Here at Drive4Life we are known to offer the Number One Driving Lessons in Selby, we have an extensive track record of first pass rates and standard pass rates (over 80% pass first time). Whether you want to take your time learning to drive, or you are in dire need of learning for work or pleasure, one thing can be sure when you take your lessons with us and that is, that taking your test will be a breeze. Our instructors will know when you are ready and will raise the confidence in you, so that you pass with flying colours. With a high first time pass rate, Drive4Life clearly have the knowledge and commitment to create such a high level of success for our learners in the Selby areas.
Drive4Life are approved by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and strive to have you on the road, a competent and confident driver. Learning to drive is exciting however, for some the prospect of driving on a road in rush hour can be daunting and nerve-wrecking. Under expert tuition and with a friendly and patient manner, those nerves will slowly melt away and you will question why you felt nervous in the first place.
Here at Drive4Life, we pride ourselves on providing a first rate driving experience from the minute you enter the car nervously shaking, to the second you leave with a beaming confident smile and pass certificate. If you would like to know more about our Number One Driving Lessons in Selby, or you would like some information on the other services that we provide, then please don’t hesitate to get into contact with us and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly.
Drive4Life instructors are teaching you to drive to a high standard and get you prepared to pass your driving test. Drive4Life instructors are fully aware that the requirements for the practical driving test are changing for 2017.
The practical driving test will feature four new additions this year.
Each of these additions builds on existing elements of the current test and the new driving test changes will come into effect later in 2017. These changes take into account new technology and more realistic driving scenarios and manoeuvres. Drive4Life instructors reckon they pay particular attention being paid to driving in rural areas.
How is the test changing?
1. Independent driving will increase to 20 minutes
The part of your driving test where you’re asked to drive independently is going to be made much longer – which feels like a good thing. This is the part of the test where Drive4Life instructors will teach you to be in control and by making this double the amount of time, you can feel confident and more relaxed in the driving seat.
Knowing you have 10 more minutes to do your thing should make you feel less panicked and, most importantly, allow you more time to show that you’re good with the basics.
2. Following Satnav directions
Don’t panic but as part of that 20 minutes of driving, you’ll be asked to follow a Satnav for directions instead of listening to the examiner. This has come into focus because a lot more drivers are relying on Satnavs to get them from A to B.
Driving with a Satnav is definitely a skill that’s important. Drive4Life instructors will be taking you on routes using a Satnav as it means concentrating on more than just the road ahead. It trains your brain to read the screen and the road at the same time, assessing each one and applying common sense before making a move.
But don’t worry – if the satnav starts telling you “you have reached your destination” when you’re still at a roundabout, the examiner will be ready to step in and help you out.
3. More real-life manoeuvres
So the two manoeuvres set to get the boot are reverse around a corner and turn in the road. (Pause for clapping and cheers?)
These will be replaced with more real-life situations:
- Driving into a parking bay in a public car park and reversing out
- Pulling up on the right of the road, reversing a short distance and rejoining the traffic
Confident driving in every situation is key and Drive4Life instructors will continue to show the everyday scenerios that you come across that can make you really anxious.
Being able to drive into Sainsbury’s car park without fearing that you’re going to get stuck in a bay forever or scratch up the Audi next to you is going to be more useful to you than that turn in a quiet back-road with no one watching.
The whole point is to prepare you for real-world driving. Why not go all-out and include drive-thru’s in the test? Extra points for ordering your examiner a milkshake and fries.
4. Being asked a safety question while you’re driving
We’ve all had that moment of sheer panic during a driving lesson when your examiner suddenly asks you to turn your wipers on and you’re like what?! sorry?! where?! me?!
Well, this change to the test is going to be a good step to try to ease that reaction.
As part of the show me, tell me questions that are currently in place, Drive4Life instructors will ask you to answer an instruction inside the car (like adjusting your demister) while you’re driving, instead of at the start of the test when you’re parked up.
Again – a much more useful skill to have for real-life driving.
Change is good
Our roads and the technology we use are constantly changing and making sure the driving test syllabus changes with them is really important.
As with any change, the initial months will probably be a bit new and scary, and will inevitably raise some concerns – just like the news on learners taking to the motorways. But keeping new drivers in bubble wrap during their lessons is not going to produce confident drivers and reduce crashes.
