Lanes School of Driving, Bromley

Why learner drivers should be allowed to drive on motorways

Q & A: Is the government right to propose that learner drivers should be allowed to drive on motorways?

On the 30th of December 2016, the government announced a public consultation on proposals to allow learner drivers to take driving lessons on motorways “accompanied by a fully-qualified approved driving instructor, in a car which has dual-controls”. We have looked at these proposals and tell you more about them, below;

Q. What are the problems with the current arrangements?

A. The current regulations are restrictive. They prevent drivers driving on the motorway until they have passed the driving test. The problem with this is that motorway driving can, at times, be very different to driving on other types of roads. The speed and volume of traffic can be intimidating for new drivers and the process of leaving and joining motorways can pose problems. Furthermore, the more and varied situations learner drivers experience, the better;

Q. Is the Government right?

A. The government’s proposals to allow drivers to have driving lessons on the motorway is a reasonable and practical solution to a very important problem – how to improve the skill set of newly qualified drivers when they drive on the motorway. Its an important problem compounded by the youth and inexperience of so many newly qualified drivers. As part of this consultation Road Safety minister Andrew Jones Younger reported that young drivers are currently around 5 to 7 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured compared with car drivers aged 25 or over. Motorway driving instruction could actually save lives by increasing and improving the competency of new drivers when they drive on motorways and is an appropriate response to the problems of the existing training;

Q. I thought the government’s PassPlus scheme offered motorway driving instruction

A. It does. One response to this problem was to include a motorway driving module in the driving standard agency voluntary PassPlus scheme. This is a scheme that provides an additional 6 hours of supervised driver training aimed at improving the skills of newly qualified drivers. However, PassPlus is optional, not mandatory, there is a fee involved, there is no ‘test’ and motorway driving is just one of 6 modules;

Q. So, how will things change, if the proposals are accepted?

A. The plans, if implemented, will mean that learner drivers will have the opportunity to obtain valuable experience of motorway driving, while accompanied by a driving instructor. This includes driving safely at higher speeds, leaving and joining the motorway safely, using lanes correctly, observing protocols for changing lanes and overtaking. This will improve overall road safety, not only for the learner driver but for other motorway users, as well;

Q. Are the proposals a good thing?

A. Yes. The government wants to improve the skills of new drivers to meet the challenge of motorway driving, so it makes sense to integrate motorway driving into the heart of driver training. The proposals have also been made with safety as a priority which is sensible – learner drivers must be accompanied by an approved driving instructor and the car used must be fitted with dual controls. However, under the current proposals motorway driving is voluntary. This means that learner drivers will not be required to demonstrate proficiency in motorway driving as part of the test;

This public consultation will run until 17 February 2017.


Now we are 20 – Two decades of the Driving Theory Test

Since the driving test was introduced in 1934 it has evolved to meet the ever changing challenges of driving on this country’s roads.

If you are thinking of learning to drive or are currently learning to drive then you will know that there are currently two elements that make up the United Kingdom driving test. These two elements are a driving theory test and a practical test. Both must be passed within a 2 year period.

The driving theory part of the test celebrates its 20th birthday this year, (2016) and has been an integral part of the full driving test since its introduction in 1996. The theory element of the test was included to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on in road traffic accidents.

History of the Theory Test

The Theory Test started as a written examination in 1996 and was changed to a computer based test four years later in 2000. Learners were allowed to book their test online for the first time in 2001. A year later, a hazard perception test was introduced for the first time. In 2015, the film clips in the hazard perception part of the test were replaced with CGI (Computer generated imagery).

What is the Theory Test?

The Theory Test is made up of two parts, a multiple choice test and a hazard perception test.

These tests can be summarised as follows:
Multiple choice test – A computer based Multiple Choice test consisting of 50 multiple choice questions (randomly selected from a bank of almost a thousand questions);

Hazard perception test – A hazard perception test was introduced in November 2002 and in 2015 new CGI clips replaced the real life video clips used in the original Hazard Perception Test – This test requires the candidate to respond appropriately while viewing fourteen one-minute CGI clips;
The pass rate in 2015/16 was almost 50%;

The tricky questions

The governments website https://www.gov.uk/ reveals that the questions people found hardest to answer relate to road and traffic signs, safety margins and rules of the road


There are a number of sites online that charge extra to book your tests. Save money by making sure you only book your test using the official theory test booking service at the governments own website www.gov.uk/booktheorytest.

The Theory Test has evolved to meet today’s challenging road traffic environment. Over the last 20 years it has embraced new technology along the way in order to improve the quality of the test and to make the test available to the widest number of people possible.

