Latest motoring news in your area and developements in learning to drive
Trial to increase the number of driving tests starts at 30 test centres
30 driving test centres across England, Wales and Scotland will be trialling a new testing programme to increase the number of tests driving examiners carry out per day from Tuesday 27 July.
The trial will run up to and including Friday 30 July.
If the trial is successful, the new programme could increase capacity across the national network and help reduce waiting times.
New theory test booking system goes live on Monday 19 July
DVSA is changing the way the theory test is provided in England, Scotland and Wales. From 6 September, the number of theory test centres in Great Britain will increase from 180 to 202 and many theory test centres will move location.
Tests on or before 3 September can still be booked, where available, on the current booking system on GOV.UK.
Say goodbye to the GB car sticker - new ‘UK’ version on the way
rivers with hopes of road-tripping through Europe later this year will have to trade in their GB car sticker or magnet for a new ‘UK’ version.
The current sticker used on the back of vehicles will no longer be valid from September 28, the United Nations (UN) has outlined. Instead, motorists will have to replace it with a UK sticker to drive on foreign roads.
Those with a GB number plate will also need a new sticker, or have to order a fresh number plate with the UK symbol.
The UN said it had received “a notification stating that the United Kingdom is changing the distinguishing sign that it had previously selected for display in international traffic on vehicles registered in the United Kingdom, from ‘GB’ to ‘UK’”.
Although no official reasons have yet been outlined, the move is thought to be a show of solidarity with Northern Ireland in the wake of Brexit. GB stands for Great Britain, which comprises England, Scotland and Wales, whereas UK stands for the United Kingdom, which comprises Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Sutton Council is deploying sensors to help combat fly-tipping and the rise of unauthorised access in the borough’s car parks.
The Council will be working with UK-based provider IoT Solutions Group, using their Internet of Things (IoT) technology to anonymously monitor suspicious car park activity in real-time, enabling the Council to check on whether any offences are taking place and notifying the police if necessary.
When unauthorised vehicles enter car parks illegally, creating encampments and fly-tipping, it costs the Council time and resources to move unauthorised vehicles and clear away rubbish.
The remote monitoring solution will enable the Council to prevent illegal activity from occurring, rather than embarking upon costly clear-ups after offences have been committed.
The Council has previously invested in overheight vehicle barriers across many car parks to prevent oversized vehicles entering the sites, although in some instances the locks have been illegally opened overnight.
The digital sensors are being implemented as part of the South London Partnership’s InnOvaTe Project and will be installed across eleven car parks for a period of one year.
Electric car sales jump by 50% in just one month despite supply issues
New UK car registrations in June grew 28% year-on-year, while demand for electric vehicles shot up once again, new figures show.
A total of 186,128 new cars were registered across the country last month, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
But the industry body labels this performance as “artificially lifted” due to it being in comparison to June 2020, when the UK was still emerging from the first lockdown and showrooms had only just opened.
Monthly registrations were down 16.4% compared with the 10-year June average, while year-to-date sales are 26.8% below the decade-long average.
The SMMT says the market has been squeezed by the global shortage of semiconductor chips, which is limiting supply.
Nevertheless, drivers are still choosing to opt for greener alternatives. A combination of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) accounted for 17.2% of new car registrations, with pure electric cars making up more than one-in-10 sales.
The Tesla Model 3 delivered 5,468 vehicles last month, topping the sales charts in June.
Highway Code changes: update to finally include detail on smart motorways
The Highway Code will be updated later this year to include specific guidance on driving on smart motorways, including the controversial all lane running schemes where there is no longer a hard shoulder.
The updates will include clearer advice on how and where to stop in an emergency, including the importance of not driving in a lane that has been closed with a red X sign displayed and, for the first time, emergency refuge (SOS) area signage.
There will be new guidance on the use of variable speed limits to manage congestion. Plus, information will be included on how safety cameras are used to ensure compliance with speed limits and lanes closed with a red X, including the hard shoulder.
The Government has been under pressure to either scrap all lane running smart motorways or drastically improve their safety following a number of deaths.
On stretches of smart motorway the hard shoulder is either permanently or temporarily used as a live lane to improve traffic flow. But drivers can be left stranded if they break down or have an accident too far from a junction or an SOS area.
Here, their safety is dependent on both the ‘red X’ being activated to close the lane, and also on drivers obeying the warning signs by changing lanes.
Councils to get powers to fine drivers for common traffic offences
Motorists will face fines of up to £70 for traffic offences as all councils in England and Wales are set to be given new road enforcement powers from December, the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed.
For the first time local authorities outside of London and Cardiff will be able to dish out penalty notices for moving traffic offences such as stopping in a yellow box junction or making an illegal turn.
RAC spokesman Simon Williams acknowledged councils outside of the capital should have such powers but is “fearful” some authorities may use them to raise additional revenue.
