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Intensive driving course options

This blog from the admin at BIG TOM shows the options available for intensive driving courses with BIG TOM

An intensive driving course with BIG TOM is structured around an accelerated learning programme.  It is designed for customers who have a desire to pass their driving test quicker than the average 7 months* just like Scott here who passed on Day 5 of his BIG TOM intensive driving course.

Pupils are encouraged to prepare for this programme with the digital resources that are supplied prior to the in-car driving training.

It is helpful to be open and truthful with our admin prior to purchasing a course about any previous driving experience so that the right solution can be offered to you.  BIG TOM is happy to assist pupils from a wide variety of starting points eg never sat in the driver’s seat before to having had 5 failed test attempts with other driving instructors.

Some customers like to treat the BIG TOM 5 day intensive driving course as a foundation for their driving training.  There is no risk with this plan as all customers receive the opportunity of a driving test booking as part of the course.  They may want to go on to train with family members and take their driving test in their own car.  BIG TOM also provides separately purchasable ‘bolt-on sessions’ for customers who complete the foundation course.  These can be booked up from 6am up to 10pm on a weekday so as to allow pupils to also fit in their day to day commitments.

As a general rule, with no previous driving experience, it would be more realistic to purchase the 2 weeks BIG TOM intensive driving course and collect the 17% discount.  If you have plenty of previous driving experience (10 hours+) then it is perfectly possible to take your driving test on Day 5 of your 5 day course with BIG TOM.  This cannot be guaranteed, however, because, with 10 hours of previous experience, some pupils will progress at different speeds than others.  Rest assured that as a driving school BIG TOM has never had a single accident in the 10 years of assisting pupils, so your safety is our priority.

Customers have the right to choose what they do after their course finishes.  It is risk-free.  They can take the end of course assessment, and focus their driving training with others or, as many do, they can stay with BIG TOM.

*7 months statistic as reported by the DVSA in “PPR828”

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Cancelling a driving test

This blog explains the process involved when a driving test is cancelled by the DVSA due to poor weather.

It is a great shame when a driving test is cancelled due to poor weather. No-one wants it to happen, but safety is the paramount consideration of the DVSA when deciding whether to cancel a driving test.

How do they decide?

Typically, it tends to be colder temperatures that cause cancellations. As a rough rule of thumb, once the temperature goes lower than zero degrees, then potentially there is a higher likelihood of ice on the roads.  Soft snow and sleet do not tend to create the same response as the presence of ice on the roads.

Do I get any advance notice?

Here at BIG TOM, we work hard behind the scenes on behalf of our customers. We monitor driving test centre cancellations on the DVSA twitter feed, and we act as a liaison between the DVSA and our customers.  As inconvenient and frustrating as a cancellation is, there is no controlling the weather and it is a case of limiting the impact.

Do I have to pay extra?

Tom Ingram, owner of BIG TOM says:

“Absolutely not!  No-one is to “blame” for poor weather, it is what it is.  In all the years I’ve been doing these intensive courses, cancellations for poor weather crops up a surprisingly small amount.  BIG TOM admin works hard to reserve a suitable alternative booking on behalf of our customers and we reset and go again.  I have to say, I do feel sorry for pupils when it does crop up though.  It is not lost on me how much mental preparation takes place prior to taking driving tests so it is an unfortunate situation but thankfully, does not happen too often. “

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Which BIG TOM intensive driving course?

This blog helps you choose which BIG TOM intensive driving course to pick.

BIG TOM Admin has been receiving a great deal of interest from customers who are trying to decide whether to do the BIG TOM 5 day intensive driving course or the 2 week course.  One of the primary considerations will be what previous driving experience has been gained.  Tom Ingram (Owner of BIG TOM) explains:

What is best for me?

“Think of this like going to a bank to ask for a mortgage to buy your first home.  You can either go to them having previously put away some money every month for the last 3 years say, so you have a pot of cash that will act as a deposit, or you can speak to them with no savings at all.  The outcome of your meeting with the bank will look entirely different in terms of how they can assist you – it will make very real differences to the repayment amounts.  It is very similar when you start learning to drive.  The outcome of an intensive driving course definitely depends on what previous driving experience you have previously banked up.”

Can you give examples?

“Let’s say a customer comes to BIG TOM for help having done a number of driving tests previously but just can’t pass.  The number of hours training that customer is likely to need will be dramatically less than a customer who has never sat in the drivers seat before.  To give you practical and factual guidance, the DVSA have published figures* for the amount of hours practice people take to pass the driving test.  The average is 40 hours with a driving instructor PLUS 19 hours with friends and family doing private practice.  That is FACT, not opinion.  So you can now see why some customers are choosing to do a 5 day intensive driving course to start, having a short break and then continuing the momentum of their learning by having another 5 day course.  It makes a great deal of sense.”

What if I don’t have the means to do private practice with my family?

“Then you just have to simply add into your calculations these extra 19 hours (on average) that will be required to pass your driving test.  Remember though, these are AVERAGE figures so some will take longer and some will take less time.  This is why BIG TOM also makes use of “bolt-on” sessions whereby customers can supplement just the right amount of hours practice they require rather than having to commit to another 20 hours.  It makes for complete flexibility to BIG TOM customers and encourages them to take responsibility for the outcomes of their learning path which is precisely what the DVSA want driving schools to provide for their customers.”

