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RAC research reveals safety risk: how long do you drive without a break?
Blog Entry: 1st August 2019



Around 28% of drivers who take their vehicle abroad admit to driving for more than five hours in one session and 90% ignore the recommended limit of two hours' driving or less before taking a break.

With this weekend and next due to be the busiest all summer for drivers heading south through France for the holidays, new figures from RAC Europe have shown just how long motorists are prepared to drive without a break – risking their safety and that of their passengers and other road users in the process.

More than a quarter of UK drivers who have taken their own transport to the Continent admit to driving non-stop for five hours or more, with the figure leaping to 58% who say they've driven for four hours or more without a break.

Within the EU, even people who drive for a living are not permitted by law to drive for any more than four-and-half hours before stopping. In contrast, just one-in-10 drivers who have driven abroad from the UK (9.3%) say they have stuck to driving two hours or less before stopping and taking a rest, as recommended by the Highway Code.

While drivers are not bound by it outside the UK, Rule 91 of the Code states that a break of at least 15 minutes should be taken every two hours – with regular breaks essential in keeping a driver focused, alert and, above all, safe on the road.



"Alcolocks" considered for cars owned by drink-drivers
Blog Entry: 24th July 2019



The government is considering the use of "alcolocks" in cars owned and driven by convicted drink-drivers. They are viewed as a tool to potentially help reduce the numbers of road accidents cause by repeat drink-drive offenders.

As part of its road safety action plan, the Department for Transport (DfT) said it wanted to investigate how it could use alcohol ignition interlocks as part of a strategy to rehabilitate drink-drivers.

Alcohol ignition interlocks, to give them their full name, work in a similar manner to standard breathalysers. In cars where the kit is fitted, the driver blows into the device, which then measures the level of alcohol in their breath.

If the system detects the level is above the legal limit, it immobilises the vehicle's engine so that the motorist isn't able to drive until they become sober enough to safely control the car.

Alcolocks are not recent technology. They have been on the radar of UK policy makers for some time. However, it's not clear how the system can prevent drunk drivers from having other, sober, people blow into the devices before then setting off on their journey.



"Alcolocks" considered for cars owned by drink-drivers
Blog Entry: 24th July 2019



The government is considering the use of "alcolocks" in cars owned and driven by convicted drink-drivers. They are viewed as a tool to potentially help reduce the numbers of road accidents cause by repeat drink-drive offenders.

As part of its road safety action plan, the Department for Transport (DfT) said it wanted to investigate how it could use alcohol ignition interlocks as part of a strategy to rehabilitate drink-drivers.

Alcohol ignition interlocks, to give them their full name, work in a similar manner to standard breathalysers. In cars where the kit is fitted, the driver blows into the device, which then measures the level of alcohol in their breath.

If the system detects the level is above the legal limit, it immobilises the vehicle's engine so that the motorist isn't able to drive until they become sober enough to safely control the car.

Alcolocks are not recent technology. They have been on the radar of UK policy makers for some time. However, it's not clear how the system can prevent drunk drivers from having other, sober, people blow into the devices before then setting off on their journey.



New drivers could be banned from driving at night
Blog Entry: 18th July 2019



New drivers could be banned from driving at night as part of moves to improve road safety. Plans for a graduated licence system to restrict newly qualified drivers in England, Scotland and Wales were announced by the Department for Transport (DfT).

It comes as figures suggest as many as one in five drivers are involved in a crash within a year of passing their test. But the AA warned that "excessive" safety measures could become an "unnecessary burden" for some motorists.

As well as not being permitted to drive at night, the DfT said the system could include restrictions such as a minimum learning period and not driving with passengers below a certain age. The DfT is considering how the system could work as part of its Road Safety Action Plan.



Summer holiday congestion blues
Blog Entry: 14th July 2019



Drivers are being warned of 'significant queues' as millions of people take to the roads for the start of the school holidays. Congestion is expected to peak on Friday as holidaymakers share the roads with commuter traffic. Up to 14 million road journeys are expected to be made across the weekend.

The RAC has warned of delays of up to 90 minutes on some roads over the weekend and Traffic data company Inrix predicted the busiest period would be between 11:00 and 18:45 BST on Friday, 19th July.

The RAC said its survey of 1,500 drivers suggested about 14 million journeys would be made for holidays and day trips between Thursday and Monday as many schools in England and Wales break up for the summer holidays.



It's quicker than charging your phone!
Blog Entry: 5th July 2019



A new set of solar-powered electric car charging stations are coming to the UK which will be able to recharge certain cars in just 10 minutes. The UK-bound EV charging station is being built by Gridserve and will have enough points to charge 24 cars at once.



Police now using HGV supercabs
Blog Entry: 2nd July 2019



The police are now using three HGV supercabs, which have helped them file 2,533 traffic offence reports.

Around one in three of the drivers filmed breaking the law by the cabs had someone in their vehicle not wearing a seat belt. The second most common offence was a driver using a hand-held mobile phone.



Being a driving test examiner can be a risky business
Blog Entry: 29th June 2019



Proving that any job can be dangerous it would seem... a driving test examiner was run over and killed by a 68-year-old woman taking her driving test in the southern Polish city of Rybnik on Monday, police said.

The 35-year-old examiner was run over by the candidate at an examination centre during the part of the test focusing on manoeuvres



Why you don't want to take your test in Belvedere
Blog Entry: 24th June 2019



A 10-year study of test centre results has shown that the place with the lowest pass rate is Belvedere, Kent - where only 31% of learners managed to pass their test



Suzuki's Jimny is unique... and not in a good way
Blog Entry: 20th June 2019



A new vehicle security rating scheme launched in the UK has highlighted the relay-theft risk motorists currently face, even if they buy the latest cars on the market. Five of the 11 models reviewed by security experts Thatcham Research were labelled 'poor' due to the lack of built-in measures to prevent gangs from hacking the keyless systems and stealing them remotely.

Suzuki's £15,500 Jimny SUV was given the lowest rating available - 'unacceptable' - for its lack of security options. It is the only vehicle to so far have been given this rating.

However, in light of the recent spate of gang-operated relay thefts, the scheme has been slammed by the car industry body for 'signposting vulnerable models' to criminals and confusing the issue of relay thefts for consumers.



Happy Father's Day
Blog Entry: 16th June 2019



Wishing all the dads out there a very happy father's day



All you need to know about the new smart motorways laws
Blog Entry: 14th June 2019



With the new smart motorways laws having come into effect this week, it's worth taking a look at this video from the RAC to find out what they're all about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANmoyaDsr28



An unusual excuse for speeding!
Blog Entry: 12th June 2019



A teenager in Canada has blamed a bathroom emergency brought on by "too many hot wings" for his speedy driving, which resulted in him getting a ticket. The 16-year-old was pulled over by police in Manitoba for driving at 106mph, according to a tweet from the local police department on Thursday.

But when the young Chevrolet Camaro driver was asked to explain his behaviour, he said he had eaten "too many hot wings and needed a bathroom". Officers didn't take pity on the teenager, and fined him a total of £690 for speeding and being behind the wheel without a supervising driver.

There are "absolutely no excuses for that kind of speed," the police department added.



More breath tests carried out in June than any other month bar December
Blog Entry: 14th June 2019



Whilst you should NEVER drink-drive, you are more likely to be caught for drink driving in June compared to other months in the year. New research suggests the number of roadside breath tests carried out in June are 50 per cent higher than any other month apart from December.



What's cheapest car to maintain in the UK?
Blog Entry: 11th June 2019



The cheapest and most expensive cars to maintain and repair in 2019 have been revealed. According to DVLA figures, the Fiat Punto is the cheapest car to maintain, costing only £255 per year. At the other end of the scale, the BMW 5 Series was ranked to be the most expensive car to maintain costing £585



The UK city that's worst for traffic jams has been revealed
Blog Entry: 8th June 2019



Over the course of a year, the average British motorist spends 132 hours in traffic jams - working out at five-and-a-half days - but some have it far easier than others. That's according to a new report from Sat Nav firm TomTom, which used satellite data from the past year to work out where in the UK was worst - and best - for driving delays.

It found that motorists in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh suffered most, with an average of 40% extra time added to journeys because of jams. For a journey meant to take 30-minutes, people living in Edinburgh face an additional 12 minutes stuck in queues.

London was second worst, with motorists facing an average of 37% extra travel time. For a 30-minute journey in England's capital city, that's just over an extra 11 minutes stuck in jams.



Could listening to heavy metal impair your driving?
Blog Entry: 3rd June 2019



A new study, performed by iAM Roadsmart and Auto Express, set out to analyse driver behaviour and safety while listening to various types of music. The study compared tracks from Slipknot ('(sic)'), Taylor Swift ('Shake It Off'), Kendrick Lamar ('HUMBLE') and Johann Sebastian Bach ('Goldberg Variations').

The heavier and more extreme the music, the more erratic and dangerous the driver became, the results stated. Mellow classical music resulted in the driver being too relaxed, while pop music appeared to be the best for controlled driving.

Consumer reporter Tristan Shale-Hester took to the Red Bull Ring Grand Prix track in Austria, executing two laps of various acceleration, cornering, and speed challenges, ending with a controlled stop at the finish line – all while listening to the four songs listed above at full volume.

While listening to Slipknot, Shale-Hester's time was 14 seconds slower than his control lap and much more erratic than the other tests. Listening to the piece by Bach resulted in him being 12 seconds slower than the control lap; Kendrick Lamar's song resulted in a bad finish past the line. The Taylor Swift song lap was the smoothest "in terms of speed consistency."

The driver admitted that listening to Slipknot made it "harder to concentrate on the circuit layout."



Important new motorway law from 10th June 2019
Blog Entry: 20th May 2019



A new motorway law is being introduced into the UK which could see drivers land a fine should they ignore it. From 10th June, motorists that are caught ignoring lane closures on smart motorways will automatically be given a fine of £100 and three penalty points on their licence. Smart motorways feature electronic overhead gantries which convey different information to motorists about the road conditions ahead. For example, the speed limit is variable and different speeds can be displayed along the motorway to ease congestion and supposedly help improve trafic flow.

Another use of the gantry is to display whether or not a lane is closed or not. A closed lane is highlighted by a red 'X' and any driver caught driving along is when the sign is displayed will be fined by one of the cameras in operation. Lane closures will be instated for a number of reasons such as allowing emergency service vehicles get to a crash more quickly.

Any motorist caught using the closed lane or indeed using it as the hard shoulder will be fined.

Highways England, which operates England's motorways and major A-roads, has issued more than 180,000 warning letters to drivers who have ignored red X signs since the beginning of 2017.

Edmund King, AA president says; "Although it has taken far too long, this is a welcome measure to improve safety on motorways. "Our research shows that one in 20 drivers continue to drive in red X lanes, even when they’ve seen it and, so far, Highways England have written warning letters to over 180,000 drivers about their actions. Red X's are put up to warn of an obstruction, so drivers must get out of the lane when they see them."



Women are more likely to pass the driving theory test
Blog Entry: 17th May 2019



Figures released by the Department of Transport this week show that women are more likely to pass the driving theory test than men.

Across the whole of 2018, the pass rate was 45.7 per cent for men and 49.2 per cent for women.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency's chief driving examiner, Mark Winn said: "DVSA's priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving. Britain's roads are among the safest in the world but all road users must make sure their skills and knowledge are up to date. The highway code is essential reading for all road users, not just those who are learning."



David Beckham receives six-month driving ban after using phone at the wheel
Blog Entry: 9th May 2019



Ex-England football hero David Beckham has been disqualified from driving for six months after receiving six points for using his mobile phone while driving.

He was reported for the offence after being seen by a member of the public using his phone at the wheel of his Bentley car in the West End of London.

He arrived at Bromley Magistrates Court wearing a dark grey suit on the 8th of May. The former footballer got out of a black car and walked past photographers into the court building. Mr Beckham had already pleaded guilty by post to using the device while driving in Great Portland Street on November 21st 2018.

If it can happen to Beckham, it can certainly happen to you - don't use your mobile while driving!



Is a £100 fine for anti-social drivers a good idea?
Blog Entry: 8th March 2019



Drivers who play loud music or rev their engines will be fined £100 under new laws. Bradford Council has introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to tackle anti-social driving. It will allow the police and council officers to take action against those who make noise, including shouting, swearing or making sexual suggestions.

The measure has been introduced after two-thirds of people in a survey said nuisance drivers were a problem. However, some thought the proposals were "an infringement of civil liberties" and could unfairly target car enthusiasts.

Labour councillor Abdul Jabar said the new measure was about making people feel safe. "Without the PSPO, it is difficult for the council or the police to combat anti-social use of a vehicle which does not constitute a breach of a specific motoring law," he said. "Any action we can take to improve this situation and increase community safety and improve the reputation of the district will be of benefit to residents, visitors and businesses."

The PSPO with a £100 fine will come into force on 1st June this year.



Is this the most powerful road car ever?
Blog Entry: 5th March 2019



With 1,900bhp, the street-legal Pininfarina Battista manages to hit 0-62mph in less than two seconds and has a top speed of more than 250mph! It also costs £2 million and is an electric car.

The power "is crazy" says Automobili Pininfarina chief executive Michael Perschke. The car is, he says, a statement that high performance and electric propulsion are not mutually exclusive.

Paolo Pininfarina, chairman of Pininfarina and grandson of the company's founder, said designing something beautiful was key - not surprising given their heritage. "We are designers, we are Italian. We could not compromise on the car's beauty," he said.



DVLA to force autistic people to inform them of their diagnosis
Blog Entry: 4th March 2019



The National Autistic Society is challenging a decision by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to force autistic people to inform them of their diagnosis even if it does not affect their driving.

The change in policy – which was not communicated to any autistic people, charities or medical professionals – emerged after a person with autism contacted the NAS and told them the DVLA website said drivers must disclose if they have an autistic spectrum disorder.

Until recently, the website has simply said that drivers must tell the DVLA if they have an autistic spectrum disorder "and it affects your driving". This is standard for many conditions. The final clause has been removed and is now in a separate paragraph warning of the risk of a £1,000 fine or possible prosecution if these drivers are involved in an accident.



Driving in low Winter sun?
Blog Entry: 26th February 2019



The low winter sun can be a nightmare for motorists, so it's no surprise many drivers reach for their sunglasses before heading out. However, you need to make sure they are the right kind or be landed with a £2,500 fine and nine points on your licence, according to Plymouth Live.

In a strange twist, NOT wearing them can land you in hot water, too.

Drivers must slow down or pull over if dazzled by bright sunlight - states Rule 237 of the Highway Code - so if you're not wearing sunglasses to protect you from the glare then you could be convicted of careless driving. The offence means an on-the-spot fine of £100 and up to three penalty points on your licence - or you could go to court and face up to £2,500 in a fine and nine points.

But it is also illegal to wear some types of sunglasses while driving. Sunglasses are divided into four categories based on how much light they filter out. Most sunglasses will be category two - meaning they filter between 18 and 43 per cent of light and are suitable for driving. But if you have category 4 sunglasses - which let less than eight per cent of light through - they are illegal when driving.



When should you use Fog Lights?
Blog Entry: 20th February 2019



The Highway Code outlines when you should use fog light.:

Rule 226 states: "You MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced, generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet). You may also use front or rear fog lights but you MUST switch them off when visibility improves."

When the fog clears you must switch them off to avoid dazzling other drivers. The Highway Code also outlines when they shouldn't be used:

Rule 236 says: "You MUST NOT use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced (see Rule 226) as they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights. You MUST switch them off when visibility improves."

Not only can improper use of them be hazardous, it could also land you a Fixed Penalty Notice - which is a £50 fine but no penalty points.



Motor vehicle excise duty rate increases
Blog Entry: 11th February 2019



DVLA car tax rates are increasing for the third time in three years in 2019. Vehicle excise duty rates will soon increase in line with inflation later this year. The announcement was made by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, in his Autumn Budget of 2018.

In the Budget, it was confirmed that: "From 1 April 2019 VED rates for cars, vans, and motorcycles will increase in line with RPI." This could add between £5 and £65 on to the cost of your annual VED bill.

Here's how much the various bands will increase by as of the 1st April:

  • 76g/km and 150g/km CO2 - +£5
  • 151-170 g/km CO2 - +£15
  • 171-190g/km CO2 - +£25
  • 191-225g/km CO2 - +£40
  • 226-255g/km CO2 - +£55
  • 255g/km CO2 - +£65


Is your car most likely to pass its MOT?
Blog Entry: 5th February 2019



New data has shed some light on which cars are most and least likely to fail the annual MOT test in the UK. The Department for Transport released the latest MOT results which is the first update in a year.

Analysis of the data shows that, unsurprisingly, newwer cars are more likely to pass than older vehicles and the data found that 90 per cent of newer cars between 3 and 4 years old will pass their first MOT.

Average pass rates decline over time and the data found that cars are around 58.8 per cent likely to pass when they reach 17 years old.

Interestingly, 50-year-old cars have an average pass rate of 80 per cent, compared with the national average of 72 per cent. Cars that are still on the roads at this age are likely to be doing lower mileage and tend to be well looked after.

In terms of manufacturers, Honda sits at the top of the MOT league table, with an average first-time pass rate of 93.8 per cent. Chrysler is at the bottom, with an average MOT pass rate of 80.1 per cent.



Are elderly drivers potentially a danger?
Blog Entry: 18th January 2019



The number of over-70s holding a driving licence exceeded five million for the first time last year, but figures suggest concerns that older drivers pose a danger are unfounded.

AA president Edmund King said high profile car crashes involving elderly drivers often spark calls for bans or restrictions - but it is younger drivers who pose more of a risk.

"Young, predominantly male, drivers are much more likely to crash within six months of passing their test than older drivers within six months of hanging up their keys," he said.

"Older drivers often self-restrict their driving by not driving at night and only driving on familiar roads."

Read the full article here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46916429



Limited time left to save £100!
Blog Entry: 17th January 2019



Our recent promotion has been extended for a very limited time, so please do get in touch if you want to claim your £100 discount.

Call us on 07720 245392 or complete our Online Booking Form to book your course and save £100!

(Please note that only the first 10 confirmed bookings - with deposits paid - will be able to receive this discount. This discount applies to our 45 hour, 40 hour and 35 hour courses ONLY)



Save £100 off our regular course prices!
Blog Entry: 9th January 2019



We are pleased to announce that the first 10 bookings for either our 45, 40 or 35 hour intensive driving courses will receive a massive £100 saving off our regular prices!

You'll need to be quick to take advantage of this saving, so please call us on 07720 245392 or complete our Online Booking Form to book your course and save £100!

(Please note that only the first 10 confirmed bookings - with deposits paid - will be able to receive this discount. This discount applies to our 45 hour, 40 hour and 35 hour courses ONLY)



How to drive in icy conditions
Blog Entry: 2nd January 2019



With temperatures forecast to reach as low as -4°C overnight this week, here are some useful tips for driving on icy roads:

  • Firstly, think about whether your journey is really necessary
  • Tyre grip is hugely reduced on icy roads, and braking distances are much longer
  • Even if you avoid an accident, your car may get stuck - potentially leading to a long walk home. Traffic congestion is likely to be worse, too. If you don't get stuck, the driver in front of you may do
  • Before you leave home, make sure you pack a charged mobile phone (and a charger cable), a bottle of water, a few snacks and a warm blanket. If snowfall looks likely, a set of snow socks – high-grip fabric covers fitted over the car’s driven wheels – is worth having, too
  • If you're driving to meet someone, let them know your route and when you expect to arrive. Make sure the car's windows and mirrors are completely clear before you set off. And in cars with selectable drive modes, select the best option for cold conditions



Wishing you a very happy new year!
Blog Entry: 31st December 2018



We would like to wish all of our pupils, past and present, a very happy 2019! Safe driving everyone.



A very merry Christmas to you
Blog Entry: 25th December 2018



Hope you have a fantastic Christmas!



19 million drivers expected on roads during busiest festive day
Blog Entry: 9th December 2018



December 21 is expected to be the busiest day on the roads this festive season, with almost 19 million drivers embarking on trips, new research from the AA suggests.

The annual getaway from work and school will combine with the last-minute shopping frenzy as 59% of drivers take to main roads or motorways on the last Friday before Christmas, the poll of 20,000 motorists indicated.

The breakdown recovery firm warned of queues on major routes and urged people to check traffic reports before setting off.

More than half (53%) of respondents to the survey said they would be driving on December 22. This is the most popular day of the festive period for shopping and other day trips, with 29% of people embarking on such journeys.

Christmas Eve is expected to see less commuter traffic than normal as it falls on a Monday, meaning many people will finish work on the previous Friday. However, 50% of drivers are still expected to travel in the 24 hours before Christmas Day, with a spike in visits to friends and family.



Many motorists do not understand the rules of the road, according to a new survey
Blog Entry: 8th December 2018



A third (34%) believe the speed limit for cars on a dual carriageway is 60mph (it is actually 70mph). Around 32% incorrectly believe they should signal before checking their mirrors when carrying out a manoeuvre.

The poll of 2,000 UK drivers for insurance provider 1st Central also found that 14% think they may use their horn at any time of day in a built-up area. In actual fact, a curfew is in place between 11.30pm and 7am.

1st Central's chief executive, Andy James, said: "Whilst experienced drivers may be comfortable behind the wheel, it's concerning to see how many people have forgotten speed limits. No matter how many years of driving you have under your belt, it's important to remember the correct rules of the road to ensure a safe drive for all."



Searching for that perfect Christmas present?
Blog Entry: 4th December 2018



Why not give the gift of driving this Christmas? Best Driving Courses gift vouchers are available in any amount and to suit every budget.

Please contact us on:

07720 245392 or email info@bestdrivingcourses.com for more information.



Is the driving test getting more difficult?
Blog Entry: 3rd December 2018



Interesting article at the BBC that's well worth a read for those about to take their driving test.

"A year since its biggest shake-up in two decades, what do we know about the driving test?

For more than 80 years, the driving test has been a rite of passage for many young adults on the path to independence. But while the principle has stayed the same, the test has frequently adapted to the country's changing roads..."

Continue reading the full article at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46374981



Do Your Listing Tastes Impact On Your Driving?
Blog Entry: 20th November 2018



A new study conducted by vehicle finance provider Moneybarn reveals some of the songs favourite to many drivers are in fact dangerous behind the steering wheel. In general, music with a BPM (beats per minute) greater than 120 may have a negative impact on your driving resulting in faster driving speeds and more traffic violations.

"If you find yourself getting distracted by the songs played on the radio or from your Spotify playlist, it might be time for a change," said Tim Schwarz, Head of Marketing at Moneybarn.

"It's really interesting to see how something as innocent as choosing a road trip playlist could potentially have a negative impact on your driving," Schwarz added.

Top 5 most dangerous driving songs:
1. American Idiot – Green Day
2. Party in the U.S.A – Miley Cyrus
3. Mr. Brightside – The Killers
4. Don't Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers
5. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

Top 5 safest driving songs:
1. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
2. Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
3. God's Plan - Drake
4. Africa – Toto
5. Location – Khalid

The study also discovered that it's not just the tempo and energy of a song that can negatively influence your driving. Loud volumes are believed to increase the reaction times and heart rate.



Best Driving Courses in The Sunday Times
Blog Entry: 18th November 2018



We're very proud to have been featured in a new Sunday Times magazine article by the well-respected journalist, Katie Glass.

Entitled, 'I'm a millennial... Get me through my driving test', the feature covers the ups and downs of Katie's week long intensive driving course with us.

You can access the article on The Times website here



How failing your driving test could be a sign of intelligence...
Blog Entry: 7th November 2018



Research by Privilege DriveXpert has revealed that those who don't pass first time could be smarter than those who do. The study has shown a link between qualifications and professional position held and the number of times it takes a person to pass their practical driving test.

According to the the study, those with a post-graduate qualification or above are most likely to take three or more attempts to pass their practical test. This compares to those with no qualifications who are most likely to pass first time (59 per cent).

Additionally, those who own businesses are three times more likely to have taken their test four or more times (22 per cent) than those at lower levels on the professional ladder (seven per cent).

Charlotte Fielding, head of Privilege DriveXpert, said: "Passing first time isn't the be-all and end-all of driving ability as many of the main skills we need to equip ourselves for our driving careers are learned over the years as our experience on the roads builds."

Dr Lee Hadlington, senior lecturer in Psychology, De Montfort University, commented: "Those who don't have formal academic qualifications could be in roles that rely more heavily on procedural skills like motor control and hand-eye co-ordination, hence may be better suited to activities like passing a driving test."



Do you face potential £1,000 fine over faulty windscreen wipers?
Blog Entry: 4th November 2018



Drivers are being warned to check their cars wiper blades as they could land them in trouble if they aren't working properly. Faulty windscreen wipers could cause a number of problems for motorists in the UK and see them face some hefty punishments. These include reducing reaction times by as much as a few car lengths, which could be the difference between colliding with another car or not.

In addition to this, motorists could be penalised for careless or dangerous driving if they are caught without working windscreen wipers. Motorists caught committing this offence can be penalised by £100 on the spot fine up to £1,000 if the case goes to caught. It is also unlikely that insurers would pay out for a driver in an accident if they unknowingly knew their wipers were faulty.

Research from Halfords reveals that two thirds of motorists in the UK are unaware of when their wiper blade needs changing to ensure good visibility is maintained. It also found that almost a fifth (16 per cent) of drivers would wait for a garage to tell them about the fault, even if it was a number of months away. A further 15 per cent would wait until they begin to screech before changing them and 13 per cent admitted to being completely clueless about when was the correct time to them.

According to information provided on the Auto Glass website, a car can fail its MOT test for having windscreen wipers that are "missing, insecure or in poor condition."



Why are so many women assaulted by their driving instructors?
Blog Entry: 31st October 2018



Lewd comments and groping – shocking numbers of women report being sexually harassed during their driving lessons. What can be done?

A very interesting article in The Guardian, one well worth reading before you select your driving school and instructor. All of our instructors are fully qualified, CRB checked and approved by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency in the UK.

Link: Guardian article



Budget 2018 - good news for drivers
Blog Entry: 29th October 2018



The Chancellor's fuel duty freeze could save you as much as £1,000 or more.

Philip Hammond announced that fuel duty would be frozen for the ninth consecutive year today during the Autumn Budget. The announcement will come as a welcome relief to motorists feeling the squeeze from recent price hikes.

Hammond announced the Government was scrapping the planned 2p price hike. The tax on fuel currently stands at 57.95p per litre of petrol, diesel, biodiesel and bioethanol in the UK. A VAT which sits around 20 per cent is also added to the price of fuel.

Mr Hammond said that freezing fuel duty again will have "saved the average car driver £850 and the average van driver over £2,100" by April 2019.



In rain, snow or fog make sure you avoid a potential £50 fine
Blog Entry: 18th October 2018



Winter is now definitely now upon us and rain, snow and fog are all to be expected.

Everyone knows to turn their headlights on when it is dark, but many did not know that they should also be on during these weather conditions even during the daytime - or you could risk getting a fine.

The Highway Code states that drivers "MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced", especially when you cannot see more than 100 meters (328 feet) in front of you. Fog lights should only be used when visibility is "seriously reduced", but they should be turned off as soon as visibility improves, as they can obscure your brake lights and dazzle other road users.

Failing to comply with this rule can see the drive land an on-the-spot fine of £50.

However, if you are driving in built-up 30mph areas where roads are adequately lit by street lights that are around 180-metres apart, you are not required to use your headlights when it rains as lighting from the street lights should be sufficient, although motorists are recommended to keep them on as a precaution.



As many as one in five jobs requires a driving licence
Blog Entry: 14th October 2018



According to an analysis of the Find a Job database by the RAC Foundation, as many as one in five job vacancies require a driving licence. A total of 19 percent of the 182,000 jobs on offer on September 14th 2018 listed the ability to drive as a requirement.

That isn't to say that there were 34,000 specifically drivinh jobs, the vacancies listing the ability to drive as a requirement were diverse, from carer to chef to security guard to gymnastics coach.

Interestingly, the percentage of adults in England who hold a full driving licence is 74 percent. Put simply, that's the highest ever percentage of the population that are fully qualified drivers.