New drivers need to be fully equipped to deal with EVERY situation on the road before they set off on their own, These changes will be taught by Drive4Life instructors that should definitely help new drivers.
So, what does this all mean?
Well, the good news is that your test won’t change drastically.
Instead, these changes are simple and subtle variations, amendments or additions to current, existing test tasks.
For the first time, however, motorists will be asked a theory question whilst driving.
This is opposed to just being asked when you are stationary, like in previous years.
You will also be required to drive independently (with prior guidance from your examiner) for 20 minutes not 10 minutes
Being able to read a sat-nav display whilst driving will also be a requirement.
Why is the test changing?
Put simply: the test is changing because it needs to.
Drive4Life instructors are concerned about pupils being OVERCHARGED on some copycat websites when booking their driving test.
If you type the names of some popular government services into search engines, some of your search results might be ads for sites that offer a service. You could get this service for free (or for much less) on GOV.UK , the government’s own website.
Some of these copycat websites offer to book theory and practical driving tests, and look like they might be official, but they actually charge a premium for their services.
Some websites charge up to £30.00 for just booking a test, on top of the driving test fee itself
a ‘pass protection’ fee with the promise of a free retest that very few customers actually qualify to use.
Copycat websites don’t let you pick an actual appointment, and don’t give you instant confirmation of your booking.
Save money by using
GOV.UK is the only official driving test booking website for both theory and practical tests.
Using GOV.UK to book your test:
A car theory test costs £25.00 and a driving test costs £62.00 when booked through the official website;
a) you can save yourself money
b) you pick the exact date and time of your test
c) you get an instant confirmation of your booking
It is perfectly normal to have first driving lessons nerves but be assured that your Drive4Life driving instructor is experienced in dealing with nervous learner drivers and they are expecting you to have those first driving lesson nerves. Drive4Life instructor will be patient and friendly, will not expect too much of you from your first driving lesson and will try their best to put your nerves at ease.
It’s not always about first driving lesson nerves however. Many learner drivers have driving lesson nerves through the majority of their driving course on each and every lesson. This is also perfectly normal too, but your nerves should subside soon after the lesson status. If you are having issues with driving lesson nerves and believe they are impacting your progress, you will need to look at ways to reduce these nerves.
First driving lesson nerves or nerves at the start of each lesson are perfectly normal. If however if they continue throughout each and every lesson, it can impede your ability to make progress and learn. Drive4Life will recognise this quickly and together we will resolve ASAP.
Your Drive4Life instructor will not shout, get angry or irritated when you make mistakes. You are after all a learner. Drive4Life driving instructors make their learners feel relaxed and actually have a great laugh during lesson. If you feel nervous during lessons because you’re afraid of upsetting your instructor, this will need to be resolved.
If your instructor is great, you will then need to establish why you are making yourself nervous. This can of course be for many reasons. The most common being that you are afraid you will cause some kind of accident. Your Drive4Life driving instructor is qualified to teach learner drivers and also has dual controls that will allow them to prevent an accident happening, so this is highly unlikely. Any accidents or tyre damage is covered by the instructors insurance also.
Another frequent reason for driving lesson nerves is learners expecting too much from themselves. Don’t try too hard to do everything perfectly correct on your lessons. Making mistakes is what enables us to learn. Relax, chat and have a laugh with your instructor during your lessons, you will learn far more.
If you feel your Drive4Life instructor is pushing you too hard, resulting in you making too many mistakes, ask them to slow down a little and take things a little easier. It’s also better to take two or three driving lessons per week instead of one lesson. Taking a single lesson per week leaves too much time between lessons, leaving you anxious that you have forgotten everything.
Being slow, impeding other road users and making mistakes is a big issue with learner drivers. Stalling at junctions, traffic lights and roundabouts is a big fear (see how to stop stalling a car). First thing to remember is that you’re a learner, so don’t worry about anyone else, they were a learner once too. Remember also that bringing the clutch up quickly WONT make you go faster, it will make you stall (if you’re driving a manual). Relax and bring the clutch up just as you do on those quiet roads where you don’t stall. Releasing the clutch slowly makes you move off much faster than stalling and you’re not nearly as slow as you think you.