* Transforming the practical driving test Final Report PPR828

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Chloe smashes her driving test on her first attempt

Chloe Shipley from Long Sutton passes her driving test in Boston with style

She had limited previous driving experience before taking her intensive course and was low in confidence due to the experience she had with 2 other driving schools.

Chloe booked a week course before Christmas and then got a 17% discount for her 2nd week immediately after Christmas.  This is what she says about her course:

“Thank you so much for your help! I really enjoyed my intensive course and am so so happy to have passed first time! You were very calm and reassuring whenever I was unsure of something and allowing me to choose where we went each day was very beneficial to me! This has made me a more confident driver as I am confident in driving in different places! I loved the way the intensive course was layed out and how it was 4 hours driving each day as this meant I was able to stay confident in all areas rather than the usual “pay as you go” lessons where I feel I would have forgot things from the previous week!”

She passed her driving test on Day 5 of the 2nd week on her first attempt.

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram was delighted with her pass:

“Well done Chloe! This is another great example of the success pupils have with the 2 week intensive course with a break in between.  She drove with me in Sleaford, Grantham, Peterborough, Spalding, Kings Lynn, Boston, Wisbech and Long Sutton.  It just goes to show that even with pupils who suffer with anxiety, they can still turn things around fast with BIG TOM; in Chloe’s case after just 4 weeks and that included the Christmas break!

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Local Boston plumber passes his driving test

Christopher Prescott from Gypsey Bridge in Boston has started 2019 off at full steam!

He passed his driving test today at Boston and says:

“I found that it was a really good idea to do a session yesterday with Tom just around Boston.  It helped me to keep everything fresh in my mind and settled my nerves.”

Christopher had 3 goes at his driving test and is delighted to now have his full drivers licence.

Previous attempts were on Sunday mornings because he is so busy working as a plumber in Boston.  He says:

“I actually found Sunday mornings to be a bit too quiet for me.  I found a weekday test in the afternoon worked better for me as it meant I had to be more alert.  Driving around on a Sunday meant there was hardly any other traffic about!”

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram was thrilled with his pass:

“It’s great to see Christopher is continuing this run of Christmas and New Year driving test passes for BIG TOM customers.  I’m particularly pleased for him as I know the freedom of driving around in his work vans will make a big difference for his company set up.  Well done Christopher!”

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Lily passes driving test in her brother’s car

Lily Storer from Morton has started 2019 as she means to go on, passing her driving test

She did her BIG TOM 5 day intensive driving course in November and loved her week.  After her course she said:

“I really enjoyed the 5 day course with Big Tom. I found it very useful and found that over the 5 days I became more confident and I wasn’t as intimidated by other drivers as I had been at the start of the course. We also worked on what to do at roundabouts which was extremely beneficial as they were something I had struggled with before but now can do them confidently. I would definitely recommend, it was a great week!”

Lily’s confidence increased as she drove more with Tom.

She made use of her brother’s car to take the driving test as her convertible mini was not allowed to be used (DVSA rules).  She sent her driving instructor Tom Ingram a thank you card saying:

“To Tom,  I just wanted to let you know that I passed my driving test this morning (03/01/2019) – I did it in my brother’s car!  I can’t thank you enough for all the help you gave me as there is no way I could’ve passed without you.  Your knowledge and expertise are second to none.  Thank you again!  From Lily Storer – Morton”

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram was delighted to hear the news and adds to this story:

“This was particularly good news for me to hear over the Christmas period as Lily came to me initially with very little confidence.  She had tried other instructors but without success.  Her Mum came out with us in the car a couple of times and was amazed at how confident and competent Lily was.  I wish Lily many years of safe driving.”

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Ben’s perfect Christmas present

Ben from Bourne bags himself a full driving licence for Christmas

He took his BIG TOM intensive driving course in October 2018 having only previously had 6 driving lessons 8 months beforehand.  He had a really exciting 5 day course driving in Spalding, Corby Glen and on the Eye roundabout in Peterborough.  He drove up to Grantham, across to Stamford and in the Deepings.  He drove across the white Ryhall bridge, and along the river at Pinchbeck.  After his course he said:

“In my opinion more useful than 1 hour lessons. Improved my perception of driving each day. A great structure – returning to things that need practise every day as well as starting new things. Confidence is easily improved over the week due to how long you drive for each day. All aspects of driving test are met in these 5 days”

Ben had not at this stage completed his theory test but it didn’t hold him back.