Last year, an RAC freedom of information request revealed that authorities in London and Cardiff raked in £58.2m from drivers committing moving traffic offences in just one year (2018/2019).
London and Cardiff are already permitted to enforce moving traffic offences but in the rest of the country this responsibility currently lies with the police.
Motorists warned of websites charging a premium for DVLA services free on GOV.UK
DVLA has been contacted more than 1,200 times since January 2020 by customers who have paid more for services than they need to by using unaffiliated websites.
DVLA is urging motorists to beware of websites that charge a premium for DVLA online services that are cheaper or free on GOV.UK. The agency is reminding motorists that they should always use GOV.UK, to be sure they are dealing directly with DVLA and not paying more than they need to.
This comes as new figures released today show that since January 2020, DVLA has been contacted by customers more than 1,200 times about websites that are not affiliated with DVLA but which purport to offer DVLA-related services.
Almost half of drivers developed dangerous habits during lockdown
Lockdown appears to have taken its toll on our collective road sense, with 44% of motorists admitting to picking up dangerous driving habits over the past year.
In a survey of 1,500 UK motorists, more than one in five (22%) say they now frequently – and dangerously – steer one-handed. Another 15% admit they drive 'far too quickly', while 12% say they are more easily distracted behind the wheel.
This most recent poll from Nextbase found an alarming 14% have 'completely forgotten how to drive their car', while more than one-in-10 say they can’t remember a single thing from their driving theory test.
Nearly half (44%) feel trepidation about the prospect of hitting the road for a long journey again, with over a quarter (29%) pinpointing concerns around motorway driving.
Councillor Manuel Abellan publishes update on Suttons "School Streets" Program
Over the last few months the Council has worked closely with 11 local schools to develop a new ‘School Streets’ programme. They state that they are committed to making the streets outside our schools safer and healthier for our children and are thrilled that the majority of the 1,500 parents, staff and residents who took part in their recent consultation agreed.
A ‘School Street’ is a road outside or around a school with temporary traffic restrictions at school drop-off and pick-up times only. Residents living in the affected roads and emergency services continue to have access all day.
To help tackle the waiting list for driving tests DVSA have been working on a number of ways to increase the amount of driving test appointments available.
From Monday 14 June 2021 they will be increasing the number of tests our examiners in England, Scotland and Wales carry out each day to 7 – this is the number carried out before the pandemic. The DVSA will also be able to start offering early morning and evening tests.
They will start gradually adding new appointments on to the booking system on a daily basis from 9 June.
The councils, as part of the South London Partnership’s InnOvaTe Project, will use Vivacity’s AI and Internet of Things (IoT) technology to provide anonymous data on different transport modes and movement patterns.
Sensors will be deployed to gather more information about each borough’s cycle infrastructure, including the number of cyclists currently using the existing cycle lanes and main roads within the borough, and the number of unauthorised vehicles illegally using the spaces. This will help the councils to consider the areas to be included in any future expansion of their cycle infrastructure.
London pedestrians to get traffic light priority over vehicles
A total of 18 pedestrian crossings across London will show a ‘green person’ by default to help make it “the world’s most walkable city”, Transport for London has announced.
‘Green Person Authority’ traffic lights will display a continuous red light to drivers unless they detect approaching traffic, at which point vehicles will be let through temporarily.
It’s part of the capital’s latest move to make its transport network more sustainable, supporting “a green recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic. It follows newly re-elected Mayor Sadiq Khan’s pledge to be the “greenest Mayor London’s ever had” when he confirmed the city’s expansion of Ultra-Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) earlier this month.
The new technology is already installed at seven locations in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hounslow, Richmond and Hillington and will be delivered at 11 more by the end of June.
What range anxiety? EV drivers rack up more miles than those in petrol and diesel cars
Owners of electric vehicles (EVs) across Europe are driving more miles annually than those in petrol and diesel cars, research by Nissan suggests.
The average EV covers 391 miles (630 kilometres) more each year than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, challenging the perceived ‘range anxiety’ fears of many drivers still opposed to the idea of going green.
Nissan expressed confidence that “with more EVs on the road dispelling myths, range anxiety will soon be in the past”.
In a poll of 7,000 motorists across the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Norway Sweden and Denmark, petrol and diesel drivers are travelling around 13,600km (8,451 miles), while EV drivers accumulate more than 14,200km (8,825 miles) per year.
High car prices and concerns about charging infrastructure are thought to be the key turn-offs for would-be EV buyers. Almost half (47%) of ICE drivers polled said the main advantage of a petrol or diesel car is greater range.
Of the 30% of ICE drivers who said they’re unlikely to consider a fully electric vehicle, the majority (58%) said the biggest concern is that EVs have a shorter driving range.
The survey also found 70% of existing EV drivers believe their experience of range is already better than they initially expected. This might help to allay fears of range anxiety, as 38% of ICE drivers in Europe believe the biggest pull-factor to switch to electric would be longer ranges.
