Monthly Archives: January 2017

Emailing BIG TOM to receiving driving licence 14 days

Grant Cousins from Stanground in Peterborough passes his driving test just 14 days after contacting us!

On Friday the 13/1/17 at 4.42pm Grant emailed BIG TOM Admin enquiring about an intensive driving course in Peterborough.  On Friday the 27/1/17 at 3.10pm Grant was handed his full driving licence by an Examiner at Peterborough Driving Test Centre.  His response was:

“I can’t believe that I’ve got my licence so fast.  I picked BIG TOM because of the great reviews it has, and now I can see why.  I’m so pleased that I picked BIG TOM”

Grant previously had 4 hours of driving experience more than 3 years ago.  He chose an intensive course with Tara from BIG TOM Admin spread over 4 days this week paying in total £774.  That included everything.  He passed his theory test within 7 days and his practical test within 14 days.

Tom Ingram who is the owner of BIG TOM said:

“Once again this is a demonstration to anyone who cares to listen of what BIG TOM can do for customers.  Bearing in mind that the initial email came through to us very late on a Friday afternoon, the response that Grant has received has been first class.  He drove in the following areas on his course, Ramsey, Crowland, Warmington, Corby Glen, Grantham and Peterborough – I would like to assure customers we do NOT coach pupils on test routes.  The response of our Admin to contact customers, book tests and send them resources in a timely manner continues to impress.  When Grant did his first mock test with us, he failed it with 3 serious driving faults and 12 minor driving faults, but after receiving a clean sheet of 0 faults on his second mock test, I rather suspected good outcomes.  So to see that he passed his test in Peterborough with just 1 driving fault does not surprise me.  It’s a winning package of customer service… and we thank Grant for his custom.”   

BIG TOM Driving School Peterborough Bookings Contact Tara NOW 0775 607 1464



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A Cold Driving Test in Grantham

Despite the temperature of -1.5 degrees, Rhys passes his driving test in Grantham

Big congratulations are due for Rhys this morning for passing his test on the very first slot of the morning.  Rhys is a busy chap who works hard at a local door fitting company.  He said after his test:

“I can’t tell you how pleased I am Tom.  No longer do I have to rely on anyone from work picking me up, I can get myself around now.  Hopefully with a bit of luck they might even sort me out with a work van”

BIG TOM Driving Instructor Tom Ingram said:

“Rhys is a smashing chap, he is a valued member of his team at work and having the mobility can only be a good thing for him and his boss.  He worked hard on his intensive driving course in Grantham, drove around in loads of different places and passed quite comfortably this morning”

BIG TOM Driving School Grantham Bookings: 01476 850 050



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New Career As A Driving Instructor

Are you considering a new career?  Fancy the freedom that being a Driving Instructor provides you?

Information & Application Form available from Tara 0775 607 1464

Owner of BIG TOM Driving School Tom Ingram has provided a must see ebook for anyone who is has an interest in becoming a Driving Instructor.  Information on qualification, aspects of setting up a driving school including marketing, and a no nonsense account of the actual work.  The author provides a refreshingly concise account of all things important for effective training and considers what future there is in the industry as technology advances.

This ebook will enable the reader to consider whether the career is suited to them, what benefits and pitfalls arise and offers fabulous tips and techniques to potentially save a great deal of money and effort.  Topics covered include:

  • Motivation to become a Driving Instructor
  • The cost to qualify
  • Nature of the work
  • Pass rates for the qualification tests
  • Barriers to succeeding
  • Reaching out for the opportunity


2 SNEEK PEAK’s of the ebook:


When you think of the work of a Driving Instructor, it is assisting people to learn a skill that has a responsibility for personal and public safety and some parents will look at a Driving Instructor with those considerations in mind.  “Will my 17 year old son or daughter be safe with this Instructor?”, “Does this Instructor portray an image of someone who really cares about road safety?”.  With regards to the learning environment, parents will want to see signs of someone who displays empathy, who is non-judgemental, understanding of the difficulties involved, and able to develop a safe, caring working relationship with their nearest and dearest.  In many regards, the profile is more skewed towards getting the best out of people than it is about actually driving.



