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Driving test pass rates continue to rise in the UK with 2013/14 recording the highest level of test passes for seven years, according to Department for Transport (DfT) figures. In total, 47.1 per cent of learner drivers taking their driving test passed, although the total number of tests actually conducted is falling.

The drop off in driving tests taken might be because learning to drive is an expensive business. Those who are determined to learn to drive are under growing pressure to pass first time and as soon as possible to avoid the cost of extra lessons and another test.

So what are your chances of passing your driving test? We’ve analysed the data to find out who, where and when has the best driving test pass rates, plus how much you should expect to pay to get your full driving licence.

How much will learning to drive and passing the test cost?

Prospective motorists have to shell out £50 just to get their provisional licence these days, but that’s just the start.

Driving lessons cost on average £24 per hour and the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) reckons the average number of lessons you’ll need to pass is 47.

The theory test will set you back £23, while the practical car test costs £62 (£75 weekend & Bank holidays) 

Add all this together and drivers are forking out more than £1,250 for the privilege of getting behind the wheel.

Where is best to take my practical driving test?

It’s all about location and according to the figures the more rural the better for your chances in the practical driving test. Remote locations in Scotland are your best bet with Gairloch – a small village in the Scottish Highlands – returning a driving test pass rate of 93.8 per cent with just one of the 16 people taking a test last year failing.

Clearly, travelling to remote parts of Scotland isn’t practical so where else is best? Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria has the highest pass rate outside of Scotland – 65.5 percent – followed by Whitby, North Yorkshire – 65.4 per cent.

The test centre where you’re least likely to pass is Belvedere, London where almost 70 per cent go home empty handed. Last year that accounted for 1,131 drivers needing to resit the test.

Is the theory part easier than the practical?

The theory test pass rate has fallen dramatically over the past few years as the DVSA has tightened up on revision guides and questioning. Back in 2007, nearly two-thirds of drivers passed the theory test, but now that’s down to 51 per cent.

That’s better than the practical driving test pass rate, but not significantly. The theory test is certainly less unpredictable than the practical exam, but still requires a degree of practice, both in memorising the relevant signage and learning the Highway Code rules. Then there’s the challenge of applying your road safety knowledge in the recently revamped hazard perception test.

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Are men or women better at passing the driving test?

Women are better at passing the theory test while men are better at the practical according to DfT annual figures. For the past six years there’s been a six percentage point difference between men and women passing the theory test, although numbers for both genders are falling. Last year, 54 per cent of women passed while only 48 per cent of men did so.

This is flipped for the practical exam with the gap, surprisingly, the same. 50 per cent of men passed their test in 2013/14 while just 44 per cent of women did. The split of men and women taking the test was around 50-50 for both the practical and theory tests.

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Many myths and rumors have built up around the practical driving test which simply aren’t true. It’s easy to believe them and this can affect your confidence when it comes to taking your test.

So here, we dispel the myths and puts the facts right about what REALLY happens when you come to take your test.

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“If you stall during your test, you will fail.”

Not entirely true! By the time you’re ready to take the practical driving test, shaky clutch control should be a distant memory but the test seems to do funny things to candidates! Stalling repeatedly in traffic or stalling when entering major junction, affecting other road users, will fail the test. If you stall, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and start over again. Some candidates have even passed tests after stalling twice! Nerves can ruin a test for even the best of drivers so it’s important to not dwell on mistakes as some aren’t as bad as you may think!

“If you get take a wrong turn, the examiner will fail you.”

The driving test is designed to allow the Examiner to assess your driving ability during the course of a 30-35 minute route, taking in various road and traffic conditions. If you are asked to turn right at a junction but turn left in error, you will not incur a driving fault as long as you correctly turn left.  Even on the recently added ‘independent driving’ element of the test, you are not penalised for getting lost during the drive, so If you are not sure where you should be going, ask for help and you will get it! What the Examiner doesn’t want you to do is drive erratically or dangerously because of poor planning and anticipation e.g. not seeing your intended junction until too late, turning across traffic when not safe to do so and causing the flow of traffic to slow unnecessarily. Whatever you do on the test, do it safely and you’ll have a good chance of being successful.

“Driving Examiners are trying to fail candidates.”

The Examiner has less to do if you pass!  When you pass your test, the Examiner issues your test certificate and heads back to his office for quick cuppa before the next test. However, if you have failed your test they return to their office to write a report, detailing the reasons for the fail. Another urban legend I sometimes hear from students is that Examiners have to fail a certain amount of tests each month. While it is true that Examiners are expected to have pass rates that fall within 10% of the local average, there is nothing to suggest that the test results are compromised because of this; in fact in my experience the only person who really affects final decision is the candidate taking the test!

“My mum/dad say they only took a few lessons and passed a few weeks after turning 17.”

This statement may be true, but at a rough estimate most candidate’s parents will have taken their test 20 to 30 years ago in very different times. The volume of traffic on the roads has greatly increased since then, as have the number of complex junctions and road systems in busy urban areas. The DVSA have changed the test on a regular basis over past 30 years to reflect the more challenging situations that drivers face on modern roads, including the recently introduced independent driving element of the test and a greater skill level in hazard awareness and anticipation, needed to deal with today’s busy roads. The DVSA suggest that an average of 45 hours of tuition along with around 20 hours of private practice is required in order to reach the test standard.

“You should check your mirrors every 7 seconds.”

While checking your mirrors every 7 seconds may suit some traffic conditions, it is more important to check your mirrors when appropriate.  If you’re worrying about checking every 7 seconds, you won’t be focused on what’s happening on the road. The test assesses the candidate’s use of mirrors when signalling, before changing speed and before changing direction, all of which demonstrate good awareness and planning. The examiners can easily see when you are looking in your mirrors so you don’t have to make it too obvious. It only needs to be a glance and should not distract you from the road ahead!

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£100 fine and 3 licence points for driving with snow on car roof

 

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Driving with snow on your car roof could land you with a £100 fine and three points on your licence.

And if you find it hard to believe, check rule 229 of the Highway Code

Rule 229 states before you set off

 You MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows

 You MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible

 Make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly

 Remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users

Check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted

Police say motorists could be prosecuted for careless or inconsiderate driving if they are involved in an accident and it is deemed that snow on the roof was a factor.

Motorists could face a £100 fine and three points on their license if snow on the roof of their car contributes to an accident. This could apply if snow falls forward onto a driver’s windscreen, obscuring the view, or backwards causing a hazard for motorists traveling behind them.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: ‘Many people are not aware of the hazard that snow on their cars can cause. Falling snow can be dangerous for all road users.’

Rule 229 of the Highway Code states, in a section entitled ‘driving in adverse weather conditions’, that snow should be removed from your car.

The full rule says: ‘Before you set off you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows. You MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible, make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly.

‘Remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users. Check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted.’

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Department for Transport proposals would allow driving instructors to supervise novice drivers on motorways

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Learner drivers could be allowed on motorways for the first time, under government proposals aimed at increasing road safety.

The Department for Transport is considering the move as a way to make sure learners are properly prepared for everyday driving before they pass their tests. Under the plans, they would be allowed to gain experience on motorways under the supervision of an approved driving instructor.

At the moment, learner drivers are not allowed to go on motorways but can do so without having had any practical experience after passing their test.

The possibility of learners on motorways will be explored under a £2m project examining driver education. It will look at whether the current regime gives the best training for learner and novice drivers. Compulsory basic training for learner motorcyclists will also be reviewed.

As part of a package of reforms known as the road safety plan, transport ministers are also planning a £50m grant for better cycling training in schools, and looking at forcing lorries to keep their sideguards to better protect cyclists.

There will also be increased punishments for drivers who use hand-held mobile devices while driving, with an increase from three penalty points to four and the fine rising from £100 to £150. In 2014, mobile phone usage was a contributing factor in 21 fatal road accidents and 84 serious accidents. The penalty for using a mobile while driving larger vehicles such as HGVs will go up from three to six points.

Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, said he was putting forward “common sense proposals that balance tougher penalties for dangerous drivers with practical steps to help youngsters and other more vulnerable groups stay safe on our roads”.

The move to let learner drivers have supervised practice on motorways was welcomed by Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation. “One in five young drivers has an accident within six months of passing their test so putting the learning process under the spotlight has to be a good thing,” he said.

“Mile for mile, motorways are our safest roads but can be intimidating places for novice drivers. Exploring ways of letting learners have controlled access to them is welcome. The important thing is the official seal of approval provided by the approved driving instructor who will accompany them down the slip road. This is definitely not the time to have mum or dad in the passenger seat.”

The government is currently considering a number of reforms to driving tests in order to improve the UK’s road safety record. It is already thinking about giving those who pass their driving test first time a refund of part of the cost. The plan is intended to raise the low first-time pass rate, which stands at just 21%.

At one point, the government was also considering banning newly qualified drivers from carrying non-family members under proposals to cut the number of road accidents involving teenagers.

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Driving Lessons Beckenham

Looking for driving lessons in Beckenham? Or maybe you’re thinking about doing an intensive driving  course in Beckenham?

Learning to drive can be a very exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s not something you want to last forever.

the driving skool.com is here to help you pass your driving test as quickly as possible so you can get out on your own safely, confident in your ability to handle all kinds of traffic conditions.

Are you ready to take your first driving lesson in Beckenham? Maybe you’ve already got your driving licence but want to top up on your driving skills and confidence?

Whatever your driving skills, you want a driving instructor in Chelmsford who will provide quality driving lessons you need to reach your goal. Our driving lessons are  tailored to suit the individual learner driver so you will be taught at the very best pace to suit you.

All our driving lessons in Beckenham are conducted in a calm and patient manner which puts even the most nervous learners at ease very quickly.

Learn to Drive Beckenham

  • DVSA registered and approved Driving Instructors
  • Flexible length of lessons (You choose!)
  • Intensive driving courses Beckenham
  • No car sharing!
  • Discounted driving lessons for block bookings
  • Theory test preparation
  • Birthday lessons (What a fantastic present!)
  • Nervous learner welcome
  • Flexible pick up and drop off points
  • Refresher driving lessons
  • Beckenham crash driving courses
  • Driving Instructors who are patient & friendly!

For information on learning to drive in Beckenham, crash driving courses in Beckenham or maybe you have questions that we can help you with, please contact us on 0333 123 0245 or call/text 07919 193299

Alternatively you can always email us by clicking HERE

Driving Lessons Beckenham

Areas covered (BR Postcodes)

Beckenham, Bromley, Keston, West Wickham, Orpington, Chislehurst and Swanley

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Young Drivers are more likely to use their mobile phones while driving than older motorists, a survey suggests.

The poll for driving safety charity Brake found 49% of 17-24 year olds had been in work calls while on the road, compared with 17% for all age groups.

About 35% of young people said they had spoken to family, and 21% with friends – compared with 23% and 15% overall.

Brake asked about hand-held and hands-free calls. They are both a distraction “risking devastating crashes”, it said.

“It is a sobering thought that a significant number of these life-threatening distractions come from drivers’ own friends and family,” said Julie Townsend from the charity.

The survey questioned 1,000 drivers from across the UK on whether they had spoken on the phone while driving, hand-held or hands-free, in the last 12 months. If so, they were asked who they were talking to.

Using a hand-held phone while driving was made illegal in 2003. Using a hands-free kit is allowed but a driver can still be stopped if police believe they are being distracted.

Brake says that making calls hands-free is still a cause of distraction and are campaigning for it be banned.

The charity is advising drivers to put their phones on silent while driving, with their phone away from them. The safest way to make a call is to stop, they say.

According to an observational study by the Department for Transport last October, motorists who use phones are more likely to be texting or using social media than making calls.

Brake has also warned about the dangers of being tired while driving, saying that it is wise to break for at least 15 minutes every two hours.

When asked how often they driven for more than two hours without a break in the last 12 months, 8% said weekly or more, 16% once a month and 29% once a year.

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Driving Lessons Bromley

At the driving skool.com Bromley we pride ourselves in the ability to deliver quality driving lessons in Bromley at very competitive rates. We have a small team of DVSA (Driving Vehicle Standards Agency) qualified Driving Instructors, who live and work in Bromley, are friendly and extremely patient.

Whether you are having driving lessons in Bromley for the very first time, or thinking about doing one of our intensive driving courses or crash courses (we prefer not to use that term!) our Driving Instructors in Bromley are there to make your driving lessons fun and exciting as well as giving you the skills and confidence you need for the road.

We understand that driving lessons need to fit around other commitments such as work or college. We focus on providing a highly personalised service and will build a learning to drive programme around you, the customer! Our competitive rates and block booking discounts will ensure that you get excellent  value for money throughout your course of driving lessons in Bromley.

All of our customers benefit from our local knowledge and expertise, enabling you to being a step closer to passing your driving test.

We take pride in giving excellent service, and the highest standard of instruction. Our prices reflect this, we are not the cheapest but we do believe we are one of the better driving schools!

Learn to Drive Bromley

Intensive fast track driving courses Bromley

Bromley Driving Instructors!

Flexible length of lessons (You choose!)

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Birthday lessons

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Female Driving Instructors

Gift vouchers available

Pass Plus Bromley

Learn to drive while having fun! (Sometimes we forget about that!)

One to one driving Lessons in Bromley

Friendly patient Driving Instructors who won’t keep you waiting!

 

Harj Chahal 125

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These tips should help make passing your driving test easier.

1. Practice. A lot

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency suggests that learners, on average, need about 45 hours of professional training plus 22 hours of private practice. Make sure you learn with an instructor you feel comfortable with, from a reputable driving school – and practise with an experienced friend or relative to hone your skills.

2. Warm up

Book a lesson near the test centre just before your test appointment time, so you don’t drive ‘cold’ when you have to get into the car with the examiner. It can also helps to scope out any obstructions such as potholes, local congestion or new roadworks, so you’re prepared if you encounter them during the test.

3. Relax

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about taking your driving test, so take the pressure off yourself by not telling many people beforehand.

On the day, take deep breaths, count to 10 and exhale just before entering the test centre. Do this a few times and you should find yourself calming down and ready to drive.

4. Think positively

Before you enter the test centre, believe that you’re going to pass. Try some creative visualisation, which involves closing your eyes and imagining yourself driving well over the route, making flawless manoeuvres and seeing all the potential hazards.

5. Be comfortable in your car

Make sure you sit your test in a car you’ve driven regularly – either your instructor’s or the car you use for practising.

You need to feel completely comfortable with controls and, even more importantly, the biting point of the clutch, which will allow you to move off and change gears smoothly.

6. Know the route

Do your homework and make sure you know the area around the test centre and all the possible routes you’ll be driving. Drive them as often as possible with your instructor and, if possible, when practising privately.

It’s also important to be comfortable driving different on as many different types of road as possible, so you’re ready for the independent driving section of the test and, more importantly, life after passing your test.

7. Avoid the usual mistakes

Common driving test pitfalls include not checking mirrors sufficiently, inadequate observation when reverse parking or moving away, poor positioning at junctions and roundabouts, and inappropriate speed.

Discover these bad habits when you learn to drive to help you avoid them.

8. Be ready for anything

When learning, try to drive at different times of day, in sunny weather and the wet – and, if possible, in slippery or icy conditions so you’re prepared for any eventuality during your test.

9. Don’t be afraid to ask

If, at any time during the test, you don’t understand what the examiner has asked you to do, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to repeat the instruction.

10. Keep your eyes on the road

Whatever you do, don’t look at the examiner during the test or try to look at their notes and work out how well you’re doing.

Keep your eyes on the road, making full use of your mirrors and concentrate on what’s going on around you.

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Driving and Drugs

THOUSANDS of drivers who take prescription medication to control pain and seizures or to manage anxiety could fall foul of the new drug-driving law, legal experts have warned.

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It may come as no surprise that under new regulations which came into force last month drivers face prosecution if they have taken illegal drugs such as cannabis and cocaine.

But the new rules also include eight common legally prescribed drugs such as oxazepam and diazepam which are used to relieve anxiety and temazepam which is prescribed for insomnia.

To defend themselves against possible prosecution drivers need to ensure that they have evidence that they are taking prescription drugs legally, advises Just Motor Law specialist Matt Reynolds.

“This law potentially poses a huge issue to those driving while taking properly prescribed medication,” he warns.

“Everybody metabolises and excretes drugs at a different rate, meaning some people may be more likely to have residual levels of drugs in their system than others, despite taking the same dose.

“However the good news is that those who face prosecution because of the levels of prescription drugs in their system may be able to raise a medical defence if they are taking the medicine in accordance with the advice of their doctor and the patient information leaflets provided by the manufacturer.

“I recommend patients visit their doctor in order to obtain a letter confirming their legitimate use of the drug they have been prescribed and to carefully read the advice leaflets that accompany their medication.

“It is in no way a guarantee that they will avoid prosecution but it’s a practical and beneficial first step to a medical defence.”

Although only recently introduced, the new law is already stirring up controversy.

Greater Manchester Police announced it would delay implementing the new rules until it had examined the legal implications of the changes.

But Daily Express GP Dr Rosemary Leonard says: “If you are taking your medication according to your doctor’s advice you are unlikely to run into any trouble.

“However if you are stopped because your driving is giving cause for concern and you are found to have prescription drugs affecting your driving, then you could be prosecuted.”

The penalties for drug-driving are on a par with those for drink-driving.

Those who are found guilty will face a minimum 12-month driving ban, a criminal record and a fine of up to £5,000 or up to six months in prison.

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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