Here at Drive4Life we understand that you may be nervous leading up to your first driving lesson, but what exactly will it involve? It’s finally here! – The day you get behind the wheel for what is probably the first time. It’s a big day, but it can be pretty nerve-wracking too. It helps if you know what to expect beforehand, so make sure you prepare. You’ll pick things up much easier if they’re familiar to you and you feel confident about what happens next.
- The night/morning before your lesson:
- Get some sleep
- Do NOT drink the night before
- Breakfast! Something light as heavier food will make you less aware and will give you a slower reaction time.
- Double check where and when you’re being picked up (you would have arranged this with your instructor, usually at your home, but you can meet almost anywhere)
- Choose comfy, non-slip shoes (no heels)
- Take glasses if you need them
- Remember your provisional licence
- The pick-up
Don’t worry – you’re not going to have to get in the driving seat straight away! You’ll be getting in the passenger seat to start with, while your instructor takes you to a quiet place for you to get to grips with the basics. Usually a quiet carpark or a very quiet side street.
3. The cockpit drill
When you’ve arrived at a quiet road with low traffic, your instructor will have you switch so you’re in the driving seat. Your instructor will then explain the cockpit drill to introduce you to the checks you’ll need to do every time you drive (DSSSM):
- The cockpit drill or DSSSM:
- Doors securely closed?
- Seat in a comfortable position?
- Steering position established?
- Seatbelts on?
- Mirrors adjusted?
5. The controls
Next, you’ll get a run-through of the clutch, accelerator and brake; how to use the handbrake and indicator; and how to change gear. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can run through the controls again because you’ll want to be sure when you’re suddenly doing 20 miles an hour and it feels like your speeding. Don’t worry too much though – your instructor will talk you through everything as you go and if you’re unsure about something, just ask your instructor, it’s what they’re there for!
6. The road
Before you start the engine, your instructor will explain a few key procedures:
- Moving off: getting ready to use your gears
- Clutch control including finding the biting point
- Checking your mirrors and blind spot
- Signalling with your indicator
- Changing gear
- Stopping the car, covering the brake and the clutch
- Curb side parking
Once you get going, try to relax and remember that your instructor has their own set of controls so you can focus on learning without being scared. If you get the chance, do move out onto the road so you can experience ‘proper’ driving. You won’t regret it!
If you would like to take your driving lessons with us, or you would just like a quote of our prices, then please don’t hesitate to get into contact with us and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly regarding our next steps.
What is MSPSL? A Quick Discussion with Pete from Drive4Life
MSPSL is the term used when driving around on the roads and you’re about to make a turn or impede other drivers on the road. They are rules to follow and you will learn them over the course of your driving lessons, failing to follow MSPSL will result in you failing your practical driving test. So what is MSPSL? Well it stands for MIRRORS SIGNAL POSITION SPEED LOOK and bellow are just what these mean;
Mirrors: The appropriate mirrors must be checked on the approach to any junction type. The main interior mirror initially, followed by the wing mirror of the direction that you are turning (left would be left wing mirror, whilst right, would be right win mirror).
Signal: Once you have checked your mirrors it’s time to let the other drivers & pedestrians know what you’re about to do and you will need to indicate in the direction that you want to turn. Not using signals at all or using them too late is dangerous and it could result in a) running a pedestrian over b) a collision with another vehicle.
Position: The correct road position must be applied depending on the direction you are turning, the width of the road and if lanes are used. Left turns are usually taken in your normal driving position, taking too close to the left side may result in you hitting the curb. If making a right turn, position the car just to the left of the centre line in the road.
Speed: Speed is relevant to the location and situation on the road. The location may be a residential area with a closed junction, this may require a much slower speed than a wide open road with open junctions.
Look: Looking refers to all round observation. Before making the turn, it is important that there are no other vehicles moving into your path, cyclists or pedestrians. Turning left often requires a quick final look into the left door mirror before making the turn to make sure there are no cyclists under-taking you.
With a lot of practice the MSPSL rule will become second nature and you will have a much better chance in passing your exam. If you are looking for driving lessons in the Runcorn area, but have not yet decided on an instructor, there is nobody better than myself! I can slowly teach you the basics and then implement new ways into them, you’ll be mastering the harder parts in no time at all and you’ll be passing your test in almost a blink of an eye! If you are interested in our lessons, then please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll be in touch with you shortly!
