Driving tests resume

Driving tests resume in England and Wales today.

 
The DVSA report a backlog of 420,000 driving tests, which sees an average 17 week waiting time for new test bookings in the UK.
 
Thousands of people are struggling to get driving lessons because driving instructors diaries are fully booked.
 
Many driving instructors have left the industry during the three lock downs, either because they are fearful for their own health, or they’ve just got fed up of sitting around waiting to get back to work.
 
The problem created by the latest lock down has left many students with driving tests booked, but with very little time practice before taking their test
 
This has led to problems for their driving instructors who are struggling to fit enough driving time for students with imminent test dates, so it’s a challenge for both learner and instructor.
 
Many students have also reported that their instructor hasn’t returned to work after lock down, and therefore have been left to find another instructor to take them for the test, which is proving very challenging.
 
No one wants to cancel their driving test, because as of today the waiting time for a driving test in:
  • Hull is mid September
  • Bridlington early September
  • York Mid August
  • Scunthorpe mid July
 
It’s a long wait.
 
People who are turning Seventeen this year, have asked “why is it so difficult to find an instructor who can take them for lessons on their birthday”?
 
Pre-booking lessons isn’t as easy as you might think.
 
That’s because driving instructors have repeat business every week.
 
An example is a classroom of 30 students each who have their own desk. They turn up every week until one of them passes their test, then that space becomes vacant for a new customer.
 
If the instructor has to wait a few months for someone to turn 17, they are loosing wages with the empty seat.
 
So, they must find someone to fill that space quickly, which means they are full again until the next person passes the test.
 
So, it’s difficult for instructors to pre-book driving lessons when the driving test waiting list is so far ahead.
 
Hopefully the DVSA will find a way to reduce the long driving test waiting time soon.
 
#drivingtestsresume, #drivinglessonsresume

Train for a new career in 10 weeks

Do you feel stuck in a rut with your career – Do you want a new direction?

Wouldn’t like like to start the day with a spring in your step, and knowing that you are doing something for yourself and not someone else.

There are thousands of people who are stuck in dreary dead end jobs with no hope of advancement.

And due to the present climate, many more people are facing job losses & redundancy.

But it’s not all doom and gloom

My industry is seeing a huge surge in business, and it’s not due to Covid either.

We’re a growing population of people who want to learn to drive, and yet we have a shortage of professional driving instructors to cope with the demand.

Forget driverless cars, that’s not going to stop people wanting to learn to drive.

Aeroplanes have been able to fly themselves for years. They say If you get a smooth landing it’s probably the autopilot doing the hard work.

So, why do they need pilots? Well technology isn’t always reliable and it needs a reboot from time to time.

It’s also reassuring to know there’s a professional pilot at the controls, it gives us peace of mind.

But training to be a pilot takes years, whereas training to be a driving instructor can take as little as 10-weeks.

Over the weekend I spoke to a few people who wanted to know how long it took to train to become a driving instructor.

They had already spoken with a few training providers and driving instructors previously, but the information they received was somewhat confusing.

The advice given suggested it would take from twelve months to as long as two years to complete the training.

After listening to these people, I realised that they needed a better explanation about how long it takes to train to become a driving instructor.

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are the government executives responsible for approving people to become driving instructors.

They give you two years to qualify as an instructor from the date you register with them to start training, which is why some instructors might quote two years.

In general training companies quote an average 50 hours of training to become a driving instructor.

There isn’t a compulsory amount of training hours you have to have, in fact you could become a driving instructor without any help from a driving school or driving instructor.

The 50 hours is basically the norm and generally split between the part two and three modules.

10 hours are given to the part two practical driving module, and 40 hours for the part three instructional module.

Although you are not required to take 40 hours on the part three module, you must take 40 hours with a professional trainer if you want to apply for a trainee driving instructor licence.

A trainee driving instructor licence, known as a potential driving instructor (PDI) licence, helps you get experience instructing pupils to drive so that you can prepare for the part three exam.

