The Benefits of Learning to Drive Whilst You Study

Back To School 

Pupils all over the country are beginning to return to schools and colleges after their summer breaks. For many pupils, they will be returning with far fewer restrictions than when they left for the summer holidays.

Now that there are fewer restrictions, pupils will be able to experience a fuller education experience including access to more group activities, team sports, and public events – a much more pleasant and engaging experience compared to being stuck in your accommodation.

Back to school means there will be a surge of students wanting to learn how to drive, especially those beginning universities in different cities. 

The Benefits of learning to drive whilst you study:

 

Age and learning to drive

It’s true that a good driving instructor can get any willing learner through their test. However, it’s commonly understood that picking up a new skill is easier for people when they are young. Whilst three or four years might not seem like a long time to wait before finally getting on the road, it could mean a notable increase in how many lessons you will need.

Geography

A large majority of students move miles away from home when they go to university. Due to this, it can be a comfort to know that they can return whenever they want without having to use public transport, especially during the COVID Pandemic. 

Job opportunities

Many Jobs will require candidates to have a clean driving licence before they can apply.  Usually, students will want to jump straight into the job hunt once they have complete their education. Therefore, they should try to pass their test beforehand to give them an advantage over other candidates.

1 in 5 jobs require you to have a driving licence to even be considered! Many others list having a licence as beneficial.

 

 

Location

If you are moving away from your hometown to study the first thing you can do is make sure you find an instructor who matches not only your availability but also the area that you will be living in while in education. Driving instructors are usually based in a specific area, so it is important to make sure you book with a local driving instructor. 

Time Management

You don’t need to have a set time available each week as most instructors will fit you in around your studies and other commitments; no need to go missing lectures for your lessons. Some instructors will only do two-hour lessons, some will only do one and others will offer a range of varying lesson lengths. This is something to ask about when you are first enquiring, especially if you have strict time needs or a preference for lesson duration.

 

Theory

Let’s face it, if you’re a student, you probably don’t have an abundance of money to be spending on extra learning materials for driving lessons and theory practice. If you choose to learn with SmartLearner you will get access to our online theory portal and learning materials for absolutely FREE.

We also offer 1-2-1 theory sessions with dedicated theory tutors at affordable prices for those who are struggling. These can be done both online and in our office in Coventry.

Why Choose SmartLearner Driving School

SmartLearner Driving School can offer a wide range of locations for lessons and can also be flexible with times for lessons due to our varied 60+ instructors. We can offer fair prices and can provide different options depending on your booking preference. 

You can call us today on 0800 118 2001 or Contact Us to make an inquiry. We will look forward to hearing from you!

Learning to Drive with Your Family

The pros and cons of learning to drive with your family or friends.

Let’s be honest, we all rely on our parents a little bit too much. It’s not like we learn much in school about how to deal with adult stuff like taxes, credit scores and owning a car. So when it comes to driving it can be tempting to go to your parents for help.

In reality, there are many pros and cons that come with learning to drive with your parents and that’s what we will be exploring in this article.

What are the pros and cons of learning to drive with your parents?

PROS
CONS

Why should you still use a driving instructor even if you're learning with your parents?

Learning with your parents will save you money, at least in the short term but what about overall? Sure, you’ll be saving around £27 per hour but you’ll need to pay for relevant insurance, fuel and because you won’t be learning the up-to-date knowledge of driving test subjects/test routes you will likely need more attempts to pass the test. Every driving test you book will not only cost you £62 but you’ll need to wait weeks, maybe even months for another test date.


Learning to drive with a qualified instructor has so many other benefits you will be learning with someone with years of experience in teaching people how to pass their driving test. We also offer exclusive packages in both manual and automatic which means, if you’re eligible, you could start your lessons from as little as £15 per hour and learn in your transmission of choice!


Also, at SmartLearner our instructors have undergone rigorous training and all have dual controls which provide extra safety during your driving lessons. They have also all been DBS checked and are tested regularly by the DVSA to ensure they teach to the highest standard!


Long story short: you need a trained driving instructor to teach you to drive. It’s quite literally their job.

The best way to utilise learning with your parent

Firstly, you should ask your driving instructor when they think it would be safe for you to start practicing with them. Once the instructor has said you’re safe to start it’s time to see which family member is looking to risk their life… I mean… see who is willing to help.
Whoever you choose to help must be over 21 and must have held a full UK license for a minimum of 3 years. You will also need to ensure they have the relevant insurance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Private practice is any driving you do outside of driving lessons. It SHOULD NOT be someone teaching you to drive. You should practice what your instructor has taught you until you’re confident in your ability to do it without help or guidance.
This kind of driving practice is great because you can get experience with driving a different car, driving at different times of day and seeing other types of road. Just make sure whoever’s supervising you is legally allowed to and absolutely on-board with the fact they’re not there to teach.

How to Overcome Nerves on Your Driving Test

How to Overcome Nerves on Your Driving Test.

When people think of the words ‘driving test’ it is common for us to believe it’s an intimidating thing- which naturally it can be, but this article will show you how to combat these nerves, as realistically it’s nothing to be nervous about, it’s a great achievement to have.

Tips for Calming Your Test Nerves:

This portion of the article will cover some helpful tips to  stay calm leading up to and during the test.
›  Make sure to eat appropriately before your test.
›   Don’t do too much on the day of your test, this will ensure you can more easily focus on the test.
›   Go to the bathroom before even if you don’t feel like you need to go, just in case.
›   Try to stay off or at least limit your caffeine intake before the test as this can amplify your nerves, the best way to go is drinking enough water, as you can always get a coffee after your test instead.
   Always remember that you are ready, if your driving instructor has told you that you are ready for test, you should be all set.
›   Pretend it is a mock test. Your instructor should have covered a mock test with you previous to the proper driving test so the layout of this should be accurate.
  Arrive to the test centre early.
   Don’t rush the test, take your time with manoeuvres and remember you can always correct yourself if you make a minor mistake

The Day of Your Test:

This section will be a brief overview of your test day, what you will need and how the day will unfold. Firstly, you will need to make sure you have all of the relevant items you need prepared, preferably the day before the test- say for example if you have an early morning test you may not have much time to gather your things, so it is best to prepare everything the night before so you can spend more time mentally preparing yourself. It is crucial that you bring your provisional license with you as well because the test cannot go ahead otherwise. It is also required that you take your theory pass certificate, a face covering unless you are exempt, and you are also able to bring your own car if you have one depending on if it meets the standard requirements.
It is recommended that you warm up an hour or so before your test so your memory and driving routine is fresh in your mind for when you begin.

The 5 Parts of the Driving Test:

Making mistakes in your test:

Making mistakes in your test:

You are able to carry on if you make a mistake. For example, if it is not a serious mistake it is classed as a minor, you are able to receive up to 15 minors on a test and still be able to pass. However, if you receive even 1 serious or dangerous point on a test it immediately classes as a fail and the test will end.
In some circumstances the examiner’s supervisor may sit in the car to evaluate the examiner’s performance. If you refuse, there is a possibility your test may be cancelled, and you will have to re book and pay again for your test.

So, to Conclude:

These are the elements of the driving test. It may seem quite technical in some aspects, but as long as you keep calm and remember that you are capable of passing everything will go ok.
If you do fail the driving test then don’t worry! Not everyone passes the first time around and that’s completely normal, 40% of learners fail their driving tests. The best way to look at it is seeing it as a learning curve to work on for next time, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t manage to pass.

If you are looking for driving lessons in Nuneaton and Hinckley, we now have slots available! Call us today on 0800 118 2001 to avoid disappointment.

