Driving lessons for a 17th birthday present

Driving lessons for a 17th birthday present

Does it get any better than providing driving lessons for your Daughter or Son ON their 17th birthday?  Well…. very possibly yes!

At Big Tom Driving School we like to “get results”, but like most things in life, they rarely fall out of the sky and fall into our laps…. we need to plan in success.

So yes, you can organise getting a driving lesson as a present ON the 17th birthday.  We will even organise a driving lesson for 1 minute past midnight ON the 17th birthday.  And if you want to earn big respect, you could organise taking the theory test on the 17th birthday, you could even organise taking an Intensive Driving Course from the 17th birthday, and so within 2 weeks of the 17th birthday, your Son or Daughter could have passed the test, and be up and running for totally independent, mobile free life!  No more taxi service…. RESULT!

If you want to explore how Big Tom Driving School can help you plan success for your Son or Daughter with driving lessons on their 17th birthday, get in touch!  Most things are possible, they just need a little planning.

Big Tom Driving School – 0800 689 4174



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Driving Instructors wanted in Peterborough or Grantham

Driving Instructors wanted in Peterborough or Grantham

Big Tom Driving School has work available for Driving Instructors in Peterborough or Grantham.

Specially devised Intensive Driving Courses with earnings of over £500 (+ bonuses) per week.

Full and complete assistance is provided to ensure the trademark “Quality & Value” is provided as a framework for the in-car training.  All pre-course booking, prep and customer liason is handled by the driving school.

For more details please text “Peterborough” or “Grantham” to 0800 689 4174

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Driving Lessons In Spalding

Driving Lessons in Spalding “observations at junctions”

There are plenty of examples when on a driving lesson in Spalding of being on a junction with limited vision of the traffic on the major road.

It is crucial when on driving lessons in Spalding and particularly on junctions with limited visibility (known as “closed junctions”), to ensure that you give yourself enough time to take adequate observations at the junction before emerging.

Here is a very short video of the minimum observations to be taken at junctions.

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Driving Lesson Grantham Flash For Cash

What Is A ‘Flash for Cash’?

On a recent driving lesson in Grantham I witnessed an attempted ‘Flash for cash’ when my pupil approached this  junction, and was waiting for a gap in the traffic on the A607.  This is a notoriously busy junction, and often the emerge is as a result of being “invited” out by traffic already on the A607.

My pupil was waiting to turn right as shown on the link, when a battered old blue van approaching from our left (on the A607) slowed right down and flashed us with headlights. However, this apparent “invite” had a sting in the tail, and appears to have been a “Flash for Cash”. As my pupil began to emerge, the blue van promptly cut across us, and we narrowly avoided a collision.

This is a recent tactic being adopted in order to claim compensation by subsequently denying any use of headlights and any “invitation”.

More on this here.

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Stop Lines on Driving Lessons | Peterborough

Where are stop lines on Driving Lessons | Peterborough

You will come across plenty of traffic lights that allow pedestrians to cross, and they have a solid white stop line.  Sometimes it can be very tempting to stop at what you believe is a red light for you, when in fact it is not!

The first example I have is on a driving lesson in Peterborough here in Lime Kiln Close, Peterborough (just near the bingo hall).

With the bingo hall behind you, let’s say we are going to turn right.  Your traffic light goes green, you being to turn right, and you are met by a red traffic light in the new road.  The temptation is to stop for the red light.  However, that light is actually a secondary light to stop the traffic on the road you have just joined, it has nothing to do with you.  The clue is that there is no solid white ‘STOP’ line in front of you.

Take a look at this video for a similar situation in a driving lesson in Grantham.  Avoid the temptation to stop if the secondary traffic light goes red in front of you… there is no “STOP” line.

Two very real examples on driving lessons in Peterborough and Grantham.  Any questions on this, please add it below.

Driving Lessons Peterborough

Driving Lessons Peterborough

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Big Roundabouts | Peterborough

Big Roundabouts in Peterborough

The biggest roundabout in Peterborough is where the A15 & A1139 meet up, it’s locally called “Eye roundabout”.