One of the most fundamental realisations that I quickly came to understand is that if you truly have a desire to assist an individual to effectively learn to drive, then the first thing that you need to acknowledge is that every single person is potentially different, and there will be a need to understand how a person “ticks” in order to create positive outcomes.  I am not suggesting that you cannot be a Driving Instructor without this knowledge, but if you were to ignore this fact, or even not be aware of it and treat every pupil the same, it will inevitably affect the “effectiveness” of the learning experience, or worse still, it might make you realise that you are not in fact suited to the work.  This subject is something that I find very interesting; the joy and challenges of training humans.  Whether it be involving recruitment, quality improvement or good old fashioned caring of people, my previous jobs do have a common theme which involves my working to bring about positive change for people.  There is something very satisfying in seeing the sense of pride in people who have accomplished a goal.  Does this sound like something that interests you?  I never cease to be amazed at how resourceful and determined pupils can be – it is a point that is well worth remembering if you do end up entering this profession; we are in effect facilitators of learning, rather than providers of ‘mechanized’ instructing to teach someone to drive.  In my experience, people will naturally learn if the environment around them is conducive to it, they do not need to be ‘taught’ as such.  It is the difference of developing drivers to become a “mini me” version of their Driving Instructor, or instead, to facilitate their experiences in a way that makes the learning more individualised and personally meaningful. 



Will the ebook help me decide if I am suitable to be a driving instructor?

Yes.  There are many fears and concerns that are raised in this ebook which PDI’s are not necessarily aware of when registering with the DVSA. Many would have benefitted greatly to have known about them in advance.  This ebook really can save readers an awful lot of time and money!


My concern is really about how I will find the time to train…. please help!

This is a perfectly valid concern.  There will be in-car training as well as training that can be done at home and with friends.  The real value in this book however is the fact that it makes no generalisations about the reader.  It provides simple tips, guidance and considerations based on the actual experience of running a successful driving school, and importantly it offers choices of how to train.


How long will it take me to train?

As is the case with Learner drivers, PDI’s will have a variety of experiences which really makes second guessing on the duration of training a nonsense.  The ebook does expand on this point; it talks about obstructions to learning, effective learning techniques and how important it is to train well.  Our latest instructor qualified after 24.5 hours training.




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Meeting Customer Expectations

The timely nature of intensive driving courses does present the potential for disappointment if pupils do not achieve the goal within the specified time.  This blog from Tara at Sales within BIG TOM Driving School expands on how these expectations are discussed with our customers.

Q.  Why does this problem even exist, surely if a pupil isn’t ready, they just aren’t ready are they?

A.  Well, no – that is not really understanding the problem here.  There is sometimes an image that goes with intensive driving courses, in the minds of some customers, where they think that by attending an intensive driving course it guarantees that by the end of the course, they will be ready to take the test.  And quite simply, that is not always going to be the case.


Q.  But I thought the guarantee was one of the reasons people do intensive courses?

A.  People come on to intensive courses for a variety of reasons.  Here at BIG TOM we have an enormous appeal to customers who are 30 mins + away from big towns and cities because our service includes pick up/drop off from the customers home.  Many other businesses who do intensive driving courses make their customers travel to them you see.  But this concept of there being a “guarantee” of a particular outcome by the end of the course is really unhelpful.


Q.  How do you mean…. unhelpful?

A.  Customers come on our courses with a wide range of previous experience.  Some have had previous goes at the driving tests and keep failing, some have never sat in the drivers seat before.  Some have road sense of riding on bikes, scooters and some have not.  As such, it is entirely unrealistic to expect the SAME outcomes for every customer from these differing starting points, for the SAME number of training hours.  When I speak to our customers, one of my important jobs is to spend time understanding where the customer is in that wide spectrum so that we can grade the risk?


Q.  Grade the risk?  What risk is that?

A.  It’s not in our interests as a business to have customers who are disappointed and frustrated with themselves for not achieving the standard that they were expecting.  You see, this is not a given, it is not like going into a shop to buy something.  This is all about learning, and I know from my own experience at school that my progress as compared to my friends was massively different. 


Q.  But in effect that is what the customer is buying isn’t it?  A full driving licence?

A.  It is offering a range of resources to our customer so that they are assisted in learning to drive.  It all comes down to standards as the end of the day.


Q.  When you say standards, do you mean the standard of driving?

A.  Yes.  It is having the ability and confidence to drive on any country roads, in any town, on the faster roads and not to forget the reversing bits either.  I don’t get involved in the actual training bit, but the important bit I do is to find out how far down that path the customer is before doing the course, so that we can grade their expectations.