Your First Driving Lesson: Tips and What to Expect

A lot of questions and queries can arise when you are booking your first driving lesson- it can even be a nerve-racking experience, but there is nothing to worry about once you know the basic steps and what to expect.

Some helpful tips are:

Top 20 Driving Faults to Watch Out For

What to expect:

So this section will go through the process of the lesson and what to expect.

First of all your instructor will arrive at the agreed location and time of the lesson you booked with them in advance; you will need your provisional licence in order to partake in the lesson otherwise you cannot drive the car.

Your instructor will introduce themselves and ask a few questions of your experience; have you driven before? What do you know so far? They may mention the term POM (position, observations, manoeuvre), if you haven’t heard of this term before the instructor will go through it with you and explain some basics.

Once you and the instructor are ready to go, they will take you to a starter location- this will usually be somewhere quiet so that you can get to grips with the car without the disruption of frequent traffic. When you have arrived the instructor will explain parts of the car you will need to use such as the clutch, brakes, accelerator, the gear stick if it is a manual car (if it is automatic the car will not have a gear stick), handbrake, the wheel and the indicators.

Moving off and stopping will be the next thing you cover. The instructor will swap seats with you as this will be the part where you get to begin driving. They may practice this with you a few times until you become more comfortable and confident with it.

After this they will teach you some general driving on the roads and increase the level of what you are doing depending on your level of confidence with what the instructor has taught you so far.

Overall it is mostly an introductory process for the first lesson as it gives you the opportunity to become familiar with the car and instructor. Based on how your first lesson goes the instructor will make tailored decisions on what to advance to on the next lesson- they will reorganise the time and date with you at the end of the session.

Learning to drive for the first time can be scary but it’s really nothing to worry about, you will become comfortable and confident in no time.

If you are looking to start up lessons with a friendly driving company with effective and patient instructors then look no further!
Please contact us today on our free phone line: 0800 118 2001
Our office is open from Monday-Friday 9:00am-7:00pm and on weekends from 10:00am-4:00pm.

SmartLearner, the smarter way to learn.

Should I Learn to Drive in Automatic or Manual?

Learning to Drive in Manual or Automatic

SmartLearner Driving School offers various range of driving courses for both beginners and experienced drivers. The Driving school provides driving lessons in either manual or automatic vehicles with fully qualified local driving instructors assigned to a specific location, depending on the learner’s based area.

The question of “what should I be learning, Automatic or Manual?” will initially arise, though there are both disadvantages and advantages to each selection, it is ultimately within the preference and decision of the learner in which option they may take.
So which is better Automatic or Manual? It’s a debate almost as old as motoring itself- is automatic or manual transmissions better? Should you ditch the gear stick in favour of an easy ride?

Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of each option.

Learning to Drive in Manual

A majority of motorists in the UK still drive a car with a manual gearbox. Manual gearboxes give drivers more control over the car as alone manual drivers choose which gear to use. This can prove particularly beneficial in wintry conditions. Additionally, manual cars tend to have more speed, some automatics can be slow and cumbersome, although many are now fitted with dual-clutch technology to make them quicker, a manual gearbox is traditionally better at transferring power from your engine to your wheels, so drivers can accelerate at a faster pace. Adding to this, it should be noted that manual geared vehicles generally require less maintenance as they have a less complex design than automatics; repairs tend to be significantly cheaper as well.

On the other hand, manual cars can also prove to have some disadvantages such as that manual in comparison to automatic may not be as safe, as driving a manual car consists of multitasking, with one hand often veering off the steering wheel to shift gears. Automatic cars are safer as drivers can maintain both hands on the wheel and concentrate more on the road ahead. Further adding to this, drivers who drive manuals can suffer from leg ache as they will need to consistently work the clutch; which could become uncomfortable as the left foot never gets a rest, especially if driving in congested areas.

Is driving automatic easier?

