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More confidence for learner drivers

Billy Brooks from Castle Bytham has just completed his BIG TOM 5 day intensive driving course

With no previous driving experience before his intensive course, Billy managed to drive to Rutland Water, Spalding, Leicester, Bourne and Deeping on his course picking up vital experience and importantly increasing in confidence every day.  He said after the week “I was told about different ways of learning and developing new skills which are very good for confidence while driving especially as a learner”.

At BIG TOM all customers are welcome to book up a course regardless of how much previous experience they have or not.  The course is a fabulous opportunity to build layers of practice in a safe environment with the help of a qualified instructor to aid learning.

Regardless of where a customer ends up after day five, there are options provided how to proceed, and no-one loses their driving test fee.  It is a perfect, risk-free way of learning to drive, specifically designed to take the stress out of the process.

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Fast track driving licence

Joshua Healey from Spalding received premium service to bag his driving licence today in Boston

He contacted BIG TOM initially on 05/01/2018, and within eight days he has taken his BIG TOM 5 day intensive driving course and passed his test with just two minors.  He said of his experience with BIG TOM “What helped me with learning with BIG TOM was the helpful encouragement”.

Tom Ingram (Owner) said “Congratulations to Joshua. He had a fabulous week driving in Peterborough, Spalding, Bourne and Boston. His confidence in driving sky-rocketed after he spent a day of his course in Peterborough doing dual-carriageways and big roundabouts.  Once again, my driving school shows how fast we can turn things around for customers with an overall time of just eight days from initial contact with BIG TOM admin to getting his driving licence.  Joshua is delighted as this really will benefit his personal life, and I am grateful that he chose my driving school to assist him to achieve his goals.”

 

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I want a driving test fast

BIG TOM specializes in bagging driving licenses for customers in quick time.

If you are not one for hanging around, get in touch with BIG TOM on 0800 689 4174.  Our safety record is unbeatable.  The BIG TOM 5 day intensive driving course delivers the results. Why would you take on average seven months to pass a driving test if you don’t need to?  Our admin organizes everything on your behalf.  You get the resources you need when you need them. Dedicated, personal customer service that our previous customers tell us they appreciate. “I want a driving test fast” – we HEAR you!

Join all our customers who have passed their driving test within 30 days of contacting BIG TOM.  We can allocate you a course quick, make sure you don’t get bumped around with different driving instructors in separate driving school cars. Come and benefit from genuine customer service.

 

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Pressure? What pressure?

Look at the calm of our four-legged friend here! Is he feeling the pressure? No, we thought not too.

Learning to drive is challenging enough without the need for adding further pressure to the situation.  At BIG TOM we have experience of helping customers with particular deadlines. Moving house, starting university, needed for a job interview; we have seen it all, and the lessons have perfected our service.  Passing driving tests while maintaining driving training standards is our speciality.  Customers come to us from a range of starting points, and we are delighted to work with them to achieve their goal. Part of this service is an accurate assessment of progress regarding competence as well as confidence. We don’t expect miracles to happen; if a pupil is not quite ready, then we can further develop skills, build on experience and continue training until they are ready.  We do not add pressure to any customers by insisting they take driving tests ill-prepared.  Come with BIG TOM and see for yourself how we manage stress.  Take a leaf from our furry friend here and relax.  Look through our customer reviews and see how many times they use the words safe, calm, relaxed, confidence, helpful, enjoyable.  The only thing intensive on our driving courses is the focus we give to our pupils.

We pick you up and drop you off at home.  We book driving tests for you.  We offer you drinks at any intervals taken.  We accurately assess your progress.  We provide you with a variety of resources.  All specially designed so that you can keep calm, relax and learn, at a pace that suits you.