With a PDI licence you can charge for lessons to cover the cost of things like insurance and vehicle costs.

So assuming you book 50 hours, if you took five hours training each week, you would complete the course in 10 weeks.

If you wanted to take it easier, you could take 20 weeks by just doing two and a half hours each week or five hours every other week.

There is of course a lot of work you will need to do at home between sessions. You might have books to read, videos to watch and even webinars to attend.

But if you’ve got time on your hands, ten weeks training might easily be doable.

So, I hope that gives you an idea of how you could plan your training around your other commitments.

If you have any questions please email kev@elite-driving-school.co.uk

 

#becomeadrivinginstructor, #drivinginstructorcareer

Driving lessons, intensive driving courses and waiting lists

It’s busy, busy, busy. And some people have been waiting a year to start their driving lessons.

I know it’s frustrating waiting to start your driving lessons, but this industry has been so badly affected by covid.

Driving instructors have not be able to work through the three lock downs, and many have left the industry for alternative employment.

There are nearly 10,000 fewer driving instructors in 2021 than there were 10 years ago.

This contributed to the many people trying to book driving lessons has created high demand, and there are far more students wanting lessons than there are driving instructor to give them.

Added to this, is the anticipated long waiting times for driving tests, which is rumoured to be on average 17 weeks across the UK.

 

Intensive driving courses

There’s no short cutting the system. People are frantically calling trying to book intensives hoping to take a test in May.

But the driving test waiting list is affecting these courses too.

An intensive course should conclude with a driving test. And generally, people assume that driving schools have driving tests pre-booked.

But unfortunately, that just isn’t true. This is what really happens.

You call to book an intensive driving course – The driving school take a deposit or the full course fee – they go to book a driving test with the DVSA, using the same system everyone uses, including the public – they find the first available date, and then allocate the course hours to start a week or two before the driving test date.

Example: the driving test waiting time is 17 weeks, they book the first date available, and your intensive course starts in 16 weeks’ time.

 

Driving lesson waiting lists

Unlike a dentist or a doctor where you can book a date in the future, trying to book driving lessons with a driving instructor isn’t that straight forward.

The reason is because we don’t know how long a student will be with us. Although most students stay with their driving instructor until they pass their driving test, others may leave sooner because of finances or they move from the area.

One way to explain how a driving instructors diary works is to think of a classroom of students. There are 30 seats so only a maximum of 30 students can be in the classroom.

Each week the same student will take the same seat, until one leaves, and that seat becomes available.

With that in mind let’s assume the student passes their driving test and leaves a space open on a Wednesday at 11.30.

The driving instructor is only going to offer that space to someone in their waiting list who can take the same day & time on a regular basis, because all other lesson spaces have been accounted for.

So, getting your name down on lots of driving instructors waiting lists is a smart thing to do.

 

Hopefully we helped to give some clarity to the current situation.

If you have any questions, please message the driving school and we will try to answer them quickly for you.

 
#drivinglessonwaitinglist
#drivingtestwaitinglist
#intensivedrivingcourse

Good news, driving lessons resume

Driving lessons resume in just six weeks, fingers crossed!

It looks like it’s good news from here on out.

Boris is opening the gates to freedom once again. But we’ve got to promise to be good, and in return he’ll wave more restrictions off every month until they’re all gone, and we’re tipsy in the streets on hugs and social contact.

Everybody’s waiting for something to be allowed. Schools, Pubs, Weddings. Whatever’s going to make the biggest difference to them.

Much as I can’t wait, it looks like the 12th April before our turn arrives to resume driving lessons again.

I’m fed up with not leaving home.

There’s a constant stream of delivery drivers, all from Amazon I guess, and my dog barks alerting me to every van pulling up, and not stopping barking until he’s seen them off.

There’s a list of DIY jobs to do (and I really dislike DIY), and a kitchen full of delicious snacks just a few steps away.

But I keep reminding myself, it’s only six weeks and we can get back to some sort of normality, the same normality we left a few weeks back requiring facemasks in car, but that’s better than no lessons at all.

