Safety is the top priority

With winter drawing in, Tom Ingram owner of BIG TOM Driving School reflects on the spring, summer and autumn seasons.

“What an extraordinary year so far; will we ever see anything like this again in our lifetime? Nature has an odd way of reminding us of our limitations at times, and I guess we have all just been reminded of that fact. From a practical point of view, the industry is now trying to play catch up, after hundreds of thousands of learner drivers had their training programme interrupted. Currently, driving test centres that BIG TOM uses remain open, and driving test bookings have not affected our business at all. We have continued to provide the opportunities for pupils to train and then shortly after go to test, and that still holds true. Just one of the driving test centres that we use has a rather long waiting list for standard tests but our Admin work very hard at sourcing tests. Only this morning, for example, we picked up a driving test booking at 6.42 am for a customer. It is precisely this level of service that has made the driving school popular and successful.

It is the entire package of benefits that appeals to our customers. We travel to our customers rather than expect them to come to us, and we provide a wide range of resources so that learning with us is easier. But our safety record is what I’m most proud of; making sure we are training in the correct locations for the ability of our pupils. When pupils train in the correct locations, the opportunity for reinforcing learning by creating positive, constructive outcomes can be achieved. We work hard with our pupils to ensure that practice is controlled, risk-assessed, enjoyable and personalised.

One of the challenges that have surfaced is the increased incorporation of private practice with friends and family. And this highlights the depth of benefits provided to BIG TOM customers. We provide, as standard, a DVSA publication that specifically advises accompanying drivers to maintain safety, reinforce learning with our instructors and track progress. There are useful tips that relate to the way to practice, traps to watch out for and how training relates to the driving test. There is also key information that relates to the law and responsibilities. All of this is covered in our comprehensive, intensive courses, and it pleases me to confirm that it makes for a winning formula.

There is clearly no way of knowing now how things will develop with Covid as we go into 2021. But I’m very pleased to be able to confirm that since we have been allowed to trade, not one single incidence has resulted in any cancelled training or tests. We have been vigilant, and with the help of industry leaders, we were quick to develop the BIG TOM COVID-19 Driving Training Strategy that has to date proven successful.

 

Stay safe everyone.”

 

 

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I did it!

Hollie from Bourne passed her driving test this morning at Boston on her first attempt.

She made use of the flexibility that we have on our courses by adapting the hours to suit her busy schedule.  She managed to get driving experience in the dark, in pouring rain, and went over to Grantham, Peterborough and Boston.  Her driving instructor, Tom Ingram says:

“I’m very pleased for Hollie.  This will make the world of difference for her busy life and I wish her many years of safe driving.”

Hollie says about her experience:

“Tom’s teaching style was very effective, and easy to understand, which was proven when I passed my test first time”

 

 

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Another comfortable driving test pass

Sarah passed her driving test today with just one minor fault

BIG TOM Driving School is back to normal with customers taking our premier service intensive driving course and passing their driving test with ease.  Sarah from Pinchbeck, Spalding, bagged the 20 hour daytime course last week and passed her driving test on the first attempt just 3 days later.  She was happy to take her test in Grantham and managed a high standard of driving as she only committed the one fault on the whole test.  Her driving instructor, Tom Ingram says:

“This is great news to see that normal service has resumed.  Full credit must go to Sarah though for fully engaging in all of our resources, taking full advantage of all the benefits that are provided.  It just shows once again, how it is possible for pupils to get superb results far, far quicker than the standard ‘pay as you go’ driving lesson route.”

Sarah says of her BIG TOM experience:

“Tom is a very professional instructor with excellent learning techniques”

 

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Lockdown Test Pass Rates

Massive increase in pass rates in the lockdown period

BIG TOM Admin has discovered from official DVSA figures released today that the “emergency” tests that were undertaken throughout the lockdown period had significantly higher test pass rates than are normally experienced across the UK.  This jump in pass rates included theory and practical tests.  The practical test pass rate was 55% on 6264 tests conducted, and the theory test pass rate was 61% on 6369 tests conducted.  Both of these figures represent a 10-15% increase on normal figures previously experienced.  While it may at first glance appear to be only a slight percentage increase, when the quantity of tests conducted nationally is considered, this represents a significant increase in passes in actual numbers.

 

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New normal

Rick passes at Peterborough with just one minor!

Rick from Hampton passed his driving test this morning in Peterborough on a beautifully sunny start to the day.  Rick is very busy in the week so decided to make use of the BIG TOM weekend intensive driving course where he has passed his test on the first attempt.  Rick said of his experience with BIG TOM:

“I would like to thank big Tom for the driving experience I had with him, he’s a brilliant instructor that makes you feel at ease whilst learning and has a lot of patience, I would definitely recommend him to anyone wanting to pass there test, thanks again Tom.. rick”   👍

BIG TOM Admin says: “It’s a testament to the training that is provided to BIG TOM customers that even with the delay due to the covid lockdown, Rick was still able to pass his driving test as soon as normal service resumed.  We would like to reassure customers that although the covid precautions that we now take is the ‘new normal’, it is pleasing to be able to confirm that we are not having any problems arranging test bookings for customers just so long as the booking service remains open from the DVSA.”

