What does passing the driving test mean to you?

Passing the driving test is a big milestone in most people lives, and it opens their world up to a whole lot of possibilities.

 

Jack Hadfield passed the driving test on Monday 28th September 2019, a date he’ll never forget.

passing the driving test
Congratulations to Jack Hadfield

Jack passed the driving test with just one minor fault from an otherwise clean sheet, which was an excellent result.

Jack has a car sat waiting in his drive ready for him to drive, so the pressure to pass was on, and cool Jack didn’t disappoint.

Jack’s at the university and will soon get a placement which means he can drive himself rather than wait on other to get him there.

That’s just one of the many benefits Jack’s got to look forward to for many years to come.

So, if you want to join Jack and get your full driving licence, then book your driving lessons with an Elite driving instructor, and you’ll be driving before you know it.

 

#passingthedrivingtest

 

Three driving gadgets every driver should have…

Our top Three driving gadgets every driver should have in their car…

 

Driving gadgets that can help improve your driving, your safety and protect you from harassment & fraudsters.

driving gadgets

You can’t deny that the UK’s roads are littered with bad drivers, fraudsters and pedestrians that take silly risk’s.

And then you’ve got new road layouts who you can thank the highways department for.

Many of which challenge even the most experienced drivers to figure out how to use them safely.

The problem with road designers is they assume all road users are familiar with the area, and therefore understand the road markings.

Then of course you’ve got traffic police with speed camera’s as well as static camera’s that has drivers jumping on the brakes at the risk of being rear ended.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that camera’s shouldn’t be used to stop speeding and improve road safety, but a better solution is needed.

Many drivers who have attended a speed awareness course do so to avoid penalty points on their licences, most of these drivers aren’t hell bend on breaking the law.

They simply don’t know the speed limit of the roads they are driving on, or speed due to a lack of concentration or awareness.

Even those drivers who are familiar with their surroundings might not be confident enough to tell you the speed limit of the road they are travelling on.

So, what gadgets are their on the market that can help improve the situation?

These are a few of our top picks:

  1. Speed awareness gadgets. These devices give live updates of the speed limit of the road you are travelling on, and if you go over the limit some systems warn you to slow down.

They even work with variable speeding limits which are on the increase, and smart motorways.

As well as static cameras these device’s also detect mobile speed cameras from a distance giving the driver enough warning to slow down early, opposing to jumping on the brakes and potentially causing accidents.

2.  In car dash camera’s are not only good for insurance claims but they also come in handy for other unforeseen situations.

In a world where fraudsters think nothing of jumping on your bonnet, laying down in front of your car, or even reversing in to you and claiming you hit them, dash cams provide valuable evidence of their crime.

They can also capture valuable footage of drivers harassing other road users and idiots who think it’s cool to chuck stuff at passing cars.

3. Satellite navigation systems. The world has moved on a long way from the days of drivers reading maps by the road side trying to figure out where they made a wrong turn.

Good quality navigation systems help you arrive at you destination on time and less stressed. They also help direct you around traffic hold ups, and warn you of speed restrictions.

 Stay safe. 

#drivinggadgets

Do you dream of passing the driving test?

For many of our students passing the driving test became a reality in September 2019.

We would like to congratulate all of our customers for passing the driving test in September.

Below are just a few of those that we managed to grab a photo of to witness this amazing achievement.

The others where sooooo excited that we couldn’t get keep up with them to get a good picture. 🙂

But, there’s one thing you can be certain of, and that is they are going to have more fun, more opportunity, and a better quality of life from being able to drive.

Megan Brown passed her driving test 19th September 2019 with the help of Elite instructor Mark Langton

Megan passed first time, even after a challenging test route. Megan coped  very well and had a superb drive.

assing the driving test megan brown
Megan Brown

 

Chris Annis passed his driving test 18th September 2019 with the help of Elite instructor Stuart McClean

It was Chris’s first attempt at the driving test and he had a great drive with just a couple of minor marks.

His brother Ben passed with us a couple of years ago so Chris came to us on recommendation.

Passing the driving test chris annis
Chris Annis

 

Jakob Orlowski passed his driving test 27th September 2019 with the help of Elite instructor Phil Harrison

Jakob passed with just one minor fault on an otherwise perfect drive from a very conscientious driver.

passing the driving test Jakob Orlowski
Jakob Orlowski

 

Amanda Gould passed her driving test September 2019 with the help of Elite instructor Phillip Hardcastle.

Amanda passed her driving test at the first attempt after a very competent drive.

