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In a recent survey it has been revealed that 52% of children prefer to be driven by Dad rather than Mum, despite Dad’s taking more risks.

The study by Ingenie, a young driver insurance brand, shows the incredible amount of parents’ driving behaviour that their kids are absorbing from a very young age. The kind of in-car bad habits that the study focused on revealed that a quarter of dads regularly portrayed unsafe driving.

26% of dads showed a habit of accelerating too quickly and 22% speeding when driving, compared with a considerably lower percentage of mums (11% and 22% respectively). Despite this over half (52%) of children preferred being driven by Dad than Mum (39%).

The research consisted of children aged between 10 and 16 years old, as they declared that they frequently witnessed their parents committing similar transgressions with dad proving to be the biggest culprit. Almost half (43%) of dads get angry behind the wheel, which proved to be a huge difference to a fifth (18%) of the mums that adopted the same trait.

Children also revealed that 57% of Dads shout at others whilst driving compared to 44% of Mums, and Dad is 13% more likely to swear in the car than Mum.

With this in mind, it’s surprising to see that over a third (34%) of children would rather have their dad teach them to drive than their mum (25%). These findings could reflect on the children not seeing these bad driving habits is a serious matter and misunderstand that they are actions that are not accepted.

Richard King, Ingenie CEO, said: “The results that we are teaching children bad driving habits long before they start lessons and subsequently pass their test. Parents need to understand the importance of setting a good example behind the wheel and be aware of the amount of information that children absorb. How we drive as parents ultimately influences how safely our children will drive in the future.”

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A mobile phone app could stop young drivers from checking their smartphones while at the wheel.

Romex has developed an app which uses the phone’s GPS system to determine whether a car is travelling at 4mph or more.

If it believes the car is in use, the device is locked – disabling calls, texts, emails and social media.

Romex already provides the service to companies that want to track their fleet, but is now eyeing the consumer market, according to Auto Express.

It will be specifically targeted at younger drivers and could launch later this month.

Sales director Steve Arscott told the website: “It’s called Distraction Prevention. We’re approaching younger drivers because they’re the ones most likely to be glued to their phones.”

The paid-for service will work in conjunction with an app called Guardian, which sends location information on young drivers to their parents.

Guardian also shows whether a driver has been speeding. Mr Arscott said: “We’re looking for insurance partners at the moment.

“One good incentive for a young driver to have it on their phone is they would get a rebate on their insurance policy.”

mocile

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Grant Ferguson has become one of the first people to pass a new-style UK driving test, that includes following directions on a sat-nav.

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The revised test has been on trial in 20 locations across the UK since April.

Mr Ferguson, who’s 17, took his test at the Bishopbriggs driving centre in East Dunbartonshire, Scotland.

Among other more standard manoeuvres, he had to follow a route on a sat-nav for 20 minutes.

The changes are designed to “better reflect real driving”, explained a spokesman for the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).

“Any future changes to the test would be subject to full public consultation,” he added.

Other changes being tested include:

  • replacing reversing round a corner with reversing out of a parking space
  • pulling up on the right before rejoining the flow of traffic
  • requiring candidates to show how they would operate the rear-heated screen or other vehicle safety features while driving

The DVSA hopes to complete 1,000 of the new tests, which will continue until early 2016.

So far, around 20 people have taken the new test.

Driving instructor Drew Nicol, who taught Mr Ferguson, thinks the update is a good idea.

“Lots of people have criticised the idea of using sat-navs but people are going to use them when they drive so it makes sense that we teach them to use them properly,” he told the BBC.

“I teach learners to listen to it rather than look at it or glance at it only when it is safe to do so.”

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Apple has patented a system that would lock drivers out of their smartphones while on the move, in a bid to cut down on accidents caused by texting and other distracting features

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Apple has patented a system that would provide a “lock-out mechanism” to stop drivers texting or using other distracting functions of their smartphones while on the move.

