Why Learning to Drive at the Age of 17 is Better

It’s quite normal now for the younger generation to learn to drive as soon as they can. It is actually a really good idea. So, if you are 17, or are wanting to get someone driving lessons, here are some reasons why learning to drive when your younger, is easier.

It has been found in recent studies that learning is significantly easier for younger people, rather than in older years. The brain is a lot more capable of learning when younger, meaning that it is learning new things, such as driving is considerable easier and less frustrating.

Because Driving is a new skill, it requires a lot of patience and time and effort, but also a lot of concentration.

Meaning that the younger generation are going to require less concentration, and patience, because their brain is more capable of learning, unlike someone in their late twenties, and thirties and so on.

Obviously, it depends on the person, and their own personal and mental development, but generally it is easier for younger people to absorb information.

This means that passing driving and theory tests can be substantially quicker, and better, which means that more money is saved throughout the process, making it more cost-effective to learn to drive at the age of 17 than a novice at the age of 35.

Moreover, even if you can’t afford to get a car at the age of 17, the skills have been learnt meaning that refreshing your memory later on in life, when you can afford a car, is a lot easier than starting from scratch. It’s very similar to the saying ‘You Never forget how to ride a bike’.

It’s considerably the same thing, as most people to learn to ride a bike at a very young age, meaning that the skills learnt are more likely to stay stored in the brain.

But of course it is never too late to start to learn to drive. The freedom gained at the end of it will not differ, and the experience of lessons will not change.


Driving Test Changes You Need to Know About

If you didn’t know already, the UK driving test is changing from the 4th December 2017 (not a very nice Christmas present, is it?). We are updating you with the most recent changes made by the DVSA.

It was released on the 13th September 2017, that there would be revised changes to the ‘Show me’ ‘Tell me’ portion of the test.

If you don’t know what this is, it is where the examiner will ask you a ‘show me’ question and a ‘tell me’ question at the beginning of your driving test. These questions are given to you by your instructor to prepare you for your test.

The ‘Tell me’ Questions are as follows:

1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

3. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.

Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.

9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made.

Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

11. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.

Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

12. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.

13. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.

Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

14. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.


And the ‘Show me’ questions:

  1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?
  2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
  3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?
  4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?
  5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?
  6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
  7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?


Now with the changes to the Driving Test, it means that the ‘tell me’ questions will be asked at the beginning of the test, and the ‘show me’ questions will now be asked during the driving test, whilst under their examination.

However, do not fret, the changes are not made until the 4th December, so you have plenty of time to figure how to undertake these ‘show me’s’ in your instructors car.

We hope this helps and we will keep you updated with any more changes to the UK Driving Test on the Elite Blog, so make sure to follow Elite on Social Media, so you can be updated with any Driving Test changes coming your way by December!

The Elite Team

Changes to the Driving Test

Changes to the Driving Test

The driving test is changing with effect from 4 December 2017.


The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has confirmed that the driving test in England, Scotland and Wales will change from Monday 4 December 2017.

The Driving and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) are changing the test to bring it in line with today’s driving environment.

New drivers need to be better equipped with the skills to cope with the modern traffic and road situations.

There are four main changes to the practical driving test, these are as follows:

  1. The independent driving section is due to increase from 10 minutes to 20 minutes. Independent driving means you have to drive without turn by turn instruction from the examiner.

2. The introduction of driving following directions from a Satellite Navigation system (sat nav) will be included in the independent driving section.

The examiner will supply and set up the sat nav, so test candidate don’t need to worry.

3. The good news is two older manoeuvres reversing around a corner and a turn in the road will no longer be in the test, Instead you will be asked to complete one of three reversing manoeuvres.

A) Parallel park at the side of the road

B) Parking in a bay; either by pulling in and reversing out or reversing in and pulling out. The examiner will decide which one you will be doing based on the route.

C) Pull up on the right hand side of the road and reverse for two car lengths and then rejoin the traffic.

You will also be asked a vehicle safety questions whilst driving, which will be from the “show me tell me questions”.

To read the full DVSA report on the changes click here

The cost of the driving test, length and pass marks will remain the same.

You can watch the official DVSA video on the changes by clicking here


#roadsafety #drivingtestchanges


Learner drivers caught using test stand-ins

L Plate

Learner drivers caught using test stand-ins

Dozens of learner drivers are caught each year using stand-ins to take their test for them, official figures show.

There were 209 convictions from 2012-13 to 2016-17, with more than half dealt with by the Metropolitan Police, Transport Minister Andrew Jones said.

In addition, 111 people were convicted of taking the practical or theory tests on behalf of others over the same time.

A total of about 1.5 million practical and 1.9 million theory tests are taken each year.

Mr Jones said the majority of investigations were conducted by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) until there was enough evidence to support an arrest and prosecution.

DVSA head of counter-fraud and investigations Andy Rice said: “The driving test is there to ensure that all drivers have the skills and knowledge to use the roads safely and responsibly.

“Anyone who tries to circumvent this process is putting innocent road users at risk.”

Driving test fraud was a serious offence and dealt with accordingly, he said.

More than 1,100 licences have been revoked due to such activity in the past five years.

To read the full article click here



Friday 13th hits driving test candidates…

Friday the 13th effects new drivers, and driving test candidates arggggg….


Well it’s the first Friday the 13th of 2017, and we feel we should to spread some love to the new drivers that have had their first driving lesson cancelled. But we’re sending some hugs to those of you who was hoping to gain your full drivers licence today, but in true Friday 13th bad luck the  weather has put a halt to soooo many of this mornings driving tests.

You just can’t prepare for the weather. Last week some people were walking around in tee shirts, this week it’s snow boots.

If it’s your first ever driving lesson that has been cancelled this morning, it should only set you back a few days before your instructor can re-schedule a new one.

But if it was your driving test that was cancelled then I really feel for you. I know how much preparation you have put in to getting to this day, and how the nerves, and excitement might have caused a restless night, only to wake to what would be nice on Christmas morning, but not today, not the day the of your driving test.

If you have been one of the unfortunate people to have your driving test cancelled, don’t despair, the DVSA will get you a new appointment soon.

For the superstitious among you the next and last Friday 13th of 2017 is October, so don’t book your test on that day.






Driving under guidance

Sat Nav’s they’re not perfect…


It’s easy to get a little complacent when driving the same route you’ve driven a hundred times before.

You see when you know where your going you can cope with distractions, from passengers chatting to you, other drivers getting it wrong, and pedestrians walking in your path with no obvious thought for their own safety.


But when you’re driving in the worst traffic, on the busiest road network in the UK, surrounded by people who either know where their going because they travel the same route daily, or like you they haven’t got a clue where they are going, your senses become heightened.

You’re constantly checking your mirrors, looking over your shoulders, keeping an eye on all four corners of your car, reading signs, listening to directions from your sat nav, and checking the directions given when you don’t hear it correctly. It’s exhausting.

Everything’s a distraction, but you’ve got to get in the zone and concentrate on what you’re doing. And because there’s so much happening compared to a usual day you need to be more aware, increase your distance from the car in front, look further head and plan what you’re going to do next. But you’ve also got to inform others of what you’re going to do, and all while following guidance from your sat nav. Phew.

Now sat navs are good but not perfect. They may be hard to hear in busy environments, and leave instruction till the last minute, which might lead to a wrong turn and the system automatically re-calculating your route, which can take a few seconds and take you further off course.

And as frustrating as it might be you’ve got to keep your cool and patience. But you can also help by keeping a good distance from the car ahead, and not be tempted to chase after them.

Now when you’re learning to drive, it’s easy to miss-hear an instruction, causing panic and then it all goes wrong. It’s a big blow for your confidence and generally leads to a bad lesson in the students mind.

But there’s no such thing as a bad lesson if you’ve learnt something, however the method of learning might be.

The DVSA are talking about using Sat nav’s on driving tests during the independent drive section.

So the next time you are on on lesson and you don’t understand an instruction, don’t panic check your mirror, come off the gas (slow down) and ask your instructor to confirm what he is asking you to do. Then you’ll stay in control.

If you’re using a sat nav system, don’t panic continue to follow the road ahead and listen for confirmation or new instruction.

By the way if you’re wondering where in the UK I was talking about at the beginning of this blog, it’s London. One of the busiest cities in the world, and a drivers worst nightmare, especially when in rush hour traffic.


If you’re having a driving lesson this weekend, happy panic free driving… 



#drivinglessons, #mspsl, #driving


Driving test celebrity

Driving test celebrity

What can get your knees knocking more than waiting for the driving examiner to call out your name?


Last nights episode of celebrity was the first week of the challenges. We saw four fearless celebrities invited to take a challenge that would win them 10 stars towards putting food on the table.

Now at this point I must admit I’ve never been a fan of the program, and that’s probably because I haven’t watched much of it in the past. Anyway the challenge for our intrepid foursome was to be locked in an underground vault for ten minutes with thousands of critters (as described by Ant and Dec)..

During the task Ant and Dec constantly reminded our four hero’s that this year they were using more critters than ever before. And for the full ten minutes the two presenters laughed their UGGS off, each time thousands of horrid creepy crawlies were poured into the chamber.

