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Driving Newsletter - Tips and Advice on Passing your Driving Test

Archive for July, 2011

31 Jul 2011

Don’t be daunted by European driving, says AA

Some of the best driving roads in the world can be found in Europe. You only need to think of the Italian Job, Michael Caine and those infamous twisting, narrow, mountainous roads to get an idea of the challenges – and breath-taking scenery – that European roads can offer.

Yet in a recent survey by the AA, it seems that the majority of UK motorists are unwilling to hit the open road in foreign countries. read more »

30 Jul 2011

Pass Plus Xtra woos Cheshire learner drivers

A new initiative known as the ‘Pass Plus Xtra’ course is being run by Cheshire West and Chester Council and aims at making newly qualified drivers more aware of their cars.

Of course, it’s difficult not to be aware of your car when you’re sat in it, but this course focuses more on discussing the impact of dangerous driving, the consequences of not paying full attention to the road, and the risks that adverse weather can cause. read more »

29 Jul 2011

How-to: Home-school driving lessons

With the rise in fuel prices and an answering increase in lesson prices, it’s no wonder that many learners are choosing to take their practical lessons in the family car.

It can be an excellent idea, too, as you can fit in much more practice ‘at home’ than you would on a weekly hour-long lesson, by nipping to the shops, driving to work or school, driving to the cinema… The hours can really start to add up. read more »

28 Jul 2011

Third-party theory test bookings: What to do for best!

Following a steady increase in the number of complaints from learners who are using third-party websites to book their theory tests, the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) has announced an investigation into the commercial trading techniques used by many of the sites.

Direct Gov is the only official, free way to book either your theory or your practical driving test, but there are many alternative, unofficial sites, none of which are linked to the Direct Gov site and most of which charge astronomical administration fees in addition to the cost of the test itself. read more »

27 Jul 2011

Practical pass rates tumble for Gloucestershire learners

Recent figures from the Quedgeley test centre show that out of last year’s 3,407 first-time test takers only 53% passed, whilst down the road Cheltenham’s All Saints Road centre recorded 1,513 fails  – about 54%.

This news isn’t surprising when only half of all practical driving test centres in England and Wales had more than a 50% first-time pass rate. As usual, learners are blaming the test itself – but unusually, it seems that this time they could be right. read more »

26 Jul 2011

UK’s oldest driver takes first ever practical test aged 91

Some light-hearted news today: last year’s oldest test-taker was a formidable 91-year old man from Sussex.

For all those young learners who complain that driving is hard, think how difficult it must be for him! Due to the Data Protection Act, no-one knows who this mysterious gentleman is – or even if he was successful or not – but points must be awarded for even attempting to take his test. read more »

25 Jul 2011

Lower pass rates equal higher costs for learners

Depressing, but true. It’s always been the case that, having failed your practical test first time, you’d then have to expend more money on extra lessons before taking your test again.
However, never before has the cost of failing been so dramatic.

To complete the suggested 40 hours of tuition that the DSA recommends will cost the average learner around £1000. Of course, many learners choose to have fewer lessons – but does that always pay off? read more »

21 Jul 2011

Eco-Driving School Boosts Fuel Savings

An enterprising man from Bacup has opened the doors of East Lancashire’s first ‘eco-driving school’ this summer. The aim of the school is to reduce the cost of fuel for local businesses by educating their staff to be ‘eco-drivers’, a concept that has recently taken the UK by storm.

Paul Halton, a qualified driving instructor, fleet driving trainer and assessor, saw the need for a way to lessen the impact on local companies of rising fuel prices. The initiative, offered initially to van drivers, fleet managers and company carpool drivers, could help businesses save thousands of pounds every year. read more »

20 Jul 2011

Wales of horror as Flintshire test centre closes

The recent closure of the Flintshire test centre at Mold in North Wales has sparked outrage in local learner drivers and young people.

The centre, which served hundreds of learner drivers in the community, closed last March with little warning, leaving many would-be drivers in the lurch. Pre-booked tests at the centre were cancelled with little or no warning, and although new bookings were offered at the Chester test centre, this imposed massive costs on learners. read more »

19 Jul 2011

Watch out, there’s an Irish learner driver about!

Motorists in Ireland are being warned to watch out for learner drivers this summer, many of whom will take advantage of the good weather (and school holidays) to get some driving practice in.

Despite the Road Safety Authority (RSA) issuing warnings for Ireland, the UK has yet to receive a similar caution from the DSA. Whether this is due to a misguided belief in British common sense, or simply a mix-up in paperwork, has yet to be determined. read more »