The patent describes how a device could determine if it was moving by looking at data from GPS, phone towers or even images from the camera. Visual clues would enable the device to calculate if its owner was driving the car or merely a passenger, imposing limits in the former case but not the latter.

Algorithms would look for a steering wheel in close proximity to the camera, or search for the number of faces – only one visible person would indicate that the user must be the one driving. It could also differentiate between the interior of a car and a train carriage or seat on a bus, where safety features would be unnecessary.

The application even suggests that the accelorometer could be used to detect when an unscrupulous driver was tilting the phone so as to not reveal the steering wheel and evade the safety feature. Sensing the speed of travel would also prevent the limits from kicking-in if the user was just walking.

Apple says in the patent application, filed in 2008 but only published and granted this week, that texting while driving has become a “major concern” of the police, and cites a 2006 study which found that 80pc of crashes were caused by distractions such as applying makeup, eating and text messaging.

The patent also claims that it is “doubtful” that police can stop people texting while driving because it can be done on the lap and is harder to spot.

Other studies have shown that sending text messages while driving was as dangerous as being a quarter over the legal drink-drive limit. The road safety charity Brake says that texting increases the chance of a commercial driver crashing by 23 times, and slows reaction times by 35 per cent.

The first part of Apple’s suggestion would use the phone’s own hardware to determine if it was travelling above a certain speed, and then lock the owner out of certain functions such as text messaging. It further develops the idea by suggesting that the car itself, or perhaps just the key, could be modified to send a signal to the phone to shut down certain features.

The application says that such a feature could be “a significant selling point in the eyes of concerned parents, and it could lead to legislation that would require all handheld computing devices to disable texting while driving.”

There are several Android apps which aim to perform a similar function, but Apple’s tight controls on what apps can and cannot access on the iPhone’s hardware have largely prevented similar software from launching on the iOS platform.

How many driving lessons on average do you need to take before you can pass? What’s the average number of lessons people take before they take their driving test?

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Chances are, these are questions you’ve been asking yourself and others.

We’re here to tell you the answer is ‘does not matter’.

That’s right. It does not matter what the average number of lessons is, because you are not an average person. You are unique with unique skills and unique needs.

You probably have noticed when asking around for the number of average lessons you’ll get all sorts of ridiculous numbers. We’ve even heard people claiming they only needed 10 lessons to pass their driving test!

Let’s pretend for a second that they’re telling the truth (they’re not). They passed after 10 lessons (they didn’t). So what?

What has somebody else’s ability (or imagination) got to do with you?

Even still, we have a problem with the question. In fact, any decent driving instructor should whince if you ask them how many lessons you need before you can pass your test.

The reason is simple. Do you want to simply pass your test, or do you want to be a safe and confident driver?

Every year hundreds of new drivers die on the road. Imagine how much smaller the figure would be if all of those drivers had the desire to become safe drivers, rather than to just scrape a pass for their driving test with the minimum amount of lessons?

Think about it for a second. Do you want to sacrifice your life (and other people’s) for the sake of shaving off a few hours and saving £100?

There is a myth out there that driving instructors want to stretch out the number of lessons as much as possible. That if they could they’d make you have to take 100 lessons before you could take your test.

This is just untrue.

Every driving instructor has a responsibility to you. They would rather be accused of stretching out lessons than be the one who rushed through 20 lessons for a young person to pass their test only to die in a car crash months later.

That is why we’re not going to tell you what the average number of lessons it takes to pass. We don’t want to add to the idea that the point of driving lessons is to learn the bare minimum in the minimal amount of time to squeeze through a pass.

It will take you as long as it will and as many lessons as it will to be a safe and confident driver.

Remember, your safety is worth far more than any amount of money you think you’ll be saving by rushing things.

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Learner drivers may be asked to use satnav and three-point turn could be scrapped in favour of more common manoeuvres

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The three-point turn could be dropped from driving tests after the government signalled the biggest shakeup in 20 years.

Learners may be asked to use a satellite navigation system as part of a revised practical exam and the three-point-turn – more recently known as the “turn in the road” – could be scrapped altogether.

About 1,000 learner drivers across the UK will be invited to a trial of new practical exam measures designed to “better reflect real-life driving”.

The test has existed in its current form for about two decades, although “independent driving” – where motorists are asked to find their way to a destination – has formed part of the practical exam in recent years.

A Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) spokesman said: “We are carrying out initial research to explore how the driving test could better reflect real-life driving. Any future changes to the test would be subject to full public consultation.”

The trial will consider extending the independent driving section from 10 to 20 minutes of the total 40-minute length, and asking candidates to follow directions on a satnav, as an alternative to using road signs.

It will also consider replacing the “reverse around a corner” and “turn in the road” manoeuvres with more realistic everyday moves, such as reversing out of a parking bay, or pulling up on the left or right before rejoining the flow of traffic, the DVSA said.

Learners may also be asked one of the two safety questions while on the move rather than at the start of the test. This could involve operating the rear windscreen heater while driving.

The Driving Instructors Association (DIA), the largest industry body for driver and rider trainers, has welcomed plans to review the driving test.

Carly Brookfield, DIA chief executive, said: “DIA has been heavily involved in the scoping of this project and is enthusiastic about the opportunity it presents to evolve the L-test to a level where it more realistically assesses a candidate’s ability to competently and safely manage road based risk and driving in real life, on real roads.

“The DIA and its members will play a key role in the project as it is critical customers of the test, such as driving instructors and candidates, have their input in making the test more fit for purpose and more reflective of modern driving.”

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A HUGE well done and congratulations to the following guys and girls who worked really hard with their driving lessons and have successfully passed their driving test and now have FULL licences!

Thank you for choosing us and be safe!

For more info on driving lessons please call

0333 123 0245 or 07919 193299 or just click!

 

1. 6/1/2015. 1st pass of 2015. Well done Molly Webb who passed her driving test first time today @ the test centre in Brentwood. Lee :)

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Learn to Drive with the driving skool.com

 2. 19/1/2015.  Well done Conner who passed his driving test @ Hornchurch Driving Test Centre. Lee

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Driving Lessons in Hornchurch

 3. 19/1/2015.  Well done Nina Collins who passed her driving test at the driving test centre in Horchurch. Great result! Lee

 

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Intensive Driving Courses Hornchurch

4. 20/1/2015. Congratulations Harry Moughton who passed his practical driving test at the driving test centre in Hornchurc. Lee

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Driving Schools in Hornchurch

5. 20/1/2015. A very happy smile! Well done Hanrietta Woodward who passed her driving test at Hornchurch driving test centre with only 2 minors! Lee :)

6. 28/1/2015. Congratulations to Louis Virk who passed today at Erith, a well deserved pass, you worked so hard for it. Julie

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Driving Lessons Erith

7. 29/1/2015.  Congratulations to Gary Selby who passed his driving test at the driving test centre in Sidcup! Have your jaws stopped aching yet? Julie :)

8. 6/2/2015.  A massive congratulations to Robert Moore who passed 1st time today at Hither Green. Keep safe and I hope I haven’t passed my germs on to you. See you in 3 years for your instructor training. Julie

9.  7/2/2015. well done Giedre Gurske who passed her driving test at Hornchurch test centre with the one and only Lee. Congratulations!

10.  23/2/2015. well done Oliver Iazarevic who passed his practical driving test 1st time today at Hornchurch. Lee

Oliver 232

Learn to Drive Hornchurch

11. 23/2/2015. Many congratulations to Sam Hicks who passed in Sidcup today. Glad all the hard work paid off for you Sam, be safe out there. David

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Driving Lessons in Sidcup 07919 193299

 

12. 5/3/2015.  Well done to Claire Copper who passed her practical driving test today! Be safe! Julie

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Driving Lessons Belvedere 0333 123 0245

13. 9/3/2015. Great result Eiric who passed his driving test today at the driving test centre in West Wickham! Mike

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Driving Lessons Bromley

14. 18/3/2015. Well done Rebecca who passed her driving test today @ Hornchurch! Lee

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15. 18/3/2015.  And another one! Great result Charlotte who passed her driving test at Hornchurch driving test centre. Lee

Charlotte Tabram 183

Driving Lessons Hornchurch

16. 20/3/2015. Congratulations Cloe who passed her driving test at West Wickham this afternoon! Mike

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Driving Lessons in Chislehurst, Kent

17. 20/3/2015. Excellent result Jessie who passed 1st time her driving test 1st time today! Julie

18. 23/3/2015. Another one for Lee! Well done Jake who passed his driving test today!

Jake Kenny 233

19. 28/3/2015! Congratulations Jessica for passing your test today at West Wickham! Be safe Mike

20. 10/4/2015. Good work Shane on passing your driving test today! Julie

Shane Dunphy 104

Driving Lessons Welling

21. 17/4/2015. Well done Niamh for passing your practical driving test today! Julie

22. 23/4/2015. Keep them coming Julie! Well done Abbey who passed her driving test today!

23. 25/4/2015. Well done Brad who passed today at the Hornchurch test centre. Lee

24. 25/4/2015. And they keep on comming! Great result Grace who passed today @ the Hornchurch test centre! Lee

Grace Halls 254

Learn to Drive Hornchurch 0333 123 0245

25.  28/4/2015. Congratulations Heidi who passed her driving test today! Julie

26. 6/5/2015. Great stuff Luke who passed her driving test today at Hornchurch! Lee

27.  8/5/2015. Congraulations Simon who passed his driving test today!  Julie

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South East London driving schools

28. 11/5/2015. Go Julie! Congratulations Charlie who passed today!

29. 12/5/2015. Well done Ryan for passing your driving test today! Lee

Ryan Lloyd 125

30.  12/5/2015. Keep them rolling in Julie! Well done Harj who passed his practical driving test this morning!

31. 13/5/2015. A huge well done Alisha who has passed her driving test! Lee

Alishia Brown 135

32.  21/5/2015. Congratulations Kerrie for passing your driving test!  Julie

33.  21/5/2015. Well done Lisa, another one of Lees driving test passes this month & year!!

Lisa Moughton 215

34. 27/5/2015. Well done Jade! Another 1st time pass at West Wickham driving test centre :) Mike

Jade

www.thedrivingskool.com Driving Lessons Chislehurst

35. 4/6/2015. Congratulations to Carley Godfrey who passed her driving test today at the Erith driving test centre. Keep safe! Julie

36. 27/6/2015. Congratulations Claudia Meister who passed her practical driving test with the one and only Lee @ the driving test centre in Hornchurch

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37. 7/7/2015. Well done Neringa Orhlin passed today at Hornchurch 1st attempt with 6 minors! Boom! Lee

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www.thedrivingskool.com Driving Lessons Hornchurch

38. 21/7/2015. A great big congratulations to Hannah Foley who passed today. Great result! Julie

 

39. 30/7/2015. Congratulations to Lee Porter who passed @ the Hornchurch Test Centre with only 3 minors. Lee

Lee

40. 30/7/2015 Well done to Lydia Woolward who passed her driving test @ Hornchurch driving test centre with the one and only Lee

Lydia

Office: 0333 123 0245

41. 31/7/2015.  Congratulations Nelia Smagina who passed her driving test @ Chingford driving test centre. Lee :)

Nelia

42. 10/8/2015. Congratulations to Sharondeep Malhi who passed today, keep safe and look forward to seeing you on the road :) Julie

Sharondeep

www.thedrivingskool.com Driving Lessons Erith

43. 13/8/2015. Congratulations Conner Butler who passed his driving test today @ the Hornchurch driving test centre with only 3 minors. Lee

