Tips

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Tips

Best car gifts this Christmas

Is it just us, or has 2021 been a bit of a blur? Christmas is already right around the corner! Along with Christmas comes the nail-biting task of having to buy presents that impress; face masks, a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, a 2022 calendar – these are classic stocking fillers that are quickly overlooked once Boxing Day has passed. They all get a bit repetitive (apart from the chocolate).

This year, why not think a little further outside the box? We all have those friends or family members who are car enthusiasts, so let’s brainstorm some Christmas gift ideas that will make you their new favourite person. Follow this guide on gifts for car lovers – watch this space Santa Claus!

Wireless car charger

We all know how it is. You’re in the biggest rush in the world and the time pressure has you flustered, then you get in the car and realise… your phone is on 10%. If only you kept a charger in your car. Buying someone a wireless phone charger for their car will definitely be a hit. It simply clips onto an air vent or plugs into your cigarette port. Just make sure their phone is compatible which your chosen charger!

Car hoover

Dirt and dust can easily build up, and it seems to happen quicker and quicker between every clean. Although a car wash isn’t the biggest expense, everything adds up! Gifting someone a compact car hoover is a brilliant way to keep their vehicle’s interior clean, allowing them to save some pennies in the process. These hoovers are one of the most effective car accessories, especially if you opt for a high-quality model.

Interior LEDs

Have you ever noticed how all the cars in the adverts have mood lighting in the interior? Now you can achieve the same, with car LEDs. They come in peel and stick strips for you to decorate the inside of your car. With a variety of colours and lighting modes, you could even create a party atmosphere! It’s a great, playful present that can transform how someone feels about their daily transport.

Phone holder

It’s rare that anybody uses the sat nav in their car. Most of the time, Google Maps is used much more frequently! The thing is, where do you put your phone so that you can see the directions? A phone holder is a simple but effective present that can be of use to anyone. Let them know to put it in a safe place, and nowhere that could distract them for their journey.

Car bin

We’re all guilty of a messy car sometimes. Whether it’s snacks on a long road trip or the odd breakfast as you’re driving to work, empty packets and tissues are bound to build up over time. That’s why a car bin is such a useful gift! By keeping their vehicle clean and tidy, someone is bound to thank you for this present (if they don’t, you can blame us – we won’t mind).

Cleaning kit

As well as a hoover, a cleaning set for your car is going to come in handy regularly. This is an especially good gift for pet lovers, as animal hair can get all over your seats and interior. Car kits come equipped with a lint roller, packs of flash wipes, and much more for when your car needs a little spruce up. This gift is useful and practical, and car enthusiasts are bound to want their car looking tip top!

If you or someone you know could do with a refresher course, or you need to obtain your licence so that you can put the car gifts you’ve received to good use, contact Lanes School of Driving. We have many courses to help you improve your skills, as well as the capacity for female led lessons. Call us on call on 020 8166 5678 or email us at  to get started.

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Tips

Understanding stopping distances: Longer than we think

Driving too fast, which we’re all guilty of sometimes, can be extremely dangerous – it’s not big, and it’s not clever… With conditions on the road always affecting the way we drive, they’re something we need to consider when leaving ourselves enough space to brake. Stopping distance is an equation made up of the thinking and braking distances (but don’t worry, we’re not about to make you complete a physics test!). Essentially:

Thinking distance + Braking distance = Stopping distance

So, what are these distances and how can the factors make a difference?

Thinking distance

Thinking distance is the amount of time it takes for you to register a hazard and start to brake your vehicle. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to brake immediately – we can’t all have reflexes like The Flash. The trouble is that the faster you’re driving, the further you’ll travel during the time it takes you to slam your foot on the brake. It then affects your braking distance. Some of the factors you should take into account are…

  • Tiredness – Lack of sleep plagues all of us sometimes, and can cause our attention span to suffer. Our reaction times may not be up to scratch, so take regular breaks if you’re tired.
  • Distractions – Lack of focus, as we all know, can result in catastrophe. It’s illegal to hold a mobile during your drive, but even hands-free driving can be dangerous.
  • Inebriation – You should never drive under the influence. Drugs and alcohol can severely impact your reaction time, and slower reactions will increase your chance of an accident.

