5 Mistakes That New Drivers Make

5 Mistakes That New Drivers Make

Are you a new driver? If so, you might be making some of the same mistakes that other drivers make when they first get behind the wheel.

For tips about how to avoid these mistakes, read this article.

Speeding 

The first and easily the most common mistake that new drivers make on the road is speeding.

Speeding is easily done, as you drive your foot will naturally press on the accelerator and this can cause you to go above and beyond the speed limit. It is important to stay focused on your speed and ensure that you check it now and again to keep you on track.

The last thing you want in your first month of driving is to be stopped by the police! 

Not checking blind spots 

This next mistake is one that is incredibly easy to do and most drivers miss this crucial step now and again. When you set off in your car you should always perform a full rotation of visibility.

This means checking everywhere around the car, including your blindspot, to ensure there is no one there before you move.

The biggest culprits for sitting in your blind spot are cyclists, and if you don’t see one and try to turn into a junction, this could be incredibly dangerous. 

Driving too close to other cars 

When you are driving on your daily commute, it is common to come close to the back of other cars, particularly when in traffic.

It is however important to try and maintain the 2 second gap between you and the car in front wherever possible.

You can never predict the movements of others on the road, and you don’t want the car in front to suddenly stop or stall and cause you to crash into it and incur a hefty bill.

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Becoming distracted 

Driving for the first time on your own can be a little daunting, but it also feels very freeing and fun. The big mistake a lot of new drivers will make is to turn up their music loud, have friends in the car talking, and generally get distracted on the road.

During the first few months of driving a car, it is important to be cautious and allow yourself to get used to being on the road.

Once you are more comfortable driving, you can start introducing your friends and family and louder music – just be sure you stay focused. 

Driving in the wrong lane

When driving on a dual carriageway or a road with multiple lanes that turn off at junctions it can be daunting.

It is common for new drivers to get in the wrong lane when driving and then panic and try to get back into the right lane, only to have other drivers beep their horns.

Most of the time if you indicate early enough, someone will let you through to the correct lane. If this doesn’t happen, however, you might find yourself panicking.

The best thing to do in this situation is staying in the lane you are in, keep driving, and turn off at the next side road.

Once three, you can recalibrate and find your way back to the correct path. 

 

How to get your driving licence as fast as possible

How to get your driving licence as fast as possible

If you’re a young driver looking to get your licence, you’ve come to the right place. With tricks and tips for test preparation and advice on how to take and pass the driving test, this article has everything you need to know about getting behind the wheel — quickly.

Apply for a provisional licence online 

The first step to take if you want to pass your driving test as soon as possible is to order a provisional licence. It only takes 10 minutes to do this online and the licence will be with you in a week or so.

Once you have this, you are legally allowed to operate a vehicle and you can start looking for a driving instructor. 

Study for your theory with an app 

The theory test is perhaps the biggest hurdle you have to jump before you take your driving test. The theory test measures your ability to read road signs, understand important rules, and know your speed limits.

It is important for you to pass this test before you take your practical test as it will help you while on the road. You can study for your theory using mobile apps to take mock tests and get used to the type of questions you’ll get.

You can also use YouTube videos as examples of hazard perception – which is often the most tricky aspect of a theory test. 

Book your theory as soon as possible 

Once you feel ready to take your theory test, you should take it as soon as you can. There are test centres in every city so you’ll have no problem finding a local test centre where you can complete this important step. Once you have taken and passed your theory test you have 2 years to pass your practical test, so now it’s time to get behind the wheel! 

Book your lessons 

Finding a great driving instructor can be a struggle, but once you do, you should try and book a block of lessons on your first visit to ensure you keep learning consistently.

Ideally, you want to be taking lessons every 3-4 days if possible, as this will ensure that the lessons stay fresh in your mind and you get used to driving.

You can often choose between 1 and 2 hour slots – and a 2 hour slot might be the best option for you if you want to learn quickly. 

