Tips

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 .

car-parking
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.

Tips

The best Sat-Nav apps for 2021 [A simple guide]

Since 4th December 2017, a handful of changes were made to the way in which practical driving tests were carried out. One of these changes was to ask four out of five test candidates to follow the directions provided by a sat-nav that was to be supplied by the examiner. Since this change came in to play, the production and use of sat-nav apps have risen, and to save you the time and effort in testing them all, we have created a list of the four best sat-nav apps for use in 2021.

Google Maps

Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android devices

An app provided to us by Google itself is incredibly powerful. The search engine provides the ability to inform us of our inputted locations opening hours, as well as street view, allowing us to see a photographed image of the front of our chosen location. It also withholds the ability to provide us with a selection of routes to suit an array of drivers, from the ‘avoid all motorways’ option to ‘fastest possible route’ which utilises real-time data to assess traffic, road closures and alternative routes.

Waze

Cost: Free
Available on: iOS and Android devices

The most appealing function of the Waze app is its ability to navigate around real-time traffic, road works and road closures, as well as accurately alerting you of approaching speed cameras, potholes and accidents. Although this service relies upon the power of its users to report issues or warnings on the road, the app can provide you with a strangely accurate prompt whilst directing you to your chosen location safely.

Apple Maps

Cost: Free
Available on: iOS devices

Apple maps comes as standard along with any Apple product and, unlike other directory apps, allows you to find your way to your chosen location, no matter your mode of transport. Whether it be on foot, on a bicycle, on a train, in a taxi or driving your own vehicle, Apple Maps can guide you along your simplest route with a clear voice guidance. Linking to TripAdvisor, the app can also inform you of the reviews, along with images and information on your chosen location, and other businesses nearby, supplying you with back-up locations should you wish to change your mind at the last minute!

TomTomGo

Cost: 1-week free trial and then a monthly cost of £1.99 per month
Available on: iOS and Android devices

It’s no surprise that this has proven itself to be a highly popular mapping app, despite its monthly cost whilst its competitors remain free. It bears qualities which alert you on real-time traffic hold-ups, speed cameras and accurate speed limits on your current road, whilst also projecting the same quality if displayed on a screen within your vehicle as it does on your phone. The app works to inform you of general points of interest which you are due to pass on your route, as well as your chosen locations nearest parking zones.

At Lanes School of Driving, we have been successfully passing learner drivers for over 100 years, throughout all theory and practical test updates. To arrange for driving lessons in 2021, get in touch with us today by calling 020 8166 5678 and we will be happy to assist you onto the road as a qualified driver.

Tips

2021’s new year’s resolution: Learn to drive

Upon waving a fond farewell to 2020, the thought of new year’s resolutions begin to linger in our minds. Making 2021 a year of improvements may not be too much of a challenge, but why not push the boat out a little further and challenge yourself to fulfil a resolution which, quite literally, can change your life, such as learning to drive. “Why would this be a good new year’s resolution?” I hear you ask. Allow us to show you just how!

Independence

If you are still living at home, having your own vehicle can give you a great sense of independence, allowing you to experience freedom on your own watch, with the ability to transport yourself to wherever you wish to go, without having to depend on an elder to collect you.

Employment opportunities

Many jobs in uncountable sectors often require a driver’s license which could allow you to complete tasks such as chauffeuring clients, delivering goods or attending various meetings. Without a license, employers may find it impractical to hire you, eventually limiting your career opportunities.

A lifetime advantage

Once you have passed your driving test, the license is yours (subject to renewal). Whether you have the need or desire to drive instantly, or to begin within the next few years, having a valid license at the ready will allow you to set off whenever you require. Refreshers are also available if you feel you need a brief reminder before taking to the roads in your own vehicle.

A worldwide skill

A driving license that has been awarded in the UK will allow you to hire and drive a car overseas. Driving is a skill that can be used all over the world, allowing you to navigate your way from country to country if you wish!

Broaden your options

Watch the options of your day to day life broaden, with the ability to pop to your local shopping centre in the spur of the moment, meet with your friends at a restaurant out of your local area or visit a relative without having to depend on public transport and connection links!

Driving brings a whole lease of life to anyone who holds a valid license, and with our team at Lanes School of Driving, we have been successfully passing learners for over 100 years. To speak with us about arranging your lessons for 2021, give us a call on 020 8166 5678 and we will be happy to aid you in ticking off that new year’s resolution!