Although shifting gears and working a clutch becomes second nature after a while, when learning to drive, learners can take quite a lot of practice to master this skill. Driving an automatic car makes it easier to focus more on speed and road position, and as previously mentioned, it is safer having both hands on the wheel, as there is no gear to shift.

Adding to this, automatic drivers are unlikely to stall whilst in an automatic, saving a driver’s embarrassment of making harsh hill starts or stalling just as the traffic lights change.

It should be mentioned that learning automatic ultimately implies that you must stick to an automatic vehicle and are forbidden to drive any manual vehicles without the proper lessons and license. To drive a manual, learners will have to resit another driving test and upgrade their license to a manual. If you are only licensed for an automatic car, it’s against the law to drive manual vehicles on public roads. However, if you are licensed with a manual, then you are legally permitted to drive an automatic vehicle in the UK.

Learning to Drive in Automatic

As previously stated earlier within this blog, driving an automatic car is much easier to drive, many individuals prefer automatic cars for their convenience, as they are simple to operate and there is no clutch to control. Automatic cars only require the driver to simply select D for Drive and forget maneuvering the gear stick until the driver will need to park or reverse. Furthermore, automatic cars additionally offer a seeming less transition between gears, giving the driver a pleasantly smooth ride without any stuttering. Moreover, automatic cars are better in rush-hour traffic, as automatic transmissions require less effort, so drivers can concentrate fully on navigating tricky junctions and other traffic safely, in comparison to the manual, having to constantly pump the clutch pedal every time the car stops and starts at congested towns.

On the other hand, there are disadvantages to owning an automatic, such as that automatic cars tend to lean into the more pricer spectrum in comparison to the manual, they generally cost more to buy than their manual counterparts, both new and second-hand, therefore they are not ideal for individuals or learners on budgets.
Adding to this, some drivers find that automatic cars take the fun out of driving, some individuals may prefer the feel of changing gears and having more of a physical connection with their car. And for anyone used to changing gears, it can be difficult to adjust to not having a clutch.

Driving for Beginners – 5 Helpful Resources to Get you Started

Driving for the first time can undoubtedly be a daunting and scary experience for some people, but it is important to keep calm and keep a clear head when proceeding to drive. Having clarity and no clouded thoughts or judgments will help you in the long run. It is also important to remember that every driver has experienced these exact feelings, so keep in mind that you are not alone in this aspect. Here are 5 helpful resources to get you started.

DVSA Theory App

When learning how to drive, learners are required to pass their driving theory test. This particular test plays a vital role in ensuring that you are safe enough to drive on the roads in the UK. Most of the theory test is devised from the Highway Code. It contains all of the rules and information that learners need to know in order to keep themselves and other road users safe. Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, so it’s crucial that learners know them. Additionally, it’s important that learners understand the fundamentals of driving.

The DVSA Theory app is the best app to download when revising and prepping for the theory test, it is a guide that includes all necessary information that new learners will need to know on how to safely drive, including the official highway code, interactive hazard perception video clips, and extra tips and tricks.

Further adding to this, Smartlearner Driving school also offers and provides 1-2-1 theory practices to help beginners acing their test with a 90% pass rate. Dedicated theory tutors will assist learners from the start to the end, providing learners with constructive feedback in order for learners to develop and improve any weakness they may have on certain topics. SmartLearner offers these lessons both online through zoom or in-house in the office, all depending on the preferences of the theory learner.

Driving Simulator

Getting into a car, buckling yourself up, and starting the engine can be quite intimidating taking into consideration that you may have never driven before. SmartLearner Driving School offers the option of a driving simulator, giving learners the opportunity to test their driving skills out within a controlled and safe environment also guided by an in-house simulator tutor. Through this, learners can begin to develop their confidence and self-assurance when it comes to driving, preparing them for the real practical driving situation.