Big roundabouts will feature on your BIG TOM intensive driving course in Peterborough (01733 306 016 ).  Whether a driver is young, old, experienced or just passed the test, the fact is, most drivers do not like them.  I want to offer a golden tip for dealing with this roundabout. But first, let me describe why it’s causing so much attention.

It has 5 entries/exit points, and 4 lanes actually on the roundabout, so it is big. It is so big in fact that there are traffic lights on it.  It is a spiral roundabout which means the idea is to let the white paint on the roundabout do the work for you, you just need to be in the correct lane (more on that in a second).  It connects up two busy dual carriageways in Peterborough so although it has 40 mph speed signs on the approach, most drivers ignore this fact. So we have some key ingredients here… speed, volume of traffic, many options to exit, traffic lights, several lanes.

Sometimes it helps to consider things in terms of what you and I can control and what we can’t. In this example, we can control our speed on the approach and in many respects that is the key about this roundabout.

Once you approach in the correct lane for your intended exit, STAY IN THAT LANE. Resist every urge and instinct to switch lanes, it is a “spiral roundabout”, and one of the rules with these is that you stay in lane, the white paint will naturally filter you out to your exit.

But it will only do that, if you have picked the correct lane to start with! And this is why this roundabout catches so many people out, old or new drivers, it matters not, if you do not PLAN this roundabout, you will get caught out.

So my tip for you: watch this very short clip and see with your own eyes what I mean about lane discipline.

To any Learners reading this, remember this. If you were to decide to follow the path taken of the vehicle in front of you, and it cuts across the white lines on the roundabout, so you do too, you are very likely looking at a test fail. I know that sounds unfair because the driver in front did the same fault but let me tell you why. The reason why is because this spiral roundabout in Peterborough is SO busy, that in all likelihood there will be traffic around you while you are driving across the whites lines that split up the lanes, and those drivers around you will be spooked by your lack of attention to position in the road.  As I said on a recent blog for Grantham, it is better to safely take the incorrect exit than force yourself into a different lane in an unsafe manner so as to get the correct exit.

I have a whole playlist on big roundabouts here, hope it helps you.

 If you have any questions on big roundabouts in Peterborough, ask away, I guarantee you will not be alone in asking your question, so you will very likely be benefitting other people by asking the question.

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How roadworks affect driving lessons in Grantham

How roadworks affect driving lessons in Grantham

Roadworks are causing heaps of congestion on driving lessons in Grantham right now, and I want to just share with you how this affects you when you take your driving test in Grantham.

Firstly, any serious roadworks will have their own traffic controls which normally (but not always) consist of traffic lights and a red sign saying “STOP HERE when the red light shows”. The sign is placed on the road just before the roadworks, and normally it is placed correctly. If it is too close to the roadworks though, and you then stop alongside it, you can easily find yourself blocking/obstructing oncoming traffic (particularly HGV’s). So just be mindful of this, and better to pause short of the sign than past it.

Secondly, an advantage of planning well in advance where you intend to go is that you can use traffic signs AND white paint on the roads to ensure you get yourself in the correct lane. These roadworks are causing a lot of stationary traffic to block the view of paint on the road, so make sure you fully use the info given on traffic signs eg Town Centre, A52, Newark, Station, A1 NORTH. Remember though, it is better to safely take the incorrect destination than get into the correct lane for your intended destination but be unsafe in the process. Safety trumps destination every day of the week – and that includes when on your driving test too.

Lastly, any major roadworks that close roads are nearly always accompanied by yellow ‘DIVERSION’ signs, do give yourself time to fully appreciate where that directional sign is sending you off to, make sure it is safe to proceed before you commit to it.

All this congestion can mean your driving test in Grantham is a little longer than the planned 38-40 minutes, the test this morning was 45 minutes in total, I have known one last 55 minutes due to roadworks.

Driving lessons Grantham

Driving lessons Grantham

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Driving lessons In Stamford Pinfold Lane

Know Pinfold Lane in Stamford?