Amanda said having a driving license will be really helpful to her, because now she can drive herself to and from work, so she will no longer have to ask people for a lift or rely on buses being on time.

Passing the driving test Amanda gould
Amanda Gould

 

Ellie Jubb passed her driving test September 2019 with the help of Elite instructor Mark Langton

Ellie passed her test today with just 2 minors. She is off to University in a few weeks to study Dentistry so hopefully she is filling over the moon with her pass!

Passing the driving test Ellie Jubb
Ellie Jubb

 

Abbey Jenkinson passed her driving test at her FIRST attempt in  September 2019 with the help of Elite instructor Phillip Hardcastle.

Abbey said passing the driving test and being able to drive will give her more independence, meaning she can now go wherever she wants, whenever she wants.

Passing the driving test abby jenkinson
Abby Jenkinson

 

Alishea Jackson passed her driving test at her FIRST attempt 7th October 2019 with the help of Elite instructor John McGonagle

John said: You took to driving with ease and passed in a very short time. Its been a pleasure to teach you and all the best for the future.

Passing the driving test alishea Jackson
Alishea Jackson

We would like to thank everyone for their business, and we wish them all a safe and prosperous driving future.

 

#passingthedrivingtest

Intensive driving course are they right for you?

Intensive driving course are they the best way to learn to drive?

 

What exactly is an intensive driving course?

They are concentrated lessons given over a short period of time and often (but not always) finish with a driving test.

What intensive driving course is right for you?

This is a common question most driving schools and instructors will get asked when people call to inquire about driving lessons.

Intensive driving course

To be honest it’s also a question that cannot be answered without meeting people and assessing their existing abilities.

Not one course fits all because people are at different standards when they want to go the intensive route.

They could be new drivers with no previous experience, someone with a few hours under their belt, or may be someone who’s already had a lot of previous practice.

Then you’ve also got to consider where, and who did they get their practice with.

Learner might have only practiced on car parks or private land, or they might have had 10 lessons 20 years ago and never driven since.

They might have practiced with family, friends or a professional driving instructor.

There are so many possibilities, which makes it impractical to advise on which course would suit them best.

So, where do you start?  

Theory first. Before you can book a driving test you must have a valid theory pass certificate.

Bearing in mind that an intensive driving course should end with the driving test, therefore you won’t be able to book a course without the theory.

How many lessons will you need?

If you are a new driver with no previous experience, then you should consider that the course that you think you want, might fall short on the lessons you need to get you to the standard required to pass a driving test.

If you book a course with too few hours, once the course has started the driving instructor will not have any extra space, or the time to get you to standard before the test date resulting in the driving test being cancelled.

Even if you want to take the test for experience, your instructor won’t allow it if their opinion you could damage their car, or put people at risk including themselves and the examiner.

Also, the DVSA (who are the people responsible for driving tests, and driving instructors in the UK) will not be impressed with an instructor who allows a student to take a driving test when clearly, they are not at the required standard.

It’s not showing a proper sense of responsibility!

So, the logical first step for a new driver is to take a few lessons to grasp the basics and allow the instructor time to get an idea of your capability to learn on an intensive course.

For learners with previous driving experience they should take a few assessment lessons.

If they haven’t driven for some time they will need more than just a couple of hours to pick up somewhere near to where they left off.

Of course, if they are having lessons already and what to go intensive, their instructor will already be able to advise on which course is the right fit for them.

Don’t be tempted to book a intensive driving course without an assessment, because you won’t know the standard you need to be at to pass the driving test.

Even if you think your driving is good, it makes sense to get the opinion of an expert.

Intensive driving course and driving tests!  

When can you realistically expect to start an intensive driving course?

This is where good marketing comes in to play. Intensive driving courses are big money, and companies are setting up web sites to capture people wanting to pass fast.

They advertise learn in a week on an intensive driving course, with a guaranteed test.

But what they don’t make clear is which week the course starts, so the potential customer assumes it’s next week!

But that’s rarely ever the case.

Generally there’s a waiting time to book a driving test at most of the test centres in the UK.

Over the last 3 years, test demand has increased by over 200,000 tests – with an extra 92,000 last year alone. At the start of the year there were 265 fewer driving examiners than the last time demand was this high. Between April 2008 and March 2009 the DVSA saw demand rise to 1,756,522.  Source DVSA.

Waiting times at test centers can often be 3 months plus in advance, and that can increase if examiners take holiday or take sick leave, because there’s no one to cover their test’s, and so they get cancelled.

Another reason why you can’t just book an intensive driving course for the following week is that many of these internet companies who advertise courses don’t actually have their own driving instructors working for them, they are just middlemen.