I know it’s going to be a major headache ahead planning lessons again.

When we had to stop lessons for lock down, our instructors were booked solid, and during lock down we’ve built a huge list of people who we’ve promised to contact as soon as we return.

But our first job is to find out who of our original customers will be returning before we can book new customers in.

And, we will have to prioritise time for people who had driving tests booked before lockdown, which will still go ahead.

That said, we know people are desperate to book driving lessons, some have waited almost a year.

So, with lighter days ahead, we will be working extra hours to catch up and squeeze as many people in as we can.

If you want a call back as soon as we start, please email your details to: support@elite-driving-school.co.uk

with the following information and we’ll be in touch:

Your name

Address

Post code

Contact number

email address

So, I can’t wait to get back to taking driving lessons. But I guess everyone’s different, and most people haven’t got a dizzy Labrador at home, wanting to play with every nice DPD delivery driver who walks down the drive.

Just six weeks and counting.

Kev Goldthorpe

01482 772303 / elite-driving-school.co.uk

Best driving practice-Mirror Signal Manoeuvre

Mirror Signal Manoeuvre is a system to develop best driving practice.

But, it can be a lot to learn for new drivers, especially when it’s broken down into it’s core parts of Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre, where the manoeuvre element consists of Position-Speed-Look, followed by Assess-Decide and Act, MSPSLADA.

Phew, no wonder most learners feel bamboozled when they first start to learn this sequence.

MSM is a drivers systemised approach to every change needed to be made while driving.

Without correct use of the MSM system, a driver can unknowingly leave a trail of carnage behind them.

In the year ending 2018, there were 26,610 killed or seriously injured casualties in road traffic accidents reported to the police. Source department of transport.

A vehicle in the wrong hands is a deadly instrument. The destruction and devastation that accidents cause has taken the many lives of children and adults, and has decimated many families.

People don’t go out to cause accidents, they happen because of a lack of concentration, planning or awareness.

I sure that every time you or a family member go out on a drive, you never think that you might not return home, after all if that were the case many of us wouldn’t go out at all.

But, most of these accidents could be avoided with just one simple system.

You’ve heard it mentioned so many times, Mirror Signal Manoeuvre, but in simple terms it means Look Before You Do, and Let Others Know What You Intend to Do!

So, how can this simple system called Mirror Signal Manoeuvre save lives?  

Okay let’s look at an example. Let’s say you are travelling on a straight road, with no other vehicles, pedestrians or hazards, and you are travelling at 30mph.

In this situation there would be little requirement to use MSM, because there’s no one around and you don’t intent to change speed or direction.

But if there was a cyclist ahead of you, and vehicles following behind you then things would be different.

So, lets imagine you first you see the cyclist, next you look behind and see the following cars, you signal to tell them that you intend to move out to pass the cyclist, and then if it’s safe to do so you complete the manoeuvre and pass the cyclist.

That’s how MSM works.

So, what do you think could happen if you didn’t use MSM routine and just moved out to pass the cyclist?

Remember we are on a long straight road with following traffic. The driver behind you is travelling faster than you and can see there’s no oncoming vehicles, so decides to overtake you.

He can’t see is the cyclist ahead of you because you are blocking his view.

So, now he’s made a decision to overtake you at the same time you have decided to move out and pass the cyclist, what happens next?

Scenario 1: You move across to the right not realising that you are being overtaken, forcing the driver of the passing vehicle to swerve to avoid you, in doing so the driver panics and loses control of the car, and his vehicle collides into a tree on the right of the carriageway.

What could be the result for the driver of the passing vehicle?

Scenario 2: You move out to pass the cyclist slamming into the side of the passing vehicle, you lose control and swerve and collide into the cyclist.

What could be the result for the cyclist?

Scenario 3: You move out to pass the cyclist, the driver who is passing you sounds his horn, you realise last minute that you are being overtaken but by then its too late and you still hit the cyclist.

