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

Why Do Driving Tests Get Cancelled?

Why Do Driving Tests Get Cancelled?

 

For all those unlucky people that have experienced cancelled driving tests by the Driving Standards & Vehicle Agency (DVSA), it’s a major disappointment especially if the wait for a replacement test is months ahead.

Tests are generally cancelled due to a shortage of examiners at your local test centre because of illness, holidays and just recently the examiners strike.

In some circumstances you could have had your test warm up lesson and arrive at the test centre only to find that there isn’t an examiner to take you out on test and your test is cancelled.

In this situation a test is re-booked for you by the DVSA which again could be months ahead, and because all test bookings are an agreement between the customer and the DVSA there’s nothing a driving instructor can do about it.

If you are attending a driving test please make sure you have given your driving instructor the correct day, time and test centre, and that you have the correct documentation with you on the day.
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Driving Test waiting times

Learners in four-month wait for driving test: DVSA ‘struggling to cope’ with recent budget cuts

  • Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said more people were taking tests
  • It blamed the lengthy waits on economic upturn and examiners retiring
  • Learners in Milton Keynes, Norwich and Basingstoke face 18-week wait

 

Learner drivers are facing a wait of more than four months to take their tests because of a rush of applicants who couldn’t afford lessons during the credit-crunch years.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the Government body responsible for managing driving tests, is also struggling to cope with the impact of recent budget cuts, according to the Automobile Association.

‘We are seeing lots of posts on social media from frustrated pupils who want to get on with their working lives and want to experience the freedom of the road, but are being held back by the DVSA’s failure to cope with demand,’ an AA spokesman said. ‘Our concern is the DVSA have been caught out by the arguably predictable sudden surge in pupil numbers.’

Source “Mail online”

 

Our Recommendations:

  • Apply for your theory test before or at the start of your lessons.
  • Put plenty of work into studying the theory to help you pass first time.
  • Speak to your driving instructor about planning and booking your lessons in advance.
  • Pre-book a driving test with the agreement of your driving instructor.
  • Make sure you don’t miss any lessons
  • Listen to your instructors advice, if they think you need to top up your lessons before the test, then do it.
  • If study material is made available between lessons, use it.

Planning ahead will give you a definite goal, and cut down on the cost of learning

Booking driving tests is off line this weekend

This weekend some of DVSA’s online services for driver and rider trainers won’t be available because of planned maintenance.

You won’t be able to use the following services from 9:00am Saturday (28 March) until mid afternoon on Sunday (29 March):

book and manage your practical driving test
DVSA practical test business service
ADI online services (eg. renew or update your registration)
record Driver CPC training you provide
check your Driver CPC periodic training hours
upload delegated examiner records
We’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

Online theory tests

The onlilne theory test booking service won’t be affected. You and your trainees will still be able to book and manage your theory tests as usual.