Braking distance

Your braking distance is defined as the time that it takes for your car to stop once you’ve started to brake. The faster your speed, the longer it will take for you to come to a complete halt. Due to this changeable distance, the Highway Code outlines distances for a range of speeds. Whereas the thinking distance is often down to the condition of the driver, braking distance factors are often out of our control – deep breaths, control freaks…

  • Weather conditions – The weather can have a massive impact on driving. If the roads are wet or icy, it takes much longer to stop. It’s recommended to leave double the amount of space between you and the car in front when it’s wet, and up to 10x that amount if it’s icy.
  • Road conditions – Potholes are the least optimal road conditions, and we all know how uncomfortable they are to drive over. Muddy surfaces will also increase your braking distance, so drive with care along these roads.
  • Car conditions – This is something we do have control over. The condition of your brakes will dictate how quickly you stop, so make sure they’re as responsive as possible. The condition of your tyres is imperative – if the tread is too worn then it can take longer to brake.

As we can see, stopping your car is a little higher maintenance than you may have thought… Since your stopping distance is a combination of your thinking and braking times, we can see how it quickly adds up. Here are the recommended stopping distances for different speeds:

  • 20mph – Thinking 6m + Braking 6m = Stopping 12m (around 3 car lengths)
  • 30mph – Thinking 9m + Braking 14m = Stopping 23m
  • 40mph – Thinking 12m + Braking 24m = Stopping 36m
  • 50mph – Thinking 15m + Braking 38m = Stopping 53m
  • 60mph – Thinking 18m + Braking 55m = Stopping 73m
  • 70mph – Thinking 21m + Braking 75m = Stopping 96m

So, when you’re on that drive with friends or you’re running a few errands, make sure you keep your stopping distance in mind and leave room between yourself and the car in front. At the moment we’re all used to our personal space anyway…

For more on-the-road tips or to arrange your driving lessons, give Lanes School of Driving a call on 020 8166 5678 or email us at . We’ve helped thousands of students pass their test – you’ll never catch Lanes graduates driving too fast!

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Tips

The changing ULEZ: What you need to know

In April of 2019, our London Mayor introduced the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) operating in Central London. Due to its success, the zone is being expanded to further the environmental benefits that we’ve seen from the ULEZ so far. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the zone expansion on 25th October 2021:

What is the ULEZ?

The ULEZ came about so that the level of air pollution in our city decreases. It discourages drivers with older, more harmful vehicles from driving through the area. If your vehicle doesn’t comply with the Euro 6 standards, you will regrettably have to pay a daily charge of £12.50 when you enter. You’ll be glad to hear, though, that four out of five cars on the roads are already in line with the ULEZ standards.

Every entry point into the ULEZ zone will be sign posted meaning that you’ll never be caught off guard, finding yourself in the zone unnecessarily. Keep your eye out for signs on the road, and you’re bound to be able to avoid it if you need to.

The ULEZ is in action 24/7, 364 days out of the year with 25th December being the only exception – Merry Christmas… Although this may seem inconvenient, the ULEZ has undeniably helped pollution in the area since its launch in 2019, with a 44% drop in nitrogen dioxide in roadside atmosphere within the boundaries.

Which areas will be affected?

At the moment the ULEZ area is quite contained, mirroring the area of the Congestion Charge (driving around London could sadly hit you with a double-whammy bill), but this will soon change. The area will be expanding up to the North and South Circular Roads, meaning the zone will be much larger – you may not be able to escape it this time. Some areas that should keep an eye out for the encroaching ULEZ are:

  • Hackney
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Haringey
  • Barnet
  • Ealing
  • Newham

What are the ULEZ standards and does my vehicle comply?

The standards will be staying the same, but if you’re driving in the new area of the ULEZ don’t forget to check that your vehicle meets these. The standards are…

  • Motorbikes, mopeds, quadricycles and motorised tricycles – Euro 3
  • Petrol cars, minibuses, vans and other specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) – Euro 4
  • Diesel cars, vans, other specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) – Euro 6

If you’re wondering whether your vehicle is in line with these standards, or you don’t even know what Euro 6 means, don’t worry! You can use TFL’s vehicle checker to find out if you will have to pay the daily £12.50 when driving through the zone.

What happens if I don’t pay?