A pedestrian crossing in Sutton Town Centre has been permanently painted in the colours of the transgender flag to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
The transgender flag was created in 1999. It comprises the colours blue (representing males), pink (representing females) and white (representing those who are transitioning, intersex or consider themselves as having an unidentified gender).
The crossing, which is on the one-way system outside Asda, will be a visible celebration of Sutton’s transgender community and a sign of the inclusivity of the borough. It will also form part of Sutton’s work to improve local streets and make walking and cycling more appealing. The crossing will brighten the area, and provide a colourful welcome for people entering Sutton.
The transgender crossing is the first of its kind in the UK. It follows from the introduction of a rainbow crossing during Pride month 2020.
Man Jailed After Wrapping Bandage Around Head To Take Theory Tests For Other People
A man has been jailed for taking driving theory tests for people while disguising himself by wrapping a bandage around his head.
Twenty-eight-year-old Izmir Senaj came up with a number of excuses to try and explain why he needed to wear the bandages after appearing at DVLA test centres across the UK while pretending to be someone else to sit their tests.
Senaj's scam was eventually rumbled by a staff member at a test centre in Swindon who recognised him as a wanted man following an appeal, the Metro reports.
Appearing at Swindon Crown Court, Senaj pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and was handed a two-years-and-four month jail term.
Judge Jason Taylor QC said: "Your actions show a callous disregard for the system which is designed to ensure that only those qualified to drive safely get behind the wheel of a car."
People with more qualifications less likely to pass first time, finds study
In the study 59 percent of those with no qualifications passed first time, falling to 51 percent for those with A-levels.
People who have a degree or post-graduate qualification are more likely to have a higher number of failed driving tests than people with no GCSEs, according to new research.
Insurers Privilege DriveXpert conducted the analysis of 1,564 people with a full UK driving licence and found that 59 percent of those with no qualifications passed first time, falling to 51 percent for those with A-levels
Creative personality types will also be pleased to hear that those specialising in the arts at A-level and above passed their driving test with fewer attempts. The research found that this was 1.9 attempts compared to 2.3 for those who studied maths and sciences.
The study found that six out of 10 drivers with no qualifications pass their L-test first time with an average of 1.7 attempts to gain the full driving licence.
By contrast, half of people with GCSEs passed first time, with an average of 1.8 attempts.
Sadiq Khan confirms ULEZ expansion to ‘speed up cleaning of London’s toxic air'
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London will be expanded this autumn in a bid to tackle air pollution from vehicles in the UK’s capital.
The updated zone is to be 18 times larger than the compact city centre area currently in force, recently re-elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged.
From 25 October, ULEZ signs will be put up on all streets within the North and South circular roads, and drivers of non-compliant vehicles will pay £12.50 a day to drive through the area.
To avoid the charge, petrol cars must comply with Euro 4 emissions standards, while diesel cars will need to comply with Euro 6. This means most petrol vehicles newly registered before January 2006 and most diesel vehicles registered before September 2015 will incur a fee. City Hall predicts this could be around 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries every day.
Coronavirus: Driving test waiting times reach new high
Learner drivers are waiting up to 18 weeks for a practical driving test due to a huge backlog caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic forced the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) to cancel 241,127 practical driving tests between April 2020 and March 2021, a figure that has left test centres with long waiting lists of learner drivers who are desperate to take their practical test.
The Government's roadmap out of lockdown permits practical driving tests to restart in England and Wales today (6 May for those in Scotland) but research from heycar has revealed that eager learners will probably be met with disappointment.
The DVSA have release a new website to better explain Driving Test Results.
Students now benefit from better guidance to help them understand their driving test results.
What's in the guidance.?
The guidance explains what studentsl needed to do in the 24 skill areas that are assessed.
It also includes examples of common faults and advice for students about how to improve in these areas.
‘Self-driving’ cars could get green light for use on UK motorways this year
Motorists could legally allow their cars to “self-drive” on British motorways later this year but only slowly, the government has announced.
Drivers could soon be allowed to read a newspaper or watch a film via the car’s built-in screen in periods of slow-moving traffic, using automated lane-keeping system (Alks) technology that makes the car stay in lane and a safe distance from other vehicles.
The cars will be defined as self-driving when the system is in operation, at a maximum speed of 37mph. According to the DfT, the technology, which will constantly monitor speed and distance from other cars, could improve road safety by reducing human error.
New theory test booking service to go live from 8th July 2021
DVSA are making changes to the theory test service by bringing more parts of it in-house. This includes the theory test booking service.
The new theory test booking service, for England, Scotland and Wales, will be launched on Thursday 8 July 2021 when bookings will be taken online and via the DVSA customer service centre. This service is moving from Pearson VUE to DVSA.
