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How to score from an intensive driving course minus the intense.

andy perkinsAndy took his intensive driving course in Peterborough and turned it all round quick smart.  He needed to be able to drive for his work, and as you can see below, he liked that the course had no pressure attached to it:

” I found learning with Tom to be very effective. He doesn’t pressurise you when you make mistakes and makes it a cool calm driving experience. I had very little driving experience when I started, and passed my test within 9 days, and I put that down to the way I was taught. Very effective and efficient service – much appreciated. Will definitely recommend to anybody. Bargain price too!”

Andy Graham (28) attended the “Beginners” Intensive Driving Course in Peterborough.

Driving Lessons

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Best Way to Learn to Drive

A handy blog exploring the best way to learn to drive

Car keysThis blog explains the key differences between learning to drive on a Pay As You Go basis compared to an Intensive Driving Course.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) state in their ‘Learning To Drive’ publication that people who pass their driving test have had on average 45 hours of professional training, combined with 22 hours of private practice.  They stress that those figures are an average, “but generally the more driving experience you get, the better”.

Will learning to drive on a PAYG basis or an Intensive Driving Course affect those figures at all?  To answer that question we need to consider what is involved in a driving lesson.

Before a driving session begins, Driving Instructors will start off the session using a set structure.  It includes reviewing what was done on the last session, whether there are any questions, whether there has been any tasks/driving done since then and reviewing it.  It will include understanding where that previous session fits into the overall programme, the level of ability achieved, and what else needs to be done.  Objective(s) for the current driving session are set, and a brief discussion of any new subject matter is given before the car moves off.  Once the driving session is complete, there is a discussion of key learning points, a review of the achievement of the objective set, and consideration of setting any tasks to do before the next session.

That process of communication can easily take 10 minutes at the start and end of every driving session.  Driving Instructors are trained to undertake it as stipulated by the DVSA.    You then have to drive to the location most appropriate for the objective(s) set.

So if you were to take 45 x 1 hour driving sessions with a Driving Instructor, of those 45 hours, you will spend 15 hours, at the side of the road, talking to each other (as above).  As such, you will get about 30 hours driving experience.

If on the other hand you take those 45 hours in 4 hour sessions instead of 1 hour session, then the amount of time spent at the side of the road is reduced from 15 hours to 3.75 hours (just under 4 hours).  Which means, that rather than 30 hours driving experience, you will receive 41 hours driving experience.

Another benefit from driving on a longer session, is the ability to plan driving in more varied driving conditions/locations.  At Big Tom Driving School, on our Intensive Driving Courses, our customers regularly drive over 90 miles on a session, and cross county boundaries in the process.  As such, they are building up a larger bank of driving experience (see our Facebook page for evidence of this).

In addition to this, the rate of progress achieved, in general terms, by having a 4 hour driving session, every day for 7 days, compared to 1 hour per week for 28 weeks, should not be under-estimated.   For most people, that learning curve is not only very manageable but actually provides for a more efficient learning process – learning to ski would be another example of this methodology.

The advantages of PAYG include being more able to fit in private practise sessions between sessions with the Driving Instructor, and for some, shorter driving sessions are more desirable.  Also, some people like the flexibility of spreading the cost over a longer period of time (although read on to discover how this itself, does come at a cost).

There is one other quite important factor to note.  As a general rule, prices for driving sessions on a PAYG basis are significantly more expensive than the hourly rate on an Intensive Driving Course.  For the sake of argument let’s assume a PAYG hourly rate is £24/hr and an Intensive Driving Course hourly rate is £18/hr, then based on the above figures from the DVSA:  45 x £24 = £1080   45 x £18 = £810   So not only do you receive less driving experience on a PAYG basis, but you pay more for it too. 

So there you have it.  As with all things, there are positives and negatives for each method, and the best advice I can offer you is to consider your budget, schedule, and learning preferences and choose the method that will work for you personally.   

Check out our FAQ’s HERE.

Driving Lessons

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Are We Losing Our Drive to Drive?

Bigtom_Driving_SchoolThe number of UK people taking the practical driving test has decreased 12% since 2007/8. Recent research indicates 41% of UK car owners are driving less due to the costs of driving.

What does this mean?  Is driving becoming less “fashionable”?

Absolutely not! The demographic figures for birth rates in the 90’s and insurance costs for 17-20 year olds, undoubtedly do have an impact on the above statements but the freedom that being able to drive provides for people in their mid 20’s and onwards is an enormous benefit!