Tips

Christmas gift ideas for new learner drivers [A guide]

With Christmas just around the corner, we feel it’s the perfect time to give you some great stocking filler and gift ideas for any up and coming learner drivers within your family or friendship circle. Learning to drive can often be nerve wracking experience, so why not ease their minds and give them something positive at this fitting occasion!

A ‘just in case’ box

A safety kit is always a necessity when taking to the roads but can often seem daunting due to its name and requirement. Why not create the same kit but disguise it as a ‘just in case’ box, filling it with all necessary things needed, just in case of a roadside breakdown. Items such as a blanket for warmth, a bottle of water for hydration, a torch in case of low lighting, some gloves incase of having to handle oily car parts and a portable phone charger incase of a flat phone battery would be highly beneficial to any new driver, as well as greatly appreciated – just in case!

Covering learning costs

If you are gifting to someone who is expected to begin driving lessons in the new year, why not treat them to their first lesson, or explain that the first months’ worth are on you. This could allow them the opportunity to begin learning sooner than they had initially planned. This gift also applies to those who are already in the middle of learning and can act as an unexpected treat that saves them some pounds in the new year.

Covering test costs

When it comes to the latter half of learning to drive, test costs can be a hefty price to pay. Offering to cover the costs of a learner’s theory and/or practical driving tests will not only be a highly generous gesture, but can also show that you have a level of faith in them passing, boosting their confidence for the test period ahead.

Gift a sat-nav

As a new feature of the practical test, gifting a learner driver a sat-nav will allow them to practice driving alongside route guidance before sitting the practical test, allowing them to feel comfortable under examination circumstances and quite possibly resulting in a relaxed test and faster pass.

A learner-focused stocking

Stockings are always fun to receive at Christmas time, with a mixture of cheap but cheerful gifts or snacks inside. This year, why not create a stocking filled with learner-related gifts, such as a pair of L-plate socks, an L-Plate mug and even the L-Plates themselves! You also bear the option to wrap it all in festive L-Plate wrapping paper!

After-pass courses

If your learner has just passed their driving test, (congratulations to them!) why not consider booking them onto an after-pass course. Here at Lanes School of Driving, we have a series of suitable courses for drivers of any age and level of experience once they have received their full drivers’ license. These include, but are not limited to Pass Plus, motorway driving lessons, parking skills and refresher courses. To find out more about the courses we provide, take a look at out after-pass courses.

If you would like to find out more information on the after pass courses we have here at Lanes School of Driving, or to talk with a member of our team about any driving queries or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch. With over 100 years in passing learner drivers first time, we are here to lend an experienced and knowledgeable hand. Give us a call on 020 8166 5678 or drop us an email at and we will get back to you.

Tips

Overcoming fears of driving in the dark

When learning to drive, there are many different factors that can alter your confidence. A common one that we find occurring around this time of year is driving in the dark. If you experience this fear, there is nothing to be ashamed of and, by working together with your driving instructor, you will be able to overcome it. Here are a few tips that have proven successful to other learners that are nervous of driving in the dark.

Practice on your usual route

When driving in the dark, you will need to take additional care in looking for road signs. On new roads, this is a common way of generating additional levels of stress or worry. By driving your usual daytime routes in the dark, you will be able to locate road signs with less distraction or complications, allowing you to become more relaxed with operating the vehicle in low light.

Lower your speed

You may be confident when driving in daylight and therefore, your speed may be up to 30mph. However, when driving in the dark, there is no rule to say that you must travel at the same speed as when you are comfortable with your surroundings. Lower your speed to one where you feel you have full control of the vehicle whilst still able to locate road signs and follow the rules of the road. Be careful not to drive too slowly however, as this can be dangerous for other road users.

Avoid rush hours

There is nothing more intimidating than travelling on the road during busy times. Drivers confident with their route can often be depicted as patronising, resulting in you losing focus and decreasing in confidence. As the winter nights draw in, morning and evening rush hours can occur in the darker periods. To ensure that you aren’t caught in the middle of these peak times, arrange for your driving lessons to be held out of the hours of 6:30am – 9am and 5pm – 7pm.

Additional attention

It may not take long until you feel relaxed operating a vehicle in the dark. It is important that, when you do experience this change in attitude, you don’t lose focus on the road and your surroundings. You must always pay particular attention to pavements, crossings and junctions in lower lights as pedestrians, cyclists and even some vehicles may be hard to spot. Although your confidence will heighten, the visibility of other road users may not.

Relaxation techniques

A final simple but ever-helpful tip is to practice relaxation techniques both before and whilst driving in darker hours. Deep breathing, playing quiet and calm music through the vehicles radio or AUX system or providing yourself with positive statements and praises are proven to relax any nerves and allow you to feel positive about your drive.

Here at Lanes School of Driving, we have been assisting learner drivers for over 100 years in the best ways to achieve a pass first time. To arrange a lesson with one of our qualified instructors, or for any further information on how we can help you, give a member of our helpful Lanes School of Driving team a call on 020 8166 5678.

Tips

Learning to drive: Manual or Auto?

Before you were considering learning to drive, did you ever spend your time in the car watching your parents shifting gears and feeling daunted by what it was all doing? Often, this act – of what seems like a complicated mess – can put drivers off of learning in manual vehicles and point them straight to the direction of automatic cars. It is natural for us as humans to look for the simpler ways around life, but it is important that you don’t limit your future opportunities. Today, we take a look at the pros and cons of both manual and automatic cars, allowing you to make a well-informed decision on your future of driving.

First of all, lets explain the differences between a manual and auto vehicle:

  • Automatic cars have the ability to drive without you needing to change gears. Your gear stick will be for use of stopping, driving and parking. For these vehicles, you will only require two pedals, the brake and the accelerator. Your driving instructor will have these pedals mirrored on their side of the car for assistance during your lessons.
  • Manual cars have a gear system which you must operate yourself, hence the term ‘manual’. For this you will require 3 pedals, the brake and accelerator, along with a clutch pedal. Your driving instructor will have these pedals mirrored on their side of the car for assistance during your lessons.

With the progression of cars today, it is apparent that in the near future, the majority of cars will become automatic, allowing them to fit in with the electric driving systems. However, this point in time is not yet upon us and the future progression of the manual to automatic shift is only estimated, so we are able to make the decision between manual or auto.

One of the main points to consider when learning to drive is that, if you opt to take your lessons in an automatic and pass your practical test with this vehicle, you will be unable to drive a manual car in the future unless you retake a practical manual test. You should think about whether this will limit you in the future when it comes to your job or vehicle choices.

However, if you fail to pass your test in a manual, you will be offered the option of attempting to take it in an automatic, as it will free up additional thought space in your brain, allowing you to focus on the road and your surroundings. You may also be offered lessons in an automatic car if you have certain disabilities of which would benefit from the limited pedals and gear shifting.

Taking a test in an automatic vehicle could get you out onto the roads sooner, which could be beneficial if you require a faster pass time to fit in with your lifestyle.

Although it can’t be said for definite, there are some case studies that suggest insurance is cheaper for a manual vehicle than it would be for an auto, mainly due to the cost of repair work for the parts of an automatic car and engine being more expensive, placing them into a higher vehicle group.

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing which vehicle you would like to learn in. It is all down to personal preference. Here at Lanes School of Driving, we would recommend that all learner drivers attempt the learning phase within a manual vehicle as this would prevent you from becoming limited on your future choices, cause you to have to re-take you practical driving test in the near future and could provide you with better insurance or repair work costs.

For more advice on your steps into learner driving, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Lanes School of Driving by calling 020 8166 5678 or emailing us at and we will be happy to put our 100 years of experience into advising and assisting you.

Tips

Driving alone for the first time

Since your first driving lesson, you would have had someone in the passenger seat next to you, observing your driving skills and there to help if you needed a hand. However, once you pass, this safety blanket can be lifted. Most new drivers find the first journey alone daunting and often opt for a parent, sibling or friend to sit with them whilst taking to the road. There will come a time where you will need to travel alone, whether that is to get to school or work, to fill your car up at the petrol station or to re-pay your parents and be on stand-by lift duty! Here are some things you could consider, allowing you to relax when driving alone for the first time.

Drive those smaller journeys.

If you are nervous about driving alone, opting for a smaller journey would be a clever move. Stay somewhere close to home, or choose a small route that you are familiar with, such as to your school and back. Doing this a few times will ease you into driving alone without you even noticing and before you know if, you will be taking additional turns and elongating your journey time whilst still feeling confident.

Head out during a quieter time of day.