He used his BIG TOM 5 day intensive driving course as a foundation for his continued practice with his family in his own car.  Once he passed his theory test he got in touch with BIG TOM again to request a practical test booking in his name for Grantham driving test centre; which is all part of the course benefits.  He continued his practising and got back in touch with BIG TOM just after Christmas to say he had passed his driving test in his own car:

“Hi Tom,  I’m just emailing you to say thank you for all your time during my intensive driving course. I am happy to say that I passed my practical test 1st time and I couldn’t have done it without your help.  Thanks again, Ben”

Owner of BIG TOM, Tom Ingram was delighted to hear the news and adds to this story:

“I always enjoy hearing of BIG TOM customers like Ben.  Olivia from Surfleet did exactly the same not so long ago too.  It does just go to show how flexible the intensive course is for customers, giving them options of how they want to proceed after Day 5.  I love to hear of pupils passing their driving test in their own car, it must do wonders for their confidence, and the BIG TOM customer reviews demonstrate that this has been an option available to my customers for many years.  This just shows that for customers who have had very little previous driving experience, it is perfectly possible to treat the BIG TOM 5 day course as a foundation on which to build further practice.  They can also choose to take advantage of the massive 17% savings should they want to book up a second week with BIG TOM.  The point is, my driving school offers customers choice, and that is very beneficial to them.”

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I want to pass my driving test

BIG TOM specialises in helping people pass their driving test

It can be frustrating not passing the driving test.  At BIG TOM we can help people like you.  This is how we helped Abbie pass who had 6 previous attempts:

“Before starting my 5 day intensive driving course with BIG TOM, I’d previously already had MANY hours of driving experience under my belt and had already gone and failed 6 TESTS. I would say that my confidence in myself and ability to actually drive was shot. I was really nervous about the whole thing, from meeting Tom and actually getting back on the road, as I’d not driven for around 8 months after failing the 6th test.
Within half an hour of meeting BIG TOM, I felt really at ease and comfortable with him. Midway through the week, I was still having doubts after doing a mock test with Tom, which was truly awful. BIG TOM didn’t let me give up on myself and we had many pep talks which then gave me the confidence to keep going. By the end of the 5 day course, I’d finally PASSED MY TEST! Honestly, without BIG TOM’s supportive and open teaching style I don’t think I would ever have passed my test. Even when you make mistakes, BIG TOM remains very calm, cool and collected, which made the experience very comfortable for me as a pupil.
I can’t thank BIG TOM enough and for someone like me, who has unpleasant experiences with driving instructors over the years, I couldn’t recommend BIG TOM enough!!”  Abbie Scott-Brown

We can help turn things around for you.

Official DfT statistics (drt0101/0202/dvsa1202) demonstrate that the national first-time pass rate is only 47% and the chances of passing do not increase with each additional attempt.  For figures up to August 2018, Boston has a 51% first-time pass rate, Grantham 47%, Lincoln 48% and Peterborough 50%.  So the tactic of re-applying continually after a driving test fail does not improve your chances of passing at all.  This is why people like Abbie benefit from the BIG TOM intensive driving course.  By booking yourself on to our course you take control by interrupting this downward spiral of negativity.  We help to improve driving ability, increase confidence, manage any anxiety or nerves and help you pass your driving test.  You can be just like Abbie and have the joy of obtaining your full driving licence.

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Two week intensive driving course

Bag yourself a whopping £297 saving with the BIG TOM two week intensive driving course

Emma was an absolute beginner and chose to take advantage of the BIG TOM two week intensive driving course.  This allowed her to get 40 hours of driving training with BIG TOM saving her a whopping 17% on the price.  She did the foundation week then had a week break and followed it up with another 5 day intensive driving course the week after.  This is what she says:

“I found the two week course really helpful – Tom was very kind and patient at teaching me which made me feel relaxed while driving because I am a new driver so was very nervous. I learnt some really helpful tips which will aid me in my future driving experiences. The flexibility to focus on what the student feels important to their progress once the basics have been learnt is great, I would come into each session with a rough idea in my head about what I wanted to focus on due to previous weaknesses highlighted in other sessions. You are encouraged to go forward for your test at the end of the course as soon as you feel comfortable but more sessions are available if you would like them which is brilliant if you are having last minute nerves before the test and want to refresh on certain aspects of the course.” Emma Shrapel from Morton

Customer benefits of the BIG TOM two week intensive course @ £1497:

Pre-course resources including theory study

Practical test fee (weekday or weekend) & free booking service

Bonus 2 hours use of driving school car for test day

Free refreshments throughout the course

Same driving instructor/Same car GUARANTEED

Pick up/drop off service (we come to you!)

40 hour 1:1 in-car driving training with DVSA qualified driving instructor

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Wishing you a peaceful Christmas

BIG TOM Driving School wishes all our readers a very happy Christmas.  Owner, Tom Ingram sends this message:

“It has been a wonderful year for my driving school. The quality of the service being provided is demonstrated by the incredibly kind words by our customers that you can see in the Customer Reviews.  It is interesting for me to browse through the live blog here to remind me of all the events that have occurred over this year.  One central theme that crops up time and again is how BIG TOM can assist customers by providing practical value with professional in-car training, out of car support resources, driving test expert advice and so much more.  The BIG TOM 5 Day Intensive Driving Course continues to grow in popularity as a tried and trusted service for people learning to drive no matter how much or little their previous driving experience has been.  I continue to invest in my own training too, with a ‘Safeguarding’ course already booked for the new year.  It is important to me that my customers recognise that their learning environment is bound by safety, respect and quality tuition.  I wish all my previous and future customers a very happy Christmas.  Best wishes…. tom”

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