Lanes School of Driving

The proposed changes to the driving test – explained

In July the government arranged a consultation to discuss prospective changes to the driving test. This article will outline the changes that are proposed, and the reasons the government have decided they may be necessary.

The current proposals are to:

  • increase the ‘independent driving’ section of the test from ten to twenty minutes
  • ask driving test candidates to follow directions as given on a sat-nav as opposed to following road signs
  • replace current scenarios such as reversing around a corner with more ‘real life’ scenarios such as driving into and reversing out of a parking place
  • get candidate to perform ‘safety’ manoeuvres – such as turning on the rear heated windscreen – while they are driving

The main reason that the government have proposed these changes is because of the high number of road traffic fatalities that involve young people. Road traffic collisions remain the leading cause of death for people aged between fifteen and twenty-four. RTAs also account for over twenty-five percent of all deaths of those aged between fifteen and nineteen.

Additionally, one in five people who are killed or seriously injured on the road are involved in a collision in which the car driver is aged between seventeen and twenty-four.

Research has shown that many learner drivers only learn enough about driving to be able to successfully pass their driving test. This means that they end up passing their test before they are properly ready to drive on the road.

Unfortunately, driving lessons and the driving test cannot test all that learner drivers need to know. Many situations – such as learning how to avoid an impact when an unexpected traffic event occurs – cannot easily and safely be simulated. Newly-qualified drivers also tend to be ill prepared for many scenarios, such as driving on rural roads and navigating complex junctions during peak traffic times.

The government is therefore looking at more ways of making the driving test most accurately reflect real-world driving. This would include a learner driver using a sat nav to navigate as opposed to using road signs. Only a third of drivers in 2009 used a satellite navigation device, but by 2014 this percentage had risen to over half.

The new manoeuvres proposed by the government to be included in the test are aimed at reflecting real-world scenarios that have not been previously covered by the test. This will include locating a vacant parking bay in a car park, and then successfully parking and reversing out of the parking spot. This is something that all real-world drivers do – sometimes on a daily basis – yet it is something that is seldom taught in lessons.

It is hoped that all these changes will encourage changes in training that will better prepare learner drivers for life on the road. Any views on these changes can be made known to the UK government at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-car-driving-test. All comments must be submitted to the government by Thursday, August 25th.

Lanes School of Driving

Driving – you’re never too old to learn

For most people, learning to drive is seen as something as a youthful ‘rite of passage’. You learn to drive just as you begin to desire a little bit of independence, without having to rely upon your parents to ferry you everywhere.

However, you are simply never too old to learn how to drive. Lots of people in their thirties, forties and even beyond are now taking driving lessons for the first time, and are doing what is necessary to secure their full driving licence. Some people wait even longer – in October 2015 it was reported that a lady called Betty Jones from Huddersfield was taking driving lessons at the ‘ripe old age’ of 92!

Learning to drive – no longer the preserve of teenagers

In the United Kingdom, you can apply for a provisional driving licence once you reach fifteen years and nine months of age. However, you cannot legally start learning to drive until you are seventeen. Despite this, many young people are leaving it until later in life before they learn to drive. After all, a decent car is hardly an inexpensive purchase, and a young person will typically need a job before they can afford one. Even if they are employed, they are likely to having other expenses and priorities to consider.

There’s certainly no shame in ‘leaving it until later’ when it comes to learning how to drive. Driving instructors are increasingly noticing that the age range of their pupils has widened. Tuition fees are on the rise too, and young people tend to pay an extra premium to be able to use the roads when it comes to car insurance. To this end, more and more people are waiting until they have a little more in the way of disposable cash before they start to consider taking driving lessons.

Young people possess a more ‘gung-ho’ approach to driving

Waiting until you’re a little older before you start to splash out on driving lessons is probably a good idea anyhow. Young people tend to be a little less aware of the world and its hazards than those who have seen a handful of extra summers. The parts of the human brain that can assess risk do not develop fully until the age of twenty-five. Young people also seem to think they are invincible, and they tend to take more risks.
In addition, people under the age of twenty-five are more likely to be involved in fatal road accidents. As many as one quarter of vehicle-based fatalities involve people under the age of twenty. This should not put you off from learning to drive though – road traffic accidents account for less than half a percent of deaths per annum, and virtually all road traffic accidents are easily preventable.

Age certainly is no barrier to gaining your full driving licence. The key ingredients to becoming a holder of a full licence and a careful, responsible driver are a decent instructor, a proper attitude towards driving and plenty of practice.