The new online booking system will accept test bookings to be taken from 4 September when the new theory test service begins. Any test bookings for dates before 4 September must be made on the current system.
All theory tests including ADI part 1 and enhanced rider scheme training theory tests are still booked from the current GOV.UK pages. For tests to be taken from 4 September, other than slightly different looking screens you and your pupils will not notice a difference.
DVSA have worked with theory test candidates and the Government Digital Service to improve the booking service by making it easier to use.
Shift to EVs ‘accelerating at speed’ with half a million on UK roads
Over 500,000 ultra low emission vehicles are now being driven around the country in a major milestone for sustainable motoring, the government has announced.
The news comes as Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures reveal 13.6% of new cars sold in the past four months had a plug.
Sales of ultra-low emission car purchases notched a threefold increase last year, accounting for more than 1 in 10 sales, up from 1 in 30 the year before.
Meanwhile, the UK is gearing towards hosting the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November, and the government has pledged to ensure all new cars and vans will be zero emissions at the tailpipe by 2035.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “As hosts of COP26, we want to drive decarbonisation on the global stage, which is why we’re going further and faster to make the journeys of our future as clean as possible.
The new site includes exciting features to help pupils pass their theory test first time. It also provides valuable information for road users throughout their driving lifetime.
The site has replaced the existing Safe Driving for Life site. The DVSA have kept popular content such as the free practice theory tests, the shop and blogs. And we’ve added new content and features to the site.
Pupils will now be able to share their theory test revision progress through the website.
UK’s largest EV motorway charging site unveils future of service stations
Drivers with compatible EVs stopping at Junction 1 of the M6 – the site of the largest EV charging service station on Britain’s motorways – will only need a five-minute recharge from the 350kW devices to gain up to 100 miles of range.
Motorists can pay contactless for the 12 Tesla Superchargers and 12 Electric Highway devices provided by Ecotricity and Gridserve.
A further 28 Moto sites across the country are due to have ultra-rapid chargers installed by the end of the year, while the company hopes all of its services will have at least six by the end of 2022
DVSA release the Top 10 reasons for failing the driving test in Great Britain
1. Not making effective observations at junctions
2. Not using mirrors correctly when changing direction
3. Not having proper control of the steering
4. Incorrect positioning when turning right at junctions
5. Not moving off safely
6. Not responding appropriately to traffic lights
7. Poor positioning on the road during normal driving
8. Not responding correctly to traffic signs
9. Not having control of the vehicle when moving off
10. Not keeping control of the vehicle during reverse parking
Battery electrics made up 7.5% of UK sales in the first three months of this year, almost doubling the market share compared to the same period last year, data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows.
Despite the effects of Covid-19, 2020 was the first year European carmakers sold more than 500,000 electric cars.
This figure is expected to double to 1 million in 2021, though pure electric cars will remain only a tenth of the total European car market by 2024, Matthias Schmidt predicts.
Germany is still the biggest single market for battery electric cars in Europe, with 64,700 sold in the first quarter. This was made possible partly by the German Government doubling already generous subsidies to protect its auto industry.
Number of young drivers plunges to record low
The number of young people qualified to get behind the wheel has dropped to the lowest level ever recorded, with driving lessons and tests suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There are currently just 2.97 million people aged 16-25 who hold a full driving licence in Britain, down from 3.32 million in March 2020, analysis of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) data by PA news agency reveals.
This is the lowest number of young people on the roads since records began in November 2012 when there were 3.42 million drivers aged 25 and under.
The decline is sharper than the fall in the total number of young people in Britain over the same period.
10 new "Temporary" theory lest sites in England
To help with the extra demand for theory tests, DVSA have opened 10 new temporary sites in England. They have also extended the opening hours at most other theory test centres in England and Wales too.
- Click here to move your test -
New car joins the fleet.
New year, new me..
Banstead School Of Motoring is proud to welcome a new additions to its fleet.
Today we took delivery of this stunning Mini Cooper for driving lessons.
Now who's going to be the first lucky student to get a drive.?
Even the best jokes can get lost in explanation. Sadly for executives at Volkswagen, they have had a lot of explaining to do this week after an April fool went spectacularly wrong.
On Monday, three days before April Fool’s Day, the car-making giant’s US arm made the grand proclamation that it would no longer go by its old German name. Now, in the US at least, it would answer to “Voltswagen”, a reflection of its commitment to an electric future
Volkswagen has apologised for "any confusion" as it admitted that an electric car PR stunt on was an attempt at an April Fool's joke.
There has previously been frustration expressed by VW officials that its electric vehicle efforts have attracted less media and public attention than Tesla.
Lockdown restrictions begin to ease - 29/03/2021
Govenment lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted today.
From today (29 March), you can do private driving practice on non-essential journeys with members of your household or support bubble.
Good luck out there and safe driving. All going well we'll see you all for lessons on 12th April..