How to do uphill starts – A quick article to help you on the roads with Pete from Drive4Life
Today at Drive4Life we will be discussing a number of tips for when you’re trying to do an uphill start. These can be quite tricky as you’re used to finding the bite and releasing the handbrake and just moving. But with starting a car on a hill you need to get the revs to 2000 rpm instead of 1500 rpm. Only doing 1500 will force the car to roll down the hill.
Uphill starts are always included in the practical exam and you won’t be able to avoid them (they’re a massive pain at first, until you get the hang of them). When you have parked up on the left (the examiner will not ask you to park up on the right), apply the handbrake and select neutral, the examiner will then tell you to move off again when you are ready.
Select 1st gear and slightly press the accelerator. The usual amount of gas (revs/rpm) needed is around 1500 rpm on the rev counter. You will need slightly more than this for hill starts, around 2000 rpm should do, if you don’t have 2000rpm on the rev counter and you release the handbrake, then the car will start to roll back, this is dangerous and you could fail your test over something so little like this. Although if you start to roll backwards, you haven’t found the bite fully (or your revs are too low), put down the brake and handbrake and start again, although doing this on your test will result in a fail.
You will now need to look into your left blind spot, through all mirrors and finish with the right blind spot. You need to check all mirrors and both blind spots to ensure a pedestrian is not directly crossing behind your vehicle as on a hill start there is a risk of your car rolling back.
If when you move off your car begins to roll back it is essential to take action immediately as failure to do so will result in a failed driving test. You have 2 options; the first is to slightly raise the clutch to prevent rolling back further or immediately depress the clutch followed by the foot brake. The latter option is preferred if you are not too confident with clutch control although it will require you having to start the entire moving off procedure again. When you do start to move you may need to keep the car in lower gears (1st, 2nd etc.) for longer than usual as the engine will require more power to climb the hill in these gears.
If you found this article informative and helpful and you would like to see others like this in the future, then please don’t hesitate to contact us and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly. Or if you would like to see some of our other articles, like our Recovering from a Stall then click here.
The 5 Gears Explained with Drive4Life’s Pete – Cheshire’s #1 Driving Instructor
Today at Drive4Life we will be discussing what the 5 gears in your vehicle are actually for (although some vehicles can have more than 5 gears). Below are what the 5 gears are, from neutral through to 5th and how you would move up from the previous gear
Neutral isn’t really a gear, it’s when a gear hasn’t been selected and the gear stick is “wobbly” and is completely centre. Whenever you get into a car you should always check the handbrake is on and the vehicle is in neutral before starting the engine. Your examiner may ask you to park your vehicle, make sure you put the handbrake on, put the gear to neutral and then turn off indictors (if used).
1st gear is basically to get the car moving from a stand-still, although if you’re pulling off on a downhill road, you may be able to use 2nd. 1st gear is also often used with a combination of clutch control in slow moving traffic and manoeuvres during the driving test. 1st gear is found when you push the gear stick all the way to the left and then upwards.
2nd gear will allow you to move faster and to gain speed to get into 3rd. 2nd gear is used for turns in which you can’t see the full bend and you don’t know what the road is like. 2nd is more fuel friendly than 1st as you won’t burn as much fuel as quickly as you would in 1st. To move from first to second, you literally just need to pull the gear stick downwards.
3rd gear is the best gear when driving around housing estates and busy roads. As 3rd is best used when travelling at 20-30mph its good for most residential areas. To move into 3rd from 2nd, just gently nudge the gear stick so that it goes into neutral and then push it upwards. Neutral is literally sat under 3rd and above 4th so it’s always good to gently push the gear stick to neutral and then find where your next gear is from then on (remember odd numbers are at the top, whilst evens are at the bottom).
4th is another ideal gear for driving around towns, cities and busy areas in general really. If your car is happy to drive at 30mph in 4th gear, it will be a more economical choice than driving in 3rd would be, as it doesn’t put as much strain on the vehicle, thus reducing the amount of fuel burnt in the process. To get to 4th from 3rd, just pull the gear stick directly down.