Again, what could be the result for the cyclist?

But the mirror and signal are just part of the MSM routine, so looking at the previous example of passing a cyclist, here’s how to implement the manoeuvre part of the sequence.

Manoeuvre is broken down to position, speed and look, so you have seen the cyclist checked the mirrors both centre and right door and see the vehicle passing you.

Manoeuvre: So, you slow down and signal right as the passing vehicle comes alongside you. Signalling here isn’t going to be seen by the passing driver, but it warns others behind that you want to move right.

As soon as the passing vehicle is clear, and the following traffic have seen and obeyed your signal, you can then move out to the right giving plenty of clearance to the cyclist. You might consider increasing your speed to get by the cyclist briskly, especially because you’ve slowed while the overtaking vehicle passed you.

As soon as you are ahead of the cyclist, use your interior and left door mirror to check you are clear and its safe to move back to normal driving position.

MSM it’s such a simple yet very effective routine but easily forgotten, which is why so many accidents occur daily on our roads.

Do you ever stop to think how do we survive on todays crowded roads.

You can only hope and pray that the other drivers sharing the same roads you are travelling on are competent drivers who practice the Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre routine.

Anticipation: The “What if” part of driving!

Well, there’s another blog dedicated to this subject. But anticipating people performing a manoeuvre without checking the mirror or signalling their intentions, is a skill you’ll also need to get good at if you want to make it home at the end of the day unscathed.

So, make MSM a systemised sequence before you do anything when driving.

So, remember keep it simple and “Look Before You Do”.

Keep Safe.

 

#mirrorsignalmanoeuvre

 

How to prepare for your First Driving Lesson

Your first driving lesson…

It’s amazing how the world and how we see things has change in just a few months.

Businesses have had to quickly evolve by the way they deliver their products and services to meet this new world.

So, what do you need to know before taking your first driving lesson?

When you book your First driving lesson we will ask you to allow your driving instructor to view your driving licence online.

Changes to driving licences came into effect on 8th June 2015, and therefore we need to make important licence checks to comply with our vehicle insures.

Endorsements, penalty points and driving bans are no longer recorded on driving licences, but will instead only be available online.

For insurance purposes, before your first lesson your driving instructor is required to check your licence details, so you will need to text your instructor with permission to view your licence online.

To do this you’ll need to generate a code which will allow your instructor to check your licence details:

You will need:

  • Your driving licence
  • Your national insurance number
  • Your home postcode
  • The code will only be valid for 21 days.

You can go to this website to get your code:

https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence

Don’t forget your instructor will still need to see your photocard licence for ID inspection on your first driving lesson. He or she will take a photo of your card avoiding touching it.

 

How we are managing health and safety in the training vehicle

It’s a new future and this is OUR RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND GETTING BACK TO TAKING LESSON.

As of the 4th July 2020, we have been granted by the government to start taking driving lessons again. For your safety, please make sure you adhere to the following rules.

It’s your safety, and the safety of everyone who uses the tuition vehicle, including your instructor that we aim to protect, so failure to comply with these Covid-19 safety measures may result in your lesson being cancelled.

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU ARE PREPARED BY FOLLOWING THE SAFETY MEASURES BELOW:

The vehicles will be well vented, with windows open. In hot weather, as well as windows opened, the air conditioning may be turned on.

– A face mask or covering should be worn wherever practical. Please bring your own face covering with you, if you do not come prepared with a mask, the instructor will have a disposable one available for you to use. Please avoid wearing a plastic visor for safety reasons. In the event of an accident, plastic visors may and can cause a lot of harm in the event of an air bag being deployed, causing the visor to shatter.

– Gloves should be worn at all times. If you cannot bring your own gloves, the instructor will have disposable ones for your use. Please note, if you have any allergy issues with common disposable gloves, such as latex, please bring your own for your safety. It is your responsibility to make this known to the instructor.

– Please make sure your hands are freshly washed using anti-bacterial handwash before the lesson starts. If you are wearing your own gloves that have been used previously, please wash them in an antibacterial liquid.

– Sanitiser will be provided in the vehicle for your use.

– Disposable seat covers will be changed after every pupil. This is to ensure the cleanest and safest possible environment for both you, and others taking lessons.

– If you are showing any symptoms of Covid-19 (see NHS website for more information), please DO NOT attend your lesson, we will not charge for the cancellation.

If you have symptoms and have not cancelled your lesson prior to the instructor turning up, your instructor will refuse to continue the lesson, and you could still be charged for that full lesson. So, please cancel if you know you are not well.

 

WHAT THE INSTRUCTOR WILL DO TO ENSURE THE SAFEST ENVIRONMENT POSSIBLE:

– The instructor may wear a mask or face covering, and gloves.

– The instructor will clean the vehicle thoroughly after each lesson with antibacterial car sanitiser, including all common areas of the vehicle such as the: steering wheel, Hand brake, Gear lever, Indicators and other buttons, seat adjusters, mirrors and accessories, door handles and so forth.

– The instructor will deep clean the vehicle at the end of every working day.

– Because the instructor needs to clean down the car after every lesson, we cannot accommodate hourly lessons at this time, and we will only be taking longer lessons for the foreseeable future. If you are unsure as to what time duration you can take, please ask your instructor directly,

 

Eyesight, health conditions, drink & drugs  

The instructor will also ask you to complete an eyesight check & if you cannot pass this they will advise an eye test with a professional which may mean you need to complete any eye tests & corrective procedures before we continue with any further lessons.

You must advise your instructor of any health conditions which are on the DVLA list of notifiable conditions before commencing any driving lessons.  It is your legal responsibility to notify the DVLA of any health conditions: https://www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions.

You must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescribed medication which states it may affect driving) during any lessons. You must consider carefully if you plan to drink alcohol the night before a lesson as the alcohol can remain in your system.

If you require any further information regarding taking driving lessons please email support@elite-driving-school.co.uk

 

 

Continuing to provide driving lessons in troubled times

Driving lessons in troubled times to the NHS

It might not be driving lessons as usual, but we can continue helping the NHS key workers to stay safe so they can continue helping us!

As the UK lock down shows some signs of easing the social distancing guidelines are still in place, which means no driving lessons.

The government haven’t mentioned driving instructors or driving lessons in any recent bulletin, and so we remain uncertain as to when we can get back to work.

Thousands of people are poised ready to start or continue driving lessons, but for the moment driving schools are still closed to all but front line workers.

But their is some good news;

NHS front line worker Yahya Khedr passed his essential driving test today at his FIRST attempt.


Yahya an NHS key worker who was previously driving on an international licence still found it quite nerve racking taking a driving test, but still managed to pass with a virtual clean sheet.

Yahya now plans to buy a car as soon as possible to avoid relying on buses, and taxis to get to work.

The BIG Question, when can you start to take driving lessons again?

There may already be a few instructors back to work, but most driving schools are waiting for some sort of confirmation to go back from either the DVSA or the government.

Whether this will come in June or July no one knows but it would be a nice gesture if some government official actually acknowledged the driving instruction industry, and gave us some dates.

We are planning to return on the 6th July unless we here otherwise, so if you want to beat the rush to book driving lessons call us today and book in advance.

03332 004130

In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted.

Update regarding driving lessons after the Governments latest announcement.

The Governments latest announcement.

 

The Prime Ministers announcement on the 10th May didn’t make it clear as to who can get back to work and who cannot.

So, due to the confusion we have asked our instructors not to take anyone except key workers out on driving lessons for the time being, until we get clarification from the government and the DVSA that it is safe for us to give driving lessons to all.

Of course when we do get back to work, there will be some changes due to the corvid-19 government guidelines.

We have spoken with virus specialists in the medical profession, and listened to advice from the DVSA and government about creating a safe environment for people to learn.