If you fail to pay the daily charge for driving through the Ultra Low Emission Zone, you will receive the dreaded Penalty Charge Notice, and you could be asked to pay up to £160! So, in the long run, making sure your vehicle is ULEZ compliant is a much more cost-effective option than the alternative. This is something important to look out for if you’ve just passed your test, and you’re looking for a vehicle to buy.

If you need some more information on the ULEZ regulations, don’t hesitate to contact us. If this doesn’t yet apply to you and you’re still looking for someone to give you the perfect driving lessons, let us know! Contact Lanes School of Driving on 020 8166 5678 or email .

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Tips

The road has no signs – what’s the speed limit?

When driving, you’ll begin to find quite quickly that not every road displays a speed limit sign – at least not in the moment that you’re specifically looking for one! It is important to be aware of the possible speed limits for each different road type to avoid facing a fine, gaining points on your licence or causing harm to yourself or other road users and pedestrians. So, what are the limits?

Built up areas

In built up areas, often signified by roadside parking or regular lampposts, the speed limit for all vehicles is 30mph, unless a local speed limit specifies otherwise.

Single carriageways

For cars, motorcycles and motorhomes (under 3.05 tonnes), the speed limit is 60mph. If these vehicles are towing a trailer, the limit reduces to 50mph.

For motorhomes (over 3.05 tonnes), busses, coaches, minibuses and goods vehicles (under 7.5 tonnes), the limit is 50mph.

For goods vehicles (over 7.5 tonnes), the speed limit is 40mph.

Dual carriageways

For cars, motorcycles and motorhomes (under 3.05 tonnes), the speed limit is 70mph. If these vehicles are towing a trailer, this reduces to 60mph.

For motorhomes (over 3.05 tonnes), busses, coaches, minibuses and goods vehicles (under 7.5 tonnes), the limit is 60mph

For goods vehicles (over 7.5 tonnes), the speed limit is 50mph.

Motorways

For cars, motorcycles and motorhomes (under 3.05 tonnes), the speed limit is 70mph. If these vehicles are towing a trailer, this reduces to 60mph.

For motorhomes (over 3.05 tonnes), busses, coaches, minibuses and goods vehicles (under 7.5 tonnes), the limit is also 70mph.

For goods vehicles (over 7.5 tonnes), the speed limit is 60mph.

Local speed limits

Local speed limits are often enforced by councils in areas of heavy build up or regular pedestrian flow, such as outside schools and colleges or along a high street. These signs are rectangular and will feature a speed limit displayed in a red circle above the word ‘zone’. The end of the speed limit zone will be specified by a ‘zone ends’ sign, specifying the new limit, whether that is a displayed speed, or the national speed symbol.

National speed limits

The national limit, as specified above for all vehicle types, will be indicated by a white circular sign with a black diagonal line through. They will often be followed by a fixed speed camera or temporary traffic van positioned with a speed radar gun, filtering out those who are travelling dangerously and issuing them with a penalty.

Variable speed limits

Variable speed limits will be seen on smart motorways, where the cameras are able to monitor traffic and alter the speed limits to reduce congestion or slow traffic down. These variable limits will be displayed clearly on the framework above the road. In some instances, the speed limit may stay the same as expected, but the hard-shoulder may be opened to create another lane and reduce build-up. These speed limits are legal instructions and should be followed.

Minimum speed limits

Although they are rare, minimum speed limits can be found throughout the UK. They will be displayed within a blue, circular sign and it is then compulsory – if safe to do so – that you travel at this speed at a minimum. These signs can be found in areas where slow travelling or congestion could be a safety risk, such as tunnels.

It can also be classed as ‘unsafe’ to drive at a slow speed on a motorway and, although this is unlikely to not be defined by a minimum speed limit sign, you may attract the attention of police and risk being pulled over for dangerous driving.

Remember: There will be a penalty for driving at dangerous speeds or disregarding limits. From £100 fines to 3 points on your licence and a court hearing. Repeated penalties could also result in a permanent driving ban. Stay safe and smart on the road.

At Lanes School of Driving, our team of experienced driving instructors are available to guide drivers of all abilities and ages, from 17 to 70, to safe and knowledgeable driving. To find out more about how we could help you, give us a call on 020 8166 5678 or drop us an email at  today.

