December’s new driving tests – what you need to know

December’s new driving tests – what you need to know

December will see new changes to driving tests brought in by the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency. The changes are being introduced to help new drivers learn the skills they need to help them stay safe on the road. Applying to car tests only in the first instance, these changes come into effect on Monday 4th December 2017 and will apply to new applicants, those who have previously failed a test, or those whose test has been rescheduled.  Read more

Driving on Country Roads
Courses, Tips

Driving on country roads

There is no better feeling than taking a long drive down a winding country road, away from the noise and bustle of the city. However you must remain alert and conscious of the potential dangers. Country roads have an alarmingly high fatality rate. In fact 60% of all road fatalities in the UK occur on country roads. Eleven times more people die on country roads than on motorways.

The problem is that drivers sometimes fail to pay attention when on country roads. The recent government road safety campaign, ‘Think’, warns drivers not to be complacent.

Unfortunately many drivers learn to drive in towns and cities and can pass their test without having any experience on country roads. This can lead to a potentially dangerous lack of preparedness when venturing into rural areas.

Safety tips for driving on country roads

The most important tip is to be alert and aware at all times. Country roads can conceal all manner of potential hazards, including sharp bends, potholes, dirt, gravel, tractors and farm animals.

Sharp bends can be very dangerous, and research shows that 34% of drivers admit to taking a bend too fast. In the country it is often the case that verges, bushes and trees can block your view. When approaching a sharp bend, it is essential that you reduce your speed by braking before the bend. This will give you time to react to unexpected hazards.

The speed limit on rural roads is 60 mph but you should not see this as a target. You should aim to drive well below this speed in the countryside as visibility can often be compromised. In fact many people do precisely this and the average speed on country roads has been recorded as 48 mph.

Remember the golden rule to drive at a speed that will allow you to stop within the clear section of road you can see ahead. This speed should be reduced if the road is wet or slippery.

If there is a slow moving vehicle ahead of you, resist the temptation to immediately overtake. Your visibility may be impaired by bends or dips in the road and you run the risk of driving into oncoming vehicles.

Pay attention to vulnerable road users such as horse riders, cyclists and pedestrians. Always reduce your speed and pass wide. Watch out for wildlife too. There are often road signs alerting drivers to animals in the area. If you see an animal on the road, reduce your speed until it has crossed safely.

Call us today

Lanes School of Driving has been teaching the public to drive since 1914. We grew our business through word of mouth and today we are one of the largest driving schools in the country.

At Lanes we are happy to offer drivers who have passed their test the Pass Plus Course. This course covers driving on quiet country roads as well as busy main roads, motorways, night driving, difficult weather conditions and dual carriageways.  We highly recommend it for all drivers thinking of driving on country roads.

Why not give us a call today to find out more.

Intensive driving lessons and the benefit of crash course driving lessons
Courses, Tips

Intensive driving lessons and the benefit of crash course driving lessons

Learning to drive can take months, but with a crash course of intensive lessons you could be ready for your test in as little as 6 days.

There are many reasons why a crash course might be the best choice for you:

You need to be able to legally drive quickly

If you are starting a new job where driving is required or if you are moving to a rural area with poor public transport facilities, you will need a driving licence as quickly as possible.

You already have driving experience

Many people are taught to drive from friends or parents on private land. They already have some skills but they will be unprepared for the rigours of a driving test. A crash course will be ideal to learn the more advanced aspects of driving, for example being able to handle public roads with busy traffic.

You want to save money

The cost of weekly driving lessons will add up over time. Intensive driving lessons are a great money saver and can work out hundreds of pounds cheaper than regular lessons. Crash courses are charged on a flat fee basis rather than on the number of hours.

Lanes’ Intensive Driving Courses

At Lanes, we can offer you intensive driving courses to help you pass your test quickly. We have a number of courses available which cater for a range of abilities from complete beginner to experienced driver. The courses run from 1 day refresher courses to comprehensive 6 day courses. Before you start, one of our advisors will have a consultation with you to advise on the best course for you.

At Lanes we want you to pass first time. As an added incentive, we promise to send you £150 in Lanes gift vouchers if you pass your test on your initial attempt.

