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 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.


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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