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Deliver Customer Expectations

BIG TOM has a solid reputation in providing a service to deliver on customer expectations.  Some important aspects that our customers do expect:

  • No cancellations Customers can rely on the fact that we will arrive as scheduled, the car controls will be cleaned – we don’t cancel on customers
  • Safety  We want to provide an effective and fun learning environment with safety paramount – not one single accident since being in business
  • Security  We take care with data handling and processing payments – no passing on your details to third parties
  • Pupil centred  Your training is centred around the pupils’ needs – no swapping of driving instructors or cars
  • Quality The goal is to develop a safe and competent driver – we don’t train pupils to only drive on driving test routes

We have provided you with a checklist to print off and use when you are comparing our service with others.  We hope you find it useful.

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Need a driving licence fast

One of the reasons why customers come to BIG TOM is because they need a driving licence fast.  We have a proven track record of achieving these goals without compromising on the quality of the driving training.

If you look here you will see some of the pupils who passed their driving test last year within 4 weeks of initially contacting BIG TOM – yes, from the very first time they emailed us on the BIG TOM contact form

If you look here you will see some of the pupils who passed their driving test last year on Day 5 of their BIG TOM intensive driving course

We don’t shunt pupils between driving instructors or driving school cars mid-course, and we pick up/drop off customers from home.  There really is no need to be paying over the odds for an inferior customer service.

If you need a driving licence fast, contact us today, and see how quickly we can turn things around for you – you will not be disappointed!

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Pass your driving test in 2018

BIG TOM thanks all customers from 2017 and wishes all readers interested in the BIG TOM 5 Day Intensive Driving Course success to pass your driving test in 2018

The BIG TOM Intensive Driving Course differs from our competitors in a key way.  We continue to offer great value with an over £200 saving* which is passed directly on to our customer.  BIG TOM helps to manage pressure for customers by not placing sometimes unrealistic expectations on being ready for test, instead we will happily work with customers from a range of previous driving experience and ability so that they can then use that £200+ saving SHOULD IT BE REQUIRED.  In this way, the savings remain in the customers pocket, rather than charging all customers premium prices even if they do not actually require any remedial training.  It is a different approach that our customers tell us works really well for them by removing any unnecessary stress in the 5 day period.

Happy New Year – safe and happy driving in 2018

*price quoted on 31/12/17 of 5day.co.uk website @ £999 as compared to BIG TOM £797

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This helps you to learn

One of the techniques made available to you on a BIG TOM Intensive Driving Course is reflection.  This blog from Tom Ingram (Owner of BIG TOM) explains how it helps you to learn.

I have seen over the years some truly wonderful examples of how reflection can help pupils learn to drive.  In the BIG TOM pre-course videos I expand on the subject but I can emphasise some key points here too.  One of the first essential points to grasp is that when one of my pupils reflects on their experience they are making it very personal and truly understanding how they think about any given subject.  I have seen pupils reflect on technical driving ability, confidence levels, emotional feelings, driving tests and/or examiners, perceptions of danger etc.  Whilst a BIG TOM template is provided to you on Day 1 of your course that is only a helping hand to guide you, “reflection” as a learning technique can be undertaken at any given time and in any kind of format.  I have seen extremely colourful mind-maps before, watched a YouTube video of a learner reflecting on his driving test, read tweets and blogs, I have been in many conversations in the car with pupils – how this occurs is entirely up to the pupil (if you want to see a superb blog as an example click HERE) . The structure or formality is not the important thing, let me explain why it is important.