Q.  How do you grade them?

A.  Quite simply here at BIG TOM we have a traffic light system whereby we listen to our customers, we hear what their previous experience is, whether they have any particular concerns due to perhaps previous nasty accidents they experienced, and we also try to establish how they like to learn and whether there have previously been any obstacles to learning in the past.  This is all very relevant information and helps us to grade the risk associated if a customer is unrealistically expecting to achieve something that is highly unlikely.


Q.  That sounds actually pretty sensible.  Doesn’t everyone do that?

A.  Well it’s not really for me to comment on what others do, but all I can say with certainty is what we do.  The training that is provided for BIG TOM customers is based around the DVSA Driving Standard where there is an opportunity to experience lots of differing driving conditions and develop into a safe and confident driver.


Q.  What is the relevance of this Driving Standard?

A.  This is a bit more of a Tom subject to be honest [Tom is the owner of the driving school].  But what I know is that it is not a case of training someone in a short time just to drive on test routes to pass the test.  Instructors are trained to deliver a much better standard of training than that, because once someone has passed their driving test, they could be driving literally anywhere you see?


Q.  I see, but what if someone only wants to just pass their test, not being interested in this Driving Standard?

A.   If customers are ready to take tests because they have a really good grounding of training then yes we let them go to test.  Our social media has got loads of examples of previous customers who have turned it round in the 5 days of the course.  But the point is that is because they are truly ready for the test.


Q.  I see where you are coming from with this Tara.  You are in effect being quite open with customers?

A.  Absolutely!  Like I say, it is not in our interests for a customer to come on our course with a completely unrealistic expectation of what they will be reasonably able to achieve….. all that would do is create resentment and bitterness.  At BIG TOM we all work hard to create successful results, not disappointment.  It is a 2 way process though, and it is important that customers give me honest information so that I can grade the risk accurately.


Q.  Ok.  So I guess my next question is what happens if someone is not ready then?

A.  Well we do have plenty of customers who just want to take a week off work, and get a really good grounding of driving training with a well respected instructor.  So they don’t come in thinking of tests, they just want to enjoy some good quality training and then see where they are then.  But for those who have told us this is important to them, that will have been picked up in our grading process, and we can provide very good advice about what is still to achieve.  In our experience, customers are happy if they know where they are, and that is why we offer this service.  It would even enable a customer to take that assessment and go elsewhere for more training if they wanted.  That doesn’t happen that often but at least our customers are given the opportunity to make that decision.  This is one of the reasons why I like working with BIG TOM, it is a very open organisation which can only be good for customers.


Tara is the first point of contact for BIG TOM customers and would be happy to answer any questions either on this blog or direct on 0775 607 1464



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Driving Instructor Coaching Award

Coaching for Driver Development

The owner of BIG TOM Driving School which is based in Bourne has been awarded a BTEC Level 4 Award in Coaching for Driver Development.

“The timing of this is really special, it is a lovely way to end 2016.  I am very pleased to have taken the time and effort to gain this award as ultimately it will benefit BIG TOM customers.  Anything that myself and BIG TOM Driving Instructors can provide as a resource for our customers is adding value to the brand.  There is a superb opportunity for BIG TOM customers to reinforce learning outside of the driving school cars with our online resources but investing effort in awards like this ensures that the in-car training methodology is kept up to date too.”  Tom Ingram

BIG TOM Driving School provides Intensive Driving Courses in Peterborough, Lincoln, Grantham, Boston, Spalding and Stamford 0775 607 1464



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Sweet Taste of Success

Lindsay Broadbent from Gosberton passed her driving test today at Boston

Lindsay booked up her Intensive Driving Course with BIG TOM admin on 5/12/16 opting to run it over 4 days to work alongside her schedule.  So even with the Christmas break she has turned it all round in just over a month.

She was really pleased with her driving in Boston picking up only a handful of faults along her travels in the town and around the outskirts.  Here she is standing next to her beloved VW Beetle with her new driving licence.

Tom Ingram who was Lindsay’s driving instructor said “I’m really pleased for Lindsay.  This was no small thing for her as she was needing the flexibility of driving to work in Spalding in her own time rather than relying on others.  She worked hard this week in overcoming the mental obstacles that can so naturally develop in our minds.  She very kindly brought along with her on her course lovely birthday cake that she had baked and it really was absolutely delicious!  But today she can savour the sweet taste of success for passing her driving test”

Book your intensive driving course in Spalding NOW and we will ring/email you today!   Direct Line: 01775 660 525


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Snow Problem To Pass The Driving Test

Zoe Briggs from Peterborough passed her driving test this morning in all the snow that was falling AND on Friday 13th!