Tips

Keeping children safe in the car

Road safety – it’s a topic we speak about a lot, and one that is bound to be mentioned through the course of your driving lessons, but a factor of safety that people just don’t hear enough about is how to keep children protected in the car. Whether they be your own, a sibling or relative or children you look after, the action of transporting a child within your vehicle involves additional caution and careful planning. With a number of actions to carry out whilst both stationary and on the move, we have summarised the key points to ensure that any children within your vehicle remain safe at all times.

Where should children be seated?

It is recommended that young children should sit in the back seat of the vehicle, facing the rear, for as long as possible. However, small children are able to be seated in the passenger seat if the correct safety precautions are followed. These include:

  • Seating the child facing the rear and deactivating the front airbags
  • If the child is to be seated facing the front of the vehicle, you must push the chair back as far as it will go to maximise space between the child and the dashboard. The airbags should remain on.

There isn’t really a right or wrong when it comes to choosing which side of the vehicle the child should sit when in the back seat. It is most often down to personal preference. For younger, rear-facing children, some drivers like to install a mirror to the headrest, allowing them to see their face when looking in the rear-view mirror. For older children, drivers use regular verbal communication and so don’t feel the need to see the child at all times. If you do feel anxious, position them in a seat that remains visible in your rear-view mirror, preventing you from turning around whilst on the move and risking an accident. Additionally, you should get into the habit of parking in a location where you can safely remove the child from the car on the kerbside, away from moving traffic.

The laws on booster seats

All children under the age of 12 or the height of 1.35 meters are required by law to remain in a booster seat. Those under this age and height must be seated within an appropriate child restraint that is suitable for their own size. This can mean a baby seat, child seat, booster seat or cushion. If children are seated on the cars own seating, the seatbelt could cut into their neck or face rather than fit across their chest, causing injury whilst on the road or becoming ineffective if a road traffic accident did occur. If you weren’t to follow these laws, you could face a penalty of £100 as well as receiving points on your licence.

Before seating the child in the correct restraint, you must check that it is secured correctly. You should also remove any padded outer-clothing such as coats before buckling up, allowing the seatbelt to remain tight to the body and therefore, more protective.

Secure those seatbelts

Did you know that in the UK, it is actually illegal for drivers and passengers of all ages to travel in a vehicle without a seatbelt? It will be the responsibility of the driver to ensure that all passengers are secured correctly, or they could face a penalty up to £500. This includes the seatbelts of children. Securing two children into one seatbelt is classified as a law-breaking offence, as is travelling with a child on your lap.

If child passengers are old (and mischievous) enough to unplug theirs whilst on the road, they should be educated on safety and the law before the journey begins. With all children, you should check in regularly throughout the course of the drive to ensure that they remain securely buckled up at all times.

Check the doors and windows

Child locks are a saviour for drivers whilst on the road. Children of all ages are experimental and learn by touching things, but you wouldn’t want this to be their door handle. By activating the child lock, the doors in the back seat of the vehicle will only be able to open by use of the external handle, leaving the internal one ‘useless’ until the lock is removed again.

Windows can be operated in the same way. Although they may appear to be less dangerous if opened, electric windows are causing a surprising rise in injuries to children travelling in the back seat, with drivers doing up the windows without the knowledge of an arm remaining out of it which then becomes trapped. Whilst on the move especially, drivers should keep the back windows up and locked, preventing waving arms from excitable children from causing harm to passing cyclists and other road users, or harm to themselves.

The aspect of keeping children safe in the car can be daunting, but our team at Lanes School of Driving are available for any advice you are seeking before heading out on the road with one in tow. Give us a call on 020 8166 5678 or drop us an email at and we will be happy to help you.

Tips

Emergency breakdown kits: What to include

In the unlikely but possible event that you breakdown, an emergency breakdown kit can be vital in keeping you and your passengers safe whilst waiting for roadside assistance. Although these kits are available to buy, many drivers find that they already own the required items and so find it simple to create their own. Within or alongside your emergency breakdown kit, you should also assemble a first aid kit. In this month’s blog, we run through the items that you should pack within these to keep you safe whilst on the road.

