Monthly Archives: January 2015

January 30, 2015
Driving Tests Across The Globe

For many learner drivers the prospect of taking your driving test might fill you with a sense of dread and anxiety – However this feeling is not limited to the UK. Across the entire world, the test is feared, and if you lived in these other Countries, you might be able to see why.

In Ghana, road rage is particularly encouraged, with the highway code instructing drivers to scold other road users with their horn and headlights in the event of bad behaviour behind the wheel.

Greece insists on at least three people in the car during the test, whilst it is much harder to gain the highest driving qualification of driving in North Korea, with the minimum requirement being that you must be able to build a car!

However for those of you taking your driving test in Kenya, it doesn’t seem that bad – You need to firstly demonstrate your abilities with a toy car, and reportedly the test can last less than one minute!

Safe driving from Britannia!

What are your thoughts on this article? Let us know in the comments section below!


January 29, 2015
Test Changes Update

Late last year we wrote of the Practical Test undergoing some changes which will see the Turn in the Road being dropped. There are now further updates on these changes.

Both the Turn in the Road and the Reverse Round the Corner are to be scrapped from the practical test. The independent drive will last for 20 minutes instead of 10 and will involve using a Sat Nav instead of following road signs.

A new manoeuvre is to be introduced which involves driving into a parking bay and reversing back out in a similar style to the Turn in the Road. Stopping on the right is also to be introduced since this is a manoeuvre that is not tested on the practical test but is widely used in real life.

What are your thoughts on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:


January 28, 2015
Rise Of Impersonators Sitting Tests

More and more learners are turning to fraud to help them pass their practical test. It is clear that the process of learning to drive and taking the test has proved too much to handle for some and they are now turning to impersonators to take the test for them

Figures released from a Freedom of Information request show that there were 667 reported cases of learners hiring lookalikes between April and December 2014. This figure has significantly risen in recent years. In 2004, the figure was only 158.

Some fraudsters are charging up to £1,800 to sit an exam.

This is of concern as it puts innocent road users at risk and so the DVSA have employed stringent measures to catch out these fraudsters.

Jane Hunt of Britannia Driving School says “the test is there for a reason, people should learn to pass the test themselves instead of paying excessive amounts for fraudsters.”

What are your thoughts on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:


January 27, 2015
Learner Drivers Caught Cheating

It has been revealed that more and more learner drivers are attempting to fraudulently pass their driving and theory tests – by hiring lookalikes to take their place!

With almost 700 cases reported in the last 8 months, it seems that the issue is on the rise, although this has been refuted by the DVSA as a “serious, but rare” offence.

The criminal doppelgängers have been known to charge anything from less than £100 up to £1800 to sit the exams for their counterparts. 37 have been jailed for the crime, and 97 have had their licenses revoked.

What are your thoughts on this article? Sound off in the comments below!

Safe driving from Britannia!


January 26, 2015
Cost of Being A Young Driver

The cost of being a young driver has risen significantly in the last few years. It is well known that car insurance for youngsters has become extortionate in recent years, with most young drivers spending well in excess of £2,000 a year on car insurance. However, according to recent research the exact figure has fallen since 2009. The average figure for young driver car insurance currently stands at £2,232 in comparison to £2,455 in 2009.

In fact, this is not the main expense for young drivers with car insurance only making up a third of a total bill. Another element to the cost is learning to drive, but again this is a small fraction of what is costing young drivers. The most significant expense seems to be young drivers, or their parents, splashing out on a first car. The average cost of a first car has gone up to £3,825 which is a vast increase in recent years.

In a survey of 2,000 parents, almost two third said their contributed to their children’s driving lessons, a third paid towards the cost of a car and 30% helped with insurance costs. The key to decreasing costs seems to be in choosing a car wisely (not going for the most expensive models!) and shopping around for insurance. These figures are average ones and those who pick their car and insurer carefully can find themselves spending less than £2,000 in total.

