Anxiety when learning to drive

Managing stress levels when learning to drive is key for maintaining positive mental health.

BIG TOM intensive driving courses are designed so that the mental and physical well-being of our pupils is monitored.  The resources provided help to cope with feelings of self-doubt, anxiety and hopelessness.

BIG TOM admin explain further:

“There are some superb resources made available for customers.  Some of them have been designed and refined by BIG TOM over the years.  Others are external links to resources such as the charity run “No panic”

The owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram has completed a FAA Level 3 Award in Principles of Safeguarding and Protecting Children,  Young People or Vulnerable Adults”.

Tom Ingram adds:

“For some reason people tend to give the impression to learner drivers how easy it is to learn to drive and it is simply not a given.  In my experience, I have recognised the need to question and monitor pupils regarding mental and physical health while they learn to drive.  Learning environments can cause high stress and anxiety for some individuals and this is a serious subject that needs to be positively managed in training programmes.”

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End of the road for driving?

With the latest figures for learning to drive being dramatically down – we ask “Is this the end of the road for learning to drive?”

BIG TOM Admin have been busy collating the latest stats for BIG TOM customers:

The numbers of people taking theory and practical driving tests has taken a steep decline for Apr 2018 – Mar 2019 being 5% and 3% (respectively) lower than the year before.  In addition to that for the first time in several years the theory test pass rate is down 1.4% for the year too.  A fact that is causing many in the industry to scratch their heads.  And if all this were not enough to ponder on, there has also been (misleading) speculation as to why the practical test pass rate has fallen nationally to 45.8%  In terms of the pass rates for test centres that BIG TOM uses, the latest yearly statistics range from a high for Boston of 51% down to just 45% for Peterborough.

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram adds:

Customers should be reassured that the quality of BIG TOM intensive driving courses is not being compromised at all despite these latest national figures.  It would be very sad for the industry if training providers were compromising quality due to the lower numbers of learners learning to drive and I sincerely hope that is not the case.  BIG TOM continues to thrive with record numbers of pupils coming to my driving school and has no need to start cutting corners in order to attract bookings.

The thing that sets us apart from others is that we give our customers the opportunity to experience clocking up serious mileage in a range of driving conditions across different towns and cities.  We have the flexibility to identify where our customers’ training needs are and choose suitable locations to raise their confidence and competence in their driving skills.  We offer driving training on rural roads, motorways, in the dark, at weekends, and our two week (40 hour) intensive driving courses are extremely popular.

But we do not get too comfortable sitting in a state of complacency.  Our Admin work very hard in requesting customer feedback so that we can adapt our service to meet the needs of new learners in the future.  It has always been very important to my business to monitor and respond to different learning styles.  We also recognise the importance of effective working relationships with parents who share our philosophy of professional driving training aligned to the DVSA driving standards.

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New format driving test stats

The DVSA has just released an impact evaluation research report for the new format driving test that was introduced in December 2017

The report is publicly available and can be downloaded here

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram says:

“It is important for driving schools to keep up to date with the latest independent research within the industry and I am pleased to confirm to our customers that our range of services is precisely aligned to the findings of this new research.  It is very important to BIG TOM customers that they know that the training they are receiving is up to date, accurate and reliable.  We do our utmost to provide a range of resources to ensure that the training is meaningful to the wide variety of attitudes that our pupils have to learning the skills involved in driving.  We will continue to take the feedback from our customers seriously so that we can adapt our resources to their needs.”

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Two week intensive course

Get the most out of your summer by doubling up on to the popular BIG TOM two week intensive course.

BIG TOM continues to listen to customer feedback and provide a first class service.

BIG TOM Admin explains more:

“Our two week intensive courses are incredibly popular.  Absolute beginners can choose a combination of timing that suits their busy schedule.  For instance, why not start with a weekday evening slot where the roads are a little more quiet?  You could then move on to a week’s worth of daytime driving.  There are combo’s to suit all, including weekends.  Just get in touch with me, and I will be happy to provide you with a course price.”

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram says:

“I’m very keen to demonstrate that the service BIG TOM provides is flexible enough to adapt to customer feedback.  There is: home collection service, same car – same instructor guarantee, and free refreshments as examples of our commitment to make the BIG TOM experience the best it can be.”

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Shane passes driving test with zero faults

Congratulations to Shane Marsden from Fleet who has just passed his driving test in Boston committing no driving faults at all.

He had a previous driving test attempt with a different driving school but failed the test.  He was able to reserve himself a BIG TOM intensive course on 14/5/2019 and just two weeks later has got his full drivers licence.