Contrast that with the amount of 17-20 year-olds who have licences – a steady 30 percent over the past five years. It was closer to 35 percent in 2010, and nearly 50 percent at its peak in the early 1990s.

The RAC also found that eight percent of apprenticeships require a driving licence, after analysis of the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s apprenticeship database.



Are you due an eye sight check up?
Blog Entry: 10th October 2018



599 people failed their driving test in in 2017 simply by failing to read a number plate from a distance of 20m (65ft) away. This is a legal requirement of all drivers and can see them instantly fail the practical examination before even getting into the car.

Surprisingly it was motorists aged between 17 and 30 who failed the most with 400 drivers not meeting the eyesight requirements.

Ashish Mathur, eye care specialist at Feel Good Contacts, said: "With National Eye Health Week just gone and Road Safety Week coming up in November, now is the time to stress the importance of being able to read a number plate that's at least 20m away, the minimum eyesight standard required by all drivers."

"Being able to check this before you book a test is easy, and would save hundreds of drivers the disappointment of learning they've failed their test before they've even properly begun."

"Even if you do pass, you should take the number plate eye test on a regular basis - if you feel you're struggling then you should book an appointment to see an optician. It is crucial not only for your own eye health but for the safety of other road users. We also urge the public to notify the DVLA immediately if anything changes in regards to their eye health, regardless of their age."



Suffolk man convicted of drink-driving at the age of 84
Blog Entry: 4th October 2018



Proof that wisdom does not necessarily come with age... Alan Pye, from Suffolk, has been convicted of drink-driving at the age of 84.

He admitted taking the wheel of his silver Mazda after drinking wine and beer at a hotel near Southwold - on the way home from picking up a prescription – on September 12th. The former engineer, who spent 15 years in the navy, also pleaded guilty to driving the 400-yard journey on a provisional driving licence, without supervision or L-plates.

Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard how officers noticed a strong smell of alcohol on the pensioner, who predicted he would fail a roadside breath test after confessing to drinking three glasses of wine and half a pint of lager that afternoon.

Two subsequent intoximeter tests, taken at Martlesham Heath police investigation centre, returned a lower reading of 68 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35mcg. It also transpired Pye was driving otherwise than in accordance with a provisional licence - and had previously been caught driving while disqualified and without insurance in 1992.




When a speed camera is not actually a speed camera...
Blog Entry: 3rd October 2018



A grandfather has been ordered by council chiefs to remove a fake speed camera from outside of his house. Mike Lacey, 72, has been requested to teardown the dummy camera made from drainpipes.

The reason the council has asked him to take the camera, which is located close to his house, is due to the fact he does not have planning permission for it.

In addition to this, Highways England has also stated it could be distracting to other drivers.

A spokesman for Highways England said: "While we acknowledge Mr Lacey's commitment to safety and his ingenuity, we cannot support the use of dummy cameras like this and have raised the issue with the council."



Are you a potty mouthed driver?
Blog Entry: 2nd October 2018



Researchers who polled 2,000 drivers on behalf of Hyundai found that they typically swear 41 times for every 100 miles travelled.

The typical motorist commutes 373 miles to and from work during an average month and in the process they’ll curse 152 times on average.

During a month of school runs, where 64 miles are covered on average, they'll typically use a swear word 26 times... hopefully not while the kids are in the car!



The Queen has been driving for more than 70 years, but does not need a driving licence
Blog Entry: 18th September 2018



According to British law, the Queen does not need a driving licence because driving licences are issued in her name.

As part of discretionary powers or rights that only the sovereign enjoys, she is excluded form the regulations and laws governing the road.

The Queen has never had to do a driving test and is the only person in Britain allowed to sit behind the wheel with a driving licence



Should cyclists face the same laws as vehicle drivers?
Blog Entry: 15th August 2018



One of Britain's top motoring lawyers is demanding new penalties for cyclists, as well as a controversial scheme to register the almost eight million cyclists who use Britain's roads. The scheme would mean bicycles being issued with number plates, or cyclists being forced to wear numbered tabards. Its designed to enable the authorities to track rogue riders, and punish them with the same points and penalties faced by drivers.

Nick Freeman, often referred to as 'Mr Loophole' by the media, is better known for representing high profile celebrities such as David Beckham and Paddy McGuinness when facing driving charges. His latest intervention follows a government consultation on creating a new offence of 'causing death by careless cycling'.

"Though every death is a terrible tragedy, the number of cases involving collisions between cyclists and pedestrians is minute. In contrast, there are countless situations every day in which thousands of cyclists recklessly cut red lights, ride on the pavement and generally use their bikes without due care or much worse," Freeman said.

"As someone who travels 30,000-50,000 miles a year, I see this all the time. That's why it isn't enough just to tidy up bits of the statute. What the Government currently proposes is simply a headline grabbing vote-winner. In reality, it does nothing to address the real issue of road safety."

The comments have attracted a pithy response from Cycling UK: "In 2014, after one of his clients was convicted of causing the death of an elderly rabbi by careless driving, Mr Freeman blamed the collision on the rabbi's traditional dark clothing,” says the organisation's Head of Campaigns Duncan Dollimore.


Useful tips if you're going to be driving in the USA
Blog Entry: 11th August 2018



Watch out for undertaking
Undertaking is perhaps the biggest culture shock for UK motorists on US roads. Undertaking is not illegal, and is exercised on most motorways. US drivers aren't particularly fond of indicating for direction change, either, which will make you watch your mirrors even more closely.

Right turns at red lights
You're also allowed to turn right when a traffic light is red, provided that there is no oncoming traffic.

Take your turn at the crossroads
If you come to a four-way intersection without lights, the car that arrived first has priority and then the next. This will take some getting used to, so when approaching intersections slow down and keep an eye out on who’s arrived to the stop mark when.

What is the alcohol limit for driving in the US?
There is no US law that requires you to carry a breathalyser, but the country is cracking down on drink driving. Each state has its own blood alcohol limit, and the most common level is 0.08 per cent, the same as in England and Wales.



Car tax changes could mean charges based on the number of miles you drive
Blog Entry: 7th August 2018



Motorists living in rural areas could end up paying more than city dwellers in the Republic of Ireland under a proposed shake-up to car tax. The changes would see car tax charged on distant travelled which would target motorists in rural areas that have to travel further distances.

An AA spokesperson has warned motorists in rural areas that if the changes are approved then they could face paying more. Barry Aldworth, senior media officers with AA Ireland, said: "The Government needs to think long and hard before it makes these changes," said Mr Aldworth. "We know that as Ireland goes more electric there is going to be a tax shortfall which needs to be addressed but our concerns is distance charging would hit those living in rural communities harder. Because of the history of under investment in rural transport in this country people have become more reliant on their private cars and they’ll be punished."

The new system would essentially be based on how much fuel a person uses with people that use more pay more.



Could the drink driving limit be reduced to just half a pint?
Blog Entry: 2nd August 2018



The latest drink driving figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed an increase in casualties. Figures show a rise of seven per cent in the the total number of people killed or injured in traffic collisions where at least one of the motorists was over the drink driving limit. An estimated 9,040 were killed or injured as a result of drink-driving incidents in 2016, which is an increase of seven per cent from 8,470 in 2015. It is thought that between 220 and 250 people were killed in a drink-driving accidents in 2016.