Learning Logs - Books

Every single individual has their own specific and particular way of learning, whether it is through visual, kinesthetic or auditory etc. SmartLearner Driving School provides a reflective learning log to all beginner learners with the driving school, filled with important and significant information that learners may need to know, as well as a reflective section in which they can input a record after each driving lesson they may have with an instructor. Taking a record is helpful in the way that learners can view their progress throughout the lessons they have taken and can review any feedback on what they may need to improve for the next time.

Beginner Package

For those individuals that are ready to commence driving, SmartLearner offers a package specifically catered to individuals that may have never driven before, this package is called the beginners’ package for the price of £75, it consists of a total of 5 hours worth of lessons to get learners started.
3 lessons split into 2 lessons, which are 1 hour and 30 minutes each and 2 hours before the learner’s driving practical test. This package works in the favor of beginner learners, both in terms of practicality and costs, as one lesson would usually be £27 each, subsequently the package leans into the less expensive spectrum as a whole (as it would be more costly to book an hour lesson each time.)

Additionally, through this, beginner learners will be able to dip their toes into the water and get a taste of what driving feels like, with this, if they can process whether they like their assigned instructor, learners will always have the option of changing their instructions if preferred.

Local Qualified Driving Instructors

Unlike other usual driving schools, SmartLearner has 50 instructors under their umbrella all spread within the location of West Midlands; a high quantity that many driving competitors do not have.
Beginner learners will have choices of either male or female instructors to decide from, this ensures that learners will be able to choose which gender they would like to learn with, if they may have any preferences.

SmartLearner instructors are fully qualified and have undergone the necessary ADI training in which they can cater the way they teach according to the beginner learner’s learning style. Further adding to this, every pupil is accounted for, SmartLearner ensures that every instructor assigned to a learner is within their based area or location, which works for both instructor and learner, reducing time consumption and making it practical.

Get Up To Speed with Speed Cameras

Speed cameras are an unavoidable part of UK roads.  Smartlearner shares this article to help explain the different types and what to look out for when driving on a UK road with speed cameras.

Gatso

The Gatso speed camera was introduced in the UK in 1991. It is short for Gatsometer. The camera faces up the road and takes a picture of the rear of a vehicle, this allows it to catch cars, vans and motorcyclists etc. This camera is easy to spot as it has to be painted yellow by law, they are usually mounted on a pole.

 They can also be found on the gantries of motorways. They use a radar to measure the vehicle’s speed. The law states that there needs to be secondary proof of speeding, this is why there are dashed lines painted onto the road surface. A Gatso takes two pictures a fraction of a second apart to see if an offence has been committed. 

Truvelo

Truvelo is also another common type of speed camera in the UK. These types of cameras look similar to a Gatso because they are painted yellow and mounted on a pole. The difference is, truvelo cameras face forward. Like a Gatso, the Truvelo uses a flash to get a clear image of a speeding vehicle’s number plate, but it also has a special filter on the flash that stops it from dazzling drivers. This camera only takes one picture, because the speeding offence is registered by sensors in the road that activate the camera. 

Mobile speed camera vans

These provide temporary coverage in areas where speeding is known to occur. They appear with windows or panels to point cameras through. They are usually located at the side of the road, in laybys, and also bridges etc. The type of camera can be a mini Gatso or handheld radar or laser guns. Mobile camera vans can be set up in any direction to catch speeders, and can just as easily be set up to catch them approaching or going away.

Hadecs

HADECS 3 stands for Highway Agency Digital Enforcement Camera System 3, these are used on Smart Motorways and are mounted onto the gantries. They are made easier to spot thanks to their yellow colour. They are able to pick up traffic in 5 lanes and are able to be used in all weather conditions.

Hadeos Speed Camera

Driving lessons have resumed from the 12th of April, with the practical driving tests returning starting from the 22nd of April. SmartLearner Driving School are currently taking pre bookings for lessons, you can call 0800 118 2001 to speak to our office staff and book your lessons in time for April.