Our major priority is focused on our customers and our instructors safety throughout these unusual times, which means new regulations have been put in place to create a safe learning environment within our vehicles.

Beat the rush

We expect a lot of bookings once we receive confirmation that it’s safe to offer driving lessons as usual. Which means the best way to beat the rush is to pre-pay for your driving lessons, which of course means that we will endeavour to start your lessons straight away.

If there is a delay getting back to work, then any pre-paid lessons will be held in credit for up to 12 months.

If you are a key worker we are still able to offer driving lessons, and we can help you learn fast as well as assist you in getting a confirmed driving test date with a DVSA driving examiner.

We are looking forward to getting back to doing what we do best, and helping our students pass their driving test quickly and first time.

To book your driving lessons please call 03332 004130.

 

The latest from the Prime Minister:

 

 

#safedrivinglessons

Why Emotions Play an Important Role in Learning to Drive

Emotions, why do they play such a big role in driving?

Emotions in your body can alter your physical state.

Emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, contempt, and embarrassment precede feelings. The feeling is what you associate to the emotion.

Feelings are mental associations and reactions to emotions, and are subjective being influenced by personal experience, beliefs, and memories.

A feeling is a mental portrayal of what is going on in your body when you have an emotion and is the byproduct of your brain perceiving and assigning meaning to the emotion.

Your emotions and feelings play a powerful role in how you experience and interact with the world because they are the driving force behind many behaviors, helpful and unhelpful.

Emotions can effect the way we drive or react to everyday situations for example other drivers.

Often learners feel harassed by other drivers, whether they are behind, ahead, or at a junction.

Although other drivers can be attributed to why a learner might stall their vehicle at a traffic light, they are not the problem.

It starts with the learners emotions. The learner might feel fear in this situation, they become afraid of stalling the vehicle, which they assume will result in anger or contempt from other drivers.

The pressure on the learner to get the vehicle moving now becomes huge, and if the learner panics when the lights change, they will rush with the controls resulting in a stall.

It’s difficult for the instructor in this situation, because no matter how hard they try to calm and reassure the learner, the anxiety the learner feels forces them to rush and the vehicle stalls again.

So, thereafter every time the learner is in the same situation they feel anxious, and their focus is on stalling rather than smooth use of the control’s to get the car moving

So in this situation the emotion the learner feels is associated with a memory from an earlier mistake made, but it can also be from a similar experience passed from person to person.

In a conversation with others in a group, one of the members tells the story of how they stalled the vehicle virtually every time the came to a stop.

Their heart would start pounding, their breathing would become rapid and sallow, and they would actually start sweating at the thought of having to get the vehicle moving.

In fact it got so bad that it forced them to stop their driving lessons because the fear of stalling became greater than the desire to drive.

So, experiences from other people can be so powerful that it can often be passed on to others.

So how do they overcome the feeling they get from the emotion?

This is easier said than done, but by understanding the difference and becoming aware of your emotions and feelings, you will learn to respond rather than react and driving will magically become more under your control.

So, the next time you are stationary at traffic lights and you start to become anxious, you can respond to the feeling and become determined to focus on using the controls smoothly resulting with the vehicle pulling away easily.

When you master the skill of choosing your feelings and behaviors, life behind the wheel will settle down, and you’ll become a calmer, and  less stressed driver.

 

#emotionaldrivers

 

 

 

 

First time driving test pass for Jamie Pickering

First time driving test pass for Jamie Pickering, he nailed it from the start and never looked back!

 

A Huge Congratulations to Jamie Pickering for passing his driving test first time on Friday 24th January 2020 with just two minor faults!!
The 24th January is a day Jamie will always remember as the day he earned his wheels.


Elite instructor Rob Caton said: Jamie got a really demanding test route but definitely rose to the challenge and passed with flying colours!!
Well done matey and thanks for the huge jar of humbugs!!
My students know what I like!!
We would like to wish Jamie a happy safe driving future from all the team at Elite Driving School

#firsttimedrivingtestpasshull