So, they advertise intensive driving courses, take your money, and then try to find an instructor who’s short of work to accept the course.

Alternatively, you’ll be offered a split course. This is where you’ll start your week intensive driving course, and then wait a further few months for a test date before going back to take a few more days training.

Driving test centres

You can get around the test waiting time by taking the driving test in another town/city where the waiting time is shorter.

The problem with doing this is the lack of knowledge about the new routes. If you’re not familiar with the area, you’re at a big disadvantage.

What is the ideal lesson length?

This differs from person to person, and also depends on how advanced you are with your lessons.

Some intensive driving courses will have you in the driving seat for 7 hours a day. For example, a 35 hour course spread over 5 days.

Even a seasoned experienced driver will cringe at the thought of driving for seven hours, even though they will have little to think about, because they are driving from memory.

Drivers in the early stage of learning might be able to concentrate for a few hours but quickly become exhausted beyond that.

Learners with good experience can focus for up to three hours but beyond that you are asking a lot from them.

Following those guidelines, and new driver taking a 35-hour driving course will need 3 weeks to complete based on a 5 day a week.

A more experienced driver taking a 15-hour driving course would only need a week to complete the course.

 

Guaranteed test pass

If someone could guarantee a driving test pass, they would be a millionaire.

A Guarantee of a test pass is a gimmick.

No one can give you this type of guarantee unless they have an hand in the outcome. It implies that they can influence the driving test and that’s not possible.

What they really mean is that they will give you *unlimited lessons and book additional *tests each time you fail until you do pass.

*Check the small print unlimited isn’t unlimited!

But you are either going to pay way over the odds for this type of course, or give up for one reason or another.

Booking an intensive driving  

Before handing over your money follow this simple guide.

  1. Pass the theory test first
  2. Take an assessment drive, or if new to driving book some lessons to get beyond the basics
  3. Agree your lesson dates and times (avoid taking more than three hours in a day unless you get a reasonable break between lessons) and test date with the course provider
  4. Read and agree to their terms of service, this should include lesson cancellation and test cancellation policy
  5. Ask for a detailed plan of the course in writing or by email for back up, and peace of mind. They will need to see your driving licence to book the driving test
  6. Confirm the instructors details, is he a franchisee of the school or an out sourced instructor, and do they conform with the course providers terms of service
  7. Once you are happy then pay them using either bank transfer or visa for proof of payment.

#intensivedrivingcourse

Bailey’s dream of driving his own car…

Well driving his own car has become a reality for Bailey Dennett after passing his driving test at his FIRST attempt!

Bailey Dennett said "I thoroughly enjoyed my lessons"

Congratulations Bailey

Bailey took his driving lessons with driving instructor Matt Howard.

Matt was really impressed with the speed at which Bailey progressed with his driving, and the dedication he put into learning.

Matt said, Bailey got really involved in his lessons, he asked lots of questions and work out situations for himself.

He’s been a great student to help and he has a fantastic attitude when it comes to driving safely.

Bailey absolutely deserves to have passed on his first attempt, and I’m chuffed to be able to share in his success.

Bailey said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Elite Driving School, my instructor, Matt was an absolutely great guy and I really  enjoyed every lesson I had with him, he provided me with all the support I could have needed for my first time pass and I’m absolutely over the moon with my result! I would recommend Elite Driving School to anyone out there hoping for a first time pass” 😀👍🎉🚘

I’m sure Bailey’s life is going to change massively now he’s able to dive for himself. He can drive for work, maybe even get a promotion.

He can get away for weekends with his mates, because the world has just become that little bit smaller for Bailey.

And, there’s no other better feeling than buying your First car, and it doesn’t really matter what it is, because it’s yours!

 

 

#drivinghisowncar

 

Driving test nerves, how can you deal with them!

Driving test nerves, could possibly be one of the biggest reasons why people fail driving tests!

 

Is there a cure for driving test nerves?

Driving test nerves

Well there’s a lot of advice available online to learner drivers who think they might suffer with driving test nerves, from hypnosis to beta blockers (you must speak to your GP about taking any kind of medication).

But do any of these methods really work?

Some of these methods will have proved successful in helping people pass their driving test, but they may not work for everyone.

Test passes in the UK

Generally, the yearly test pass statistics produced by the DVSA show a national pass rate of between 40 to 50%.

This means that at least half of the candidates taking a driving test each year are unsuccessful.

