Archive 27th August 2013

Careless Driving – What You Should Know

In order to pass your driving test you will have to take a theory and practical exam. During the learning process you will be taught all sorts of things about careless driving. After all, this is one of the most common reasons accidents happen on UK roads, and being aware of what’s deemed careless or not is vital!

However, once you have passed and you’ve at last got your hands on a full driving licence, it’s very easy to pick up bad habits that you might not think are dangerous, but the police do. There have been many stories over the years about people who have been taken to court for what a policeman thinks is careless driving, but might seem a little “over the top” to the average person. However, you have to remember it takes a split second for an accident to happen and it can have horrendous consequences.

Standard Rules That Apply

There are some obvious rules you should make sure you adhere to at all times, but if you’ve only recently passed your test, it doesn’t hurt to refresh your memory. Think about the following every-time you get into your car:

  • Never overtake another vehicle on the inside.
  • Do not drive too closely to the vehicle in front of you. Not only will this catch the attention of the law, you may end up having to make an insurance claim because you’ve hit the back of someone-else.
  • Of course this is a pretty obvious point but don’t think you will never get caught if you drive through a red light. In fact, you’ll be surprised at the number of drivers who end up in an accident for this reason.
  • Be very careful when you’re coming out of a side road. If you do this and you’re in the path of another vehicle people can get hurt!

The Less Obvious

It’s not difficult to let your concentration lapse when you’re driving. After all, it’s not long before it becomes second nature to you so consider some of the points below:

  • Don’t eat your lunch while you’re driving.
  • NEVER use your rear view mirror for anything else other than what it’s there for.
  • As you will no doubt know, using a mobile phone without a hands free kit is now illegal in the UK but even if you do use one, this may be frowned upon by the police.
  • Taking out a cigarette and lighting it will take your mind of what’s happening on the road, and it will also give your hands something-else to do other than steer your car!
  • Tuning your car radio in or putting a CD on to listen to can also land you in a fair bit of trouble.


The words above are just a condensed collection of information when thinking about careless driving. The fact is you can run the risk of getting points on your licence, being handed a hefty fine or even worse being disqualified from driving if you’re deemed to have been careless. Never forget that your car is not an invincible bubble that will protect you from anything, and you’re the one that should be in control at all times!

Learning to Drive with a Disability

If you have some form of physical or mental disability, you may think that finally getting your full driving licence is beyond your reach. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You have the right, just like any other able bodied person to be able to get about by car. Whilst there may be certain restrictions in place when you apply for your provisional licence, as long as you’re honest this shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, the DVLA encourages everyone at, or over the age of 17 to learn to drive.

Finding an Instructor

You might be surprised to discover this, but there are lots of companies that have specially trained instructors to help people with a disability learn how to drive. Of course, patience is a must for anyone who teaches a person how to drive, but if you have special needs you should look for an instructor who is used to dealing with type of disability you have.

One great source is the internet. If you’re not able to do this on your own, ask someone to help you. You will be met with a plethora of choices, but make sure you look into a company’s background. Ask questions about how long their instructors have been working with disabled people, what type of training they’ve had, and most importantly how well equipped the cars they use are.

Don’t Shy Away from Learning

Life can be far more difficult for you if you’re in some way disabled, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a perfectly normal life. In fact, there are many thousands of people just like you that can take themselves off to the shops in their own car. They go about daily life just like anyone-else.

When you find the right instructor, this person will help to build your confidence as well as teach you how to drive. You’ll be met with someone who is patient and knowledgeable about your disability.

Higher Rate Disability Allowance

If you’re someone who receives the mobility component disability allowance, you can actually apply for a provisional driving licence at the age of 16. If you’re between the ages of 16 to 24 years old, you may also be eligible to receive some form of financial help in order to get you on the road. Just make sure you check all the avenues available to you.

There is Help Out There

Of course, there are various aids out there to help you pass both your provisional and practical driving test (other than an instructor). If you have a disability that prevents you from using these aids that are designed for able bodied people, there are plenty that have been designed to help you as well.

Just because you’re disabled it doesn’t mean you have to be house-bound. Learning to drive and gaining your full licence will open up a whole new world for you. Just like anyone-else you will have more independence, and you’ll be able to live a more fulfilling life overall.

If you’re in anyway concerned, talk to the DVLA who are there to help not hinder!

Aids for Learning to Drive – Use Them!

If you regularly read the blogs on our website, you will know that we tell you over and over again that learning to drive can be a pretty stressful business. Not only are you about to learn something that’s completely foreign to you, you’re also going to be in charge of handling a vehicle on the open roads which can have it’s dangers.

Today, we’re going to give you some information on what aids there are to help you pass your test with flying colours. If you don’t already know there are two parts to a driving test these days, and they are the theory test (which comes first), and the practical test which you won’t be able to take until you’ve passed the first one.

Here are some of the more obvious things you can do:

  • Get plenty of practical help from friends and relatives, BUT don’t rely on them solely in terms of teaching you to drive. The main reason for this (apart from frazzled nerves) is every single driver will pick-up their own bad habits, and you don’t need these being passed on to you. This brings us to the next point.
  • Get a professional driving instructor. If you’re not sure how to go about this, there is plenty of information elsewhere on our website to help you.

The Less Obvious

Text Books:

There are a myriad of text books that will teach you all about what’s expected of you when you take both your theory and practical test. The DVLA website is very helpful in this respect, and you’ll find plenty of information on books they recommend.


Again there is plenty to choose from in this respect, you only have to take a look on the internet and you’ll be met with lots of reputable online retail sites that have DVD’s to help you through the process when you’re learning to drive.

These are a great additional aid to use because they’re visual. It’s much easier to take pictures in than words (for most people), and if you use this resource in conjunction with text books it will give you the head start you need.


One of the best ways to make sure you take in what you’re learning is to practice. We have already mentioned relying on friends and family from a practical point of view, but lean on them as well when it comes to testing your knowledge.

A Couple More Tips

  • Don’t sit back and think you can just book your theory or practical test and cram everything in right before you’re due to take it. This will just confuse you, and you may not remember everything.
  • Aids for learning to drive are there for a reason and the more you use them, the easier it will all fit into place.

As said, this can be a daunting time in your life but remember you’re not the only one and thousands of people gain their full driving licence every-day. If you use the proper aids to help you, you could soon be one of them!

How to Apply for a Provisional Driving Licence

So, you’ve just turned 17 and you’re eager to learn how to drive. Or, you could be someone that’s always been a bit nervous about learning, but you’ve decided to face your fears and go for it. Well, happy belated 17th birthday, and good for you that you’ve decided to get out there and learn how to drive!

However, you cannot do this without a provisional licence. If you do drive on the open roads without one and get stopped, you could be in a whole heap of trouble so make sure you follow the rules.

What You Will Need

Whether you like it or not, the DVLA will have to gather some personal information about you. The reason for this is they need to be sure that you are in fact, allowed to learn how to drive. Of course, any personal information will be protected and not passed on to anyone that shouldn’t have it.

So, what will you need?

  • You must be a resident of the UK.
  • Obviously, you need to be old enough to drive and can prove this.
  • You must let the DVLA know if there are any problems with your eyesight. This won’t necessarily stop you from being able to apply, but additional checks might be needed. Be honest! It will come back on you if you’re not, and the reason for that is your eyesight will be checked at some point.
  • You must have a valid UK passport or some other form of ID such as a certificate of Naturalisation or Residence Permit.
  • You will be asked for your National Insurance number (if you have one).
  • You will also be asked to provide your address, or addresses for the past 3 years.
  • A valid credit or debit card will also be needed (if you’re applying online) because there is a charge of £50 for the licence.

How to Apply

Most people will apply online these days, and the DVLA have made it very easy for you to do as long as you have all the documents detailed above. You can however, still apply through the post by completing something called a D1 application form. These can be found at your local post-office.

If you do intend to apply by post make sure you have original documents to prove your identity. If you send copies, the application will be denied. You will also need to send a photograph. For this, it’s best to use a passport style photo. Other than that, you will just need to send either a cheque or postal order for the £50 charge. The address to send your completed form and other documentation is provided on the form.

Don’t Worry!

For first time drivers all of this can seem pretty daunting, but there really is nothing to worry about (as long as you have nothing to hide). All the documents required are pretty standard and easy to get hold of. Just make sure you’re honest and within 2 to 6 weeks you’ll be able to book your first driving lesson.

Happy learning!