Zoe came on board with BIG TOM after she felt she wasn’t getting anywhere fast with her previous driving instructor, and her confidence levels were low.  However, she has made her dreams come true today by passing her driving test and saying after the test “I felt my driving was really good on my test”.

It was looking pretty grim at first as the snow continued to come down, and the snowflakes were getting bigger.  And as the Examiner from Peterborough Driving Test Centre handed Zoe her pass certificate he joked “Not content with taking your test in the snow, you did it on Friday the 13th too!”

Tom Ingram who was Zoe’s driving instructor said “This is a good example of how BIG TOM can turn things round for customers.  Sometimes through no particular fault pupils can feel like they are wading through treacle, and it can be quite demoralising.  It is important that dreams can be made to come true, as is the case with Zoe this morning; having the freedom that a driving licence provides is truly life-changing”.

Book your intensive driving course in Peterborough NOW and we will ring/email you today!   Direct Line: 01733 306 016


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Privacy Policy BIG TOM Driving School

Notice of Privacy Policy

This privacy policy explains how we use personal and sensitive personal data we collect about you when you use this website which is professionally protected with “Sucuri Inc”.

What information do we collect about you?

We collect information about you when you contact us via our “Contact Form” on the website and/or when you book driving training with BIG TOM Admin.  We also collect information when you voluntarily complete BIG TOM Customer Surveys, provide feedback and participate in our social media channels.

How will we use the information about you?

We collect information about you to help advise you about the range of options available regarding the product/service we provide and in order to process the booking of training sessions.  We also use the information to keep you informed of latest availability via a range of contact methods.  The only data that is stored occurs when a customer books training via a licensed, secure, professional CRM.

BIG TOM Driving School will NOT share your information for any purposes with any other organisation other than to process card transactions processed with your authority which will only involve WorldPay (UK) Ltd.  Sensitive card information is not recorded or stored at all by BIG TOM Driving School.


BIG TOM will not send any marketing emails, texts or calls to private individuals or business employees who have not given us permission to.

Storage of personal information

All data of customers is discarded within 1 year on completion of the training period with BIG TOM Driving School.  No sensitive data regarding customer financial payments are required or ever recorded/stored by BIG TOM Driving School.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review and we will place any updates on this web page.  This Privacy Policy was last updated 19/04/2018

How to contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions about our Privacy Policy or information we hold about you.  Email BIG Tom Driving School Admin on

BIG TOM Driving School

BIG TOM Driving School Administration are PCI DSS Compliant and the Owner Tom Ingram is registered as a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act with the Information Commissioner’s Office (I.C.O.)  The security, integrity and firewall for this website is constantly monitored and handled by Sucuri Inc.


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Crash Course in Sleaford for Christmas

Darrell Constantine bagged a Crash Course in Sleaford over just 4 days

His crash course started on 13/12/16 and success was anticipated by his Driving Instructor Tom Ingram.  However, fog in Lincoln prevented him from taking his driving test that week.  Tara from BIG TOM Admin was able to organise another driving test for as soon after Christmas as was possible.  On 6/1/17 Darrell passed his test on his first attempt with just 2 minor driving faults.

Darrell said of his experience with BIG TOM:

“Absolutely fantastic driving school, I booked the 5 day intensive course on which I gained alot of experience and knowledge on how to drive. Took my test today first attempt and passed with only 2 minors and this proves how brilliantly effective Bigtom’s driving school is. Thank-you to Tom and Tara who helped me to pass my test quickly. I highly highly recommend to everyone that wants to learn to drive. Thanks once again” 

Tom Ingram (Owner of BIG TOM) says:

“I knew how big a deal this was for Darrell to get his driving licence – the freedom of having him mobile was important to his family.  I think it worth stating that the DVSA sometimes have a difficult decision to make when it comes to adverse weather.  Unfortunately the fog on his original test date that we organised for him would have prevented the Examiner from being able to properly assess his ability.  But it is a credit to our crash course and excellent work by Tara, even with that delay, and with no extra training or expense, Darrell was still able to pass the test straight after the Christmas holidays.  He has done brilliant to turn this all round in 3 weeks INCLUDING a cancellation by the DVSA for bad weather!”

BIG TOM Driving School provides 5 Day Intensive Driving Courses in Sleaford  – we will help you discover how you get your driving licence faster 01529 400 455 or Email HERE


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