We also offer a Guaranteed Test Pass Scheme. If you do not pass your test at the end of your course, we will give you a free one day course on the day of your retest. You can take the free one day course up to three times if you still do not pass.

At Lanes we want our pupils to learn without distractions and all our lessons are taught on a one to one basis.

Our instructors are DSA registered Approved Driving Instructors. If you are female and would like a female instructor, we have a number of female instructors on our team.

We offer both automatic and manual cars, depending on your preference. All our cars are fully equipped with the latest technology for your convenience and safety.

About Lanes

Lanes School of Driving is one of the biggest independent driving schools in the UK. We have been teaching people to drive since 1914 and we have a long standing reputation for quality instruction.

If you are looking to learn to drive fast, our intensive driving courses should be just the ticket.

Why not give us a call today on 020 8166 5678. Our experienced advisors will be happy to tell you more.

New Driving Licence Info

New Driving Licence Regulations

From the 8th June 2015 the paper counterpart of your driving licence will be abolished.

All driver information will be held centrally by the DVLA, which will be the only legal source of the drivers licensing history.

Driving licences must be checked by all driving instructors when initially meeting new pupils.  The simplest option is for drivers to provide their licence details using the DVLA’s new Share My Driving Licence (SMDL) service, which is accessible via the digital government’s services portal.

The SMDL services is free and the details can be separately verified online by using a one-time-only  DVLA access code supplied by the driver.

Please see the video below that has been created by the DVLA.


Should I take advanced driving lessons

If you have already passed your driving test, you might consider taking advanced driving lessons. They will enhance your skill set and teach you to become an advanced driver.

Research by Brunel University found that advanced drivers possessed an extensive range of enhanced driving skills, including: precise control of speed, ability to judge safe distances, fluid gear changing and accurate cornering. Advanced drivers have been found to incur a substantially lower accident rates compared to other drivers. To top it all, advanced drivers often report that the additional training has increased their enjoyment of driving.

Advanced drivers have the skills to drive both faster and safer. They have the confidence to increase their speed when the road is clear and the good judgement to reduce their speed where there are potential hazards ahead. Advanced training focuses on the key skills of observation and anticipation, which allows drivers to act early and decisively. Advanced drivers learn specialised techniques such as 3-stage overtaking, and are able to use the full width of the road to their advantage.

In a survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, 61% of respondents stated that the advanced driving skills they had acquired had helped them to avoid a road accident.

Advanced driving lessons at Lanes School of Driving

At Lanes, we have a number of different advanced ‘after pass’ courses to take your driving to the next level. Our courses are suitable whether you have just passed your test or you are an experienced driver

Pass Plus

Our pass plus course is designed to improve your skills in areas not covered by regular driving courses. The course is intended to reduce your risk of experiencing a road accident. Completing the course will also give you a big discount on your motor insurance premiums. In fact the premium discount for the first year should be sufficient to cover the cost of the entire course.

Motorway Driving Lessons

Learner drivers are forbidden from driving on motorways. This has the unfortunate consequence that the majority of newly qualified drivers have no motorway experience. Driving on motorways requires you to be comfortable with high speeds and to be able to anticipate road conditions quickly and decisively. Motorway driving lessons will give you the knowledge and more importantly the confidence to drive safely on motorways.

Parking Skills

Even though you have satisfied your examiner of your ability to park, are you sure that you can handle the challenge of parking in busy town centres, with heavy traffic in all directions? You may well find yourself driving around endlessly, spotting narrow parking spaces but not having the confidence to attempt to park. Our parking skills course will help you master parallel parking and bay parking so that you will be confident that you can park anywhere, in any conditions.

Call us today

Lanes School of Driving is one of the largest independent driving schools in the UK. After opening our doors in 1914, we grew our reputation through word of mouth. We have a wealth of experience that few schools can match.

If you want to find out more about our advanced driving lesson please give us a call today on and one of our friendly staff will be happy to advise you.


5 Reasons you know you need an intensive driving course


  1. You need to be road legal quickly

If you’re starting a new job or moving to the countryside and need to be able to drive ASAP then the quickest way to get your license is with a crash course.

We have courses between 1 and 6 days, designed to couch drivers of all abilities to reach test standard.

  1. You have driving experience but lack formal training

Lots of are taught to drive by their parents or friends on private land but don’t apply for their test. Informal training off the road doesn’t provide sufficient preparation for the driving test. However it provides a great foundation for a crash course in driving.

Your experience behind the wheel will help you tackle the more advanced aspects of driving on public roads more quickly during the course.

  1. You want to save money

Intensive driving courses can save you hundreds of pounds when compared with lengthy training periods. The Driving standards Agency (DSA) says on average new learners need 44 hours of driving lessons and 22 hours of private practice. In a one week crash course we charge for the course rather than the number of hours. You’ll be given full days of lessons and reach the equivalent hours of driving just in a compressed period of time.

  1. You want your test pass guaranteed

Not many driving instructors will guarantee that you’ll pass your driving test but we do. We understand that learners taking an intensive course need to pass quickly. We’re so confident that intensive courses work that we’ll guarantee you to pass your test. This means that we’ll provide additional training up to 3 times in order to get you past your test. Your costs won’t go up and you have an even greater chance of passing your test quickly.

  1. You want additional training after you’ve passed

We also provide intensive courses for new drivers, covering advanced driving skills such as motorway driving and city driving. Covering these areas over 1 day will ensure you’ve got all the tools you need to drive confidently on your own anywhere you go.

Taking lessons after you’ve passed could also lower your insurance quote.

Lanes School of Driving has been teaching pupils to drive for over 100 years. Our school is well established in London, Kent, and Surrey. If you are local to us please give us a call today on . Do not worry about making your way to your local Lanes driving school. We can pick you up from your front doorstep.

Don’t worry, if your town is not listed here, we will still come to your door and pick you up – at no extra charge!


Safe motorway driving by Lanes School of Driving

Whilst you are learning to drive, you are not permitted by law to drive on a motorway, even if you have a fully qualified instructor with you. You can only use motorways after you have passed your driving test and are in possession of a full driving licence.

Now once you have qualified, you will be allowed to drive on a motorway. If this makes you a little nervous, you are not alone. Many newly qualified drivers worry about their first time alone on a motorway. This is understandable as the speed of vehicles on motorways is dramatically greater than what they are used to. Additionally, motorway driving comes with its own set of rules and conventions.

Nevertheless, you should bear in mind that motorways are statistically our safest roads and only 3% of all road traffic accidents happen on motorways. A reason for this is that every vehicle is travelling in the same direction and at comparable speeds . Also, motorways are straight with wide lanes, and there are no sharp corners or tricky roundabouts.

At Lanes we are able to offer newly qualified drivers a Motorway Driving course in which you will learn the skills of safe motorway driving.

Driving on the motorway

When you first join the motorway, you should stay in the first lane until you match the speed of the other vehicles. The other lanes are for overtaking. If you use them to pass another vehicle, make sure that you return to the first lane as soon as you can.

On a motorway you are not allowed to reverse, cross the central reservation, or to drive in the opposite direction. If you need to stop in an emergency, you must use the hard shoulder.

The most important safety consideration is to ensure that you keep a safe distance from the vehicle immediately ahead of you. You must allow at least two seconds between you and the vehicle in front. This will enable you to brake and avoid collision in case of an emergency. If the roads are wet, you should allow 4 seconds.

In foggy conditions you should reduce your speed to compensate for the reduced visibility. If visibility is less than 100 meters you should use dipped headlights and front or rear fog lights.

If there is a large lorry in front, this can obscure your vision. It would be prudent to reduce your speed a little so that you can clearly see the road conditions ahead.

On busy motorways, there will be an electronic signalling system for each lane of traffic. It is essential that you know how to read the signals. They are there to warn you of hold ups or accidents ahead.

Call us today

Lanes School of Driving is one of the largest independant driving schools in the country. We have been teaching the public to drive since 1914 and we offer both male and female instructors. Our after pass one-to-one Motorway Driving course covers every aspect of motorway driving.

Why not give us a call today to find out more.

Lanes School of Driving has been teaching pupils to drive for over 100 years. Our school is well established in London, Kent, and Surrey. If you are local to us please give us a call today on . Do not worry about making your way to your local Lanes driving school. We can pick you up from your front doorstep.