Sunday, 30 July 2017

The New UK Driving Test December 2017

What’s happening differently with the new driving test after December 4th 2017 ?

The ‘Independent Driving’ part of the test will increase to 20 minutes.

The independent driving part of the test at the moment lasts around 10 minutes. You are usually asked to follow signs or a series of directions. The new test will require you to have to drive without directions from the driving examiner for around 20 minutes. Some people (20%) will still be asked to follow signs but 80% will be asked to follow directions from a Sat Nav.


Following directions from a satellite navigation (Sat. Nav.) system

During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates (80%) will now be asked to follow directions from a Sat. Nav.

The examiner will provide the Sat Nav and set it up. You won’t need to set the route - the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of Sat. Nav. you have practised with.

You are not allowed to follow directions from your own Sat. Nav. during the test - you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.

You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you are not sure. It doesn’t matter if you go the wrong way, as long as you do it safely.


Reversing manoeuvres will be changed

The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ (sometimes called the 3 point turn) manoeuvres will no longer be tested.

You will be asked to do one of these reversing manoeuvres:

  • parallel park behind a car at the side of the road
  • park in a bay - either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which manoeuvre you have to do)
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road then reverse back for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic safely

Answering a vehicle safety question while on the move

The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test - these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. At the moment these are done before you drive off. This will change, so one question is asked before you drive away and the other you need to ‘show’ while driving (or in stationary traffic)

You’ll be asked the:

  • ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
  • ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving - for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the wipers. So, choose a suitable moment to do it and know where the controls are.

If you're unsure speak to your driving instructor.
Driving Lessons Gloucester

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Top Ten Reasons for failing a UK driving test in 2015/2016

If you have a driving test coming up soon, it will be worth reading the following.
The list below shows the Top Ten reasons people failed in 2016.

UK Pass rate – 47.0%

Tests passed with 0 faults – 14634
Top ten reasons for failing

 1. Junctions (observation)
 2. Mirrors – (change direction)
 3. Control (steering)
 4. Junctions (turning right)
 5. Positioning (normal driving)
 6. Move off (safely)
 7. Move off (control)
 8. Response to signals (traffic lights)
 9. Reverse park (control)
 10. Response to signals (road markings)

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Dealing With Emergency Vehicles

Many people panic the minute they see an emergency vehicle approaching and often cause more problems for the emergency vehicle than they really would like.
So what's the best thing to do?


1. Always comply with the law.
2. Be safe - the last thing they want is another emergency to deal with.
3. Move out the way as soon as it is safe to do so. Remember - they've passed an advanced driving course and are allowed to break the law.
4. Try to indicate your intention, either by signalling or moving position.

Once they've passed you, check it's safe to return to your previous road position.

Watch this useful video.

Comment if you have any questions, and I'm sure between us all we can answer them.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Driving in Ice and Snow

As a driving instructor in Gloucester, I would like to offer some advice about driving in bad weather, such as ice/snow. When giving driving lessons in Gloucester I cover lots of different types of roads and experience lots of differing weather conditions. An important point to remember when driving in  the winter is that ice /snow can be on patches of the same road, even when it looks clear. For instance if a road has been kept in the shade this will pose a greater risk of ice when temperatures are very low. So when driving always be aware of how much exposure a road has to sunlight, as this will inevitably change the conditions on the road's surface. Remember a stopping distance can be 10 times greater in snow and ice. When a car is on the road each tyre has contact with the road that is equivalent to the size of a CD case. Not a lot!
When cornering, this grip is reduced depending which way you are cornering, so avoid braking/accelerating on bends, as the weight of the vehicle will be thrown onto a corner of the vehicle, reducing the other tyres grip on the road. Even on a straight line sharp braking/accelerating reduces the grip of the tyre on the road surface, so be much more gentle in ice/snow.
Also, different types of surface offer different amounts of grip. For example concrete holds water more than tarmac and therefore when frozen will offer less grip. Block paving/cobbled streets can also be extremely hazardous in bad weather. So when driving in bad weather always be gentle on the brakes/gas; watch for shaded (therefore colder) sections of the road; adjust your speed and braking for different surface types.
Hopefully, you'll all have a safe winter on the roads.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Passing your driving test in the UK can be a daunting experience for many people and can often lead to disappointment. People want to pass their driving test but are unsure exactly how to do it. The answer may seem obvious - drive safely for 40 minutes - but what is actually expected from the examiner and how much is  'down to luck?' In the UK driving test you are allowed 15 minor faults, but no serious or dangerous faults. So, what is the difference between a minor fault and a serious/dangerous fault? A minor fault is a mistake that has happened that may be a one off. For example if the pupil forgets a mirror check when pulling in/out but there are no other people around and therefore nothing 'serious' is likely to happen. However, if the pupil keeps doing this 3 or 4 times, then the examiner will consider that this is not a 'one off' fault but it is just a matter of time before the pupil's luck runs out and somebody will be there when the pupil pulls in/out. These 3 or 4 'minor' faults are now becoming a serious risk and therefore the pupil will fail as it is considered a serious error and will fail with just 4 minors in the one category. So a person can fail by simply making the same error 3 or 4 times. A serious fault would be a mistake that could have had serious consequences (an accident), but luckily it didn't. An example could be cutting a corner without looking or pulling out at a junction without looking to see it is clear. Even though no accident actually happened, it was pure luck that nothing was coming. As I guess you can imagine, this is a serious problem. Obviously one day the luck of the pupil will run out. A dangerous fault is where an accident was avoided by the examiner or another driver taking action. Using the example above, the pupil pulls out of a junction but does not look and this time something is coming. The examiner or the other driver may brake/swerve to avoid a collision. This is considered dangerous driving, therefore a fail is inevitable.

So, a minor mistake can become serious or even dangerous. Using the not checking a mirror example, as mentioned previously, making the same mistake can be considered serious, but also not checking the mirror and someone else is there then the examiner may have to brake to stop a collision, or grab the wheel.
The best thing to do before your test is to get your driving instructor to conduct a mock driving test and aim to make no mistakes. If you fail this, then maybe it would be wise to move your test, because once you add nerves into the test it will feel much harder.
Good luck if you are about to sit your test and I hope this has helped you understand the marking process.