Emergency breakdown kit

Within your emergency breakdown kit, you should stock the following items:

  • High visibility vests or clothing, allowing you to be seen by other road users no matter the hour
  • A torch with spare batteries, allowing you to see your surroundings and vehicle
  • A hazard warning triangle which can be placed around 10 paces behind your vehicle, alerting other drivers of the oncoming hazard
  • Tissues or paper towels, allowing you to clear any fluid or oil spillages on your skin or vehicle
  • A bottle of engine coolant, allowing you to cool an overheated engine
  • A foot pump or puncture spray, allowing you to temporarily repair pressure loss or a puncture within your tyres
  • Warm, waterproof clothing and shoes, allowing you to remain as warm and dry as possible whilst standing a safe distance from the roadside. A blanket would also come in useful in such an event.
  • Bottled water and packaged food, allowing you to replenish your hunger or thirst whilst waiting for roadside recovery
  • A spare phone charger, allowing you to charge your phone in a nearby service station, shop or café to contact and wait for assistance
  • A shovel is particularly useful in winter months as, if stuck in snow, you can dig small slopes infront of your front two wheels that can help you to drive out

Emergency first aid kit

Your emergency breakdown kit should include a visible, easy to reach first aid kit within its own sterile compartment or bag. You may require this whilst on the move – it doesn’t necessarily have to be saved for use during a breakdown. Within this, you should have:

  • Plasters to protect and cover wounds or scratches
  • Anti-septic wipes to clean any wounds or open injuries as well as medical equipment before use
  • Disposable gloves to protect yourself and the injured person from infection
  • Tweezers to remove any items safely and effectively from within the skin, such as splinters or glass
  • Sterile eye wash and dressings to clean the eye effectively and prevent any ongoing injury or risk
  • Sterile gauze swabs of multiple sizes to clean and dry wounded areas
  • Medical tape to secure gauzes and bandages
  • Painkillers to fend off a aches and pains whilst on the road

The idea of breaking down can often be scary, but with the right preparation, there needn’t be a reason to fear. For more advice on packing your emergency kits, get in touch with our team who will be happy to help. Give us a call at Lanes School of Driving on 020 8166 5678 or email us at . Having successfully passed pupils for over 100 years, we have the humbled experience that allows us to help drivers with every requirement.

Tips

Thinking of becoming a driving instructor?

Have you been waiting for the chance to take the leap and delve into a new career that fits around your schedule, gives you an element of freedom and provides you with a sense of fulfilment each day? Why not consider becoming an ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) – there is no better time than now!

With our teaching here at Lanes School of Driving being put on hold for the last year for the safety of our staff and students, there are hundreds of locals across the country who are itching to get out onto the road again, and you could be the one that allows them to do that!

As well as passing pupils for over 100 years, we have also been training and passing instructors for over 40, so we’d like to think we know our stuff! Allow us to explain just how our instructor training course is carried out in our simple three step process.

The course

Step 1: Theory and hazard perception
As well as having access to DVSA approved reference books, we provide classroom sessions at our training sites with approved driving instructors. With over 400 hazard perception clips available for you to revise, as well as a range of supportive DVD’s, your theory examination could be a breeze. However, if you fail, don’t fear. Step 1 allows you to retake as many times as you need.

Step 2: A test of your practical driving
Qualified trainers will accompany you on the road for 20 hours to assess your driving skills and train you to fine-tune your actions if needed, ensuring that they are on par with DVSA standards. Once you have passed this assessment section, you will be able to drive as a Trainee Driving Instructor with Lanes Group of Driving Schools.

From here, you will be provided with a provisional licence for a six-month period, allowing you to teach pupils within a sponsored driving school. Within the first three months of this provisional period there is a requirement to train for an additional 20 hours. Completing this will allow you to feel confident in your instructing ability and begin to earn as you move onto the final stage of our three-step process.

Step 3: Test of instructional ability
The final assessment will take place over two 30-minute sessions where you in-car trainer will act as a pupil. The preparation for this includes 40 hours of 1-to-1 training (carried out in two-hour blocks), as well as classroom tuition. You can tailor these resources to suit you and your way of learning, as well as current working commitments.

Whilst step one of the training allows multiple retakes, steps two and three require a pass within three attempts. However, with the resources we provide and the one-to-one sessions both within the classroom and vehicle, we have no doubt that you will pass these!

Once you have completed all three stages and passed your training, you will become a fully qualified ADI and be granted a job with our team at Lanes School of Driving.

Payment for our driving instructor training course is split over a 12-month period, so no matter how long it takes you to train and gain your qualification, there will be no large upfront investment.