Try an intensive course 

If you can’t wait to be on the road and you don’t want to wait too long for lessons – why not try an intensive course?

You can take a 10, 20, or 30 hour course over a week which will aim to have you licenced by the end of the week. These courses can be incredibly useful and if you are short on time or simply impatient, these could be a good option to explore. 

Practice driving at home 

If you want to increase your driving time throughout the week, consider driving with a family member between your lessons. If you have a parent or a sibling who has a low litre car to use, you can ask them to let you take the wheel and practice driving around your local neighborhood. Driving in a different setting without your instructor present may actually help you to learn, and using roads local to you will ensure that you feel comfortable and safe. 

Take your test

It’s now time to take your test, and the first step is booking it. When booking your driving test it is a good idea to consider where the test centre is and also what time of day you do it.

For example, if you were to take your test at 8 am the local area will likely be much busier with traffic due to the school run as well as the rush hour for work. It is best to try and avoid these times of day as there are a lot more people on the roads and you are more likely to make a mistake. 

Once you have booked your test at the preferred time, it is time for you to take it. Your instructor will drive you to the test centre and you do have the option to have a lesson just before – however, this might tire you out before your test.

Once you are on the road, take your time with decisions and trust your instincts. It is always better to drive too slow than too quickly (but not too slow!). 

Hopefully, these tips will help you get your driving licence quickly this year. 

Super Fast Car Batteries That Can Charge In 5 Mins

Super Fast Car Batteries That Can Charge In 5 Mins
Company promises super fast car batteries that can charge In 5 minutes
Israeli company StoreDot has taken a giant step towards electric cars being able to charge as quickly as filling up a diesel or petrol vehicle. These extremely fast charging batteries are being produced by Eve energy, a factory located in China.
StoreDot has so far been able to raise 95m, the companies that have provided the funding towards these lithium-ion batteries are as follows, Samsung, BP, Daimier and TDK.
Scientists from Pennsylvania University have discovered that by replacing graphite with nanoparticles reduces the charge time significantly. To date the company has manufactured 1,000 battery packs, when they start to produce to the mass market it is claimed that these batteries will be in full service by 2024.
Doron Myersdorf chief executive at StoreDot said,” The number one barrier to the adoption of electric vehicles is no longer cost, it is range anxiety,” “You’re either afraid that you’re going to get stuck on the highway or you’re going to need to sit in a charging station for two hours. But if the experience of the driver is exactly like fuelling [a petrol car], this whole anxiety goes away.”
The company has claimed that these super-fast batteries can be recharged 1000 times while mantaining 80% of original capacity. What is reassuring is that StoreDot has produced its super fast-charging batteries for scooters, drones and phones.
Chao-Yang Wang professor at Pennsylvania State University said;” finally we are achieving parity with gasoline vehicles in both cost and convenience. We have the technology for $25,000 electric cars that race like luxury sport cars, have 10-minute rechargeability and are safer than any currently on the market.”
There was less optimism though from Anna Tomaszewska, at Imperial College London. “I think technologies [like StoreDot’s] could start entering the market in the next five years or so. However, since they will be more difficult and expensive to manufacture, we’re likely to initially only see them in niche markets that are highly performance-driven and not as price-sensitive as electric vehicles,” she said.

How Do I Drive Forwards Into a Parking Bay?

How do I drive forwards into a parking bay?

Why Choose This Manoeuvre?

For how common this manoeuvre is, driving forwards into a parking bay has its downsides. Some you might want to consider include:

  • When reversing into the parking space, you might have better visibility over the bay lines
  • It is more challenging to fit into a tight space when driving forward into the bay
  • The visibility can be much worse when reversing out of the bay
  • If reversing into a bay, you can use the lines of the bay in front of you as a reference.

Performing This Manoeuvre on Your Test

While this manoeuvre implies some noticeable disadvantages, this is one of the most common manoeuvres used by all drivers. Indeed, some advantages of it are that it is much quicker to perform than reversing into the bay, and, in good visibility conditions, reversing out of the bay is also a safe option. Due to its popularity, it has been implemented in the new driving test that became official in December 2017.

Driving Forwards Into a Parking Bay: Step-by-Step

Here is a breakdown of the steps to take to perform this type of parking manoeuvre. Don’t forget that the assistance and guidance of an expert instructor are irreplaceable to learn such challenging procedures.

Step 1: Selecting Your Parking Bay

If you are performing this manoeuvre in your driving test, your DVSA examiner will not indicate to you the target parking bay. Rather, you will have to choose one for yourself. When you are prompt, check your mirrors and release the gas pedal to slow down. This will give you the time to identify the right bay. For this, use the tips below:

  • If possible, pick a bay that has no cars parked on the sides. This will limit the chances of damage and allows you to perform the manoeuvre with less pressure.
  • You can cross the white lines of the bay slightly when moving into it. However, it is recommendable to pick a bay on the right side so you won’t need to drive onto the other side of the road to complete your parking. 

Step 2: Approaching Your Parking Bay

Once you have picked your bay and slowed down, you will need to implement your LADA (Look, Assess, Decide then Act) routine. Once you are in a safe spot, and you have identified potential obstacles, it is time to drive forward into the bay. 

When doing so, remember that the vehicle driving on the other lane assumes priority. So, you might need to stop to let others go before the lane is free and you can complete the manoeuvre. 

Step 3: Use the MSPSL System

When approaching your bay, it is crucial to implement the MSPSL (Mirrors, Signal, Position, Speed, Look) routine. For this, you should:

  • Recheck your mirrors, including your doors’ ones and you interior one
  • Put on a signal if someone is behind or in front of you to let them know of your upcoming change of directions.
  • If your target bay is on the right, position yourself as much as possible on the left. This will make your entry easier.
  • Slow down to ensure that you can respond in a timely manner to all obstacles that might come your way. You might decide to stop altogether if a car is coming. 
  • Keep looking around throughout the manoeuvre as pedestrians might be walking around, and other users might try to get into the same bay. 

Step 4: Use Your Mirror for Reference

When trying to park into your target bay, you might decide to use a focal point for reference. Your instructor might point one out for you. If not, use your door mirror as a reference. 

Once the door mirror is in line with the first line of the bay you have chosen, get ready to turn.

Step 5: Aim for the Outer Line of Your Targeted Bay

Once you have passed the first line by around 1dt, steer full lock towards the bay. Do so while your car is moving slowly. 

At the beginning of this movement, the left side of your car will be pointing to the beginning of the second line of your chosen parking bay. If you have turned correctly, the tires of your car will slightly cross this line before entering the chosen bay. 

Step 6: Straighten Up

Don’ts start to straightening up your car immediately as this might leave your car at an angle, and you might need to try the manoeuvre again. Instead, start to straighten the steering will slowly as the car comes into position. Then, straighten the steering wheel completely once the car is fully in the parking space. Do so before you come to a stop to avoid dry steering.

Step 7: Check That You Are Straight

Your door mirrors should give you an indication regarding whether you are in the right space. You can also use the interior mirror to ensure that your car is in line with the car behind you. 

Bottom Line

The hardest part of driving forwards into a parking bay is that you will need to reverse to exit it. And, this means that visibility will be limited. Make sure you follow the guidelines and help of your instructor throughout the process.

How do I pull up on the right?

How do I pull up on the right?

How do I pull up on the right?

During your driving test, the examiner will ask you to complete a number of different manoeuvres. One of the things that you will be asked to do will be to pull up on the right.

Your examiner will use an exact phrase when asking you to do this. Their instruction will be “I would like you to pull up on the right at a safe, legal place, reverse back two car lengths then drive away safely, doing it with due regard and safety for other road users.”  

The first thing that you will need to do once you have been given this instruction is to look for somewhere that is both safe and legal to do this. You won’t be told where to do the maneuver, instead, you will need to make an assessment. You should do this using a technique called LADA – Look, Assess, Decide, and then Act. 

Applying LADA To Pulling Up On The Right 

You will first need to find a place to pull up at the right-hand side. Make sure you check all of the road markings as well as any features that may prohibit you from stopping there. For example, you shouldn’t stop on a bend, or on zig-zag lines. You should also avoid bus stops and driveways. Try to find a space that is large enough that you will be able to get in easily without having to swerve. 

Once you have found somewhere that is suitable for you to stop, you will need to assess whether it safe for you to stop there. 

One of the most obvious things that you need to be looking out for is oncoming traffic. While there may be some traffic coming towards you, it is unlikely that you will be asked to complete this task on a busy road. After all, your examiner is not trying to fail you. It wouldn’t be fair or safe to make you perform the maneuver on a busy street. 

Applying MSPSL On Pulling Up On The Right 

 

MSPSL stands for mirrors, signal, position, speed, and look. 

Mirrors refer to checking both your interior and your door mirrors. Check what is behind you. Are they quite close behind you? Are they about to overtake? Is the driver paying full attention? 

If there is anything happening behind you that will prevent you from safely slowing, stoping and pulling over, then you should think about pulling over at a later time when it is safe to do so. 

If necessary, you should use your indicator to show that you want to intend on moving. Make sure that you use it in good time so that you can alert other drivers to your intentions. If there are no other cars on the road, then you don’t need to indicate. 

Make sure that you gradually adjust the position of your vehicle, particularly if there are vehicles following you. 

Depending on what is behind you and what is in front of you will determine the speed at which you slow down. Progressive braking is better. 

Look up the length of the road and all around you are ensure that nothing has changed around you. 

Reversing Back Two Car Lengths 

You will be required to reverse back two car lengths after you have pulled over. It is essential that you ensure it’s safe to do this before making the move. Check all around you before you start. 

While reversing, stay close to the kerb but avoid hitting or mounting it, or you’ll receive a fault. 

Even if the road is quiet, make sure you are checking all around you. This will show the examiner that you know where and how to look. 

If a car pulls up behind you while you are carrying out the manoeuvre, then you’ll not be able to reverse the full two lengths. Instead, you should reverse back as far as you possibly can while leaving a gap between yourself and the car behind.  

Moving Off Safely 

Before you move off, make sure you look in both directions up and down the road. Remember that you shouldn’t make other vehicles slow down or change direction. When joining the left-hand side of the road you’ll need to move at the speed of the traffic. This may mean using a lower gear longer to maintain the momentum needed. 

Finally, once you have rejoined the road you should check your mirrors to check how the other vehicles behind you have reacted to you joining the road. 

 

What are some good tips before taking my driving test?

What are some good tips before taking my driving test?

The driving test is what you’ve been working towards. Regardless of how many driving lessons you’ve had or how many theory test attempts, you’re at the final stretch. Your driving test is the opportunity to show what you’ve learned, and you’ll be assessed on a series of tasks set by the examiner.

You won’t know what these are until you do the test, which can be nerve-racking.

Here are some useful tips for you that you might find useful when it comes to preparing for your driving test.

Learn To Drive In A Variety Of Conditions

Whenever you have a driving lesson, neither you nor your instructor can control the weather. If you’ve had mainly dry days where your lesson has landed, then it’s worth driving on a wet day.

Try and book in a last-minute slot were possible on a day where it’s raining. The more weather conditions you drive in, the better prepared you’ll be on the test. So whether your driving test is in the rain or on a dry day, you won’t feel put off by it.

Have A Lesson Beforehand

In order to relieve any nerves, it’s good to have a driving lesson before the test. Ideally, you want this to be on the same day, if possible. That way, you have a chance to relax into the driving and go over anything you’re unsure of. Some can take their driving instructors along with them, but that’s up to you.

Make sure you go over all the relevant maneuvers that are common in tests. Your driving instructor should know these and will give you any last-minute tips too.

Arrive Early

Arriving early is better than arriving late. And when it comes to your test, you don’t want anything getting in the way. Even arriving on time can mean you don’t have a moment to prepare yourself. Getting there early enough can give you time to relax, think everything through, and be ready.

It can be surprising what a bit of alone time to reflect can do for you in preparation for the exam.

Ask Your Examiner To Repeat When Needed

The atmosphere of a test can feel very nerve-racking. It’s important that you don’t let that be something that gets to you. As you go through your test, if there’s anything you misheard, ask it to be repeated.

Don’t just carry on as normal or attempting to do something that you thought was needed. Always clarify anything that your examiner says and repeat the task out load so that it sinks in.

Don’t feel awkward or embarrassed, it could be the difference between you passing and failing.

Remember To Breathe

As mentioned already, take your time and remember to breathe. It can be stressful enough, and when you’re stressed, you don’t breathe properly. We get shortness of breathe when, in fact, we want deep breathing. This can help make things clearer and less chaotic.

There are lots of different breathing techniques to try out. It’s worth doing them in your driving lessons early on or at any time where you feel nervous. There’s likely to be something that can help you.

The examiner will be sure to tell you to relax because they want you to do your best. Take their advice, take a deep breath, and trust yourself to succeed.

Never Assume You’ve Failed

There are occasions where a learner driver has thought they’ve failed when they haven’t. In fact, it could be that they failed on something that wasn’t recognised by yourself.

Never assume that you’ve failed, even if you know you did something wrong.

The distinction between majors and minors can be so discreet that you should always stay positive.

Continue to do as you are told, and don’t keep your eye off the ball until you’ve finished. As much as it can feel like you’ve failed, that might not be the case.

Be Sure To Listen For Tips If You Failed

At the end of the test, it can be hard to stay attentive when you’re told that you’ve failed. However, the feedback that an examiner gives can be crucial for your next test.

Take in all the information, and be sure to relay this to the instructor if they’re not there. If they are, they’ll likely to use the information to help you pass next time around.

Driving tests are certainly a nerve-racking experience, but it’s important to keep a level head.

Get plenty of rest the night before, arrive early, and be sure to breathe properly during the test.

Take your time and be attentive throughout!

Can I use my international driving license in the UK

international driving license in the UK

Can I use my international driving license in the UK?

If you plan on visiting the United Kingdom or becoming a resident, you may be asking the question, can I use my international driving license in the UK? The short answer is yes; you can. Whether you are a learner or have a full license, there are a couple of stipulations that we will cover for you below.

When I am in the United Kingdom, will I need to retake my test?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. When you arrive in the UK, your Non-EU license is valid for 12 months. Once the 12 months are up, you will need to contact the DVLA and apply for a UK provisional license. From here, you will need to take a UK driving test and pass before you are legally allowed to drive on the roads by yourself again.

 

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BOOK YOUR DRIVING LESSONS TODAY

It is also worth noting that your international license will become invalid once you have received your provisional license. This still applies even if you still have time left on your international license.

How does my insurance work?

The insurance rules in the UK can cause confusion, which is why invalid car insurance crops on more than a couple of occasions. Essentially, you can insure yourself with an international license. The problem occurs when you apply for your provisional.

Once you receive your provisional license, you are no longer allowed to drive the car on your own, therefore making the insurance invalid. You would need to reapply for your car insurance once you have passed your driving test. In the UK, it is worth noting that if you fail your driving test, you will not be allowed to retake it until an additional ten days have passed.

Can I drive in the United Kingdom if I hold an EU license?

When it comes to a driver holding a license which they received within the European Union, the rules are simple. Once you become a United Kingdom resident, you can drive in England for as long as you like, as long as your driving license is valid and has not expired.

When your EU Licence runs out, you are allowed to swap it to a UK full driving license. Please note that some rules may change after Brexit, once there has been some clarification on the matter.

Should I take driving lessons before taking my test?

Whether or not you should take driving lessons comes down to how confident you feel on the road. Some people don’t mind driving on the other side of the road and don’t find it an issue, whereas others do. You may find that you can drive, but you have picked up some bad habits that cause you to fail your driving test.

Roundabouts aren’t very common in America, for example, whereas in the United Kingdom, you will come across them a lot. These can cause some confusion.

Safety is paramount on the road, so you may want to consider taking a few lessons before your test. Alternatively, you could take one of our intensive courses to brush on your technique. Our driving instructor will then advise you on whether they think you are ready to take the test or should continue with a few more lessons.

What happens during the test?

Five different aspects will be tested when taking a driving test in the UK. This will include an eyesight check, vehicle safety questions, general driving ability, reversing your vehicle, and an independent drive. Your driving test will last for 40 minutes unless you take an extended driving test, which lasts 70 minutes. The test is the same for Manuel and Automatic cars.

During the test, your driving inspector will score your driving ability assigning a minor for anything small or a major for anything that could potentially be dangerous. If a major is given, this is an automatic fail; however, you will not know about this until the end of the test when the examiner gives you your results.

It is a big thing moving to the United Kingdom, let alone adding the stress of the legal parts of your driving license. We know it can get confusing, but we hope we have cleared some points up for you. If you are looking to take an intensive course or a few weekly lessons, do get in touch as we would love to help.

Alternatively, if you have any questions about our driving courses, feel free to drop us an email, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Can I use an interpreter for my driving test?

Why Can’t You Have An Interpreter

Prior to 2014, anyone who didn’t speak English as their first language was allowed to have an interpreter for their driving test. This interpreter could be someone who was their driving instructor or a family member or friend who spoke the language fluently. You could also pick from a range of languages during your theory test too.

However, these laws changed, and you are no longer allowed an interpreter during your test.

Why Can’t You Have An Interpreter?

The laws changed for a number of reasons. Firstly, the new laws in place help those learn the national language. It can be helpful to communicate fluently in English, not just for the test but beyond.

You might need to communicate with other drivers whilst on the road. There’s also the relevant signs on the road that you’ll need to be able to read.

Taking your practical and theory test in the UK requires you to take the language in English, and that’s your only option. If anything, it’s helpful for non-English speakers to help better their language skills.

One of the main concerns, when it came to interpreters, was that the examiner had no idea whether someone was cheating or not. T

here were restrictions on how often the interpreter could speak, but even then, the examiner wouldn’t know if, during those conversations, they were aiding the learner driver.

Removing the interpreter was an assurance that there would be no cheating at all.

Road safety is obviously very important and when it comes to learning signs, it’s important to be able to read them when they’re in English or Welsh. Driving in the UK for a non-English speaker would be difficult if they didn’t have much knowledge of the English language.

It could put them at risk and risk other driver’s safety too. It makes sure that every student who passes knows exactly how to read road signage properly.

Fewer costs are an advantage when it comes to removing the voiceover element of the theory test. It costs a considerable amount of money to translate exams tests and so saving money is clearly a pro for getting rid of the multiple-choice languages.

Can I Take A Foreign Language Driving Test?

Knowledge and understanding of the English language are essential for taking the theory and driving test. However, it is possible to organise driving instructors in your native language if necessary. It can be easier for you to relax into driving if you have someone who speaks your language and can explain all the manoeuvres properly. Depending on where you go for your driving test, there can be a difficulty when finding a native speaker.

It’s worth enquiring about this before booking in your test, and to explore the areas where you would prefer to take the test too. You should also take note that it shouldn’t cost you any more money to take the test with a foreign language instructor.

What Are The Alternatives To An Interpreter?

Although there’s no getting around having an interpreter during your test, you can still have a friend or family member with you in place of the instructor. This can be really helpful if you’re someone who gets quite nervous and needs that element of reassurance. Having a family member or friend can give you that familiar face when you’re stepping into the car with an examiner. Every examiner will want to put your mind at ease, but even though that’s the case, it’s still nice to have someone you know that’s there silently cheering you along.

It’s also good to have your instructor there if you want them to as an alternative. It’s up to you whether it’s going to mean more pressure or if it puts you at ease. It’s worth talking to your instructor about it to figure out if it’s something that you want to do. You could also make a preference of whether you want a man or woman examiner for your driving test if needs be. If you’re not fussed, then there’s no issue, but if you’d feel more comfortable with a man than a woman or vice versa, then this can be arranged.

Be confident in your driving test, and be sure to take a breather. It’s going to be nerve-racking, but if you take your time and believe in yourself, you’re more than likely to pass the first time. If not, then don’t get yourself down in the dumps. It’ll happen eventually, and everyone is different and acts differently under pressure.

Can I Drive An Automatic With A Manual Licence?

Can I Drive An Automatic With A Manual Licence?

There is no denying that most seventeen year olds are excited by this milestone age for one reason, and that is the opportunity to get behind the wheel and drive a car.

It can give you that sense of freedom you have never felt before, and finally a little independence. However, before you do anything, you need to obtain a provisional license, learn to drive and pass that theory and practical test. There are two types of car transmission that you can drive.

A car with a manual gearbox where you need to learn to change the gears, and a car with an automatic gearbox where the vehicle does the gear change for you.

Getting the right license

Originally you will be provided with a provisional driving license. This gives you the permission needed to start learning to drive on the road with an accredited instructor in a learner car. This gives you the chance to start learning the ins and outs of driving a car.

A manual gearbox means that not only do you need to control the car with steering, but you also need to control the clutch and gear changes.

It can sound very complex, but once you get into the rhythm of gear changing and understanding when your vehicle will need to be in a different gear, it will become second nature. However, not all people can pass their tests and learn to drive in a manual car, and so may take that option of learning in an automatic and passing their test.

This will then give you a driving license for an automatic vehicle only.

The differences between manual and automatic

Of course the main big difference between an automatic car and a manual car is the presence of a clutch and a gearbox that needs manually changing.

As you learn to drive in a manual car, you will understand when you need to change the gears up, depending on the speed and type of driving you’re doing, and when the gears need to be changed down as you reduce your speed or drive on a speed restricted road.

An automatic car will do all of this for you, and the clutch pedal will not be present next to the brake or accelerator. Learning in an automatic car means you will likely be focusing more of the control of the car in terms of speed and steering.

Which means that you will only be able to drive these sorts of cars.

Can you drive a manual vehicle with an automatic license?

The answer to this question would be no. If you take automatic driving lessons then you will only be able to control and understand the workings of an automatic car.

Driving on the road and becoming road legal after passing your test in an automatic vehicle will mean that you only have the expertise and knock edge to drive an automatic car. If you would then want to drive a manual car then you will need to retake your test.

To do that you will have to have manual driving lessons so that you can learn how to operate the clutch pedal and the gearbox manually.

Can you drive an automatic vehicle with a manual license?

The answer to this question would be yes. If you have taken manual driving lessons and learned how to drive a manual gearbox, then driving an automatic simply means you don’t have to do that option when driving the car.

Passing your test in a manual car means that you are identifying in the operation of a vehicle and road safety, and therefore whether you drive with a manual gearbox or switch into an automatic, the knowledge you have is enough to operate both types of vehicles.

This is why it is important to try and ensure that you learn in a manual car. Understanding the clutch and gear pedals means that when you pass your test you can drive any type of car and even a light commercial vehicle confidently.

Whether you take manual driving lessons or opt for automatic driving lessons many of you just want the opportunity to get out on the open road and enjoy that independence. Alongside the gearbox differences you will also need to have the confidence eout on the road as well as have a good understanding of the workings of your car. From brake lights and indicators to fuel and oil levels.

Hopefully this has given you a better understand of the difference between an automatic and manual car and why you may need to have a specific license depending on how you pass your test.

What’s The Difference Between Zebra, Puffin And Pelican Crossings?

What’s The Difference Between Zebra, Puffin And Pelican Crossings?

Zebra, puffin, pelican – they’re all types of animals, right? But of course, in the UK, they’re also types of road crossings. As a learner driver, you’ll need to know the difference between these types of road crossings to help you approach pedestrians safely and generally be a safe and considerate driver.

So what’s the difference between zebra, puffin and pelican crossings? We tell you everything you need to know. 

Zebra crossing

Zebra crossing

Zebra crossings are a common type of crossing, but they don’t have crossing lights. You will often spy them across city centres and areas where there is likely to be a lot of pedestrian traffic.

They feature black and white stripes painted across the ground (which is where the name zebra comes from). They are also marked by two beacons known as ‘Belisha beacons’, which are named after the politician who introduced them – Leslie Hore-Belisha – in 1934. 

 

Pedestrians have an automatic right of way on a zebra crossing. As you approach a zebra crossing, you should adjust your speed and look out for anyone who could be trying to cross. 

 

It’s a criminal offence not to stop for pedestrians at a zebra crossing, so if you want to avoid having points on your licence (including a provisional licence), then make sure you stop.

Puffin crossing

Puffin crossing

Puffin crossings were introduced in 1992, making them newer than zebra or pelican crossings. A puffin crossing features the green/red man signals on the side of the road, while drivers will see traffic lights facing the road.

Puffin crossings work using sensors to monitor whether or not there are any pedestrians at the crossing.

After a pedestrian has pressed the control button, the traffic lights will change from green to red to alert the driver to stop, allowing the pedestrian to cross to cross.

The lights will then return to green when the crossing is clear of pedestrians.

Unlike a pelican crossing (more on that below), there are no flashing amber lights on a puffin crossing. You must wait until the lights return to green before you can continue to drive.

Keep an eye out for puffin crossings as you drive, you may see a sign alerting you to an upcoming one. You should keep an eye on any cars that are behind you to ensure you can both stop and accelerate safely. Your instructor will make sure you carry out the necessary mirror checks.

Pelican crossing

Pelican crossing

You’ll likely be more familiar with a pelican crossing than other types of crossing, both as a driver and a pedestrian yourself. They feature a black and yellow box on the side of the road for the pedestrian with a WAIT sign, while drivers see a set of three-colour traffic lights facing you from the road.

With a pelican crossing, the flow of traffic is controlled by the traffic lights.

A pedestrian will press the button, lighting the WAIT sign, where they must wait for a green man on the opposite side of the road to light and for the traffic lights to turn red.

After a certain amount of time, the red signal turns to a flashing amber and then green. If there are no pedestrians remaining on the crossing while the signal is flashing amber, you can continue on your way.

Once the signal starts flashing, pedestrians are no longer permitted to cross the road. 

Your approach to a pelican crossing will be the same as other crossings – checking behind you to make sure you adjust your speed to allow other cars to stop behind you as needed.

 

Learning the difference between zebra, puffin and pelican crossings

 

As a learner driver, it’s important that you learn the difference between each type of crossing. Zebra, puffin and pelican crossings each have their own rules, and failing to follow them could lead to an accident, as well a penalty on your licence.

Many drivers are guilty of breaking the rules, but if you observe them from the beginning, you’ll be a much safer driver.

Your instructor will guide you through the different types of crossings when you approach them. It’s important to listen to their instructions so that you understand when you need to stop and when you can continue to drive.

Make sure you understand how to spot the difference too – this could be something that appears on your theory or hazard perception test.

If you’re looking for a driving instructor in Essex, be sure to check out Alfie’s Driving School. We provide professional one-to-one driving lessons to help you learn how to drive with confidence. Contact us today to see how we can help you get on the road.