Driving Lessons Post Lockdown

Driving lessons resumed across the UK on the 12 April 2021. In this post we will be explaining how we, as the best driving school in Redditch, are taking extra precautions to keep you safe on your driving lessons in Redditch. SmartLearner Driving School prides ourself on offering affordable and safe manual driving lessons in Redditch and across the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

What are instructors doing to ensure safety on my lessons?

All instructors are taking safety precautions, such as:

What can you do to make sure you're keeping yourself and the instructor safe?

If you are taking or looking for driving lessons in Redditch, why not choose SmartLearner? We offer intensive driving courses in both manual and automatic with local driving instructors in Redditch and across the West Midlands and Warwickshire. Our intensive driving courses range from 5 hours to 30 hours and are suited around your availability and learning preferences.
If you want to find out more about how you can start your intensive driving course with SmartLearner give us a call on 0800 118 2001 or email us at admin@smartlearner.com
In 2021, SmartLearner were voted ‘Regional Driving School of the Year’ at the Intelligent Instructor Awards because of our superb service! If you have been driving for over 3 years and are over 21 why not take up driving instructor training? An average full-time instructor earns upwards of 30K per annum.
At SmartLearner we understand that to be the best driving school in Redditch we need the best instructors. This is why our driving instructors are in-house trained with our ORDIT approved driving instructor training courses. Our ADI training courses are affordable, flexible and have a guaranteed franchise opportunity upon completion.

Why intensive driving course has a good success rate?

Now, people are more inclined towards the Intensive driving course because they can get various benefits from short-term courses. Even, many driving schools offer amazing discounts on intensive or crash courses. People who do intensive driving courses have higher chances of passing qualifying driving exams as compare to individuals who do regular or traditional courses because of various reasons:

  • Retain information better

This is the main reason why these intensive courses are getting high success. In short-courses, you have less time in between the different driving sessions, which helps you in retaining all driving basics better. In regular courses, in some cases, students forget the previous lessons because of the long gaps.

Intensive driving course

  • More options

In the intensive courses, you will get more varieties; you can choose short hours-based driving lessons, including 5 and 10-hours course durations in both manual and automatic transmissions. In case of more available options, you are freer to choose your suitable course, which can adjust to your busy schedule. All these things make people more confident about passing the driving tests.

  • Less tiring

In short-term driving lessons, you don’t get tired easily. Here, you can learn to drive without exhausting yourself. When you first start learning, driving will be more exhausting for you. This is the main reason that even beginners choose intensive driving courses to avoid fatigue issues.

SmartLearner driving school professionals can help you in learning all types of intensive driving lessons. You can search for “Driving school near me” and you will get numerous certified and renowned driving schools in your region.

Driving on New Years Eve – SmartLearner

As 2020 comes to an end and 2021 approaches, many of us enjoy a drink to welcome in the New Year. Although this New Year will be a different one, celebrating with those who live in the same household can still go ahead.

New Year
How to stay safe welcoming in the New Year

Firstly, if you are going to be around alcohol, at your chosen support bubbles household, assign a designated driver. This ensures that you have a way of getting home safely. If a designated driver cannot be agreed arrange to stay over and travel home the next day, when you are sober.

Use public transport

If you cannot stay over at your support bubbles household and a designated driver cannot be arranged, use public transport. In order to stay safe when using public transport, order a taxi with a friend or family member, you can split the cost which will work out cheaper.

Watch out for changing weather conditions like snow

In many parts of the country, weather conditions are currently becoming colder and undependable, with snow and ice beginning to appear. These conditions mixed with drink driving can be a serious risk to life. Not only are weather conditions changing, but daylight hours are also decreasing, from as early as 4:30 pm.

New Year is the holiday with the most drinking involved, we hope everyone drinks responsibly and stays safe.

Why not make your New Year’s resolution learning to drive and start with one of our instructors!

Let’s hope 2021 is a better one for us all, Happy New Year from the SmartLearner Team!

Follow us on Facebook!

Call us on 0800 118 2001.