Tips

eyetest-equipment
Tips

Do you need to re-take your eye test?

You may have had your driver’s licence for a while now, but the chances are that you don’t remember what the eyesight rules are. The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) has been running a campaign over the summer to make drivers aware of the rules when it comes to driving and eyesight – and this has been widely reported by the media. To save you trawling through the internet we have done that for you, and set out the rules and requirements, together with what you may need to do.

What are the rules?

The rules are pretty technical, but you can find the full details on the gov.uk website. There is a quick and easy way to remember them though, and it’s also the best way to test yourself: you need to be able to read another car’s number plate from a distance of 20m. It doesn’t matter if you need glasses or contact lenses to do this, so long as you are wearing them when driving if you do. As well as this, your field of vision needs to be adequate and this is something that you optician can check for you on your next appointment.

‘How far is 20m?’ we hear you ask. Standing by the side of the road, count five parked cars and then read off the number plate of the fifth one. That is an approximate length of 20m. Alternatively, think of it as eight car parking bays away.

Getting tested

All learner drivers will need to pass the eye test, and it is something that is checked during the driving test. If a driving candidate is unable to read a number plate from that distance, then the test cannot continue and the examiner is obliged to let the DVLA know. Once the test has been passed successfully, it is each driver’s responsibility to ensure that their eyesight is regularly tested.

Many of us may not get around to it as often as we should and it’s not until our eyesight has deteriorated significantly that we do something about it. However, it is worth remembering that it is not just our safety that is at stake, but that of other road users as well – drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Why not take the 20m licence-reading test the next opportunity you get? If you have any trouble making it out, make an appointment to see your optometrist.

The consequences

If you are found to be driving with eyesight that is below the required standard then the DVLA can revoke your licence. They can also fine you up to £1,000 if it is found that you are suffering from any medical condition that affects your ability to drive, and this includes any that impact your eyesight. If you are involved in an accident as a result of this, you could even be prosecuted.

Don’t delay, check your eyesight as soon as you get the chance. If you want to check your driving skills as well or wish to take a driving course, talk to us at Lanes School of Driving. We have been teaching people to drive for over 100 years and are ideally placed to help you too. Just call us on 020 8166 5678 and we’ll take it from there.

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Tips

Intensive vs standard driving courses

You have decided that it’s time to learn to drive and are now trying to figure out the best way of doing so. With so many driving schools and instructors out there it can be a little overwhelming to know what is best to do. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or a little more mature, whether you have some driving experience or not. What matters is that you get up to the right standard to be able to take your driving test and pass successfully. Before you start looking around to book your first lesson, it’s worth having in mind what sort of instruction you want and what the benefits and disadvantages are. Which is the right course for you – a standard or an intensive one?

There is no legal minimum set by the Driving and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA), it is up to you and your instructor to know when you are ready to take the test. Your driving instructor must, however, be approved by the DVSA. On average it takes between 40 and 50 hours of instruction and practice to feel ready to pass your test successfully.

Standard courses

A standard course will see you taking anything between one and three lessons a week, each lasting around an hour and a half. The benefit of doing it this way is taking the time to learn at your own pace and get some practice in with a friend or family member, who is already qualified, to embed what you learn with your instructor and get some experience of being on the road without them. The downside to this option is that it will take you longer and may cost you more in the long run.

Intensive courses

The other option is to take an intensive course. You may be pressed for time and need to get on the road fast, or you may have some driving knowledge but not enough to get to test standard. An intensive course can help you do just that in a compressed period of time. It works by spending a few days with an instructor getting all the knowledge and practice you need. This could be as many as six hours a day for five days, so it is definitely intense!

The benefits are the speed with which the course can be completed and the fact that you can be ready to take your test after just a few days. It can be a cheaper way of doing it as well, as you are committed to the hours that make up that intensive course.

The downside, if you are on the younger end of the scale with little previous knowledge or driving, is that the level of road-user experience that you get with an intensive course is no match for that which comes with a standard one. However, it may be just what you need if you do have some experience already and want to get on to the road quickly.

If you are looking for an approved driving school with the experience and expertise to help you decide which course is right for you and to get you qualified and driving, look no further than Lanes School of Driving. We have over 100 years of experience under our belt and enjoy getting new drivers on to the road, safely. For information on any of our courses or advice on which is right for you just give us a call for a chat on 020 8166 5678.

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Tips

What has happened since changes to vehicle tax rates were introduced?

Following the big overhaul of car tax that took place last year, this year sees in some new and additional changes. Effective from April 1, 2018 they will have an effect on a large proportion of drivers, not least diesel vehicle owners. The rationale behind many of these changes is to encourage drivers to opt for less polluting cars. It is worth noting that these new changes apply to passenger cars only and not to vans or commercial vehicles so you may still be exempt. Read on for our summary of the new vehicle tax changes and how they may affect you.Read more

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Tips

Stopping and parking

One of the key things that drivers learn early on is about stopping and parking. It is all too easy to get confused by the rules that apply, particularly when you are just starting out – after all, there is so much to remember! Add to that the various restrictions that individual councils may introduce in their areas, and it can be very easy to get caught out. This month we take a quick refresher on what the main rules are with regard to stopping and parking to help you keep them at the forefront of your mind as you go about running your daily errands.Read more

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Tips

Driving safely in wet weather

The recent cold spell has given way to slowly rising temperatures and before we know it, it will officially be springtime and with that comes the rain. The Highway Code sets out a few basics for wet weather driving, but we are going a step further this month by letting you know what you need to be aware of and giving you some tips and tricks to have up your sleeve should you get into problems.Read more

DVLA steps up measures to track car tax dodgers
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DVLA steps up measures to track car tax dodgers

It has been widely reported recently that since the abolition of the tax disc the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has lost out on over £100 million in revenue. This is one of the reasons that the DVLA has stepped up its efforts to track and catch those who dodge paying their car tax. This month we take a look at vehicle tax, what you must do to ensure you are fully paid up, and what happens if you are not.Read more

Driving in icy conditions
Tips

Driving in icy conditions

This winter has already seen a few very cold spells and we are only just getting into January which is typically one of the coldest months in the UK, so it is safe to assume that we can expect more cold weather before the winter is out. While black ice is not uncommon on minor roads at the best of times, particularly in more rural areas, those of us living in more built-up areas may not be as accustomed to it and not always have the skills and experience of driving in such conditions. This month we take a quick look at the basics of driving in snow and ice and set out a few tips to staying safe and getting to your destination without incident.Read more

Further information on the new driving test
Tips

Further information on the new driving test

You will recall a couple of months ago we covered the new driving test that is came into force on Monday the 4th of December. For a quick recap, here is the previous blog entry. At the time there was a limited amount of information available on how the new test would be run and there was little detail on the specifics and only headline information on what it would entail. The Department of Vehicle Standards Agency has released further information, which will be helpful to both instructors and learners ready to take their test. We have compiled a short summary for this month’s article.Read more

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