The benefits of working as a qualified ADI with Lanes School of Driving

  • You will be provided with a full diary that you can alter around your lifestyle and commitments
  • You can experience uncapped earning potentials
  • You will receive support from a driving school who have been successful for over 100 years
  • You will be provided with the latest model vehicles
  • You can benefit from our in-house loyalty schemes
  • A fully managed social media account will operate in your training area, providing you with new teaching opportunities all year round
  • You will work alongside a trained office team who will successfully manage your bookings for you

Already qualified?

If you are already a trained and qualified driving instructor looking for a new opportunity, get in touch with our team today. We would love to hear from you and get you on the road in the hoot of a horn!

For more information on our driving instructor training course, or to find your nearest Lanes School of Driving centre, get in touch with us today. Call 020 8166 5678 or email and we will be delighted to help you.

Tips

Is hands-free driving legal?

We all know that using your phone whilst driving is illegal and can result in you gaining 6 points on your licence as well as a hefty fine, but the rules around ‘hands-free’ can often blur the lines, resulting in drivers carrying out actions which they believe are safe and legal, but result in a law-breaking offence. So, what are the correct rules? Let’s take a look…

Of course, the safest option for yourself and other road users is to put your phone away. Your bag or glove compartment can be an ideal location to store your device whilst you’re on the road, keeping it out of eyesight and preventing you from taking a brief look at the screen to see who has just sent you that snapchat. However, we know that this isn’t always an option as often drivers need to use their phones for navigation purposes or to make or take an important phone call. This is where the world of hands-free comes in.

The laws around hands-free driving

As you might expect from the name, hands-free driving means that your phone or Sat-Nav device is secured in an appropriate place without obstructing your view and remains untouched throughout the entirety of your journey.

You can be caught for the simple act of touching your screen or manoeuvring the device itself if you are in a vehicle with the ignition switched on. If you find that you need to make contact with someone or fix the placement of your device, you must pull over into a safe space and switch your ignition off.

If you are accompanying a learner driver on the road, it is also illegal for you to partake in activity on your mobile device. You must follow the hands-free laws as though you are the driver yourself as road safety may be in your hands until your learner receives their full licence.

If the police have reason to believe you are being distracted by your mobile phone whilst on the road, even if you are following the hands-free rules, they have right to pull you over for questioning.

Are there any exceptions?

There are no loopholes when it comes to road safety and following the hands-free laws, except for if you need to contact emergency services on 999 or 112. If you need to carry out this action, you should still aim to reach a location where it is safe to pull over before using your device, but this is not always possible and so will be dismissed if caught.

Here at Lanes School of Driving, we have been supporting learners for over 100 years. For aid with rules of the road, driving lessons or after pass courses, get in touch with a member of our knowledgeable team who will be delighted to help. Call 020 8166 5678 or email today.

Tips

The benefits of a Pass Plus course

So, you’ve passed your driving test – congratulations! However, not every driver holds the confidence to drive alone in every scenario after receiving their drivers’ licence – and that’s OK! The Pass Plus course is here to offer you that additional support and boost your confidence as a legal driver on the road.

What is Pass Plus?

Pass Plus is a short, six-hour course available to drivers who have passed their theory and practical driving tests. Split into manageable sessions, the course is designed to help qualified drivers improve upon their skills and road safety if they feel it is needed. Taken by an approved instructor, the course is available to drivers with any level of experience – you don’t need to be newly qualified!

What do you learn with a Pass Plus course?

The Pass Plus course broadens the skills drivers withhold, allowing them to know how to safely handle a range of diving scenarios, including:

  • Driving through busy towns, increasing your awareness and handling complex junctions and lane changes.
  • Driving through varied weather types, from blinding sunshine and thickening fog to heavy rainfall, ice and snow.
  • Driving on country lanes, navigating bends and safely overtaking horses, cyclists and slow-moving vehicles, such as tractors.
  • Driving through the dark, from early mornings to late night journeys, utilising the correct headlight settings and heightening your awareness.
  • Driving on dual carriageways, building upon the knowledge your instructor would have provided you with before taking your practical test, and utilising the road at busier times.
  • Driving on motorways, reducing the anxiety and feeling of intimidation, allowing you to become comfortable with switching lanes appropriately, maintaining a safe speed and following signage.