There were rats, cockroaches, huge spiders and a cocktail of some of the nastiest looking insects on the planet. But after 10 minutes of screaming, prying and reviving an old Abba classic, the four emerged from the bleak vault  into the light (still with ants in their pants), to reap their reward.

The moral of today’s story is although you might be dreading your driving test day, you are armed with the skills necessary to pass. You have to keep your focus and remind yourself that millions of people have done what you are going to do before.

And I’ll guarantee you would rather spend 45 minutes in a car with a driving examiner, than 10 minutes in a dark vault with thousands of smelly, slimy, spiky, hairy companions that BITE!!!

Have a great Tuesday…






Have you taken a MOCK driving test

The MOCK Driving Test

It’s scarier than Halloween…

If you’re getting near to, or already have a driving test booked then you should have been advised by your driving instructor that you’ll need a MOCK driving test well before the big day.

Most students are fearful of failing the driving test, like the rest of us would be now if we were asked to take it again.

It’s easier to cope with nerves if you already know what to expect. That’s why MOCK driving tests are an important part of your preparation.

What if you fail the MOCK test? 

A mock test is designed to put you through your paces, and see how well you cope under your own steam, with-out help from your instructor. Exactly like on the actual day.

It’s particularly useful for your instructor too because they get an idea of what you are likely struggle with should you start to crack under pressure.

Once your instructor knows how you will perform under pressure they can focus on getting you properly prepared for the test day so that you shouldn’t let the test day nerves get the better of you.

If you haven’t taken a MOCK test yet ask your instructor when they think you should.

Remember proper preparation leads to better results.

The Driving Test, Why People fail

Top 10 Reasons People Fail The Driving Test as compiled by the DVSA’s driving examiners

Source: DVSA



1. Observations at junctions

Poor observations at junctions is one of the top 10 reasons that people fail a driving test.

You’ll be marked for this fault if you are not taking effective observation before emerging at junctions, and emerging into the path of other vehicles. Always make sure it’s safe before proceeding.


Failed2. Moving off safely

Moving off safely makes it into the DVSA’s top 10.

When you’re moving off from the side of the road, you need to make sure you look around, check your blind spots – and use the correct signal!


Failed3. Use of mirrors

Not using mirrors properly is one of the top 10 reasons people fail.

Remember that you need to use your rear view mirror and door mirrors – and react to the information you receive! People get caught out for pulling up with no mirror checks, increasing their speed with no mirror checks, or using their mirrors too late.


Failed4. Reverse parking

The next reason is reverse parking. In the driving test you’ll either do a parallel park on the road, or reverse into a parking bay at the test centre.

You’ll notch up a fault in this area if you need to reposition to correct a loss of control or accuracy. A complete misjudgement or significant loss of control will count as a serious fault.


Failed5. Response to traffic lights

Giving the right response to traffic lights is something that catches people out.

Some of the mistakes that people make include waiting at a green filter light when it’s safe to proceed and staying at the stop line when it’s safe to move.

Other faults that count include not conforming to a red light, and stopping beyond an advanced stop line in the area designated for cyclists.


Failed6. Steering

Believe it or not, steering makes it into the DVSA’s top 10.

You need to be able to maintain a steady course in normal driving. Things like mounting and dismounting the kerb, and not following the contour of the kerb results in faults in this area.


Failed7. Positioning

Road positioning is really important.

Your vehicle should be positioned correctly for the route you’re taking. If lanes are marked, make sure you’re in the middle of the lane. Avoid straddling lanes.


Failed8. Turning right at junctions

Turning right at junctions makes it onto the list.

When you’re turning right, position your vehicle correctly – it shouldn’t cut the corner when turning right.

Also, watch out for cyclists and motorcyclists, and any pedestrians crossing the road you are turning into


Failed9. Control when moving off

Is this the one everyone dreads doing?

Repeated stalling is one of the things that counts as control when moving off.

Other things that are included in this reason are moving off (or trying to!) with the handbrake on, rolling backwards when trying to move off – and not putting the car in gear and attempting to move off.


Failed10. Response to road markings

And finally… look out for road markings.

You’ll be marked with faults in this area for doing things like unnecessarily crossing the solid white centre lines on the road, and not following directional arrows.

Stopping in a yellow box junction when the exit is not clear also counts for this reason. So make sure you know the rules about using them.


Prepare to pass

It’s normal to be nervous before your test, but if you’re properly prepared and your instructor thinks you’re ready, then there’s really no reason to worry.

Your examiner’s not trying to catch you out; they just want to make sure that you can drive safely.

My advice is ask your instructor for a MOCK test, which will give you valuable experience of how the test will be conducted on the real day. It will also give you a good indication of how close you are to test standard.






If you want to avoid these 10 mistakes book your driving lessons with an Elite driving instructor call the office on: 01482 772301