With over 100 years of experience in teaching pupils to drive throughout London, Kent & Surrey, we can help you pass your test whether you are 17 or 70, male or female, nervous or not – we have the know-how. With DSA registered, Approved Driving Instructors throughout London, Kent & Surrey, we can pick you up from your home, school, college or office and you will NEVER have to share your car with another pupil. Call us today on 020 8166 5678 to speak with our helpful team to discuss the options available to you.

Driving Lessons,Lanes

Your New Year’s resolution – learn to drive!

Well, bye bye 2015 and hello 2016. It’s the turn of the year again and it’s time to make your New Year’s resolution. No doubt you are going to lose weight and get fit … for the first three weeks in January, anyway.

How about make a resolution that you can stick with? How about learning to drive? Thousands of people learn to do just that every year – and not just as a New Year’s resolution!

Why should you learn to drive? Here are some very good reasons …

You’ll gain more freedom

Public transport is … public transport. Does anyone really like waiting for a bus in the rain? How many times have you turned up at a railway station to find that your train is delayed or cancelled?

Do you enjoy the close proximity of strangers on the bus, train or tube?

Learning to drive and buying a car frees you up from relying on buses and trains. You can go where you want, when you want. Plus, driving from A to B is a lot quicker than catching buses or trains.

You’ll have better employment prospects

All of us would love a job that we can walk to, but such is the competitive nature of the employment market these days that’s too much of a luxury. Having your own car and the ability to drive widens your options. A car is much more reliable than public transport, and catching more than one bus or train to your destination is a nightmare.

You’ll save time, and it’s much more convenient

Have you ever tried getting your weekly shop home on a bus? That’s no one’s idea of fun. Handling more than two bags while fishing for the correct change is about as much as anyone can cope with. This results in more frequent trips, and further time wasted that could be spent in more entertaining ways.

If you have children, then you’ll know they need to be transported to school, friends, the shops, parties … doing all that without a car is even more of a nightmare.

You’ll be able to keep in touch with you friends easier

Most of your friends will probably be local, but what about your friends who are further afield? Those friends that take a two hour trip via three buses to get to. Do you only see them infrequently as your journey is a bit of an ordeal? With a car, that two hour trip can become a half-an-hour drive. It’s often cheaper too than paying bus fares and train fares.

You’ll be able to plan ahead

Do you plan never to be able to drive? What if an amazing new job opportunity pops up fifty miles away, or you meet a potential new partner who lives in a different county? Learn to drive before your other responsibilities take over.

So, what’s stopping you? Make ‘learning to drive’ your New Year resolution for 2016. You’ll soon wonder how you ever managed without a driving licence!


With over 100 years of experience in teaching pupils to drive throughout London, Kent & Surrey, we can help you pass your test whether you are 17 or 70, male or female, nervous or not – we have the know-how.
With DSA registered, Approved Driving Instructors throughout London, Kent & Surrey, we can pick you up from your home, school, college or office and you will NEVER have to share your car with another pupil.
Call us today on 020 8166 5678 to speak with our helpful team to discuss the options available to you.


Using car parks

Learning how to use car parks is an important skill for any driver. When you have mastered this skill you will be able to park in supermarkets and multi storey car parks.

When learning to park, you should develop a feel for the length and width of your car and should be able to accurately assess the measurements of spaces outside your vehicle. You must be aware of our surroundings at all times. Checking your mirrors, indicating, and looking over your shoulder are all essential when parking.

Parking in car parks involves a maneuver known as bay parking. This should be distinguished from parallel parking, which is used for parking on the side of a busy road.

The skills involved in bay parking are very similar to the skills needed to reverse to the left and reverse to the right.

When using parking bays, we recommend that you reverse into them when parking. This makes it much easier when it is time for you to leave, as you simply drive forwards with a clear view of where you are heading. It is not only much safer to reverse park, it is also more economical in terms of fuel usage.

Key pointers

When preparing to park in a car park it is essential that you reduce your speed to a very slow walking pace. Always watch out for pedestrians at all times and maintain careful observation of both the front and back of your vehicle.

When choosing a parking bay, make sure that there is enough space to both park and open your doors. Otherwise you will not be able to get out.

How to park

Always allow yourself plenty of room to park. We advise that you drive past the bay you have chosen and stop about two car lengths past it

After observing all around you, select reverse gear and get ready to manoeuvre into the bay.

Keep control of your clutch and brake pedal to control your speed. Start to steer your car fully to the right (or left). You should aim the rear end of your car to point towards the bay. Your front end will start to swing out, so keep an eye out for other cars and pedestrians.

Use your mirrors to guide you. If you look into each side mirror you should see a white parking line. To be doubly sure, you can open your window and look behind you to check you are sliding your car in between the lines.

Keep looking behind you and reverse slowly, and keep glancing at your side mirrors. Keep going until the white line of the bay appears to be level with the top of the back passenger seat.

When your car is straight and parallel with the white lines, straighten your steering so that your car ends up parked in the middle of the two lines.

Call us today

Lanes School of Driving has been teaching people to drive since 1914. Today we are one of the largest independent driving schools in the UK. If you want to learn more about using car parks or any other aspect of driving, we can offer you tailored one-to-one lessons with one of our expert instructors.

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


A day in the life of a driving instructor – is it time for a career change?

Are you thinking of a career change to become a driving instructor? A job as a driving instructor has many advantages if you like meeting different people and enjoy the freedom of being self employed.

If you would like to know what a typical day in the life of a driving instructor is like, we will take you through the typical day of Fred, an Approved Driving Instructor with Lanes.

6:30 am

It’s the start of a new day. Driving instructors start early as pupils will schedule lessons before office hours.

Fred gives his car a brief check, making sure it is clean and smart. He drives off to meet his first pupil. Fred looks forwards to starting work. He enjoys working with different people and feels satisfaction when one of his pupils pass their test.

7:30 am

Fred’s meets his first pupil, Laura. She is a pleasant young housewife who has recently moved to the countryside. The buses are very infrequent where she lives and she has decided to learn to drive.

After Laura’s lesson, Fred drives her back to her house. Fred and Laura have a discussion on how the lesson went and Fred gives Laura pointers on the areas that need improving. Laura says that when she has passed her test, she will be able to drive her children to the park. Fred reflects on this, and thinks about the satisfaction he gains from helping people live fuller lives.

Fred has two more students that morning. They are regular students who Fred has been teaching for a while. He teaches them more advanced skills like driving on a dual carriageway and parallel parking.

Fred allows 30 mins between each lesson to allow him time to drive to his next appointment and to get his paperwork in order.

12.30 pm

Fred takes a 30 minute break to have his lunch.

1.00 pm

Fred’s next student is Hannah, a bright young girl with a business degree. She is learning to drive because she feels it will help her find a job. Hannah is taking her driving test next week, so Fred focusses on identifying any faults she has and working through them until she has rectified them. Hannah is a good driver but a little nervous about her test, so Fred gives her a pep talk to boost her confidence.

Fred’s next student is Alan, who wants to practice mini-roundabouts and three point turns. Alan is very confident but he is does not always carry out proper observation drills. However after Fred runs through the correct procedures with him, he is doing everything right. Alan is pleased with his progress and asks Fred’s advice whether he is ready to take his test.

Fred has one lesson for the day, an hour’s lesson for a driver taking his first lesson. Fred runs through the basics: how to use the clutch, moving off, stopping and steering.

6 pm

Fred arrives home. Before he signs off for the day, he needs to respond to some phone messages and texts and complete some paperwork.

Give us a call to find out more

Lanes School of Driving is a well established driving school which has been giving lessons to the public since 1914. At Lanes we have been training driving instructors for 30 years. After you qualify you have the option to work with us as a franchised instructor, or to strike out on your own.

If you are interested in a career as a qualified driving instructor, please telephone to speak to one of our friendly and helpful staff to arrange an appointment with one of our trainers.


The benefits of becoming a driving instructor with Lanes School of Driving

Do you want to be a driving instructor?

If you enjoy working with people, teaching people to drive can be very rewarding. You will encounter pupils from all walks of life and all ages. By teaching them to drive you will give them a life skill they will retain for the rest of their life. When your pupils pass their driving test through your efforts you will feel a sense of pride and achievement for the role you have played.

On a grander scale, as a driving instructor you will also be contributing to road safety throughout the UK. The skills of the next generation of drivers are in your hands. By instilling safe driving procedures and awareness of road safety in your pupils you are ensuring that our roads remain safe for all users. The UK has one of the best records for road safety in the world, and this is in part due to diligence and dedication of our driving instructors.


Life as a driving instructor

Steady source of clients
Around 1.6 million people in the UK take a driving test every year. This will give you a reliable source of  pupils. As your reputation grows you will find that you will gain more and more pupils through word of mouth until you find yourself fully booked.

Self employment
As a driving instructor you will be self employed. If you value your freedom and and independence this will be an ideal choice for you. You may have bad experiences of overbearing and unreasonable bosses; this will become a thing of the past. As a driving instructor you can run your business in the manner you choose and not have to justify your actions to someone higher up the hierarchy.

Freedom to choose your hours
As you are your own boss, you can choose the hours you want to work. Of course you need to make yourself available to your pupils, but if you want to take an afternoon of during the week, it is entirely your choice. You are free to take holidays whenever you want; just ensure that your pupils know when you will be back.


Training at Lanes

Lanes School of Driving has been providing driving instruction to the public since 1914. We have taught generations of pupils to drive and our reputation is well established. Today we rank amongst the largest driving independent driving schools in the UK.

Lanes has been providing driving instructor training for over 30 years. We have trained men and women from all backgrounds to become Driving Standard Agency Approved Driving Instructors.

By training at Lanes you will have the benefit of our reputation and prestige behind you as you embark on your new career. At Lanes we practice an ethos of being relaxed but professional. We will give you secure employment. and a committed support and marketing network to boost your career to new heights.

Our driving instructors can expect to earn £20,000 per year when starting out. As you gain in experience and reputation, your earnings can be expected to increase to as much as £30,000 per year.

After your training at Lanes you have the choice of working with us as a franchised driving instructor. If you choose, you can use your own car and be completely independent. It’s totally up to you!


If you are interested in a career as a qualified driving instructor and feel that our training course is the one for you, please telephone to speak to one of our friendly and helpful staff to arrange an appointment with one of our trainers.


Is an intensive driving course right for me? by Lanes School of Driving



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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.


With 100 years of experience in teaching pupils to drive throughout London, Kent & Surrey, we can help you pass your test whether you are 17 or 70, male or female, nervous or not – we have the know-how.

With DSA registered, Approved Driving Instructors throughout London, Kent & Surrey, we can pick you up from your home, school, college or office and you will NEVER have to share your car with another pupil.

Call us today on and book your first lessons with us for just £9.99 alternatively, if you complete the contact form we will respond within 24 hours.


Is post test training necessary?

Post Test Training is a popular option with newly qualified drivers from Lanes, this is a separate course run by ourselves and it’s designed to give you greater confidence whilst out on the road.

As a new driver you can spread this training over the course of one or two days, you gain invaluable tips and we think it’s beneficial due to the following reasons.


1. You get motorway experience

Pass your test in the town and driving on a motorway suddenly becomes a daunting proposition. Not only will you be driving at a higher speed, you’ll have to react quicker, learn how to read the road ahead, abide by the two second rule and check, then double-check before you even attempt to change lanes.

This can be rather overwhelming for a new driver.

Take post test training and we’ll show you what to expect when you are driving down a motorway, we’ll train you to cope on the busier roads


2. You get dual carriageway experience

As well as motorway training we can give you dual carriageway training too.

Again, cars drive faster on dual carriageways and your reactions need to adapt to the change in speed, don’t worry though, our instructors will teach you everything you need to know.


3. It teaches you about country lanes

Driving in the country is different to driving in the town. Take a trip down a country lane for example and there are different hazards to overcome.

High hedges, slow moving tractors, animals wandering into the road and narrow ‘passing points’ are just some of obstacles you’ll have to overcome.

Learn new skills about driving in the country in our post test course and it shouldn’t be as daunting when you do this for real on your own.


4. It encompasses night driving

Driving at night is different to daytime driving. You rely on your car’s headlights during the twilight hours, street lights aren’t always working and things tend to look different than they do in the day.

Post test training prepares you for this. We’ll take you out in the dark and help you hone your skills, driving at night shouldn’t be anything to fear.


5. And all weather driving

The weather provides different challenges when you are driving a car. Heavy rain or patches of fog vastly reduce your visibility. Snow and ice make the conditions slippery. Low level sun can blind you. High winds can rock the car from side to side.

As part of our post test training we’ll teach you about driving in different weather conditions so there’s nothing to fear in the future.


6. It even has a multi-storey car park section!

Driving in a multi-storey car park is daunting too. You have to negotiate entrance and exit ramps safely. Reversing into spaces can be tricky, you need your wits about you to spot cars backing out of spaces and keep one eye on foot traffic at the same time.

Don’t worry.

We’ll give you all the skills you need to become an expert driver in car parks, whether they are multi-stories or not!


With 100 years of experience in teaching pupils to drive throughout London, Kent & Surrey, we can help you pass your test whether you are 17 or 70, male or female, nervous or not – we have the know-how.

With DSA registered, Approved Driving Instructors throughout London, Kent & Surrey, we can pick you up from your home, school, college or office and you will NEVER have to share your car with another pupil.

Call us today on and book your first lessons with us for just £9.99 alternatively, if you complete the contact form we will respond within 24 hours.