Newbury Driving Test after Lockdown

The start of a new era of driving tests in Newbury and the rest of the country too. Today, I took my first pupil to test after lockdown. Anna Van der Zwaluw passed her test on her first attempt in Newbury with only 1 minor mark.

There were some changes to the driving test due to Coronavirus. The test times are now different due to the fact that the examiners need extra time in between tests to clean themselves and any equipment they use such as the sat nav. The number of tests conducted are now less which makes booking a test more difficult. The reason there are less tests are twofold. Firstly there are now less parking bays at the test centre compared with before. Every second bay has cones in them. That way each candidate, instructor and examiner can socially distance easier. Secondly there are less examiners. Some of them have not returned to work yet as they may be vulnerable.

Another change is that if a pupil commits a serious or dangerous mark, then the pupil will be guided back to the test centre and the test will be cut short. This is to minimise the time spent in the car unnecessarily.

Pupils and examiners are also required to wear masks. There are some valid reasons as to why a pupil may be exempt e.g. medical reasons. However being a glasses wearer and the fact that glasses may steam up is not a valid reason.

Windows are also required to partially open for test to help with ventilation and not to have air conditioning on. This can have the problem that in slow traffic especially when the weather is hot.

How to Stop Glasses Steaming Up on a Driving Test

Since lockdown has been lifted, driving tests are now starting to become available. Some of my pupils have already been able to secure a test date. One thing that has been raising concerns with some pupils is the fact that their glasses steam up when they wear a mask!

Unfortunately glasses steaming up is not a valid excuse not to wear a mask. There are some ways that can help your glasses not to steam up.

The first is to make sure that the mask is tucked underneath the glasses. That way the hot and moist air doesn’t mist up the glasses. The second way is to stick a rolled up tissue to the top of the mask to catch the moist air. The third method is to wash your glasses in soap and water. This leaves a thin, anti-mist layer on the lenses.

In fact there’s no reason why you can’t use all 3 methods together to give you a greater chance of your glasses not steaming up.

Driving Lessons in a Toyota Yaris

After many weeks of being in lockdown Peter Skelton Driving School are back to teaching again. My new Toyata Yaris is proving to be a real winner with pupils. With a 1.5 litre petrol engine it has great acceleration which at times can be an important requirement especially pulling away quickly at roundabouts and joining the dual carriageway.

My first pupil after lockdown, Annie Smith, said “Simply the best car! Very smooth to drive in and with modern additions that make reversing easier”. New pupil, Ashley Johnson, said “I like how smooth the Toyota Yaris is to drive and it’s such a pleasure to learn in.” Another new pupil who had driven before said “It’s really smooth and responsive and easy to get to grips with.” One of my old pupils who had previously driven my old car which was a Peugeot 208 said of the Yaris “The car is quite comfortable and the visibility is good within the car.”

One of my other instructors Pete Burke said “The reversing camera is a welcome addition to aide all round visibility”.

The car offers many great features such as a comfortable driving position, great acceleration, large mirrors for greater visibility, cruise control & speed limiter and great all round visibility.

The first week back at work was difficult after such a long break and getting used to thoroughly cleaning the car in between lessons. However now I’m up and running it will be good to get driving tests booked again to enable pupils to gain their independence.

So I’m looking to all my pupils to name my new car. The car can be male, female or gender neutral. Tell me the name and your reasons for the choice in the comments box below. I’ll announce the winning name next week.

Driving Lessons After Lockdown

So after too many weeks/months we’re finally back out teaching from tomorrow. Here’s my new car, a Toyota Yaris, which is the same car that our instructor Pete Burke has. Both of us getting new cars just as lockdown started!!! Along with our automatic instructor, Tomasz, we’re looking forward to finally meeting up again with our old pupils and a whole host of new ones too. Wishing our instructor Louise a speedy and safe return so the whole team will be back in full force.

Safe Driving After The Driving Test

So the day has come. You have finally passed your driving test! The feeling of happiness and a massive weight lifted off your shoulders is immense. All those months of lessons and all of the money that you have spent has finally given you something that every young person craves…. “Independence and freedom”! 

With the independence and freedom also comes a lot of responsibility. It will be the first time that you will have driven a car by yourself. It will be the first time that you will drive without anyone next to you telling you what to do. You will have to make every decision by yourself. Some of the decisions that you will have to make may be to deal with things that you may not have encountered before e.g. emergency vehicles, a real life emergency stop or parking in the real world either in a busy car park or between two cars.

However there may also be things you may encounter that may not always be scary like your first drive to McDonalds! It’s nearly always the first place young drivers go when they pass their driving test. In fact it’s something that I sometimes include on a lesson if a pupil wants to. The reason for that is that it’s part of real life driving. Some of the McDonald’s drive-throughs can be tight for space and can cause pupils to potentially hit the kerb or worse still clip a metal post as they negotiate a bend. These sort of skills are often overlooked on driving lessons but they offer a great lesson. What’s more the pupil gets a McFlurry of whatever else they want, on me! More importantly I get a “cheeky cappu” !