BIG TOM Admin tells the story:

“We are always very pleased to turn things around quickly for customers.  Being in the location that Shane lives, he really benefitted from the BIG TOM ‘Customer Collect’ service.  On his BIG TOM course he drove in King’s Lynn, Peterborough, Boston, Wisbech and Spalding.  He joins the BIG TOM “zero faults gallery” of pupils who commit no faults on their driving test.”

Shane’s Father Ian says of their experience with BIG TOM:

“I would fully recommend the Big Tom Driving School to anyone…My daughter is a year away from 17 and I will definitely be booking her course with Big Tom.”

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Safeguarding Policy

In line with the BIG TOM Customer Charter, the issue of safeguarding is a priority.

Pupils and instructors are working in a 1:1 learning environment which is surrounded by a framework of respect, dignity, safety and professionalism.

BIG TOM Admin:

“Our owner Tom Ingram has gained a formal qualification in safeguarding which gives an indication as to how seriously the subject of safeguarding is taken within the organisation.  Pupils, parents and guardians are encouraged to engage at all times with instructors and BIG TOM Admin to ensure that the highest professional standards are maintained throughout.”

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Get your driving licence in under a month

Congratulations to Georgia Kingston from Werrington, Peterborough who passed her driving test yesterday with BIG TOM.

She contacted BIG TOM admin on 3/4/19, started her intensive course on the 8/4/19 and was unlucky on her first driving test attempt.  However, having passed her driving test yesterday on the second attempt, she has still managed to bag her driving licence in under a month!

BIG TOM Admin provides all the support:

“We like to support all our customers who do intensive driving courses with us.  Just because a customer might fail on their first driving test attempt, they still have our full support.  It is worth noting that with Georgia she did not take any other driving lessons with BIG TOM before her second attempt which proves how useful the post-test digital resource is that we provide customers should they fail a driving test.”

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Two week intensive driving course

Get your driving licence with the BIG TOM two week intensive driving course

Pupils with no previous driving experience, or very little can still get their driving licence much quicker than the traditional boring pay as you go driving lessons.  BIG TOM can offer an initial 20 hours of driving training, followed by a break (some customers have a weekend break, others take a week or two off), followed by another 20 hours of training.  You will be amazed what you can achieve with 40 hours of training on an accelerated learning programme.

BIG TOM Admin expand on the options available:

“There are a range of options that can be used to create a combo package that suits your needs.  For instance, we do weekday courses in the daytime, or evenings, and we can incorporate weekends too.  We know how valuable holidays are for busy people at work or college and these options mean you don’t have to take a full two weeks off work – they are very popular with busy customers.  The nice point about them is that you get a big discount on the 5 day course price too.  Depending on which combo you go for, they range from £1497 – £1997 (including the practical driving test fee).”

To avoid disappointment, get in touch with BIG TOM Admin today!

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Intensive course success

Ryan Tatlow from Deeping passed his driving test today – on his second attempt

His previous driving experience had been in automatics but on his intensive course with BIG TOM he drove in Peterborough, Oundle, Harlaxton and where he took his driving test in Grantham.

His driving instructor, Tom Ingram talks about Ryan’s journey:

“On Ryan’s first driving test he had a slip up with the road signs but credit where it is due, he has still got his full driving licence within 4 weeks of initially contacting BIG TOM.”

One of the services that BIG TOM provides is an express driving test booking service that leap frogs over waiting queues.  It is a benefit that BIG TOM customers value because it means even if they are not successful on their first attempt, they still get priority treatment.  This is how Ryan was still able to get his amazingly quick success despite failing his first attempt.  This is what Ryan has to say about his experience with BIG TOM:

“My experience with big tom was great Tom has a positive teaching style and a great personality so he makes you comfortable and relaxed. I failed my first test and rebooked through big tom for asap and had little delay in re-taking and passing my test i would highly recommend big tom as his teaching methods are outstanding and second to none making for a great learning and driving experience”

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Handy techniques for parking

Tom Farmer from Little Bytham picks up some handy techniques for parking on his BIG TOM course

Tom booked up his BIG TOM intensive driving course having had no previous driving experience at all.  He gained experience driving in Stamford, Spalding, Oakham, Deeping, Greetham, Bourne and Rutland. He says about his experience:

“Good feedback and level of involvement in driving which promotes individual thought”

His driving instructor, Tom Ingram talks about the resources for BIG TOM customers:

“It’s been a great pleasure working with Tom this week.  He has picked up some fabulous experience and made great progress.”

Tom found that one of his strong points were the manoeuvres and added in his experience with BIG TOM:

“Very handy techniques for parking”.

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