When a pupil starts to think deeply about a particular aspect of learning to drive, they will start to open their mind about what really is affecting them.  Being able to do this is by no means a given for everyone, but with practise you can learn to – and you will be given that opportunity to learn this skill on your BIG TOM course.  So if you mention for example a general feeling of loss of confidence while driving, when you dig down deeper in your thoughts, you might identify that as you are driving along, you are in fear that at any moment something is going to happen which really makes you feel unsafe.  If you were NOT to continue delving into these thoughts, that general feeling may linger around for quite some time, nagging away at confidence levels.  But with some more reflection, and perhaps utilising some techniques that assist, you may realise that what is actually at the heart of this problem is when the car rolls backwards when moving off on a hill.  It is actually that particular aspect that really does undermine confidence, affects nerves, and the level of anxiety that it creates has other knock on effects to the training session.  But continuing to concentrate on the root cause, further reflection might actually discover that whilst you have knowledge of the importance of finding the “biting point” on the clutch, actually doing that is another matter, and that tends to be rather hit and miss.  You have managed to recognise that your feelings are not great while training, and through a process of personal thought, have actually realised the problem stems whenever the car has to be moved off from a incline and this feeling of impending doom is because where you train there actually aren’t that many hills, but when one does come along, the inevitable happens.  The SKILL that is needed to be learnt (raised awareness of, practised and refined) is clutch control and in particular finding the correct “biting point” on the clutch and the practical co-ordination of releasing the handbrake whilst controlling the foot pedals.

The reason why it is so powerful to be able to develop this skill of reflection is because it is assisting you to evaluate how your feelings affect your driving actions and confidence – the two are interwoven.  This skill is essential for continued improvement after you pass your driving test.  No driving examiner is expecting to see the “finished article” when a pupil goes on a driving test, they recognise that there will still be room for improvement post-test.  This skill of reflection enables you to consider your strengths and weaknesses and identify what it is that is actually creating the situation that occurs.  The beauty with this approach is that it equips you to effectively learn rather than setting an expectation on your driving instructor to try and second guess what you are thinking and feeling…. they may guess correctly, they may not.

Look at the level of thinking Kirsty Leanne goes to in the example blog I have given above:

Right now I am starting to accept that passing my test is going to be a lot more difficult than I had originally thought. I thought that I would be okay if I bought a car to learn in, but I have found that I am still not picking up clutch control and changing the gears. If I’m being honest, I find driving petrifying.
My biggest worry is whether not me, or other drivers, are being safe while on the road. There are lots of little factors that make up whether or not you can be considered ‘safe on the road’, so it terrifies me being on the road as a learner when I can’t confidently tell you what all of these factors are.

When you read the above, can you begin to see the power of this?  I hope this blog helps my BIG TOM customers.

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BIG TOM Christmas Message

Owner of BIG TOM Driving School, Tom Ingram has an end of year, Christmas message for customers:

“It has been another wonderful year, many customers achieving their goal with the help of my driving school. The nature of work by my driving school often means that customers have a real need to get a driving licence fast – as opposed to taking weekly driving lessons to pass (which according to recent DVSA research takes on average 7 months!). As a result the rewards for these customers has very real benefits for work commitments, attendance of college/uni and family arrangements – the possession of a driving licence by a specific time is often critical to our customers. I have always been very clear in my mind that this unique demand on timescales will not affect the quality of driving training that customers receive. And it is this balance of driving standards and customer expectations that makes for a very stimulating and challenging work environment. It very much pleases me that over the years BIG TOM has naturally attracted custom from people who connect with this need to maintain safety whilst still obtaining spectacularly quick results. The driving school STILL has the record of not one single accident since the business was established in 2009.
For the first time since being a qualified driving instructor I read earlier this year from the Chief Driving Examiner of the DVSA Lesley Young who conceded that the driving test does in fact affect the quality of driving training. The new driving test that started earlier this month encourages driving instructors to train their pupils on faster moving roads including rural roads. This change lends itself to the BIG TOM training methodology as customers regularly travel 70 miles + in a training session between towns and cities, often across county boundaries.
For me personally, having just had formal confirmation from the DVSA of the first time pass rate of pupils that I present for test (across many test centres), it is great to see that since paying for some continuing professional development in 2016 my efforts are being rewarded with a 15% increase in the first time pass rate. I recognise that this CPD not only develops my own skills but it benefits my customers too. Of course, driving instructors could make up any figures they like when it comes to this statistic but my own customers should rest assured that the figures I use are official DVSA measured statistics.
Due to the difficulties I have experienced in locating land for under 17 driving training at weekends, I have stopped actively working on that project which is a great shame as all the evidence suggests the sooner key road safety techniques are introduced to our younger generation the better for long term outcomes. But as is often the way, whilst this is disappointing for those potential customers, plenty of other customers have taken up the added feature that was introduced mid-year of extending the BIG TOM Intensive Driving Course to include weekends. This has proved to be very successful and demand has remained high for pupils who simply cannot attend on the 5 day, Monday – Friday course. I’m pleased to confirm that this will continue into 2018.
On the subject of course features, there are a number of them that differentiate us from our competitors and the primary mechanism that prompts these enhancements is the feedback that we receive via our BIG TOM Customer Surveys. I continue to thank all customers who take the time and trouble to complete these as without this key feedback, our service would not continue to improve. I am also often humbled by the time taken by customers to provide customer reviews of their experience with BIG TOM – it takes a great deal of effort to provide a service that is reliable, trusted and creates successful outcomes, and I cannot tell you how pleasing it is to read the wonderful reviews that are received. Key features of our service include a home pick up/drop off (which our customers in rural locations tell us is incredibly valued), we provide accurate and structured assessments to customers of driving ability so that no pupil is left wondering how they are getting on. Our courses have flexibility for start/end times, the weekend courses have flexible duration to fit customers’ needs, and pupils are offered drinks on their course. 1 in 2 of BIG TOM customers pass their driving test on their first attempt which is higher than the national average, and customers get to choose where they take their driving test. There are plenty of things that we definitely do NOT do on our courses which I would very much like customers to know: we do not change driving instructors or driving school cars when pupils are on the course, we do not teach test routes, we do not add pressure on pupils to complete a theory test on their course. But if there is one aspect that defines the service we provide it is that we will happily assist customers regardless of lack of experience, learning difficulties or previous trauma. By not implying any “guarantee” of pre-defined outcomes, it enables us to adapt our training specifically to the needs of the customer – as opposed to expecting customers to adapt to our business model. It continues to be a significant difference that ensures safety and effective learning is promoted. “Effective learning” is a cornerstone of my driving school as it is recognised in the industry that pupils can be “taught” to pass a driving test, but if essential road safety skills are not developed into the long term memory, then it is highly debatable how appropriately the pupil has been served.
I continue to assist trainee driving instructors as well as established driving instructors and this last point of “effective learning” is extremely important for positive road safety outcomes in my work with them. The integrity of the service provided by DVSA registered driving instructors is reliant upon being able to facilitate the development of meaningful driving skills for pupils, and there are so many skills needed of the driving instructor to make that happen – it is ultimately what differentiates the quality of driving instructors.
I would like to congratulate all my customers this year who have attained their goals, the effort that I witness from my customers is incredibly inspiring to me and continually spurs me on to provide whatever resources I can to assist them in their cause. Safe driving everyone.

Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year…. tom”

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Quick Turnaround Success

Alistair Moss (shown here) from Whaplode celebrates a fabulous driving test pass in Boston earlier today on his first attempt.

He had a tight timescale in which to gain his driving licence due to commitments abroad so to pass his driving test on Day 5 of his BIG TOM Intensive Driving Course is just what he needed.

He says of his experience with BIG TOM “Brilliant all round”

Tom Ingram was his driving instructor and said:

“I have congratulated Ali on his test pass particularly as I know he had pressure on him to pass his test before going abroad.  I think this is further proof of just how reliable the BIG TOM brand is for achieving successful results when the pressure is on.  Due to Boston being so busy his driving test was near on an hour in length and apart from the examiner feeding back the need to make progress on rural roads when it is safe, he managed to navigate his way around this morning very effectively in what were challenging driving conditions.  It also pleases me greatly as the owner of BIG TOM to hear that Ali’s mother discovered us via google search while in Italy – it reassures me to see that the driving school is able to get noticed even when people search for us from distant locations.  Well done to Ali – I wish him many years of safe driving.”

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