Looking at the figures, you could assume that a reasonable percentage of those candidates will have failed due to poor preparation, in other words not being at the required standard to pass a driving test at the time of taking it

If you take lessons from a professional driving instructor, and take their advice when to take the test, you should be above the required standard to pass the driving test.

However, the learners who do fail could be those who struggle with nerves on the test, and have made an error which would be out of character.

How can you deal with driving test nerves?

Those pesky nerves stop many people from doing things that they would like to do but just can’t face.

I remember once attending a sales training course. During the first day I was asked to play the character of a car salesperson, and to deal with a customer who had worked in to a car showroom.

The scenario was a role play model that took place in an empty training room, or so I thought.

The trainer finished the brief and said, “I’ll leave you both to role play the scenario and listen from outside the room to avoid distraction”.

Well, that made the exercise a lot easier knowing we were not being watched, so I settled into the role.

I greeted the customer and we started chatting about his desire to buy a new car. Everything was going quite well…

That was until half the wall opened up and at the other side was 50 people sat in a cinema like surrounding watching our performance.

Well I clammed up and struggled to make any sense of what I was saying.

It’s amazing how we can put ourselves under such pressure when you are pushed out of your comfort zone.

It wasn’t the audience that put me under pressure, they were probably sh**ing themselves waiting for their turn, especially now they knew the entire course candidates would be watching.

So, the same applies to learner drivers. On a normal driving lesson, they drive with ease and confidence, but replace the instructor with an examiner in the passenger seat and they act like a chimp trying to control a car.

The examiner isn’t the one putting them under pressure, they’re just doing their job. The candidate put’s them self under pressure!

So why does this happen?

Well I’m no expert, I’ve been in similar situations all my life, and each time i venture out of my comfort zone I act like a chimp.

But it’s the pressure you put yourself under when you are being watched or judged.

I’ve read books on the subject, watched videos and attended seminars, but I still haven’t found any conclusive evidence of one thing that works for the majority of learners.

What I have found interesting, and which might be helpful in reducing driving test nerves is the following techniques.

  1. Visualization: It works by imagining yourself in the future driving your own car. You actually have to believe that you’ve passed your driving test and driving the car you hope to get.

This is something that you’ll need to do on a daily basis, and for long enough so that you can recall that image of you driving without effort.

2. Stop the head chatter: How many times have you had an argument or conversation with someone in your head, that really isn’t real, it’s just you playing out a scenario?

Well many learners see themselves finishing the driving test and hearing the examiner mutter “sorry you’ve been unsuccessful this time”

They reply this image daily in their head as they approach test day, hoping to pass but thinking they will fail.

The problem is they reply the image so many times that their subconscious mind might believe it to be true.

The trick is to stop the head chatter. Every time you find yourself failing the test in your head stop, it and replace it with test success, and the thought of you driving your own car.

3. Don’t let others influence you with their stories: Failing a driving test isn’t cool for some people and those who fail might not actually tell you what really happened!

Their ego prevents them from accepting it’s their fault, so they might blame the examiner, or someone else caused them to fail, or it was a freak incident.

The truth is if you drive well, and don’t get any serious, or dangerous faults you’ve passed, it’s that simple.

So, take guidance from your instructor, take a MOCK driving test to see if you are at the standard required, and focus on the positives not the negatives.

 

 

You can read articles from other organisations regarding driving test nerves here

#driving test nerves

How to improve your chance of passing the practical driving test?

It’s everyone’s dream of passing the practical driving test at the First attempt.

 

And there’s no substitute for hard work, persistence, determination, desire and faith.

But you also need to find an instructor you gel with, one who you feel you can learn from, and one who’s reliable because to be successful you need regular frequent lessons.

Missing lessons can really slow your progress, so make sure your instructor allows you to book your lessons in advance, so you get the times when you can take them, and make sure you turn up for your lessons on time.

Each lesson you take should be a step forward from the previous lesson, so planning is important.

Between you and your instructor you should agree on what you need to cover on the lesson, where improvements can be made, and what support you’ll need to make those improvements.

It’s important that you understand how to do the task your being asked to do, and that you can visualise how you will deal with the situation to get the desired outcome.

This is where you need to focus on what your instructor is asking you to do, if you don’t understand the task, then you must tell your instructor immediately.

You wouldn’t jump out of a plane (with a parachute of course), if you didn’t know how to open the chute and land safely.

Throughout your learning experience, your instructor might set short assessments for you where they will ask you to complete a task unaided by them.

They will take on the role of observer so they can see how you will deal with certain tasks, and if it isn’t to the standard required, the instructor will help you understand where improvement should be made, and then further practice will help you to get it right.