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Hornchurch driving schools

44. 24/8/2015.  Well done Rose who passed her driving test on a very wet Monday morning @ the West Wickham Driving Test centre. Mike

45. 25/8/2015. Congratulations to Ching who passed her driving test today! A fantastic result with only 1 minor! It was a pleasure teaching you! Be safe! Mike

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Driving Lessons Chislehurst. Kent

46. 26/8/2015. Congratulations to Sam Kang who passed today, you worked so hard to get there and I’m so glad you chose me to be your instructor. See you for your Pass Plus, don’t forget your cushion :)  Julie

47. 28/8/2015. A great big congratulations to Matthew Clough after completing one of our intensive courses passed first time today and with only 2 driving faults. Now you can drive Lauren to give birth in October. See you for that Pass Plus soon. I’m going to miss our lunchtimes together Julie

48. 8/9/2015. Congratulations Rob who passed his practical Driving Test @ West Wickham driving test centre today. Michelle

49. 10/9/2015. One happy customer! Well done Chelsea Harrison who passed her driving test 1st time the driving test centre in Hornchurch. Lee

50. 17/9/2015. Congratulations Reann who passed her driving test FIRST! Yes, 1st time today in Hornchurch. Be safe Lee

51. 21/9/2015. Congratulations to Joe Watkins who passed today. A really well deserved pass you worked hard for your licence. Julie.

Driving Lessons Sidcup

Driving Lessons Sidcup

52. 22/9/2015. congratulations to Jack Booth who passed his driving test with only 3 minors @ the driving test centre in Hornchurch

Jack

53. 2/10/2015. An another one for Lee! Well done Kieran Fortt who passed his driving test with only 3 minors at the Hornchurch driving test centre

Kieran

54. 2/10/2015. They keep on coming! 28 passes for Lee YTD! Congratulations Andrew Parsons who passed his driving test 1st time, again at the driving tets centre in Hornchurch,

55. 5/10/2015.  No 29 for Lee :) Well done George Delaney who passed his driving test 1st time with only 4 minors at the driving test centre in Hornchurch :)

George

56. 8/10/2015 Shall we count this one? New Zealands, Christchurch’s, NO1 driving skool, 1st pass! Congratulations Erica from Burwood who passed her driving test today!

57. 31/10/2015. Congratulations to Gavin May who passed today at Erith see you for your pass plus. Julie

58. 21/11/2015. Congratulations to Gareth Berry for passing at Mitcham driving test centre on a cold and frosty morning. Michelle

 

59. 26/11/2015. Well done Angie who passed her driving test in West Wickham 1st time this afternoon! Be safe. Mike

 

 

60. 7/12/2015. Congratulations to Keith Nkiya who passed today, just in time for your wedding and trip to Zimbabwe, keep safe Julie

61. 13/12/2015. Congratulations to Liam George Norman who passed his driving test @the driving test centre in Hornchurch today. Lee

 

62.  14/12/2015. Christmas has come early for Chloe from Chislehurst this morning who passed her driving test 1st time today! Well done and Merry Christmas! Michelle

Chloe

63. 15/12/2015.  Another one for Michelle! Congratulations to Akman on passing his driving test first time at Hither Green test centre today.

Akman

 

64. 18/12/2015. Congratulations to Liam Pearce who his driving test passed today @ the driving test centre in Erith. Keep safe and see you for your pass plus. Julie

Liam

65.  21/12/2015. Happy Christmas to Jade who passed her driving test today at West Wickham. Be safe! Michelle

For a while, some insurance companies have been encouraging teenagers to get a little black box in their cars. But how do they work, and will everyone soon have one?

For many young people, getting their first wheels is a rite of passage, a path to independence, the precursor to flying the nest.

But with one in five young drivers having an accident within their first 12 months of being on the road, insurance premiums are high. Many look to ways to reduce their costs.

It has led to the rise of what is known as the little black box, which motorists are installing in their cars to prove they are a good driver, in the hope they see insurance costs drop.

The British Insurers Brokers’ Association (Biba) says sales of motor insurance policies which use “black box” technology, called telematics, have increased fivefold over the past two years.

It says it can knock 25% to 30% off policies, saving some young drivers up to £1,000.

Critics say they cost too much and civil liberty campaigners have expressed concern about the potential for invasion of privacy, or data incriminating drivers.

So how does telematics technology work, and what do these black boxes record?

Typically the boxes are placed inside a dashboard and are able to monitor things such as speed, acceleration and braking, and the times of the day that the cars are on the roads.

The safer the driver, the better the score and the lower the insurance premium.

But prices can go up as well as down. If the analysed information shows examples of poor driving, such as fast cornering or doing wheelies, the black box will also pick that up.

Nick Moger, one of the founders of Young Marmalade, which offers a young driver insurance scheme with telematics technology, says his company uses a green-orange-red system to monitor driving, emailing drivers to alert them when they have picked up bad driving.

“The very first time, they get an email to say they are driving erratically, if they ignore that then they get another email to say you are on probation for 30 days and if they continue to drive badly we increase the premium by £250,” he says.

Manufacturers are convinced highlighting poor driving patterns can improve driving behaviour and reduce the number of accidents.

“It has been proved in Italy – where they are probably the leaders in Europe in accident rates – their rate has dropped by 16% by having black boxes,” says Moger.

More than 600,000 cars in Italy are believed to have the devices, many more than in the UK. But Biba expects 500,000 UK cars to have them by July 2014.

Nicole Darbyshire, a 20-year-old nursery nurse from Bolton, has already signed up to the system.

After passing her driving test in April, she says the cost of a car and its associated insurance was “a big worry” before she discovered that telematics could help reduce bills.

“For the first month, I was really aware of the box, and if I accidentally sped, I’d brake really quickly. Now I tend to forget it’s there.

“I can log onto my account online and see how I am driving. It shows when I’ve over-accelerated – it has pictures of the street which is a bit strange. So far I’ve been 97% green, so that’s good. I’ve got more relaxed about checking now as I know it will email me if I do anything wrong,” she says.

But not everyone is so relaxed about signing up to this sort of surveillance.

Taylor Brown, 21, says he thinks his insurance company already has enough information. “Why should I then tell them what I’m getting up to – Big Brother Britain and that, but you know, it is up to me where I go.”

Joe Johns, 18, doesn’t like the idea either. “It would be like being on a driving test 24/7. You’d always have someone monitoring you about how you’re driving, your foothold, your braking. I just wouldn’t fancy it.”

Firms such as Coverbox, iKube, Co-operative Insurance, Swinton and the AA now offer insurance schemes with telematics for young drivers.

The AA, which stores a small electronic box under the bonnet transmitting data via satellite to the company, says savings of up to £850 can be achieved when compared with standard inexperienced driver policies.

And the boxes aren’t the only devices that incorporate artificial intelligence as an aid to monitor and control a young driver’s behaviour.

Insurance firm Aviva has launched a new pay-how-you-drive smartphone app which could offer drivers savings on their car insurance premiums, based on how they drive.

Motoring journalist Paul Horrell says the devices are part of a wider trend that is seeing insurers and manufacturers try to incentivise or coerce young drivers into being more careful.

He cites a Ford product in the US called MyKey, which allows a master key to set various limits – such as maximum speed or audio – on the vehicle.

Volvo’s Alcoguard monitors alcohol levels. It will not start until a driver has blown into a unit, which transmits the results via radio signal to the car’s electronic control system. If a blood-alcohol limit of 0.2g/l is exceeded, the engine will not start.

And DriveCam, which was developed to help organisations with fleets of drivers, like haulage companies, monitor their drivers’ performances, uses a system which relies on two cameras – one pointing at the road, and one monitoring the driver – to record instances of bad driving such as texting or tailgating.

