Better Driving Standards

Better driving standards, increased road safety, confident and capable drivers – these are all shared goals in the driving industry. But it is a complex marketplace, there are tensions between different parties involved and this blog seeks to shed some light on the situation.


“My driving instructor refused to let me do my test, so I binned her, and went to someone who would”

“I don’t honestly feel like I’m going to pass this driving test, I’m just not good enough yet”

“Driving instructors are meant to prepare their pupils for safe driving for life not just to pass a driving test”

“That driving instructor is way too expensive, I can get 10 lessons for £99”

“I thought the examiner was unfair, I don’t agree that I failed that driving test”

“That driving instructor’s pass rate is really low, I wouldn’t go with him if I were you”

“The recent decline in the standard of road safety statistics sits squarely with driving instructors who just take their customers to test too soon”

“As a driving instructor, you need to ask yourself, what part are you playing in ensuring driving standards are as high as possible?”

“You get what you pay for, you want cheap driving lessons, you will get cheap driving lessons”

“My driving instructor keeps banging on about how I need to develop my skills with more driving experience, all I want to do is pass my test”

“My parents keep telling me how easy the driving test was in those days, I’d like to see them pass this one”

“The latest DVSA released statistics confirm, once again, that with such appallingly low driving test pass rates, driving instructors are quite simply taking their customers to test too soon – it is as simple as that”

“I don’t feel I can win here, if I refuse to take him to test, he goes elsewhere, but I just know he is going to fail”

“I literally can’t afford for my son to have as many driving lessons as his driving instructor wants him to have – I will take him out myself after he has had a few with the instructor”

“I keep failing the test, my driving instructor is crap!”

“I’ve got £450 for my driving lessons, after that, I just can’t afford any more”

“My driving instructor says she is too busy, can I go to test with you please? My test is next Tuesday”

“I charge an hourly rate that enables me to provide a good quality service, I simply don’t do cheap driving lessons, this is young adults safety we are talking about here”

“I must pass my driving test by the end of the month, if I haven’t passed, I don’t get this new job”

“I’m not feeling very confident with my driving, but I literally can’t afford any more driving lessons”

“I’m just being constantly beaten down on my prices, if I don’t give them ‘a deal’ they just go somewhere else”

“As a DVSA examiner, if there was one piece of advice I would offer to all driving instructors out there, it would be to not bring your customers to test too soon – it’s not safe for them or us”

“I can drive, I only need a lesson or 2 before my driving test”


These are typical comments that are being made in public and private on a daily basis across the UK by parents, pupils, examiners, driving instructors, DVSA officials, and driving instructor trainers.


Complex….. yes?

We have a system in the UK where the public are able to take a driving test with as much or as little involvement of a professional driving instructor as they like. There is no “standard” that has to be achieved before anyone is eligible to take a driving test. No-one has to authorise a person to take a test and as such, we have this marketplace where consumers have complete freedom, and providers are entirely at their mercy. Some people who learn to drive will be on a tight budget, some will have limited amounts of learning as they think they already can drive, some are in such a rush that they limit the amount of training they have.

Attitudes to driving standards vary enormously. All of us see such a variety of driving ability out on the roads, it is hard not to be confused as to how some drivers did manage to pass their driving test. There will be drivers who are very conscientious about how well they drive and not adversely affect other road users, and yet there will be many who are literally unconsciously incompetent; they simply have no idea what effect they are having on others as they drive around on a daily basis.

With the continued decline of traffic police spanning several years, the mechanism of “enforcement” to ensure driving standards are maintained to a basic level is being eroded – some would argue that enforcement has been missing from public roads for quite some time already, and is having serious consequences to UK road safety.

And so we have this rather hazardous combination of questionable driving training standards where the views and goals of professional driving instructors are very often bypassed by the consumer, coupled with declining levels of road safety enforcement.

Bring on the driverless car!


BIG TOM Driving School provides Intensive Driving Courses in Peterborough, Spalding, Stamford, Lincoln, Grantham, Boston, Sleaford and Bourne. Contact us HERE.


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