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When learning to drive you’re likely to learn all your driving skills with an instructor, and then perfect these if you take up private practice outside of your lessons. This is a great way to work on your driving skills, as well as building confidence to get you through your test. But what about after you’ve passed your test? Many young drivers want to jump in their car as a full licence holder and take to the road – but the places they want to go, they haven’t practised!

So we thought we’d pull together 8 places you can go as a learner driver during private practice, which should help give you confidence after you’ve passed!

1. Drive Thru

As any self-respecting new driver does, one of the first things I did when I got my car was head to my local McDonald’s Drive-Thru! Exciting about being behind the wheel (and obviously for the nuggets that were coming my way), I didn’t realise how tricky they are to actually navigate your way through! Tight corners, slow-moving cars, getting close enough to the window to actually pay and pick up your food – it’s a difficult thing to master. Making these trips as a learner during private practice means you’ll be a pro by the time you get your full licence.

2. Multi-storey

Whether you like them or loathe them – you’ll more than likely end up using a multi-storey car park at some point as a new driver. You’re probably used to hill starts and driving down slopes, but it’s a completely different ball game when you’re in a confined space surrounded by other cars! Even if you don’t need to go shopping, it’s worth heading to a multi-storey car park to practice your driving and parking. A little tip: when driving in a multi-storey, stick in first gear and avoid using the clutch. This will give you complete control over your speed when driving up and down the ramps.

3. Fill up with fuel

One of the things we rarely think about (let alone practice) is filling up a car with fuel – and if you’ve never done it before, it can be pretty tricky. Knowing which side your petrol cap is, parking the correct distance from the pump, and using those complicated ‘Pay at the Pump’ options can be a minefield if you’re not used to it! It’s worth heading out when it’s quiet and practising filling up fuel with your accompanying driver. That way, when it comes to filling up on your own, you’ll be fine!

It’s worth remembering that each car is different, so figure out how to open the fuel cap of the car you’re driving before heading off. Top tip: the image of the fuel pump on the dashboard often has an arrow next to it – this shows you what side of the car you fill up from!

4. Nighttime

Out of 500 learner drivers that we surveyed, 58%* of them said they wished nighttime driving to be incorporated into driving lessons – and it makes sense. Driving at night is much more challenging than you may first realise. There’s limited visibility overall, and pairing this with bright street lights and other car lights which can be quite dazzling, especially if you haven’t done it before.

5. Seaside

If you pass during the summer, one of the first trips you may want to take is heading to the seaside with your friends – right? Seaside drives can actually be pretty difficult! If it’s a nice day, you can almost guarantee everyone else plans on hitting the beach too, which means a lot of traffic! If you’re dealing with this as a new driver, as well as heading to a likely overcrowded car park – it’s going to be pretty stressful!

Think about heading to the seaside on a practice run before passing your test. You can figure out the route, and maybe even find a hidden gem car park that won’t be as busy when the sun comes out!

6. City Centre

You may have practised driving around your local city centre on your driving lessons, but going further afield and driving to different town or city can be daunting, especially if it’s new territory. You’ll have to deal with different road layouts, roundabouts and probably the same parking situation as if you were going to the beach. Maybe take some time during your private practice to visit a nearby town or city you’re unfamiliar with – this will help build your confidence for when you tackle it alone.

7. Event

Whether you’re a sports fan or music lover, you may be super-eager to head to a concert or festival with your new found freedom! The biggest challenges when driving to and from an event are getting in, parking and getting out. It may sound simple, but when thousands of people want to do it at the same time, it can definitely raise your stress levels – especially if you’re driving back from a gig late at night and you’re tired! If you’ve got an event coming up as a learner, consider offering to drive to or from the venue. You’ll get a taste for what it’s like, without being thrown completely in the deep end.

8. Village driving

Narrow and winding roads, paired with other cars and pedestrians can make driving through a small village pretty challenging. You will often find yourself faced with blind corners and tight bends which can make any new driver nervous. So to build up your confidence put on your L plates and get practising – dealing with as many different driving scenarios as a learner, when you have an experienced driver with you, will help to build up your skill and confidence for when you hit the roads on your own!