So might everyone soon have a little black box, or something similar, in their car?

Horrell says it is often parents that are particularly attracted to devices such as little black boxes. But he thinks it is unlikely that everyone will subscribe to such surveillance.

We are definitely going to have more behaviour-based motor insurance in the future”

“If people are willing to submit to this kind of observation, they are probably the kind of people who are willing to behave more responsibly.”

Graeme Trudgill, head of corporate affairs at Biba, says although he expects to see a significant increase in the number of little black boxes in the young driver market over the next couple of years, it would not be economical for all insurance companies, and all age groups, to go down this route.

In many ways the future depends on technology, he says, as it depends on what happens with smartphone apps such as Aviva’s, which are cheaper than having a box fitted. And in the next couple of years, vehicle manufacturers are also going to be required to install emergency call buttons, which will transmit GPS signals and have the potential to use telematics.

“What is clear is that we are definitely going to have more behaviour-based motor insurance in the future – and young drivers are going to still be the primary market,” he says.

Adeola Ajayi, from the Association of British Insurers, says riskier or more dangerous drivers are likely to be the ones who are the most resistant.

She thinks there will be a spike in the number of young female drivers opting for a black box after 21 December, when an EU ruling which bans insurers from taking gender into account when setting premiums comes into effect.

“Female drivers, who are statistically safer, have benefited from cheaper insurance in the past, so these might prove popular with them.

“Others are simply keen to do whatever they can to get a premium that reflects their exact risk, and this is a way of getting more insight and rewarding customers,” she says.

www.thedrivingskool.com

Driving lessons, the test itself, buying and insuring a car all add to the expense, but there are ways to limit the damage

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Passing your driving test has long been seen as a rite of passage, but the rising cost of running a car is driving more and more young people off the roads. The Department for Transport’s recent National Travel Survey shows a sharp drop over the past 18 years in the number of young people holding a full driving licence. While in 1995, some 43% of 17- to 20-year-olds held a full driving licence, that has plunged to just 31%. The fall is sharpest among young men, where it has dropped from 51% to 30%, while the percentage of young women with a full driving licence has slipped from 36% to 31%. Over the same period the proportion of 21- to 29-year-olds with full driving licences has also fallen.

The main reason fewer young people are driving is cost, says Stephen Glaister, director at the RAC Foundation. “Younger people were hit disproportionately hard by the downturn. Even though employment is now rising, incomes are stagnant, and many are only in part-time work, and find running a car too expensive.”

Spiralling student debt and rising housing costs leave little money for driving lessons, at around £25 an hour, and the test itself. With the practical test costing up to £75, and the theory test adding another £31, the cost of buying a car is the least of the problems facing young drivers. In 1995 a five-year-old Ford Fiesta, a typical first car, cost £3,250, against £5,510 today, according to figures from motoring guide Glass’s. That is a rise of nearly 70%, almost exactly in line with the increase in average earnings over the period, says Andrew Jackson, head of analytics at Glass’s. “In real terms, the Fiesta isn’t any more expensive than it was in 1995, even though the materials, technology and manufacturing quality are incomparably better.”

Other motoring costs have accelerated sharply, according to the RAC Foundation’s UK Cost of Motoring Index. While the cost of living has risen 76% since 1995, as measured by the retail price index, the cost of maintaining a car has risen 140%, while petrol and oil costs have increased 145%. Meanwhile the cost of tax and insurance has soared by 170% since 1995, well over twice the rate of inflation. The average 17-year-old now pays a hefty £1,997 a year for motor insurance, according to figures from Towers Watson and comparison site Confused.com.

Here are some ways to make getting behind the wheel more affordable.

• Buy a small car

As a general rule, the less powerful your car is the less it is likely to cost to insure, says Lee Griffin, car insurance expert at GoCompare.com. “Young or inexperienced drivers should therefore look at cars with smaller engines as opposed to performance vehicles. But this isn’t the only factor they take into account. They will also look at its value, engine size, power-to-weight ratio, and availability of parts. These factors determine which insurance group the car will be in, and how much it will cost to insure.”