Get more from your driving lessons in Stamford by continually developing your driving skills with steadily increasing challenges. There is a fine balance to be struck between finding new, interesting journeys that offer stimulating and challenging conditions and overloading the driving lesson in Stamford with too steep a learning curve.

A practical example of this would be Pinfold Lane in Stamford. It’s that cheeky little connecting road between Uffington Road and Priory Road.  Now that is a road that offers much for developing ‘planning’ skills.  It catches many experienced drivers out who are not properly assessing the ‘pinch points’ due to the parked vehicles that are always in that very narrow, tight road. Get this kind of road wrong and you will be upsetting many other road users.

So a road like Pinfold Lane does have its uses, but it must be introduced to a new driver at the right time. Much of learning a new skill is a delicate mix of providing the opportunity for theoretical and practical practise.  It is very easy to knock confidence and learning momentum by trying to do too much too soon. At Big Tom Driving School we like to maximise learning, and make our customers feel good, feel like they are improving, making progress.

Pinfold Lane does have a place in driving lessons in Stamford, but like many things in life… it’s all in the timing as to when you experience it!

 To discover 3 practical tips for learning to drive in Stamford, simply text “Stamford” to 0800 689 4174 NOW! 

Driving Lessons in Stamford

Driving Lessons in Stamford


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Learning to drive in Grantham

Is taking driving tests similar to taking exams?

Comparing learning to drive in Grantham with taking exams at say Kesteven & Grantham Girls’ School is missing a key point. The driving test in Grantham will be fluid and unpredictable whereas an exam is rigidly structured.

Consider pot holes and roadworks in Grantham – these are examples that are popping up all over the town (check this Facebook page  from the Grantham Journal for the latest).  You can’t seem to take a single driving lesson in Grantham without stumbling across them.

But this is precisely the point.  Your driving test in Grantham is not going to be “sterile”, there will be events that crop up that require instant assessment and judgement skills.  Unpredictable events involving buses, cyclists, pedestrians, van drivers, taxis, after all, this is what real life driving is all about yes?

Your driving test in Grantham bears no resemblance to your exams.  The key is to develop confidence in nurturing these important life skills in driving of assessment, judgement, planning and anticipation.

An Intensive Driving Course in Grantham with Big Tom Driving School provides you with AT LEAST 40 hours of driving experience, not in classrooms chatting with groups of people about the theory test, actual driving experience.  The comprehensive package at £1200 comes with a guarantee of free training if you fail the driving test.  Look what Nicole from Grantham says about her welcome pack having signed up to learning to drive in Grantham just 2 days ago:


“Hi Tom,

Sorry I missed you this morning. I have just checked my emails as I have been out all day. Thank you ever so much! All the resources you have provided me with at the moment seem like they will be a great help.

I have liked your Facebook page as I am definitely pleased I have found your driving school.




“Drive more, experience more, LEARN more”.

Text “GRANTHAM” to 0800 689 4174 to find out more about learning to drive in Grantham.

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Theory Test | Peterborough | Grantham

Help with Theory Test

Yesterday a Chinese Translator in Birmingham started a 12 month prison sentence for some ground breaking customer service!

He was apparently charging his customers to translate for them when they took their Theory Test, in fact, he was prompting them with the correct answers amongst his translation…. this scam netted him over £100,000 (which is now being recovered).

There are many ways of ensuring you pass it without the need for such drastic actions. Not least, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency allow you to practise for free, see HERE . In addition, most reputable Driving Schools will include full support for theory test study.  My customers get free access to DVSA DVD’s on the study material and the hazard perception test, it is simply a standard benefit on my Intensive Driving Course in Peterborough or Grantham.

The cost of the Theory Test is £31 and the waiting list varies between Test Centres, click on this link for further details.

BLOG EDIT 10/04/2014: The DVSA have now placed more restrictions on the use of translators.

If you have any questions about booking the Theory Test or how to pass the Theory Test, just comment below and I will be happy to assist.

Theory Test

Theory Test



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