For the early Millennials of us, re-locating for careers, commuting to work, school runs for kids, and family holidays in the UK are all superb benefits and for some, essential for the time pressures of family life. Learning to drive offers freedom and independence.

Ben Rossi (25 yrs) who passed his driving test at Grantham recently, shot up North the very next day after passing his driving test at Grantham, to find a new home and start a new career!  Driving is essential to his work. This is what he sent through after the dust had settled…..

Hi Tom,

I bought a car today, a 07 fiesta 1.2 in awesome condition. Drove it back from Coalville all the way here to Staffordshire having not driven since my test! Loved it, went on the country roads rather than the motorway to get used to the car. Went on some dual-carriageways and multi-lane roundabouts as well, I even overtook a tractor! :P. Really enjoyed it on the country roads. So glad I managed to do my driving. Because of your teaching, while I was nervous getting in the car on my own for the first time, I felt confident enough to drive off and not worry or panic and go home safely and loved every part of the journey. Thanks again!


Learn to drive from £597 with Big Tom Driving School – “Drive more, experience more, learn more!” 

Best Price Plus Peterborough

Best Price Plus Peterborough



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Best Price Pass Plus Peterborough

Find The Best Price For Pass Plus In Peterborough

Congratulations on passing your test, now you can get the best price on your car insurance by opting for Pass Plus in Peterborough with Big Tom Driving School.

This enables you to experience more driving conditions such as driving on a motorway, or at night and is a great opportunity to build on your superb driving test pass.

Big Tom Driving School is registered to provide this further training, the experience is fun, enjoyable and interesting.  You can even get discounts on your car insurance to cover the cost of it!

The DSA Pass Plus hotline is 0115 936 6504 or you can email them on passplus@dsa.gsi.gov.uk

 Call us now on 0800 689 4174 to discover how you can make the best price of Pass Plus in Peterborough work to your advantage while still further boosting your driving confidence. 

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Intensive Driving Course Grantham

Choosing an Intensive Driving Course in Grantham

When choosing an Intensive Driving Course in Grantham it is vitally important to make accurate comparisons.  Look here to find out how….

A course might sound appealing as it is spread over just 5 days for example, but if you only get say 20 hours actual driving experience in that 5 days, will you then need to pay extra for more time in the car?

A Big Tom Driving School Intensive Driving Course guarantees 40 hours of driving training for £1200

The whole process is turned round typically in 11 days*.  You will be driving right up to your Test Day, and this is all included in the standard price.

You do not pay for fancy adverts on the radio, or classroom simulations, or theory classes, you are paying to learn to drive by driving for 40 hours**

Quality & Value – the benchmark of our Intensive Driving Courses in Grantham

Call now for more information – over 25’s get extra discounts!  0800 689 4174

Driving Course Grantham

Driving Course Grantham






*depending on ability and your schedule

**backed up with a guarantee that if you fail the test, all other training is free of charge

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Correct Speed On Driving Lessons In Peterborough

How To Know The Correct Speed on Driving Lessons in Peterborough

On my driving lessons in Peterborough, the issue of driving at the correct speed often crops up.  Sometimes we can feel pressured from drivers behind tailgating, sometimes we can miss a speed sign, sometimes we can unconsciously copy the speed of a vehicle in front of us, only to realise they are actually driving above the speed limit.  There’s many little ‘traps’ and by far the best thing to do is identify a technique that you will adopt in your normal driving that means you will be able to identify the appropriate speed completely independently, no matter what the conditions, or how you are feeling, or what is happening inside/outside the car.

One such technique is shown in this video.

Driving in a road, not knowing what the speed limit is, AND not having the skill to assess what it should be, is a lonely old place to be, especially on your driving test.  Not a nice feeling.

But beyond the driving test, finding yourself on a road, with drivers behind, but you don’t know how fast you can legally go, and more importantly you don’t know what clues to look out for to give you an educated guess, is kind of awkward.  This is at least the stuff of ‘points on licence’ and at worse, it could be ‘accident’ material.

Here is a classic example in Peterborough.

This goes beyond simply “staying alert” in a 30 zone (as important as that undoubtedly is), this is about being able to assess driving conditions to enable you to make a judgement on the appropriate speed IN THE ABSENCE of seeing a speed sign.

Developing this skill on driving lessons is one thing, but driving 30 in a 60 on a driving test, or even worse, attempting to drive 40 in a 30 on a driving test, it will be “curtains”.   Remember, anything that crops up on test that breaks the law, is an instant fail.

Check out this video for more on “What speed should I drive at?”

 Wishing you well on your driving lessons



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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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