Tom Ingram (Owner of BIG TOM) says: “I’m pleased for Rick because I know just how important it is for him to have the mobility that he needs for his busy life.  I thank Rick and all BIG TOM customers for their patience throughout the lockdown period – it certainly seems as if we’ve turned a corner post-lockdown and are getting back to our successful ways again.”

 

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A helping hand

Georgia passes using the BIG TOM Two test guarantee ©

Georgia from Morton passed her driving test this morning in Grantham with just three minor faults recorded.  She did the 20 hour BIG TOM Intensive Driving Course in mid-August but was unlucky on her first driving test attempt on the 25/8/20.  However, one of the benefits that BIG TOM customers receive is not one but two practical driving test fees paid for, as well as the booking service provided by BIG TOM Admin.  While thousands of learners across the UK were held in phone queues for hours on end, BIG TOM Admin managed to get Georgia another test slot at the same test centre just three weeks after her first attempt.  This demonstrates the benefits BIG TOM customers receive as standard.  Not only did Georgia receive a speedy second attempt but she did not have to pay another test fee.

Georgia says of her time with BIG TOM: “My experience with Big Tom was brilliant. He is very calm and caters to the way you learn best, for me that was practicing over and over again until I got it right. Great feedback and communication from him to get you passing your test and driving confidently on your own. Would recommend.”

Tom Ingram (Owner of BIG TOM) says: “This is another clear indication of the flexibility the BIG TOM course provides, where it can adapt to different outcomes and still manage to prove successful.  BIG TOM Admin works very hard in the background for customers giving them a vital helping hand, which means our pupils can concentrate on the driving”

Congratulations to Georgia – hoping you have many happy years of safe driving.

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Success on the weekend course

Molly passes her driving test on her first attempt with ease

Molly from Pinchbeck, Spalding came to BIG TOM as an absolute beginner, having not driven before.  She did four hour sessions on Saturdays and Sundays where she drove in Boston, Peterborough, Grantham, Spalding and Coningsby.  She finished her 40 hour weekend intensive driving course with BIG TOM in August, and even with all the disruption that the lockdown caused, still managed to pass her driving test a month later.  BIG TOM Admin managed to book her up 1:1 online theory study support prior to her theory test which helped her pass the test.  Molly had a mock test provided to her where she got good accurate feedback.  Her Dad was also helpful at providing feedback to her on private lessons while she waited for her driving test.

Congratulations go to Molly for the success on the weekend course and confidently passing her driving test today – many happy years of safe driving.

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Reviewing our covid safe practices

Minimising risk – maximising safety

Tomorrow will be two months precisely since BIG TOM Admin were given the green light from the government to resume driving training.  We are very happy to report that having completed a further review of our covid safe practices, we have had no cancellations or reports regarding covid infections.  We will continue to review the BIG TOM Driving School COVID-19 Driving Training Strategy in light of any amendments that are recommended in our industry.  Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram passes on his thanks to all customers for their continued patience and thoroughness engaging in our Standard Operating Procedure.

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How do I pass a driving test?

Raising standards

One of the key messages to BIG TOM customers has always been to aim high when you are learning to drive.  When people simply ask “How do I pass a driving test?”, they are only considering the standard required on tests rather than real life driving.  Once you have your full driving licence, you could be driving anywhere, even outside the UK so it has always made sense to strive for a good, solid driving ability.  And this philosophy is pertinent to the situation we all find ourselves in these days with restricted driving test availability from the DVSA.  Driving test slots are now like gold dust.  A test fail these days may result in a very long wait for another attempt.  Don’t waste your opportunity by going to test before you are fully ready.  Listen to the advice of your instructor, aim to drive with safety, efficiency and confidence.

The advice we would give all of our customers is to set your goals to a high standard, so that you can take your driving test at any location and pass on the first attempt by truly developing skills for safe driving, rather than concerning yourself with driving test routes.

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A man on a mission

Post lockdown bonanza!

Things are beginning to revert back to normal.  Tyler Fletcher-Smith from Spalding has just managed to turn his theory and driving test passes around in double quick time!  Our big congratulations go out to Tyler!

When Tyler contacted BIG TOM he informed us of his tight schedule due to work commitments.  He started training on the 12/08/2020 where we organised the travel arrangements to take a theory test and he  passed his practical driving test today just 13 days later.  All in all it was a job well done and he now shoots off out of the UK for busy work deadlines.

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