• Shop around

One in three car insurers wouldn’t cover a 17-year-old driver at all, while 10% wouldn’t cover anybody under 25, according to GoCompare.com. “All insurers rate drivers differently, and while some target older, more experienced drivers, others will price competitively for younger drivers, so shop around to make sure you’re getting the right cover at the best possible price.”

An online search for an 18-year-old motorist covering an eight-year-old Ford Fiesta Freedom with a 1.3 litre engine, with 10,000 annual mileage and a £250 excess, showed the cheapest premium at £2,917 a year from Carrot Car Insurance, a telematics-based insurer that targets younger drivers. Next was Hastings Essential, which quoted £4,129 a year. Insure Pink, 1st Central and Go Girl offered quotes ranging from £4,634 to £5,000 a year. Some insurers charged up to £9,000, while many didn’t quote at all.

• Get better qualified

You may be able to get a slightly lower premium if you have taken advanced driving courses such as Pass Plus or the advanced driving test from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM). If that 18-year-old had Pass Plus, for example, Hastings Direct would cover them for £2,240, but the next best quote was from Insure Pink at £4,147.

• Secure your vehicle

Fitting your car with an approved alarm, immobiliser and tracking device can make life harder for thieves, reducing the chance that you will make a claim for theft. “It helps if you can park off-road overnight, preferably in a locked garage or at least on a driveway, as your insurer may reduce your premiums accordingly,” says Kevin Pratt, car insurance expert at MoneySupermarket.com.

• Add an older driver to your policy

Adding an older, “safer” driver, such as a parent or relative, will cut the cost of your insurance policy, Pratt says. “You must list the person who drives the car most as the main driver, otherwise you may be accused of ‘fronting’. This is treated as insurance fraud and will lead to a minimum £300 fine plus six points on your licence. It will almost certainly cost more to get insurance in the future, if you can get it at all.”

• Try telematics (Blackbox)

Telematics technology can also help young motorists drive down their premiums. This involves fitting a gadget in your car that measures your speed, cornering, acceleration and braking, as well as your location and the time of day you drive. If the black box judges you to be a safe driver, your insurer should reward you with a lower premium. If you’re taking risks, however, your premium could increase.

A 17-year-old student living in Cardiff driving a two-year-old Ford Fiesta, with no claims or convictions, annual 7,000 mileage and a £250 excess, would typically pay £2,124 a year for standard insurance, but this would fall to £1,783 with Telematics, according to figures from Confused.com. That’s a saving of £341, or 16%. A 20-year-old with three-years’ no-claims bonus would typically see their premium fall from £780 to £601.

• Drive safely

If you’re a young driver with points on your licence or a recent insurance claim to your name, you’re in double trouble, says Pratt. “Driving with care is the name of the game. Points on a licence can easily add 10% to your insurance costs, so avoid speeding and other convictions.” Young drivers should avoid making insurance claims, so they can steadily build up a no-claims discount – this can knock up to 75% off the cost of cover after five years.

www.thedrivingskool.com

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Julie White Driving Instructor

Covering: Abbeywood, Blackheath, Charlton, Eltham, Greenwich, Woolwich, Thamesmead, Sidcup, Welling, Bexley, Bexleyheath, Belvedere, Dartford and Plumstead.

Julie has a huge amount of passion for what she does. Over the years 100′s of our customers have benefited from her knowledge, expertise and friendship in teaching them how to drive.

Julies teaches manual driving lessons and specialises in teaching:

Nervous/anxious customers

Customers with learning difficulties

Customers with ADHD or Autism

Intensive/crash courses

Pass Plus

If you’d like to get in touch with Julie, you can call or text her directly on her mobile

07952 248830

Office 0333 123 0245

or through our contact page