The DfT claims however that the rise is not statistically significant and that the estimate is continuing a period of stability recorded since 2010. Drink-driving and injuries are, however, at the highest level since 2012, which has concerned road safety charity Brake. As a result it is calling for driving driving limits to be slashed dramatically to 20mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

Commenting on the statistics, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said "The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive – this is a dangerous message and one that couldn't be further from the truth."

"Our current drink-driving law lacks clarity, is badly understood and supports the perception that mixing alcohol and driving is acceptable – this needs to change. Brake is calling for the Government to implement an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe."



Planning on driving a hire care on holiday this year?
Blog Entry: 27th July 2018



Although the summer holidays are coming to a close, many people are still getting away from it all and going abroad. If you're planning on hiring a car on holiday it's worth taking note of the AA's guide to avoid being ripped off and how best to go about your oversees motoring. You can see the full article here:

https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/driving-abroad/hiring-a-car-abroad

On a related note, one in five drivers are too nervous to get behind the wheel abroad, a survey by TravelSupermarket has found. A poll of 2,000 British motorists found 19 per cent would never drive overseas and 63 per cent feel less confident driving on roads abroad than they do on roads at home.



Do you own a Vauxhall Corsa? Worth reading this if so...
Blog Entry: 23rd July 2018



Corsa owners are being warned as gangs are seemingly stealing the car’s bonnet and headlights in a wave of crime, read the full article here:

www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars



Don't be caught out on holiday by new French driving laws
Blog Entry: 20th July 2018



Since July 1st the speed limit on secondary 'D' categoary roads has dropped from 90kph (55mph) to 80kph (50mph). Anyone breaking the new limit could be fined up to €750 (around £670). Yet, according to a survey of drivers by the RAC, 78% were unaware of the reduced limit.

The law is one of several changes designed to address a rise in fatal incidents on Frances roads. As in Britain, the French are also clamping down on drivers using mobile phones. Under the latest regulation, which was a mystery to 72% of drivers, you must now switch your engine off in a designated parking place in order to use a handheld mobile phone. Any driver ignoring this law faces a fine of at least €135 (£120).

The use of headphones while driving is also now illegal in France, a fact less than 25% of British driver were aware of.




Drivers who drench pedestrians could be handed a £5,000 fine
Blog Entry: 15th July 2018



Under section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is an offence to drive 'without reasonable consideration for other persons', and this includes any instance of 'driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed.

The maximum punishment is a level five fine of £5,000 in instances where driving 'amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience or aggressiveness'. However, more realistically you'd be more likely to receive a £100 fixed penalty notice and three penalty points if you are caught and charged with the offence.

That said, if you were to refuse to pay and take the matter to court, you could see a maximum fine of £5,000 imposed.

The police can, and sometimes do, take action. In January of this year, police in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, issued a public appeal to find the driver who splashed a mum and her two children after they had driven through a 20ft-long puddle. In 2014, a 22-year-old man was banned from the road and fined £500 after he drove through standing water, soaking a woman and her two children as they walked to school in Colchester, the Daily Mail reported.

So, the sensible thing to do - as ever - is to drive with consideration for all other road and pavement users at all times.



Learners wasting money on driving tests they instantly fail
Blog Entry: 10th July 2018


Drivers taking their practical tests are wasting thousands of pounds each year by failing their test for reasons such as forgetting their L plates, their vehicle not being up to the required standards, or - in some cases - even turning up without a car.

Almost 5,000 provisional drivers are failing their test each year because their car doesn't meet the Government's basic tandards, meaning they lose the minimum £62 fee they've paid for their test.

If you're taking your driving test in your own car, make sure you've read all the regulations your car must meet, or you could end up wasting time and your money.

If you take your driving test in an instructor's car, you would expect it to meet all the required specifications for a test. If you're taking your test in your own car, your car must:

  • Be taxed
  • Be roadworthy and have a current MOT
  • Have no tyre damage – your tyres must also have the legal tread depth, and you can't have a space-saver spare tyre fitted
  • Be insured for a driving test
  • Have no warning lights showing, for example, the airbag warning light
  • Be smoke-free – this means you can't smoke in it just before or during the test
  • Be able to reach at least 62mph and have an MPH speedometer
  • Have four wheels and a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of no more than 3,500 kg

You must also have:

  • An extra interior rear-view mirror for the examiner
  • L plates (L or D plates in Wales) on the front and rear of your car
  • A passenger seatbelt for the examiner and a proper passenger head restraint (not a slip-on type)

There are also certain cars such as the Toyota iQ and Ford KA convertible, which are deemed unsuitable for driving tests because they don't give your examiner all-round vision.



Revealed: the time it takes to become a 'bad driver' after passing your test
Blog Entry: 6th July 2018


It takes motorists just 10 weeks to become a 'bad driver' after passing their test, according to research.

A study of 2,000 car owners found the average new road user lets bad habits creep in less than three months after ripping the L-plates off. And one in 10 even admitted they began to forget what they learned two weeks or less after passing their test.

Not holding the steering wheel in the correct '10 to 2' position and failing to check their mirrors every time they make a manoeuvre are among the earliest flaws to emerge.

David Carter for Accident Advice Helpline, who commissioned the research, said: "Passing your driving test is, for many people, one of the hardest things they'll ever have to do.

"And for many of us, that testing day could have come years or even decades ago – plenty of time for bad habits to creep in.

"Our study found lots of drivers are happy to admit to bad practices when behind the wheel, most of which are harmless.

"But it's important to stay vigilant with observation and safety, as letting your guard down for too long could result in an accident."

The study also found on average it takes just four and a half months to become a middle-lane hogger on the motorway, despite it being illegal. And drivers will further put their safety at risk by riding without a seatbelt from time to time after less than four months of having their full license.



Tips to avoid arguments while out on the road
Blog Entry: 1st July 2018


According to a study by carwow, around a quarter of people will get into a row with their partner or family member at least once a week while in the car.

And squabbles on the road could be affecting relationships on a wider scale, with around 1 in 8 people saying they often go more than a day before speaking to their partner again after a driving dispute.

But there are a few simple steps drivers can follow to make sure their time on the road doesn't lead to a bust-up with a loved one.

The study took tips from Dr Sandi Mann, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, to show drivers how to avoid an argument behind the wheel.

Understand what most annoys you or your partner:

If directions are often the reason for arguments, make sure you map out the journey before you go to relieve stress along the way. And leaving discussions about important life elements until you get out of the car can reduce the chance of them becoming a major issue.

Reduce stress:

A small confined space like a car will already have people slightly on edge. For a long journey, reduce the chance of additional stress by allowing plenty of time, avoiding traffic hotspots and not cramping up the inside of your motor with excess clutter.

Breathe:

Simple calm breaths in the nose and out the mouth can help to diffuse a situtation if you feel an argument brewing.

Music:

Relaxing or fun music can instantly change the mood inside the car.

Air con:

If you are driving in summer, be sure to keep the car as cool as possible. If it starts to get uncomfortably hot, tempers will also start to rise.