Google Maps will start directing drivers to routes which generate the lowest carbon footprint as part of its pledge to be carbon-free by 2030.
The new AI-driven model will default to the most environmentally friendly journey based on fuel consumption, after analysing factors like road incline and traffic congestion.
Google says the feature will launch in the US on Android and iOS later this year, 'with a global expansion on the way'.
An eco-friendly route will automatically present itself when it has roughly the same arrival time as the fastest option. If this greener journey is due to take significantly longer, though, drivers will have the choice to compare predicted emissions with quicker routes, leaving it up to them to select a chosen path.
Drivers will also have the choice to opt out entirely if they’d prefer to receive only the fastest journeys available.
DVSA prepare to introduce new schemes to reduce test waiting times.
Encouraging learners to pass first time
DVSA are planning to run a campaign to encourage learners to take their test only when they are confident they can pass. This will help them to avoid a lengthy wait for a retest and help us by not adding to the backlog of tests.
They have asked driving instructorsto help them by identifying your pupils who are ready for their test and those who need more support and practice.
The newly appointed Chief Executive of the DVSA addressed all driving instructors to introduce herself and offer support in these challenging times.
A Civil Engineer by background, Loveday has spent time designing and building roads in the past.
Most recently, she was the Chief Executive of an organisation providing specialist digital technology services to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and is really delighted to be moving up in scale again, joining DVSA.
"Our mission of helping everyone stay safe on Britain’s roads is so important"
The body which oversees driving tests has launched a recruitment drive for new examiners.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is seeking more staff to help tackle the huge backlog of driving tests caused by lockdowns around the country.
In the advert for the role, the DVSA explains: “The challenges presented by Covid-19 mean we’ve been unable to conduct the number of tests we would in a normal year, so we need to recruit more driving examiners to help get back to ‘business as usual’.”
Hundreds of thousands of practical car driving tests were cancelled during the first UK-wide lockdown which started in March 2020, creating a backlog of tests. The problem was made worse by subsequent regional lockdowns, problems with the online booking system and the need to reduce the number of tests per day in line with safety guidelines.
DVSA gives update on lessons & practical and theory tests restart - 09/03/2021
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has given details of when driving lessons and driving tests are likely to resume in England.
DVSA have said:
The proposed date for you to restart driving lessons and training is Monday 12 April 2021. We know many of you want the opportunity to carry out lessons and training before we restart driving tests and we agree with this, Therefore tests are due to restart 10 days later on Thursday 22 April, *if government guidance allows.
We'll email candidates with tests booked before 22 April to let them know their test will be rescheduled.
‘Sigh of relief’ for drivers as Chancellor freezes fuel duty again
The Chancellor’s decision to cancel a planned increase in fuel duty has been widely welcomed by motoring industry insiders.
As part of his plan to do “whatever it takes” to help people and businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic, Rishi Sunak delivered news of the freeze in his March Budget speech to the House of Commons on Wednesday.
It means fuel duty will remain frozen at 57.95p a litre for 2021-22. Mr Sunak later tweeted that “as a result of these eleven years of freezes, the average car driver will have saved a cumulative £1,600”.
RAC head of policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Drivers will breathe a sigh of relief that the Chancellor has decided not to ‘rock the fuel duty boat’.
The Driving Standards Agency has announced that In line with the government’s roadmap announcement, driving and theory tests will resume no earlier than 12 April
They are working closely with the government and will provide more information as soon as they are able to do so on other tests, lessons and training.
Nearly all drivers want speed cameras to check tax, insurance and MOTs on vehicles.
A new study has found that 90 per cent of motorists want speed cameras to check for vehicle tax, insurance and whether they have a valid MOT.
Those are the findings from road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, which is urging police to make better use of cameras detecting speed to ensure drivers are following the rules and are behind the wheel of roadworthy vehicles.
Figures from the Department for Transport suggest that someone is injured by uninsured drivers every 20 minutes, while worryingly more than a quarter of motorists are unsure as to when their car’s MOT expires, too.
Other findings in the charity’s annual Safety Culture Report highlighted more drivers supporting cameras being used for other road fines, with 82 per cent supporting them being used to fine drivers running red lights, particularly in urban areas.
Almost half of all drivers (47%) say they will consider buying an electric vehicle when they next change their car, according to an exclusive poll of 17,628 drivers.
Women were more likely (49%) to say they would consider an electric car than men (46%). Across age groups, respondents aged 65+ were significantly less likely (43%) to consider an electric car when they next change their car than all other age groups (18-24; 60%, 35-44; 56%, 55-64; 48%).
Respondents living in London (56%) were most likely to consider purchasing an electric car as their next vehicle, as were AB social groups (54%).
When will driving tests resume.? - 14/02/2021
The DVSA said that the suspension on tests would remain in place until the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
England will review its rules on 15 February. All indications, however, are that lockdown is likely to continue for another three weeks.
Practically, the earliest that we can expect driving tests to resume across the UK is late February or early March. But we’ll have to wait and see.
The DVSA has said that it will be contacting those affected to give further guidelines on what to do.
If you’ve been affected, the DVSA will contact you so that you can rebook. However, bookings for new tests remain closed
Meet the virtual reality hazard perception tests of the future
The next overhaul of the driving theory test could see candidates strapping on virtual reality (VR) headsets.
The RAC Foundation and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) have teamed up with the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to see if hazard perception skills could be put to a more immersive test.
Researchers are developing training materials and two 360 degree tests to compare their use against single-screen equivalents.
The project website says that “Virtual Reality promises much in terms of immersion and the evocation of more naturalistic behaviour, but we do not have clear evidence of the benefits in terms of driving-safety interventions. This research aims to fill this gap.”
One of the tests uses footage from real vehicles while the second uses computer-generated images.
Both versions use clips from the perspective of the driver which stop just as a hazard begins to develop. Users must then choose from four options about what happens next.
DVSA cancelling more driving tests as lockdown continues - 10/02/2021
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has said that it is cancelling almost all practical and theory driving tests for at least another two weeks as England remains under lockdown conditions.
The agency first announced in January that it was suspending driving tests across England as the country entered a new six-week period of lockdown. At the time it said only that the suspension would last until restrictions were lifted.
£20 million investment for roadside electric car chargers.
Plans for an ‘electric vehicle revolution’ were boosted yesterday when the Transport Secretary pledged £20 million towards adding new chargepoints across the UK.
The investment could see the number of government-supported electric vehicle chargers double to nearly 8,000.
The Department for Transport (DfT) encouraged local authorities to take advantage of the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS), which has already benefitted more than 140 projects.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “With a world-leading charging network, we’re making it easier for more people to switch to electric vehicles, creating healthier neighbourhoods and cleaning up our air as we build back greener.”
The ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 has increased the need to improve charging infrastructure.
12-month minimum learning period for new drivers.? - 04/02/2021
New research conducted by IAM RoadSmart has found “overwhelming” support for a 12-month minimum learning period for new drivers before they can take the practical driving test.
In its survey of more than 2,000 motorists, the charity found that more than two-thirds (68%) backed the suggestion that all new drivers, regardless of age, should undergo at least a year’s training and supervised practice before being allowed to take their practical test.
In 2019, the Government committed to investigating some form of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) including the possibility of a 12-month minimum learning period as a key component but have not provided any firm conclusions.
DVSA are introducing a limited theory test and practical test service for NHS health and social care workers, the emergency services and local councils.
This will only be for those who need to drive as part of their job and respond to threats to life.
They can only accept applications for these tests from employers, such as NHS Trusts.
There are no plans to extend this service further at this time.
Instructors will be able to teach candidates with a confirmed booking for a mobile emergency worker test.
350% spike in sales in December rounds off 'bumper year' for BEVs - 01/01/2021
Battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales saw significant growth in 2020, with a 343.7% increase in December 2020.
This is in comparison to December 2019, where BEVs held just 3.3% of the market share, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This soared to a 16.5% share in 2020, with 21,914 cars sold.
Overall in 2020, demand for BEVs grew by 185.9%, with 108,205 cars sold in the year. When combined with plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), the majority of the registrations (68%) were for company cars, which the SMMT said shows that private buyers “need stronger incentives to make the switch” as well as more investment in charging infrastructure, in particular on-street charging
Happy New Year - 01/01/2021
So 2021 is finally here.!
All of us at Banstead School of Mortoring wish you all a very Happy New Year.
We hope that the new year brings you all health and happyness..
Safe driving.. :o)
The new cameras targeting tailgaters coming to a motorway near you
Highways England has stepped up its efforts to curb tailgaters with the help of new roadside cameras.
Technology that can detect if vehicles are travelling too close to each other is being trialled on the M1 in Northamptonshire before it’s rolled out across the country.
The new system has recorded 26,000 tailgating vehicles in the first two months of the trial.
That’s 419 drivers a day breaking the Highway Code’s two-second minimum gap rule.
Rather than prosecuting offenders, the police have sent warning letters in the post to reinforce the message to leave a safe distance between vehicles. Drivers can usually be fined £100 and handed three penalty points on their licence.
Of the 26,000 tailgaters who received letters, 3,700 were repeat offenders. Some drivers were spotted tailgating up to 12 times on the same 150-metre stretch of road where the cameras have been installed.
Highways England’s Head of Road Safety Jeremy Philips said the cameras are there to “make drivers aware of their behaviour and encourage better driving”.
“These new cameras have, sadly, highlighted just how many people are driving too close on our roads”, he added.
DVLA warns motorists to be aware of scams
DVLA has revealed a 20% rise in scams reported to their contact centre, with 1,538 reports about suspected vehicle tax scams during the last 3 months of 2019.
DVLA has released pictures of some of the cons being used by scammers to trick motorists into handing over their money.
It comes as new figures show a 20% increase in scams reported to DVLA, with 1,538 reports made to DVLA in the last three months of 2019.
The reports of suspected web, email, text or social media scams were up from 1,275 in the same period in 2018. DVLA has released the images of recent scams reported to help motorists be aware of what to look out for and issue a clear warning that if something offered online or by text message appears too good to be true, then it almost certainly is.
Scammers are targeting unsuspecting customers with links to services that do not exist and messages of tax refunds, all of which are fake.
Electric car batteries with five-minute charging times produced.
Batteries capable of fully charging in five minutes have been produced in a factory for the first time, marking a significant step towards electric cars becoming as fast to charge as filling up petrol or diesel vehicles.
Electric vehicles are a vital part of action to tackle the climate crisis but running out of charge during a journey is a worry for drivers. The new lithium-ion batteries were developed by the Israeli company StoreDot and manufactured by Eve Energy in China on standard production lines.
StoreDot has already demonstrated its “extreme fast-charging” battery in phones, drones and scooters and the 1,000 batteries it has now produced are to showcase its technology to carmakers and other companies. Daimler, BP, Samsung and TDK have all invested in StoreDot, which has raised $130m to date and was named a Bloomberg New Energy Finance Pioneer in 2020.
Driving lessons suspended in Tier 4 - 19/12/2020
Driving lessons and driving tests suspended in Tier 4 areas...
We'll be resuming as soon as it's safe and we are allowed to..
Driver and rider tests suspended in November 2020 - 03/11/2020
Driver and rider tests will be suspended from November 5 until December 2, 2020, to coincide with the second lockdown period in England.
In addition, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has said that as well as examinations, driver training will be suspended over the same timeframe. It means that learners will be unable to book driving lessons with a certified instructor.
In a statement, it said: “Following the Government announcement on tougher national restrictions from Thursday, driver and rider training and tests will be suspended in England from 5 November until 2 December 2020."
Driving Theory Test to be changed from the end of September - 28/09/2020
The DVSA is to bring in changes to the car driving theory test from Monday, September 28.
Changes were originally due to be made in March but were delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic
The updated part of the test is designed to make it more realistic and improve accessibility for all candidates.
Video clip scenarios will replace the written case study within the multiple-choice part of the current theory test. Candidates will be asked three questions based on the short video clip.
Currently, you have to read a case study and then answer 5 questions about it.
Road safety: UK set to adopt vehicle speed limiters.
Speed limiting technology looks set to become mandatory for all vehicles sold in Europe from 2022, after new rules were provisionally agreed by the EU.
The Department for Transport said the system would also apply in the UK, despite Brexit.
Campaigners welcomed the move, saying it would save thousands of lives.
Road safety charity Brake called it a "landmark day", but the AA said "a little speed" helped with overtaking or joining motorways.
Safety measures approved by the European Commission included intelligent speed assistance (ISA), advanced emergency braking and lane-keeping technology.
The EU says the plan could help avoid 140,000 serious injuries by 2038 and aims ultimately to cut road deaths to zero by 2050
Fully electric vehicle for under £20,000.
Tesla co-founder Elon Musk has announced plans to build a fully autonomous car that will sell for $25,000 (£19,600) during his self-proclaimed ‘Battery Day’ yesterday.
In a speech delivered in front of 240 shareholders, the eccentric CEO revealed new ‘tabless’ batteries that could drive the cost of electric vehicles down and in line with traditional diesel or petrol vehicles.
"This has always been our dream to make an affordable electric car," he said, claiming that it could become a reality by just 2023
After a long wait driving tests start again today in England following a postponement due to the coronavirus..
A new "Covid safe" driving test will come into effect today and is open to everyone (Not just key workers), candidates will be required to wear face coverings during the test unless they have a medical reason not to. The candidates car interior will also be required to have been cleaned prior to the tests.
Examiners will be disinfecting the test car prior to the test as well as using plastic seat covers and wearing face coverings themselves. Other changes include the driving test now being concluded early if the candidate makes is a major or serious fault. This is to limit exposure time in the car. Test centre waiting rooms will also be closed with a requirement that candidates arrive no sooner than 5 minutes before the start of their driving tests.
Good luck everyone.!! Stay Safe....
Driving Lessons commence again - 06/07/2020
We are pleased to be able to announce that we are back and open for Driving lessons.
After over 100 days of lockdown Banstead School Of Motoring are back on the road and teaching again, both Manual and Automatic Drving Lessons.
See you out and about.. :o)
Driving Lessons, theory tests and driving tests restart in England - 25/06/2020
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced that learners can resume driving lessons and motorcycle training in England from Saturday 4 July 2020.
The rule applies to all types of driver and motorcycle training in England, including private practice with someone you live with or in your support bubble.
Theory tests will restart in England on Saturday 4 July. The tests will take place with social distancing measures in place to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Car driving tests will restart in England on Wednesday 22 July, which will give learner drivers time to have refresher lessons and practice before taking their test.
Number plate changes have been introduced to make it easier to identify electric cars which will help local authorities to put in place extra policies. Electric car owners could soon benefit from extra support such as cheaper parking costs and free entry into zero-emissions zone.
Introducing the green plates will help enforce these schemes as only cars with the new designs will be eligible for the rewards.
Hybrid vehicles will not be eligible for a green number plate and the extra benefits despite their reduced pollution levels.
The AA says the new number plate designs could become a “badge of honour” for some motorists proud of embracing the new technology.
Update on Theory Tests for Critical Workers - 28/05/2020
To help critical workers get an emergency theory test at a location that is more suitable to them, the DVSA will be opening an additional 25 theory test centres across the UK.
Theory tests for anyone who is not a key worker have been cancelled up to and including 30 May 2020.
Driving Test update (rescheduling) - 16/05/2020
We are aware that some of our students have been given new driving test dates in June and July for the tests that were cancelled by the DVSA due to Corona Virus in March & April 2020.
We anticipate that it is possible thst these may be rescheduled again but are monitoring the situation closely.
We have reached out to the DVSA regarding this as students with test will require training in the run up to the tests themselves and are awaiting a response.
Corona Virus update - 13/05/2020
We are monitoring the current situation closely, At present the advice from the Driving and Vehicle Standards agency is still that driving instructors should not be teaching unless instructing a critical worker.
Practical and theory driving tests are still suspended at present.
We hope to restart lessons as soon as it is safe to do so.
Please feel free to reach out to us for any enquiries and future lessons as we are still here to respond to enquiries.
Take care and we'll see you soon
MOT Testing - 25/03/2020
The Government has moved to exempt all cars, vans and motorcycles from needing an MOT test for six months from 30 March. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.
Legislation will be introduced on March 30 and will come into immediate effect for 12 months, following a short consultation with key organisations. Drivers will still need to get their vehicle tested until the new regulations come into place, if they need to use it.
In line with DVSA guidelines on Corona Virus, We at Banstead School Of Motoring have made the decision suspending driving lessons.
The DVSA have advised that driving instructors should not be teaching at present and we completely suport this decision, We feel that it is the best interest of our instructors, our sutdents and public health that this is the right decision at the present time.
We hope to return to teaching as soon as possibe and we will keep you updated as and when further information arrives with us.
Stay home, Stay Safe, Save lives.
Driving Test Centres close due to Corona Virus - 17/03/2020
The DVSA have announced that they are closing Driving test centres and have suspended driving tests for up to 3 months due to the Corona Virus.
Driving tests are still available for critical worker.
The DVSA is encouraging learner drivers to take lessons in the dark, in a bid to cut the ‘high proportion’ of night-time collisions involving young drivers.
Research shows that up to 100,000 candidates may be taking their driving test each year without having practised driving in the dark.
This is despite the fact that 35% of collisions involving young drivers between 2014-18 happened at night.
The DVSA is highlighting the issue as part of a new campaign – and is calling on learners to gain the ‘essential’ experience of driving in the dark, whether with their driving instructor or through private practice
Changes to the Theory Test - 18/02/2020
From 14 April 2020, the car theory test will be modified so that the case studies will be substituted with a short video clip and 3 multiple-choice questions based on the video.
This change will be introduced to make the theory test more accessible to people with reading difficulty, learning disability or developmental condition (like autism).
Bad weather warning - 03/02/2020
The DVSA are reporting that some driving tests are being effected due to bad weather around the country, this is mainly due to the heavy rain that some areas are experiencing.
More information is available on the DVSA test website and Twitter feed and we will be monitoring the situation for our students who have upcoming driving tests.
Merry Christmas - 01/12/2019
At Banstead School Of Motoring we'd like to wish eveyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year..
It's been an exciting ans scusessfull ear for us here at Banstead School Of Motoring. We wish all of our students current and forthcoming al of the best at this time.
Drive safe, and we'll see you soon
DVSA Examiners say goodbye to clipboards - 28/11/2019
Successful learners will receive their full driving licences quicker as driving examiners start marking the car driving test digitally, DVSA has announced today.
Driving examiners are using tablets to mark the driving test digitally as part of a phased roll out. A specially developed app is replacing the clipboard and pen.
Shifting to the paperless test report will mean learners will receive an electronic summary report of their test that they can review with their instructor, pass or fail, to discuss which areas of their driving could be further improved.
Driving in the cold this winter - 19/11/2019
Driving in the ice and snow this winter.? Here's some great advice from the Met Office: