Driving Test Passes – December 2013

Congratulations to all of our pupils that passed their driving tests in December 2013. If you’d like to be next then why not book online today!

2nd December 2013 – Lizzie Horden – Lizzie passed with our driving instructor Dave Shannon (snr) at the Cobridge test centre in Stoke on Trent. Well done Lizzie!

Lizzie had driving lessons in Stoke on Trent

3rd December 2013 – Josh Page – Josh took his driving lessons with our newest driving instructor Mark Lawton.  He passed his test at Newcastle test centre.  Well done Josh!

Driving Lessons Newcastle under Lyme

4th December 2013 – Sophie – Sophie began learning to drive when she lived at home in Birmingham.  Part way through her learning she moved to Shelton to study at Staffordshire University, and needed a local driving school to continue her driving lessons.  Sophie was recommended to us by a number of her friends who had already passed their tests with Drive Ahead.  Well done Sophie, from your driving instructor Dave Shannon!

Sophie passed in Newcastle

10th December 2013 – Fang Chen – Fang was recommended to us by one of her friends who had recently taken driving lessons with us.  She had been learning with another driving instructor and had failed her test several times so decided it was time for a change.  After taking lessons with us she managed to pass on her first time at the Cobridge test centre – Well done Fang!

Fang passed in Stoke on Trent

12th December 2013 – Kim Pidgeon – Kim had driven in the past, but after a break of several years and with a new baby she decided it was time to start again.  After just a handful of lesson Kim was back up to standard and past with us first time!

Kim passed in Newcastle

17th December 2013 – Matt “Rug” Pennington – “Rug” passed his driving test with our instructor Mark Lawton at the Newcastle.

19th December 2013 – Josh Dale – Josh passed his driving test with our instructor Martin Molyneux – Well done Josh!

Driving test in Newcastle

19th December 2013 – Jodie Howard – Jodie passed her driving test 1st time with our driving instructor John Johnson at the Newcastle test centre

31st December 2013 – Mark Carr – Mark came to us after seeing one of his old school mates’ photos on our website.  His friend had passed with us a few weeks before.  Mark runs his own business delivering leaflets and really needs a car to get around, and he’ll now have the flexibility to travel more for his work

Mark passed his test in Stoke

Well done to all of our ‘passed’ learners – a great result all round!

If you’d like to take driving lessons with Drive Ahead then call us today on 01782 906010 or why not book online

Driving Lessons in Stoke – How do I prepare?

Driving Lessons in Stoke on Trent

So then, you’ve decided that you want to learn to drive, but you’re not sure what you need to do to get ready for your driving lessons.  This blog post gives you a guide about what documents you will need and how to get them, as well as what to expect on your first driving lesson, along with useful website and contact details.

How old must I be to learn to drive?

You can drive from your 17th birthday.  However, you can apply for your provisional driving licence up to 3 months before your 17th birthday.  If you’d like a driving lesson on your 17th birthday then I’d advise you to start applying for your licence at the earliest opportunity.

Driving Lessons from 17

How to get your provisional driving licence

Before you even think about getting in a car to drive you must have a provisional driving licence.   There are 2 ways to obtain your driving licence. Firstly you can pick up an application form from the Post Office, fill it in, then post it off to the DVLA.  Secondly, you can apply online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence, this is much easier and quicker, and once you’ve completed your application you’ll normally receive your driving licence within 1 week.  The cost of the driving licence is currently £50 and you must also provide passport photos (although if you have a passport already and apply online then they will use the same photo that was used for your passport).

When you receive your driving licence your photo card will be attached to a paper counterpart.  It is important to keep both parts of your driving licence safe, you will need to show them to your driving instructor on your first driving lesson, and they need to be taken with you when you take your driving test.

If at any time your driving licence is lost or damaged then you can apply for a replacement.  The easiest way to do this is online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-to-replace-a-driving-licence.  This currently costs £20.

You’ve got you licence, you’re now ready to book your driving lessons?

As long as you have your licence and either it’s approaching your 17th Birthday or your 17 or older already you can now go ahead and book your driving lessons.  At present Drive Ahead School of Motoring offer driving lessons in Stoke on Trent, Newcastle under Lyme, and all surrounding areas.  When booking your driving lessons you’ll need to decide whether you’d like to learn in a manual or automatic car.  To book a driving lesson call us today on 01782 906010

Manual or Automatic – What’s the difference?

The majority of cars have a manual gearbox, although there is growing number of automatic cars around due to the increase in hybrid and electric cars being used.  If you decide to learn in a manual car this means that you’ll need to change the gears, and use the clutch to control the car.  In an automatic car you don’t need to change through the gears, the car ‘automatically’ does it for you.  If you pass your test in a manual car then you are also permitted to drive an automatic, however if you pass in an automatic car and later decide you’d like to drive a manual car, you will need to retake your driving test in a manual car.

You’ve booked your driving lesson, what can you expect?

Your driving instructor will arrive at the location you arranged when booking your driving lessons.  This might be your home, college, a place of work or any other prearranged location.  You will be required to bring your driving licence with you on your first lesson.  Also, if you’ve been told you require glasses for driving then you must bring them with you to all of your driving lessons.  By law you are required to read a new style car number plate from 20 metres away.  You will be asked to do this before you drive on your first lesson.  If you cannot read the number plate, or you don’t bring your glasses with you, then you will not be permitted to drive.

 

When you are picked up for your first lesson, your driving instructor will normally drive you to a suitable location to start your learning.  When taking driving lessons in Stoke there’s loads of great places to get you started.  This will normally be a quiet housing or industrial estate where the amount of hazards are minimal, and the roads are suitable for you to start your learning.  You will normally start off by learning about the cockpit drill.  The cockpit drill is 5 checks that make sure you are sitting in the correct position, can reach all of the controls properly and can see everything you need to see.  The instructor will find your knowledge of the  controls of the car and how they work, but don’t worry, if there’s anything you don’t know or are not sure off then your instructor will help out.

Once you’ve got a basic understanding of the car and it’s controls you will then look at how to get the car moving, travel a short distance, then bring the car to a stop in a safe location.   Your instructor will always make sure you are safe and if needed can help you out by using their dual controls.  If you’ve taken a 1 hour lesson then your first lesson will probably end at this point.  The driving instructor may drive you home dependant on the progress made.

We always recommend a 2 hour lesson for your first driving lesson to give you the most benefit when starting out.  This means that you may move on to dealing with basic junctions, looking at how to make left and right turns.

It’s important to remember that every person learns at a different rate, and what one person does in one hour, may take another several hours.  Your driving instructor will guide you throughout the learning process, but if at any point you feel you don’t understand the subject and would like the instructor to slow things down a bit then just tell them.  Also, if you feel you should be making more progress then also speak to your instructor, they’ll be more than happy to discuss it with you.

At the end of the lesson your instructor will give you a debrief about the learning that you’ve done, as well as setting an agenda for the next lesson with you.

If you’ve got any further questions or would like to book a driving lesson in Stoke then call us today on 01782 906010

Stoke on Trent Test Centre

If you’re taking driving lessons in Stoke on Trent then you’re probably wondering where you’ll need to go for your theory test and practical test. Well don’t worry, below is a comprehensive guide as to where you’ll need to go for your tests along with how to book them.

Stoke on Trent  Test Centre address is

Unit 8A,
Whittle Court,
Town Road,
Stoke on Trent,
ST1 2QE

There is no direct phone number for the theory test centre and you cannot book the test by going to the centre. To book a theory test you need to either call 0300 200 1122 (which is only available Mon to Fri, 8am-12pm) so you’re best booking online at www.gov.uk/booktheorytest

The theory test centre is all on the ground floor so is accessible for the disabled and it also has toilet facilities. When you go for you theory test you’ll need to take your provisional licence, both the photo card and the paper counterpart. If you have an old style paper licence then you’ll also need to take your passport. You should arrive at the test centre 15 minutes before your test. Failure to take the correct documents or if you arrive late will mean that your test will be cancelled and you will lose your fee.

Where will I take my practical test in Stoke?

If you live in, and are taking your driving lessons in Stoke on Trent, then it most likely you will take your driving test at the Stoke on Trent driving test centre in Cobridge.

The Stoke practical test centre is in the Cobridge area of the city.

8 Elder Road
Cobridge
Stoke On Trent
Staffordshire
ST6 2HE

Again there is no direct phone number to the test centre. To book your driving test you can either call 0300 200 1122 (Mon to Fri, 8am-12pm) or book online at www.gov.uk/bookdrivingtest
The driving test centre is all on the ground floor so is accessible for the disabled and it has toilet facilities.

There is no car park at the Cobridge test centre so you must park on the road. There are several marked short stay parking spaces directly outside the test centre. During busy times these spaces may be full so you’ll need to park on one of the nearby roads.

You should arrive about 15 minutes before your test start time. You will need to bring your driving licence, both the photo card and paper counterpart, along with your theory certificate. If you’re taking your driving test with a driving instructor they will make sure their car is ready for the test.

If you’re not taking your driving test with a driving instructor then you must do all of the following:
Ensure your car is roadworthy – the examiner will check the condition of:

  • The tyres and may check the lights work properly.
  • The car must be insured for your use for the purpose of a test – not all insurance policies cover this.
  • The car must have L plates clearly displayed front and back.
  • You should have an additional mirror on the passenger side for the examiner. These are available from most car accessory shops.Failure to supply any of the required documents or if any of the vehicle requirements are not met may mean that your test will not go ahead and you will lose you driving test fee.

Newcastle Under Lyme Test Centre

If you’re taking driving lessons in Newcastle under Lyme then you’re probably wondering where you’ll need to go for your theory test and practical test. Well don’t worry, below is a comprehensive guide as to where you’ll need to go for your tests along with how to book them.

Where do I take my theory test?

At present the nearest theory test centre to Newcastle is the Stoke on Trent test centre in Hanley. The

Stoke Theory test centre address

Unit 8A,
Whittle Court,
Town Road,
Stoke on Trent,
ST1 2QE

There is no direct phone number for the theory test centre and you cannot book the test by going to the centre. To book a theory test you need to either call 0300 200 1122 (which is only available Mon to Fri, 8am-12pm) so you’re best booking online at www.gov.uk/booktheorytest

The theory test centre is all on the ground floor so is accessible for the disabled and it also has toilet facilities. When you go for your theory test you’ll need to take your provisional licence, both the photo card and the paper counterpart. If you have an old style paper licence then you’ll also need to take your passport. You should arrive at the test centre 15 minutes before your test. Failure to take the correct documents or if you arrive late will mean that your test will be cancelled and you will lose your fee.

Where will I take my practical test

If you live in, and are taking your driving lessons in Newcastle Under Lyme, then it most likely you will take your driving test at the Newcastle driving test centre in Trent Vale.

Newcastle Under Lyme Test Centre

Parklands
Clayton Lane
Trent Vale
Stoke-On-Trent
ST4 6PQ

Again there is no direct phone number to the test centre. To book your driving test you can either call 0300 200 1122 (Mon to Fri, 8am-12pm) or book online at www.gov.uk/bookdrivingtest
The driving test centre is all on the ground floor, with a ramp available from the car park onto the kerb to enter the test centre, so is accessible for the disabled. There are toilets at the test centre. There is a car park with adequate parking for all tests.

You should arrive about 15 minutes before your test start time. You will need to bring your driving licence, both the photo card and paper counterpart, along with your theory certificate. If you’re taking your driving test with a driving instructor they will make sure their car is ready for the test.

If you’re not taking your driving test with a driving instructor then you must do all of the following:

  • Ensure your car is roadworthy – the examiner will check the condition of the tyres and may check the lights work properly.
  • The car must be insured for your use for the purpose of a test – not all insurance policies cover this.
  • The car must have L plates clearly displayed front and back
  • You should have an additional mirror on the passenger side for the examiner. These are available from most car accessory shops.

Failure to supply any of the required documents or if any of the vehicle requirements are not met may mean that your test will not go ahead and you will lose you driving test fee.

Female Driving Instructor in Newcastle under Lyme

Female Driving Instructor in Newcastle Under Lyme

Female Driving Instructor in Newcastle under Lyme

We’re pleased to welcome Sarah Alcock as Drive Ahead’s first female driving instructor.  Sarah has around 7 years of driving instructor experience, and has passed the BTEC level 4 Professional Award in Coaching For Driver Development making her one of the most qualified driving instructors in the area.   Sarah will primarily cover the Newcastle under Lyme area, but will also cover certain areas around Stoke on Trent. Continue reading