Take a break:

Stopping at a services to stretch your legs and grab a coffee can also make everyone feel more relaxed.

Dr Sandi Mann, from the University of Central Lancashire, said: "The triggers for an argument are far more prevalent in driving situations – your partner's individual habits come to the fore; perhaps in their lack of willingness to ask for directions, their tendency to drive too fast, or aggression towards other drivers. Once an argument starts, neither of you can go anywhere until the journey is over.

The ways to avoid arguing in a car are the same as anywhere else – one side can just stop talking as it’s impossible to argue with yourself. Or once you realise a row is brewing, you can take deep breaths and count to 10 before speaking again in an attempt to calm your thoughts."



Learner drivers to have 'potholes' added to driving tests?
Blog Entry: 25th June 2018


Learner drivers should have to prove they can spot potholes to pass the test, according to the AA. They want poor road surfaces to be included in the hazard perception test because of the damage they cause to vehicles. It has also called for advice on what to do when drivers encounter a pothole to be added to the Highway Code.

20% of local roads in England & Wales are in a poor condition as councils face a funding deficit to tackle the pothole problem.

Hazard perception is part of the theory driving test and involves candidates identifying something that would cause them to take action such as slow down or change direction in 14 video clips. The pass rate of the practical driving test fell to a nine-year low of 45% after changes to make the exam more realistic were introduced in December last year.

The AA advises motorists who spot a pothole to:

  • Slow down if necessary but keep an eye on the rear view mirror
  • Stay in lane
  • Avoid big swerves

A survey of a small sample of driving instructors found that some have broken down during a lesson at least once in the past year due to pothole related damage, some have even had to lessons to avoid certain roads where there are too many potholes.

Some learners have even had to abandon a practical driving test because their car was damaged by a pothole, the AA learned. Damage to tyres, wheels and suspension are the most common problems.

AA president Edmund King said: 'It is a sad indictment of our poor road conditions that instructors are having to adapt their lessons to avoid potholed roads. More troubling is the fact that lessons and tests are being abandoned because of pothole related breakdowns. This is damaging to learners' confidence and to instructors; whose livelihoods depend on having a fit-for-purpose road network and an undamaged car.

The situation is so serious that the hazard perception test and Highway Code need to change to reflect the state of the roads that learner drivers have to learn on. There is no advice for drivers about potholes anywhere in the Highway Code yet it is one of the most common hazards they encounter.'



The Top 20 signs of a back-seat driver
Blog Entry: 20th June 2018


A study of 2,000 motorists shows 7 in 10 believe there is nothing more annoying than a passenger who frequently displays exaggerated emotion or offers unwanted 'help' or advice. Criticising the driver's decision-making, flinching when they appear to drive 'too close' to the car in front and pointing out the correct turn-off or junction also only serve to irritate those behind the wheel.

Top 20 signs of a back-seat driver:

1. Criticising the driver's decisions behind the wheel
2. Complaining about the driver going too fast
3. Gasping loudly at any slight braking movement
4. Flinching when they feel the driver is too close to another vehicle/obstacle/wall etc
5. Complaining about the driver going too slowly
6. Pointing out when to turn off or onto a road at a junction
7. Pressing an imaginary brake pedal
8. Advising on which lane the driver should be in
9. Telling the driver when the traffic lights have changed to green
10. Insisting on giving directions
11. Interfering with the music
12. Swearing at other cars' drivers
13. Gesticulating at other road users
14. Getting road rage on the driver's behalf
15. Waving 'thanks' at other drivers for letting you out
16. Reading out the road signs as they pass
17. Changing the in-car temperature
18. Holding your hands over your face
19. Closing your eyes frequently when someone else is driving
20. Disagreeing with satnav

The poll was by Accident Advice Helpline, which carried out the research via OnePoll.com



Are you a hay fever sufferer? Your medication may cause problems whilst driving
Blog Entry: 16th June 2018


Millions of drivers in the UK regularly take antihistamines to reduce the effectds of hay fever. The downside is that these can cause sleepiness, sickness and dizziness and, even when bought over the counter at pharmacists, they can impair reaction time and ability for drivers who take them.

Now experts have issued a warning that police can charge drivers under the influence of strong antihistamines — under the same drug-driving law as cocaine and cannabis. Police have made over 1,200 arrests for drug-driving offences so far this year. These include charges for the use of illegal, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

"With summer comes hay fever, but this year it really is stinging a lot of drivers. This 'pollen boom' means motorists are going to be desperately relying on their antihistamines to keep their symptoms at bay. But what they may not know is that some can cause drowsiness and seriously affect their ability to drive. If in doubt, they should speak to their doctor or pharmacist for clarity," said Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com.

She continued: “The consequences of drug driving can be very serious. Offenders are putting their lives and the lives of other road users at risk, and they could seriously damage their driving history if served with a criminal record, and see their car insurance premiums shoot up as a result."

The company's survey found 10% of drivers had actually noticed the affects of medication while driving, with it making them drowsy, their reactions slower or their vision slightly blurry. And 86% of motorists were unaware hay fever medication could see you slapped with the same penalty as taking illegal drugs.



What to do if you see a dog in a hot car
Blog Entry: 13th June 2018


In the current wave of hot weather, hundreds of dogs across the UK are left alone in sweltering cars. Here's what to do if you spot one at any time:

  • The dog's not showing signs of overheating yet

    Signs of heatstroke include: heavy panting, excessive drooling, lethargy, lack of coordination, or the dog is collapsed and vomiting. If the dog isn't showing these signs, assess how long the dog has been in the car. You may be able to read the time stamp on the car's parking ticket, for example. Then make a note of the registration. If the car's in a public car park, you should ask a member of staff to make an announcement over the PA, or ask them to monitor the dog's condition.

  • The dog's showing signs of overheating

    If the animal is showing signs of heatstroke, call 999 immediately, not the RSPCA. The RSPCA, as a charity has no powers of entry, and would need police assistance with such an incident. But the RSPCA has a 24-hour emergency cruelty line on 0300 1234 999. This can be used to seek advice only.

  • The dog's showing signs of heatstroke, but the police can't attend

    Many people’s instinct would be to break the glass, but this could be classed as criminal damage. However, the law states that you have a lawful reason to commit damage if you believe the owner of the property would consent if they knew the circumstances. Remember to collect evidence, as if the owner can see their animal in distress, they may approve of your actions and you'll have a stronger defence. Take photos and videos, and gather witnesses. But most importantly, inform the police of your intentions.

  • The dog's out of the car. What now?

    Take the dog to a shaded area and douse them with cool (not cold) water, providing a small amount for the animal to drink. If the water is too cold, it may cause shock. Continue to douse the dog with water until their breathing starts to settle. Then take it to a vet as a matter of urgency.



Once you have your licence, make sure it's kept up to date
Blog Entry: 9th June 2018


Once you've passed your test and got your licence, it's crucial that you inform DVLA about any address changes, name changes or title changes.

This includes even temporary address changes, such as if a student moves to university, as their halls will be the address the car spends the most time at.

Failing to change the address on your driving licence when necessary could land you a £1,000 fine.