You don’t have to straight head out onto the road as soon as you pass your test and your new drivers insurance becomes valid. You are allowed to wait, and this may be a smart idea. On the weekdays, first thing in the morning, the traffic will be at a high with children being dropped to school and adults on their way to work… you could also expect to see a few episodes of road rage at these times! The same will happen at around 3pm and 5pm. Taking your car out around lunchtime will ensure that you are on the road at a time when the rest of the world isn’t rushing from A to B, allowing you to relax on your own, refresh your brain on the way in which your car works and enjoy your journey.

Be prepared for different weather types!

If you climb into your car, start your engine and then notice a few rain drops on your windscreen, this could be enough to get you back out of your vehicle and indoors again. Your driving instructor may have taken you out during various weather types for this very reason without you being aware. You shouldn’t let this weather change daunt you. To ease you into it, why not take a small drive around the block a few times when you notice that it is raining outside. Gradually, you could elongate your chosen route until the weather becomes a factor which you no longer consider.

Choose your music wisely.

When learning to drive, instructors don’t usually allow music to play in the background. If you have practiced with a family member, they may have put the radio on quietly in the background, but this is often a rare occurrence. You now have the chance to create a playlist full of your favourite songs and play them as many times as you wish. This is likely to be one of the most exciting things about driving on your own, and it is a joy which never fades! Picking positives like this will allow you to find reasons in which driving alone can be an enjoyable experience and before you know it, you may just be that person who gets caught singing their heart out to a Beyoncé classic at the traffic lights! Of course – it is important to keep the music at a volume which allows you to clearly hear the vehicles on the roads around you. You must also refrain from changing the channel or volume whilst on the move as this is an offence and you could be penalised.

If you are nervous about driving alone, here at Lanes School of Driving, we offer After Pass Courses, such as Pass Plus, Motorway Courses or Parking Lessons, each of which are designed to ease you into the world of driving after collecting your full drivers licence. If you would like to enquire about these or any other driving queries, contact us by calling 020 8166 5678 where we will be happy to help.

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Tips

The top 5 theory test apps

The DVSA recommend 20 hours of revision before taking your theory test. Now, we know what you’re thinking… it sounds dull – doesn’t it? However, revising for your theory test doesn’t actually need to be a task that you dread. In fact, there are plenty of apps available that can provide you with education whilst keeping things fun. Let’s run through a few of the top-rated UK apps, allowing you to sink into that revision and become one step closer to gaining that all important driving license!

1. Official DVSA Theory Test Kit

Having been created by the DVSA themselves, you can rely on this app to be 100% accurate – a reason why it remains so popular amongst learner drivers. Available across iOS and Android, the app does come at a price of £4.99, but those will be pennies well spent as you will be able to revise and rehearse both sections of your theory test before sitting accurate mock exams. The questions throughout the app mirror the ones which you should expect on the real test with slightly alternate wording as well as 20 realistic hazard perception scenarios as well as the ability to revise the Highway Code. The app will also send you helpful and encouraging reminders as your test date approaches.

2. Driving Theory Test 2020 UK

This app allows you to trial for free, before paying a price of £3.99. This cost will allow you the options to listen to, as well as read, the questions in which you are attempting to answer and revise the Highway Code in their accompanying app, also included in the price. Available across Android and iOS app stores, you will have the options to both revise the questions and sit a mock test, ensuring that you are ready for your theory in no time.

3. Driving Theory Test 4-in-1 Kit

This app promises a first-time theory test pass, or your money back. Available on Android and iOS app stores at a cost of £4.99 you have the ability to test yourself on 85 hazard perception clips, the Highway Code, road signs and the theory test questions, and the app will monitor and track your progress over time allowing you to be aware of your results and know when you are ready to take the test. The app also contains bonus content uncommon across others. This feature informs you of the 10 top ways to avoid failing your practical test as well as additional exclusive offers.

4. 2020 Driving Theory Test

This app, available on iOS 10.0 or later, offers you a free trial allowing you to revise sections of Highway Code, alike exam questions, road signs and participate in hazard perception videos, accompanied with a cheat detection software, encouraging you to be truthful to yourself. You can then purchase the full app at a price of £4.99 to unlock the remainder of the questions within each section. The app also works offline, allowing you to practice whilst on the move.

5. Car Theory Test 2020

Unlike others, this app remains free throughout the entirety of its usage. Available on iOS and Android, you are able to track your progress as well as store any incorrect answers into the ‘challenge bank’, allowing you to go back and learn about any wrong answers you have selected by observing your constructive feedback. With a variety of questions, you can be sure that they will differentiate to those of any other revision materials, allowing you to become more confident and knowledgeable with your answers and not just adapt to the same wording across all mock tests. Night mode is also available to allow it to be softer on the eyes for those evening revision sessions.