Majority of cars will use 5th gear for when driving on faster roads (40mph+). 5th gear is to be used on open roads which have national speed limits (or are a 40-50 zone) or dual carriageways and motorways as these are meant to be driven at national speed limits (unless told otherwise by road signs, etc.). To get to 5th gear from 4th, put the gear stick to neutral, then push it to the right and then upwards, it should be in the furthest top right that it can move to.
If you found this article informative and helpful and you would like to see others like this in the future, then please don’t hesitate to contact us and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly. Or if you would like to see some of our other articles, like our MSPSL one then click here.
When to change gear – A quick discussion with Pete from Drive4Life
Today at Drive4Life we will be discussing when you should be moving up in gears whilst driving on the roads. You will need to master this art as you cannot stay in 1st forever as you’ll be an inconvenience to other drivers, you’ll burn more fuel and you’ll fail your test if you do it on the test day.
When to move up from 1st
Other than on the occasional downhill start, 1st gear is always the gear we use when moving forward from a stationary position. We also us 1st gear when moving along in traffic queues at very slow speeds (also known as crawling), which is usually combined with some clutch control. In normal driving, as you begin moving off in 1st gear, you will need to change into 2nd gear almost instantly. Remember when moving off from a stationary position, you will need to release the clutch slowly or else you may stall the car and that may stress you out or force you to panic (refer to our Recovering from a Stall article).
When to move up from 2nd
There is an easy way to know when to move up from 2nd gear up to 3rd, just check the speedometer and if you’re doing around 15-20mph, it’s time to switch it up a gear. Any below this and you’ll feel the vehicle begin to struggle to keep up with the gear change.
When to move up from 3rd to 4th
3rd gear is an intermediate often only used for increasing speed. Whilst accelerating in 3rd gear, when a speed of 30mph is reached change into 4th gear. Many cars that have been made recently are more suited to driving around in 3rd gear at 30mph, although if you do stay in 3rd you will burn off more fuel and your vehicle won’t be as eco-friendly.
When to move up from 4th to 5th
5th gear is suited to open roads and dual carriageways. Using these reference points on when to change gear is an ideal aid for learning to drive. It does however involve taking your attention away from the road and onto the speedometer to establish when to change gear. This is perfectly acceptable for a novice driver over the guidance of a driving instructor. Ultimately however it is of course safer to change gear without these reference points and listening to the engine will in fact provide you with all the information on when to change gear. If you’ve played a lot of racing games in the past, you will know what to look out for, but if you haven’t don’t worry! You will hear the car make a more aggressive noise from the engine, it will sound a lot stronger than it did maybe half a second ago? This is the time when you would change up in gear, you will then notice the engine’s noise will calm down again and it won’t seem as aggressive.
If you found this article informative and helpful and you would like to see others like this in the future, then please don’t hesitate to contact us and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly. Or if you would like to see some of our other articles, like our gears explained one then click here.
Recovering from a Stall – Advice from Drive4Life’s Pete
Today at Drive4Life we will be talking about recovering from a stall and how to react to one in a safe manner. If you happen to stall the vehicle during your driving test, whatever you do; DO NOT PANIC! The examiner will simply want to see how quickly and safely you get going again within as little time as possible, but in a safe manner that doesn’t endanger you, pedestrians or other road users. If you happen to stall while the car is in 1st, there is no need to put it back into neutral. Leave the car in first and make sure you keep the clutch depressed and put the handbrake on. Then re-start the car as you would when pulling off from parking and away you go. If the car stalls in any other gear, apply the handbrake and select neutral.
The Rev Counter and setting the gas
The photo represents the dials in front of the driver in a typical car. The dial on the left is the rev counter and the dial on the right is the speedometer. Set the gas (accelerator) so it reads around 1500 rpm on the rev counter. By giving your engine power in this way before bringing the clutch up will help to prevent stalling the car. Although if you’re pulling off from uphill or you were uphill initially, you will need the revs to be around 2000rpm or you will roll backwards.
Try these techniques in a quiet area so you will feel less stressed from other road users. The key is to taking it in stages until you build up confidence, then if you do stall, you won’t panic and get stressed.
If you found this article informative and helpful and you would like to see others like this in the future, then please don’t hesitate to contact us and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you shortly. Or if you would like to see some of our other articles, like our understanding MSPSL then click here.