The DVLA state that "Drivers are required by law to let the DVLA know if they change their name or address, DVLA then issue a new licence for free. Keeping DVLA informed ensures that drivers can be notified promptly with important information affecting them such as reminders when their licence is due for renewal. If a driver fails to notify the DVLA of changes they could face a fine of up to £1000."

There is no charge made to drivers for changing any information with the DVLA and you can update your licence information online using the V5C vehicle logbook via the Gov.uk website.

If you apply online the new licence will arrive within one to three weeks. New licences will be issued for free by the DVLA after you have provided the necessary information.

In addition to keeping your licence address up to date, you must also make sure your photo is not out of date. In addition, photo card licences must be updated every ten years and failing to do so could also see you land a £1,000 fine.



Check our Facebook page for an exclusive offer - this weekend only!
Blog Entry: 8th June 2018


For this weekend only, we're offering a FREE driving test to the first two people who book a driving course online with us.

This represents a saving of £62, which is the standard price of a practical driving test and something that all pupils would usually have to pay in order to take their test.

If you'd like to take advantage of this offer, make sure to head on over to our Facebook page, which you can find at: www.facebook.com/bestdrivingcourses and get in touch to book your intensive driving course this weekend.



The EU's Elzbieta Bienkowska states that "diesel cars are finished"
Blog Entry: 4th June 2018


The Brussels official has lablled diesel cars as "technology of the past" and predicts they will "completely disappear" from UK and European roads within a few years.

In a new statement that will further see a reduction in the second hand market for diesels, Elzbieta Bienkowska, the EU's Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) said the recent diesel pollution scandal provided a "breakthrough moment" for consumers, significantly affecting "emotions in society toward emissions and cleaner cars".

Bienkowska, the former deputy prime minister of Poland, said: "Diesel cars are finished... I think in several years they will completely disappear. This is the technology of the past." The comments come as car manufacturers encounter more rigourous new emissions laws from 2020.

EU heads recently announced plans to put Europe at the vanguard of electric car battery production, an industry which is currently dominated by Asian and American firms. Bienkowska added: "We want to have the first batteries produced in Europe, but also the whole value chain".

The UK's Department for Transport has previously supported calls for tougher measures towards vehicle makers that mask their vehicle's true results in tests. The DoT has previously held a consultation into issuing "civil and/or criminal offences" for those selling cars with defeat devices, while also proposing unlimited fines for such manufacturers.

Conservative Internal Market spokesman Daniel Dalton, who helped lead the legislation through the European Parliament, said: "This legislation delivers for car owners and the environment while avoiding unnecessary burdens on manufacturers. Safety and emissions standards will finally be applied fairly and properly across the board."



New DrivingHub website for learner drivers
Blog Entry: 3rd June 2018


In response to the new laws that allow learner drivers to take motorway driving lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor in a car with dual controls from Monday 4 June 2018, the government has launched a new website.

The new DrivingHub website has been created using behavioural research, to increase the confidence and knowledge of road users when driving on high speed roads. ?

The new site covers various subjects, under the heading of 'Courses', including:

  • You, Your Vehicle and Your Journey
  • Driving on Rural Roads, Single and Dual Carriageways and Motorways
  • Your Awareness and Driving Conditions
  • Other Road Users
  • Managing Breakdowns and Incidents

The new Hub is fully backed by the Department of Transport, DVLA, Highways England, ADI National Joint Council and The Driving Instructors Association

Click here to access the new hub.



Learner drivers and motorway lesssons - the new rules explained
Blog Entry: 28th May 2018


From Monday, 4th June, new laws mean than learner drivers will be permitted to take driving lessons on the motorway.

The new lessons will be voluntary and learner drivers will need to be accompanied by a fully qualified driving instructor and to drive in a car with dual controls.

Currently, you can only have motorway driving lessons after passing your practical test.

Motorway lessons will be voluntary and will be down to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them. Trainee instructors will not be allowed to take learner motorists on the motorway.

Other motorway users are being urged to take extra care and more patient with learners, as they may not be as skilful to anticipating and responding to events.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has provided a list of reasons why the new rules have been introduced. This includes allowing new drivers to gain broader driving experience before taking their driving test and get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly. Learners will also get to practise driving at higher speeds, get used to motorway specific traffic signs and understand what to do if a vehicle breaks down on a motorway.

The lessons will also help improve their confidence to drive on the motorway unsupervised after passing their driving test.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling commented: "Younger drivers are up to seven times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with drivers over 25, and lack of experience is an important factor. Allowing learners to drive on motorways in a supportive environment will help them develop a practical understanding of how to use motorways safely before driving independently."

Mark Winn, DVSA Deputy Chief Driving Examiner said: "DVSA's priority is to help you through a lifetime of safe driving. Allowing learners to practice on motorways with a professional instructor gives them the opportunity be taught motorway rules and etiquette properly, practice at higher speeds and will help make our roads even safer."



The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Blog Entry: 23rd May 2018


While we have always kept our customer's personal data safe, we have worked hard to ensure we comply with the new EU GDPR regulations that are due to come into force from the 25th May 2018.

With regards to this, we have updated several areas of our website and, most specifically, our Terms & Conditions area which includes our GDPR related Privacy Policy and other associated information.

As we have done in the past, we advise all users of our website and all of our customers to ensure they have read and understood our Terms & Conditions prior to submitting any information to us.

Please rest assured that we will continue to respect your privacy and data.



Penalty Points: what you need to know
Blog Entry: 13th May 2018


Penalty points are put on your driving record and remain there for between four and 11 years, depending on the severity of the offence. Penalty points can be issued in frequency between one and 11 - with one being for minor offences and 11 for the most serious.

Drivers can be disqualified if they collect 12 penalty points over a period of three years.

There are different rules for new drivers. Motorists who have held their licence for two years or less only have to receive six penalty points to see it revoked. This means one solitary offence for using your phone while driving could see you receive an instant ban.

Acquiring penalty points can not only accumulate over time and see you lose your licence but they can also affect your insurance.

Car insurance premiums can often increase if the driver has penalty points.

To view the full list of penalty point endorsements, please visit the DVLA website here



Is driving bare foot or in flip-flops illegal?
Blog Entry: 9th May 2018


During periods of warm weather, such as we're currently enjoying, many of us head out in flip flops or even give in to the temptation to drive barefoot... and it's not a good idea.

While it may not be strictly illegal, flip flops are flimsy and bare feet lack the grip needed to operate the pedals properly and safely.

The Driving Standards Agency, says: "Suitable shoes are particularly important behind the wheel. We would not recommend driving barefoot because you don't have the same braking force with bare feet as you do with shoes on."

Moreover, driving barefoot or in flip flops can invalidate your insurance. So while it's not illegal, it's definitely discouraged.

Bearing that in mind, the RAC have produced guidelines on what footwear to drive in.

Your shoes should:

• Have a sole no thicker than 10mm

• The sole should not be too thin or soft

• Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals

• Not be too heavy

• Not limit ankle movement

• Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once

An RAC spokesman added "While light, flimsy and impractical footwear can be dangerous, so can sturdy, robust shoes, such as walking or snow boots. It's important to have a good base and grip to apply pressure to the pedals, but ou need a certain degree of finesse to manipulate the controls. If not, you could strike the brake and accelerator together, producing a heart-in-mouth incident."


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