What are your thoughts on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:


January 23, 2015
Bay Parking – A Little Known Fact

The Bay Parking exercise has been a part of the driving test since May 5th 1999 – and so without this crucial piece of knowledge, you run the risk of failing your driving test.

Many students are not aware that when the examiner instructs you to reverse park into a bay, you are actually entitled to choose whether you would like to pull in from the right or the left, with most simply opting for the closest option to appease the examiner. But firstly take a look at your surroundings, and consider the alternative to the obvious – and go with the way that you feel will be best for you.

The requirements to pass this exercise state that you must be in full control of the vehicle, must perform the manoeuvre safely and smoothly, that you must make good and proper use of the accelerator, clutch, brakes and steering, and that you must not cross the white bay marking.

Safe driving from Britannia!



January 22, 2015
Date Set For Ban On Smoking In Cars

Yesterday Health Minister Jane Ellison outlined the Government’s plain cigarette packaging legislation. Alongside this announcement she stated that smoking in private cars carrying children will be banned from 1st October this year.

She said that tobacco causes around 80,000 deaths a year and that approximately 600 children in the UK take up smoking every day.  The Government has taken its time in making this announcement but according to Ellison this is so as to consider all of the relevant evidence, including the prospect of litigation from the tobacco industry.

The new law will apply to anyone carrying children in a car and not just parents. The penalties for this offence were set out in the consultation paper circulated in November of last year. Most notably, if the case goes to court, the maximum fine will soar to £800 for someone caught smoking in a car carrying a child and £10,000 for a driver who fails to prevent someone else smoking.

What are your thoughts on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:


January 21, 2015
Thoughts On New Hazard Perception

After the announcement by the DVSA that they will start using CGI in the Hazard Perception Test, Britannia Driving School have adapted the Hazard Perception available on the website to include sample CGI clips. This allows users to compare the two types of clips.

Britannia Driving School have also compared both types of clips to decide which is better. Whilst the images on the CGI test used are good, they are a cause for concern. The DVSA’s decision to use CGI is largely due to the fact that it helps them create scenarios that are too dangerous to film. It is also designed to make it easier for the DVSA to update the clips if need be in the future.

However, the clips do not on the whole help learners as they are not as realistic as the previous clips. Therefore, instead of accompanying what is learnt in driving lessons, it is merely a driving test designed to examine what can only be practised by using the CGI clips and not real life scenarios.

Britannia Driving School’s Hazard Perception practice test includes 7 CGI clips in order to help our pupils prepare for the new test but still contain some of the old clips in order to prepare them for the real world as well.

Feel free to try out the new clips on our website, let us know your thoughts by using the comments link below:


January 20, 2015
Driving When It Snows

With the threat of heavy snowfall looming over us over the coming days and weeks, it will do us good to be prepared. Here are our top tips for snowtime driving:

– Avoid driving at night when it is snowing. The temperature at night is at it’s lowest, and combined with the fact that there are less cars on the roads, this makes the night time driving much more dangerous than driving in the day.

– Avoid long journeys. As we all have to drive slower when it is snowing for our won safety, a long journey will become much longer, and therefore more exhausting on both you and your car, exacerbating the risk of an accident.

– Allow more journey time. As a general rule, allow an extra 50% time on your commute and small journeys. With drivers attempting to avoid smaller and icier roads, the main roads can become congested with traffic, adding time onto your journey.

Safe driving from Britannia!

What are your thoughts on this article? Let us know in the comments below!


January 19, 2015
Calls To Improve Driving Test

Two road safety charities have called the driving test to be updated urgently. They argue that the driving test does not reflect real world risks.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists have released a statement saying that the current driving test does not include testing of a driver’s ability to cope safely with country roads, poor weather or driving at night. Currently, the only courses that provide such training is Pass Plus which is not compulsory and is open to new drivers once the pass.

However, the IAM are calling for the graduated licensing system to be introduced which would provide such training before a learner can pass their test. A 12-month minimum learning period, graduated licences and limits on passenger numbers for newly qualified drivers are all among the IAM’s recommendations.

What are your thoughts on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below: