Under current social distancing laws and essential journeys only in effect with fines of up to £660 for being out in quarantine without good reason. Even my wife as a key worker now has to have a letter from her employer stating her reasons,

Driving lessons are on hold until we are told by the government that we may resume.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time.


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Oops was that a junction?

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I’ll let you decide the car was travelling slowly in the left hand lane prior to the video, the bike turning right in the right hand lane, arm out left to indicate leaving the roundabout. Who’s at fault, car bike or both. Answers on a postcard

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Mobile phones.

Following a loophole in the law that allows the use of mobile phones by a driver not using data or a cellular network (no calls, texts or social media) the government is set to make law on the “touching of mobile devices illegal”. After a case of “videoing a crime scene” was declared not  illegal the government has started proceedings of make touching mobile phones against the law. Hd cameras are being installed throughout he country to battle the crime.

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Red lights mean stop!

Not 1, 2 or 3 after the red. The van still charges in while we’re in the middle of the junction trying to turn right. Traffic had begun to move in the adjacent direction but…

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Genius o’clock

He couldn’t possibly have looked. Telemetry on the camera showed -2g in braking to deal with thisDarwin Award candidate 30 to 20 in the blink of an eye. Best watched on the big screen.

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Presenting your own car for test

If you’re one of the few people that decide to take your driving test in your own car there’s a few things you might want to look into 1st.

Make sure any and all recalls are up to date. If your car has an outstanding recall your examiner may not take you out.

Make sure you car is fit for purpose.

No 2 seaters, mechanically sound and all tyres to meet the legal minimum tread requirements.

Insurance, are you actually insured for test? Unlikely as this is specialist insurance nog usually covered by social and domestic pleasure policies.

Tax and Mot must be up to date

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insane parking skills shown in St Helens!! Why didn’t I think of that? Oh yeah because I actually care about what I do.

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How long does it take to pass my test?

In 2013, then named DVLA conducted a survey into safe driving v’s hours behind the wheel. They found that candidates with 20 or less hrs tended to crash in the first few weeks, 30 within months, 40 within the first 6 months. Their £8m survey came to the conclusion that with 62 hrs plus plenty of private practice resulted in very few crashes indeed.

In short then, more experienced novice drivers cost less in the long run through insurance payouts, time of work and as most newly passed drivers insure themselves “third party,fire and theft” they’d have to pay their own car repairs.

Fast forwards a few years and the figures get further apart, most blame this on the “the school child can’t fail so the teacher does it for them” culture that seemed to be happening. So when a candidate is put into a situation where they have to do the work and can’t be carried? A skills deficit isn’t the best way forwards.

DVSA, the insurance companies and various bodies from the driving Industry got together and formed the new driving test with heavy bias on parking manoeuvres and DISTRACTION. These distraction techniques were designed for real world driving where a child, a friend would turn on the stereo, start a conversation, play games on their phones, use of their own sat nav etc. This way the newly qualified driver would be prepared. This of course means more time behind the wheel. Adding two more real world manoeuvres was next on the agenda one of which would be used without warning during the sat nav part of the test all the while asking the candidates to use various controls on the car suck as de misting windows or cleaning the screen. There’s another blog on her containing all the show and tell.

So what’s the end result? Most candidates pass as a safe driver between 40-60 hrs depending on age. 17 year olds learn much quicker than those in their 40’s. In short, it’s not the quickest thing in the world but I can’t put a price on the safety of my children when they come to drive, to me they are priceless and my world.

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What questions should I ask a driving instructor?

The most obvious question is cost right?

Er no.

What should I ask then?

Well first of all I’d want to know what grade the instructor i’m talking to is. What’s that? Well every 2-4 years depending on how their last assessment went went all driving instructors have a standards check to make sure they’re up to speed. They are then graded with either an A or B of if their last grading was a few years ago with a number between 4-6 anything lower than a 4 would have been a fail.

Let’s look at those grades.

4 a competent instructor with some errors in either knowledge base or content not suitable to the learners individual needs.

5 a more productive lesson was taught with less errors

6 a high quality lesson was delivered with few errors and catering to the individual needs of the pupil


B a competent instructor similar to 4/5 in the old system

A high quality same as 6

Ok what else should I ask?

How long have you been an instructor?

If an individual instructor has been teaching a long time and kept up to date with changes within DVSA policies and within the industry they should be pretty good.

Then I’d ask about availability and finally cost.

My last 3 gradings were 6 6 and A incase you’re wondering, I’ve been teaching since 2003 and i’m one of the least expensive instructors out there.

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