“Should I take the driving test in Peterborough in my car, or yours Tom?”
This is the question I was asked yesterday morning on a driving lesson in Peterborough. John who is a 62 year old ex-teacher, is fortunate to have access to his Wife’s car. He has a choice. He could take his driving test in Peterborough in his own car, or my driving school car.
I generally encourage these pupils who have access to a car at home, (with insurance cover of course), to take driving lessons in their car with a view to taking the test in it too. Whilst there are a few makes of car that the DVSA do not permit on test, generally speaking, the vast majority are fine. Just make sure it’s roadworthy (would pass an MOT), is insured for the test, has 2 “L” plates fitted and an additional mirror on the front windscreen for the examiner to see behind.
This advice might sound counter-intuitive coming from a Driving Instructor due to the loss of earnings as a result, but the truth is, it really is incredibly beneficial for a person learning to drive, to have confidence in the car they are driving immediately after passing the driving test.
Our driving lesson in Peterborough this morning is a classic example. We covered the following key skills:
• How to know with confidence how close the car is to the kerb when reversing and pulling over
• How to judge if you have enough power available in the car to enter a dual carriageway with varying lengths of slip road
• How to judge whether the car is in the centre of the lane when you approach a multi-lane roundabout
• How to recognise the correct timing for gear changes from 3 to 4 or 3 to 5.
The DVSA state that on average learners take 45 hours with a Driving Instructor and 22 hours private practise with friends/family to pass the driving test. In my experience, pupils who do have access to a car, tend to finish off their driving lessons with me accompanying them in their own car. My advice is to do all the things that you might reasonably be expected to do once you pass: McDonalds drive through, multi-storey car park, parallel park on the right side of the road, bay park in large, busy car parks, drive at night, drive to a location having to rely on sat nav and coming on/off a busy dual-carraigeway are a few to consider. How much of this you want to cover before passing the test, and how much you want to discover HAVING passed the test is a matter for you. It is statistically proven that more collisions occur in the period of time immediately after passing the driving test than at any other time in your driving life.
You should also spare a thought for the person supervising your driving. By law they must be 21 or over, and held a driving licence for 3 years and be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you want to learn in eg automatic/manual. But consideration should be given to risk assessing how they feel about the level of control they have/do not have. Planning of sessions is vital so that the experience remains technically of good quality, appropriate for the standard you are at, and develops your progress and confidence.
If you have any questions on this subject, whether you intend to take your driving test in Peterborough or not, feel free to contact me on info@BigTom.org.uk , I would be happy to assist.