And there you have it – 8 different places we think you should try to drive to whilst you’ve still got the L plates on. Make the most of your time as a learner, and try to gain as much experience as you can! If you can think of any other drives learners should take, let us know!

Marmalade Driving Hub: www.wearemarmalade.co.uk/driver-hub

Dashcams_P1210466

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Fears about “crash for cash” fraudsters have helped to prompt a surge in the proportion of motorists owning a dashcam, a survey of AA members suggests.

A fifth (20%) of drivers own a dashcam – and 51% expressed an interest in having one, a poll of over 21,000 members, found. Five years ago, just 1% of members had a dashcam, the AA said.

The main reason for having a dashcam, given by 60% of those who own one, was to help establish liability in the event of a crash. A quarter (25%) of dashcam owners said their greatest concern is to protect themselves against cash for crash fraudsters, who stage accidents in order to make insurance claims.

Young drivers aged 17 to 24 are most likely to have a dashcam, with over-65s being the next most likely age group, the research found.

Men were more likely than women to say they have a dashcam.

One in 20 (5%) of dashcam owners got one to reduce their insurance premiums, 3% wanted to record possible thefts or collisions while parked, 2% bought one to record bad behaviour by other drivers which they could highlight online, and 1% have a dashcam “because I like gadgets”.

The AA said that as well as helping insurers, dashcams can also be a useful tool for the police. Janet Connor, the AA’s director of insurance said: “Data is king in the event of a collision and dashcam footage provides proper, reliable evidence that can establish fault.”

She said: “While we are all familiar with dashcam footage loaded on to social media, only 2% of AA members said that this was their motivation. Overwhelmingly, drivers say their key reason for using one is to provide evidence in the event of a collision, thus protecting their insurance.

Several insurance fraudsters have been brought to book thanks to camera evidence.

 

 

 

 

New drivers could face restrictions on the number of passengers they can carry, plus a mandatory six-month training period

New drivers could soon face new laws after the Department for Transport said it is to investigate introducing graduated driving licences

The proposals would limit the number of passengers new, young drivers could carry, set a minimum learning period of six months before a driving test could be taken and mandate the displaying of ‘P’ plates for the first two years after the passing of driving tests.

The news comes as a letter written by roads safety minister, Jesse Norman, says a proposed graduated driving licence system in Northern Ireland will be used as a “pilot” scheme to gauge whether graduated driving licences should be introduced across the UK.

In the letter, sent to Scottish SMP David Stewart, Norman writes: “The Department for Transport has decided to use the introduction of  graduated driving licences in Northern Ireland as a pilot to gather evidence on the potential for graduated driving licences in GB”.

Northern Irish authorities are currently in the second stage of a public consultation, which proposes limiting the number of passengers new drivers aged 24 and under can carry for the first six months after passing their driving tests.

Under the plans, young drivers would only be allowed to carry one passenger aged between 14 to 20, between the hours of 11pm and 6am, for the first six months after passing their test – though immediate family members would be exempt from this rule.

The graduated driving licence would also mandate a minimum learning period of six months before a driving test can be taken, while new drivers would also have to display ‘R’ plates (short for ‘restricted’) for two years after passing the test – though any UK graduated driving licence scheme outside of Northern Ireland would most likely use the more familiar ‘P’ plates.

Novice drivers in Northern Ireland already face post-test restrictions, which mandate the carrying of ‘R’ plates for the first year of driving, and set a maximum speed limit of 45mph – though the proposed graduated driving licence system would see an end to that limit.

 

the driving skool.com Chislehurst Kent

www.thedrivingskool.com Call 0333 123 0245

 

 

Learner drivers can take motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor from 4 June 2018.

From Monday 4 June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales.

This will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.

At the moment, you can only have motorway lessons after you’ve passed your driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons through the voluntary Pass Plus scheme.

How the change will work

Learner drivers will need to be:

Accompanied by an approved driving instructor

Driving a car fitted with dual controls

Any motorways lessons will be voluntary.  It will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them

The change only applies to learner drivers of cars. Learner motorcyclists won’t be allowed on motorways.

Trainee driving instructors won’t be allowed to take learner drivers on the motorway.

Motorway driving isn’t being introduced to the driving test as part of this change.

Until the law changes, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.