If you are seeking advice about your theory test or if you would like to speak with one of our qualified driving instructors, contact us at Lanes School of Driving by calling 020 8166 5678 where we will use our 100 years of experience to assist you effectively.

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Tips

Can you learn to drive in your own car?

It is common to see numerous learner drivers and instructor vehicles on the road at any time of day, but are you allowed to learn and take the test in your own car? Technically, yes. You can use your own car for lessons, and even for the practical driving test, so long as it meets the correct requirements. However, it may not be the safest of options, especially at the start, for these three main reasons.

Requirements

It is the duty of your instructor to ensure that their vehicle is operating as it should, consists of no faults and meets with the correct requirements and regulations for a learner vehicle. They will ensure that levels of oil, water and petrol are kept up at all times, as well as full function of the pedals, seatbelts, airbags and the car’s controls so that they don’t impact your driving abilities. This way, as you may be nervous when taking to the road for the first time, all you will need to worry about is how to operate and maneuver the vehicle. You can rest assured that everything else has been monitored and is in good condition for your safety.

Dual controls

When starting out with your driving lessons, it is only appropriate to take the lessons in your instructors’ car. You will be new to observing the ways of the road, as well as the challenge of multi-tasking and remaining in control of the car at all times. This is where dual controls become a necessity in keeping the both of you, and other road users, safe. It is normal to be daunted by these factors, and you may not pick it up first time round – or even second! – but after a few lessons, your instructor will ease off of the use of their pedal control and allow you to take to the roads while operating the car independently.

Clear signage

Once you take to the road, you may experience other drivers who appear impatient and, wrongly, take these moods out on you, often by the use of their horn or overtaking you. If you were in your own car, the rate in which you experienced these situations would rise due to other drivers being unaware of the fact that you are a vulnerable learner who is new to the roads. This would add unneeded pressure to your driving ability, possibly distracting you from the more important things that you need to focus on. This is where learning in your instructor’s car will come in handy for you. With the car clearly labelled at all times, this will allow other road users to become aware of the fact that you are learning to drive and the level of patience that they have with you will increase, because let’s face it – we’ve all been there!

If you do have your own car and your skills reach a certain point, your driver may ask if you would feel comfortable taking a lesson in your own vehicle, meaning that there would be no option of dual control and you will reduce the level of clear signage. If you agree, they will have to check that your car meets the following requirements:

  • The vehicle is taxed and insured correctly
  • Has a valid MOT (if eligible for one)
  • Has no warning lights showing, such as faulty airbags or brakes
  • The tyres comply with the legal tread depth and are inflated to the correct pressure
  • Has a working speedometer which allows you to reach a speed of up to 62mph
  • All pedals operate correctly

They will also need to ensure that the following is fitted:

  • An additional rear-view mirror (for the instructors use only)
  • At least two ‘L’ plates are fitted, one at the front and one at the rear
  • A working seatbelt, airbag and sturdy head restraint on the passengers’ side

Taking a few lessons in your own vehicle will ensure that, once you have passed the practical test, you will be confident in driving your own car. This is an essential skill to learn, but it can be picked up at any time. You will not need to do this before your test date if you are unhappy to do so. Your instructor is able to take you out on follow up lessons once you have passed which will allow you to feel comfortable in your own car whilst being without input from a passenger and also experience new roads, such as motorways.

Taking the test

You are bound to be nervous on the day of your test. You may feel the pressure of your friends and family awaiting that call, or perhaps you haven’t told anyone and wish to surprise them with your pass certificate afterwards. This is why we recommend taking the test in your instructor’s vehicle. With all the regulations we have mentioned above, we feel it may impact your nerves too heavily if you will have to worry about additional factors, such as insurance or warning lights failing. If this did occur, your car would be recalled for safety reasons, resulting in you having to re-book you test for another time. Within your instructor’s car, there is next to no chance of these things faulting due to in-depth checks at the end of each learners’ lesson. This will allow you to focus on the drive itself, rather than the car, improving your focus and chances of passing.

If you have any questions about your own vehicle or would like to speak with one of our experienced instructors about starting your driving lessons, contact us at Lanes School of Driving by calling 020 8166 5678, or email us at where we will be happy to help you on your journey to passing.

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