Passing the practical driving test, how do you know when your almost ready to take it?

Let’s be honest, you don’t know what the test standard looks like, but your instructor does!

This is where a MOCK driving test can be beneficial. Your instructor will step out of the role of the trainer and into the role of the observer.

For a MOCK test to be successful it should be conducted exactly like a real practical driving test.

Familiarity with your own instructor can reduce the effectiveness of the MOCK test because you’re used to being in the car with them.

That’s why we recommend taking a MOCK test with another instructor opposing to your own, because this will take you out of your comfort zone even further.

Just like the real practical driving test.

By the end of the MOCK test, you’ll have the experience of what the real test will be like, and you’ll have an idea of the standard your driving needs to be to successfully pass the real thing.

Don’t be discouraged if you fail a MOCK driving test, it’s only a measure of the standard you are at that moment in time.

And, it often highlights the weaker areas in your driving which both you and your instructor can work on before booking the real thing.

More than just one MOCK test might be required to assist with your driving development.

So, don’t forget to insist on a MOCK test before you apply for the practical driving test, even if it’s conducted by your own instructor it’s still more beneficial than not taking one.

 

 

 

#passingthepracticaldrivingtest

Passing the driving test and what it means to Amanda

First of all congratulations to Amanda Gould for passing the driving test at her FIRST attempt.

passing the driving test by Amanda Gould

Amanda who took her lessons with instructor Phil Hardcastle said having a full driving licence will be really helpful to her, because she will be able to drive herself to work instead of begging lifts from others, or hoping the buses are on time.

A driving licence offers different opportunities to each individual after passing the driving test.

For many people owing their own car is the ultimate reward for the hours of persistence behind the wheel learning to be a safe and responsible driver.

I think for me owning a car meant real freedom. For 2 year prior to passing my driving test I rode motorbikes, starting on a 50cc moped before passing the bike test and eventually moving up to 1000cc racers.

But although bikes give you freedom, cars add a different dimension. With a car you can carry more passengers, chuck your gear in the boot and keep dry.

With a bike you need protective clothing and you’ve got to carry it around with you. You can’t exactly go on a shopping trip either because where do you put your new purchases.

With a car life’s a lot easier, whether it’s commuting for work, shopping or going on holiday.

Nostalgia takes many of us back to our first car reminding us of the fun and excitement we experienced. Which is why we always remember our first car with such fondness, even if it was a complete banger!

For me bikes are exciting, but cars are practical, and they can be a nice place to spend time, especially if you can afford a luxury motor.

But, until you pass your driving test and experience owing your own set of wheels you’ll never really understand the benefits of being able to drive, because you haven’t had the experience before.

I’m sure Amanda’s always going to remember the day she passed her driving test as one of life’s great achievements.

 

#passingthedrivingtest

Why learning to drive through the winter months can have it’s advantages!

We spend almost SIX months each year commuting in the dark

So, learning to drive through the winter months brings new challengers, and it’s better to learn them with a professional instructor, than being dropped in at the deep end.

It’s official summer has ended and the dark nights are drawing in. We can’t change the seasons, they happen every year.

And, although the best time to learn to drive is when the day’s are the longest, you’ll gain more new skills and knowledge learning through the Autumn and winter months.

October starts the shorter daylight hours with sunrise at 7am and sunset at 6.30pm.

In November the sun rises at 8am and sets at 5.30pm, and December is the shortest daylight time with the sun rise at 8.501am and setting at 4.50pm.

It’s not until March when we start to see the days getting longer with sun rises starting at 8am, and setting at 6.45pm, which then leads into those lovely long days of sunlight.

So, if your seventeenth birthday falls between October and March, don’t be put off learning to drive in the autumn & winter months because driving in these conditions will provide you with new challengers that you might not otherwise experience during spring and summer.

And if you learn and pass your driving test in the winter, you’ve got 6 months of summer to look forward to!

#learningtodrivethroughthewinter

5 Star Review from Dan Mitchell!!

Here is a WONDERFUL review from Dan Mitchell regarding his lessons with Elite Driving School!!

I would rate Elite Driving School: 5/5

I went with Elite due to recommendations from my friends who went with them.

The excellent quality lessons I was given allowed me to pass my test first time!

My experience with Elite has been amazing. Each lesson was planned out brilliantly allowing me to improve my driving skills significantly each time.

At first my confidence with driving wasn’t very good but my instructors always encouraged me and it sky – rocketed.

I would definitely recommend Elite to anyone looking to learn to drive and would like to say a big thank you Stu and Kev!