What are the benefits of a Pass Plus course?

Although not compulsory, there are a series of benefits to taking the Pass Plus course.

  • Having the additional certification of passing the Pass Plus course could result in lower insurance premiums.
  • There are no formal examinations that need to be sat at the end of the Pass Plus. Instead, your instructor will assess your standard of driving after each module and offer you the certificate upon completion.
  • Unlike a theory and practical driving test, the Pass Plus can be carried out in any location, allowing you to utilise varied routes, building your confidence on roads outside of your driving experiences.
  • The Pass Plus allows you to improve upon your certainty of navigations and hazard awareness with less pressure on the operation of the car and its controls, as you will be more relaxed with this factor of driving having already passed your practical exam.

Here at Lanes School of Driving, we have been helping drivers for over 100 years. From learners to those seeking assistance with after-pass courses, we are on hand with our valuable expertise. For any enquiry, get in touch with our team by calling 020 8166 5678 or emailing us at .

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Tips

Top tips for stress-free parking

From learner drivers, right through to those who have years of driving experience, parking has always been one of the more daunting parts of driving. Whether you are the type that often relies on someone else to drive, allowing you to avoid parking, or if you are the kind to pre-plan your route in advance with the hope of finding a quieter street or car park away from those feared ‘prying eyes’, take a look at our top tips. Parking needn’t be a case of stress or worry. It is a factor of driving which every motorist has to participate in each time they head out onto the road – it may just take a little practice or mind training to get used to it!

Practice makes perfect

Parking is something which is rarely successful at the first attempt. Take a family member or driving instructor out with you to experiment in your local carpark after closing hours. With no cars around you, it will be easier for you to relax and complete a successful park. You can do this by following the lines around you, or even positioning cones to act as other vehicles around your space. During your practice sessions, you may find that you feel more comfortable and confident parking in one particular way, whether it be a parallel or bay park, and this could boost your confidence for completing this move in a busier location.

A top tip for all parking manoeuvres is to reverse into your space, no matter what kind. Driving forwards into a bay parking space will make it more difficult to leave as there will be restrictions either side of your vehicle, providing you with less room for the front of your car to turn and edge you out of the space. Reversing into a parallel space will allow you to minimise the number of manoeuvres you will need and prevent you from having your front wheels stuck up a kerb or landing you in a space where your only option is to restart.

Worried about those “prying eyes”?

Having other vehicles, drivers or pedestrians around you when you are attempting to park may bring fear to your mind, causing you to misjudge or rush the park altogether However, this needn’t be a factor you worry about. Chances are, those surrounding you couldn’t care less about what you are trying to do! Parking happens every day and, in truth, it isn’t too thrilling to watch! They are more than likely recapping their shopping list in their mind or planning out the day ahead of them. They could even be as nervous as you and worrying about where they will choose to park! Focus only on yourself and your vehicle and you will succeed.

Confidence is key

By telling yourself that you can do it, you will push your mind into confidence – and you can do it! You have completed a park before, even if it was in an empty car park or quiet street, every success counts. Parking doesn’t need to be (and rarely is) completed within one manoeuvre, so don’t put pressure on yourself if you don’t get it right within the first try. Every manoeuvre you take is one closer to that perfect park that you are aiming for.

Let your success motivate you

Achieving a successful park simply means manoeuvring your vehicle into the lines of a space and leaving it in a position which is safe to lock and leave. If you have done this, then you have been successful! It truly doesn’t matter how long it took for you to get there, or how many spaces you have driven out of to find a new one which may seem easier. All that matters is that you completed the park that you have been aiming to do. Ignore any negative thoughts about timings and attempts and simply use your success as motivation. Once you know you can park successfully, the number of manoeuvres it takes for you to get there will decrease and your confidence will rise time and time again.

Recap your parking skills with a professional

If you are still finding fear in those car parks, why not reach out for some trusted, professional assistance. Here at Lanes School of Driving, we offer After Pass courses for a range of skills, one of which is parking. For over 100 years, we have been successfully passing students and aiding them into an all-round successful driving lifestyle – stress-free and filled with confidence! To speak with a member of our trusted team about taking up your own parking skills recap lessons, give us a call on 020 8166 5678 and we will be happy to help you find your life-long parking confidence.

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