.

Both types of badges are shown below, a Green Badge means the Instructor is fully qualified the Pink Badge means they are trainees and are not yet qualified.



Be aware many driving schools use trainee Instructors, they are legally allowed to do so, just as long as they are licensed by the DSA, the driving school is not obliged to tell you this and may still charge you the same price for your driving lessons, in fact only one of the National driving schools only use fully qualified Instructors. They do promote this on their website and in their advertising many people over look this,

Do not just ask price, ask if you will be getting a fully qualified Instructor you can verify this when the Instructor arrives for your lesson, ask to see their badge it should be on display. You normally do not get a discount on the driving lesson price if you are being trained by a trainee, so why pay the full amount for a trainee Instructor who more likely or not will fail their training.

If a driving school advertises for driving Instructor training they will more than likely use trainees, two of the major players do, in fact one of them does advertise extensively on the TV for driving Instructor training,
they do use trainees and are linked with driver training colleges, Think before you book.

You have Been Warned, don't just ask price ensure you get a fully qualified Instructor unless you can get a reduced rate.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

How to Prepare for Learning to Drive

The first thing you will need is a Provisional  Driving License without this you will not be insured to drive a car,
you will need to be 17yrs old, but you can apply prior to your 17th birthday, but do allow 2-3 weeks for the application to be processed.

You can get your application form from your local post office, you will need several passport sized photos for your ID card, then send the completed form, photos and driving license fee to the DVLA, the address to send it to will be on the form also the the fee for your Provisional License.

Next thing to do is to sort out a good driving school and start studying for your theory test, you can be studying at the same time as you are taking driving lessons, you can either get books on the theory test
questions and the hazard perception test or cd's for your PC what ever you find the easiest.

You must have passed your theory test before you can book a practical test, once you have passed the
theory test you will get a pass certificate number, which you must quote when booking your driving

Both the theory test and practical test can be booked online on the DSA website this is the website address

Please be aware of scam websites they are around they charge you a fee for booking the tests for you,
they all look very official, so make sure you do go to the official site, currently the theory test fee is approx
£30 and the practical £60.

I have had pupils charged £48 for the theory and £75 for the practical, they did book on a scam website
the additional cost was their booking fee, you have been warned.

You will need to budget for this training it will not be cheap,  for a complete novice with no previous experience aged between 17yrs-20yrs you  will need 40hrs of training plus 20hrs of private practice,
these are the figures currently quoted by the DSA, which you can verify on their website.

We have found that people with around 50hrs of on road experience can and do pass 1st time,you
could split this between driving lessons and private practice equal split 50-50 is best, this will save you
money and is the cheapest option so would cost around £400-£500 but if you do not get private
practice the cost will be £800-£1,000.

These figures are based upon a complete novice with no previous experience.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The 10 Hour Myth The 10 hour myth, the number of pupils that have said my dad only had 10hrs of driving lessons to pass his test, that was then this is now.
The driving test is far harder than when parents took their test, the introduction of the theory test including hazard perception, the practical test is harder because the test time is longer approx 40 minutes, greater number of test routes each test center has approx 22 test routes, examiners are also far more stringent and the  inclusion of show and tell.

No longer can Instructors just drive around the 5 tests routes with the pupil several times before their test, so they get no surprises on the day. You do have to be able to deal with any hazards and drive to a very high standard, using safe systems of driving, be aware of all of the rules and apply them to your driving at all times.
This takes time, the average learner aged 17-20yrs old will take at least 50hrs of on road experience to reach current test standards that,s fact not fiction.

This is based on a complete novice with no previous driving experience, the more previous experience the less hours you will need, but I would have at least 50% of your training with a fully qualified Instructor, but you must apply all you have been taught in your private practice, you must be consistent, that takes time.

How To Keep The Costs Down when Learning to Drive
To keep your costs to a minimum, I would split your training between private practice and driving
lessons, half with a driving school and half private practice.
A complete novice aged between 17-20yrs old with no previous experience, will need 40hrs of training plus 20hrs of private practice to reach current test standards, these are the latest figures published by the DSA.

 Check out this link to verify this  /DG_4022483.

We have found that you can get away with around 50hrs of on road experience, split equally between driving lessons and private practice with our Instructors, so it would cost you £500 with the rates we charge which is £20/hr to get to test standard. We do achieve a very high 1st time pass rate using this technique,
this is based on the fact that the pupil is having a minimum lesson time of 1.5hrs, this does increase your chances of passing 1st time, pupils taking 1hr lessons  are a lot less likely to achieve this.
So if you budget for 1.5hr lesson a week the cost would be £30/week, if you do 1.5hrs a week private practice it will take just over 4 months to get to test standard the over all cost would be £500.

If you don,t have access to a car then if you target 50hrs of training, with a minimum of 1.5hr driving lessons
the cost will be £1,000 to reach test standard and take just over 8 months, so if you can do private practice you can halve the the cost and halve the amount of time taken to get to test standard.

You can reduce the time taking dramatically by increasing the number of lessons you have each week and
increasing your private practice, with just 2 lessons a week and 2 private practice sessions a week at 1.5hr durations you could reach test standard in just 9 weeks.This will of course increase your spend to £60/week
but halve the timescale  taken to reach test standard, but will still only cost £500.

If you go to test with less hours than this you will more than likely fail, this is one of the reasons why the pass rate is so low, so target 50hrs minimum of on road experience and do 1.5hr training sessions duration and this will increase your chances of passing 1st time dramatically, we achieve 50% plus 1st time pass rate using this technique and a 70% overall pass rate. The national average pass rate is 43% and the 1st time pass rate is
33% so if you do not want to keep going back to the test center for retests please take this on board.
Around 90% of our pupils pass 1st or 2nd time around 10% can take more, but it is nerves or lack of concentration that causes these pupils to fail not their ability to drive.
So If you don,t want to achieve double figures before passing your test and quite a lot do, then follow this plan who ever you learn to drive with.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Top 10 Reasons for People Failing Their Driving Test The top 10 reasons that people fail their driving test are

1. Acting Improperly at Road Junctions:- approach speed to fast, not stopping behind the give way
                    line, lack of observations at a junction.

                2. Left Reverse Around  a Corner:- hitting the curb, reversing wide, lack of observations.

                3. Incorrect Steering:- crossing hands, driving with only one hand on the wheel, letting steering 
                    wheel spin back after turning a corner.

                4. Reverse Park:-hitting the curb, to far from the curb, lack of observations.

                5. Improper Use of Gears:- incorrect gear for the speed you are traveling at.

                6. Effective Use of Mirrors:- not checking before change of speed, not checking before a change
                    direction, and frequently.

                7. Driving to Slowly:- not making progress, drive to the speed limit if it is safe to do so.

                8. Right Turns:- cutting the corner, observations.

                9. Undue Hesitation:- stopping at junctions when not necessary,waiting to long at junctions before

                10. Moving Off Incorrectly:- not checking your mirrors, not checking your blind spot.

Monday, 4 January 2010

How to Deal with Driving Test Nerves

If you do suffer from nerves on the test day, I would suggest you take some thing for it such as rescue remedy, calm, confidence these are all herbal remedies and do help take the edge off for many pupils.
If you have tried these before and they did not work for you, I have had people go to their doctor and get prescription drugs, in some cases I have had pupils have hypnotherapy and this has helped them pass their test.
You can now download hypnotherapy tape for driving test nerves which is a cheaper option here is a link
which you could go to this has worked for a few of my pupils.