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UK Driving School Podcast

Updated 9 days ago

Education
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Articles, tips and videos to help you pass the UK Driving test, affordable driving lessons and a driving instructor's blog based in Mill Hill, London.

Read more

Articles, tips and videos to help you pass the UK Driving test, affordable driving lessons and a driving instructor's blog based in Mill Hill, London.

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of UK Driving School Podcast

UK Driving School Podcast

Latest release on Dec 23, 2015

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 9 days ago

Warning: This podcast data isn't working.

This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: Driving Test What Is Undue Hesitation

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Undue Hesitation is one of the most feared driving test faults, but many learner drivers do not fully understand what the DSA examiner actually considers to be undue hesitation, some thinking that it has to do with how long you spend at a junction, and for that very reason go on to commit serious faults.

In this video I explain what the examiner is looking for when it comes to junctions, and the difference between 'Making Progess' and 'Undue Hesitation'
I would advice anyone taking their driving test to fully watch this video, as many learners rush junctions, take ineffective observations due to lack of knowledge of this driving fault. Make sure you have enough experience in various conditions, so that when your test arrives, you know exactly what to do. As the saying goes: 'Practice makes for a perfect drive'

10 Common Faults that Learners FAIL On!!
Subscribe to my YouTube Driving Test Video Tips channel and you SHOULD follow me on twitter here!
More Advice For Learner Drivers

Major and Minor faults on the test
Multi-lane roundabouts how to video
Know the rules for provisional licence holders. What you can and can't drive.Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Dec 23 2015

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Rank #2: Pass The UK Driving Test!

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Welcome to UKADI, the only website you need with all the information, advice, tips and videos to help you pass the driving test at your next attempt.

As a driving instructor with over 10 years experience helping thousands of learner drivers get the highly coveted DSA pass certificate, I know what it takes to please the DSA examiners, and my goal is through this online instructional blog to give you free the resources needed to reach the standard expected of every test candidate.

A word of caution, passing the UK driving test is not easy, and you as a learner driver will increase your chances of passing first time by putting in the hard work and effort (this does not mean just taking driving lessons only), as many very good drivers with competent car handling skills have failed the test due to simple things that can only be blamed on either a lack of knowledge of the UK driving examiner requirements or over-confidence not giving the DSA practical test the due credit it deserves as one of the toughest learner assessments in the world.

The UK Driving Test

To get a full UK driving licence that enables you to drive a car in the UK unsupervised (manual or automatic transmission), you need to pass 2 tests (1 computer based theory and a practical vehicle motorcycle, car, HGV/LGV assessment).

If you have not already done so, you should apply for your provisional driving licence, and while you are waiting for it to arrive, I suggest you get copy of the official DSA learner guide shown below and start preparing for your theory test right away (it is never too early to start preparing). The guide also contains information about the practical driving test as well, and since it is made by the people who actually conduct the assessment, it is all you need!


Most people pass the theory test first time especially if they take the time to go through the official dsa study guides like the one mentioned above, but if you don't just study some more, practise the hazard perception videos and you should be fine. Note that the test is available to take in other languages, see the DSA website for an up to date list.

Once you have taken and passed the theory test, you have 2 years to take and pass the practical assessment or your theory test pass certificate will expire and you will have to go through the process again, including paying another booking fee.

Preparing and taking the Practical Driving Test

I have already mentioned that passing the UK driving test is not easy, to illustrate this, of the 1.7m tests conducted in the 2011/2012 financial year only 47% passed, that means over 900,000 people failed! (source DSA Press Release), so it is important that you are fully prepared (practically and knowledge wise) if you do not want to be one of those failure statistics.

How to Prepare for the UK practical driving test?

Private Tuition

Currently in the UK there are no requirements that stops people from taking the driving test even if they have not used a DSA qualified instructor to learn, nor do you have to bring a dual controlled instructor's vehicle to the test centre, so this is a common option used by many, but having spoken to a few examiners in my local centres a high percentage of these candidates fail for a few reasons.

1. Lack of knowledge: Friends/family rarely have all the complete knowledge to adequately prepare a provisional licenced learner driver for the dsa driving test. To supervise a learner you need to have at least held a full licence for 3 years. Within that time, changes could have been made which an ordinary driver might not know about. Another thing to consider is that most drivers would have forgotten some of the things that they were taught by their instructor that made them pass, so they can't pass skills that they do not have or remember.

2. Bad Habits: Friends/Family teaching you to drive will always pass on or not notice some unsafe bad driving habits that you have which will in turn increase your chances of not passing the driving test.

3. Inadequate Preparation: Most candidates learning to drive with friends/family will think they are ready for the practical car test once they have learnt the 4 dsa driving maneuvers, can drive from A-B and feel confident. DSA driving tests are designed to assess a candidate's ability not only to drive a car from A-B, but they will take you on different road types, traffic conditions, junctions, meeting situation and in all this the examiner wants to see you being SAFE.

Driving test routes can be tricky and sometimes having local knowledge might be beneficial especially when your teacher knows exactly how the DSA examiner expects things to be done. Have you practised driving on a 70mph dual carriageway including moving into the right hand lane to turn right at traffic lights or a roundabout?
The DSA recommends 40 hrs of professional lessons with additional private practice to gain enough experience and confidence to pass the driving test first time.

So what advice can I give for those who would like to learn to drive with family or friends due to high cost of driving lessons.

1. Know what is required. It is very easy to pass a test when you know what you will be tested on, as you can prepare adequately by focusing on the core skills. For those learning to drive with friends I recommend you get a copy of the Official DSA Guide to Driving. This book tells you how the DSA want you to drive or perfom a maneuver, and is a required reference to know that what you are being taught is wrong or right.


Many learner drivers will trust their dads when it comes to driving, but they can be wrong, and you can use this book to stay on track or request to do things differently as at the end of the day the DSA examiner is using these standards, so if you want to pass do things the DSA way. A common reason a lot of learners fail is not knowing the highway code, so this book covers all situations and rules that pertain to driving in the UK.

2. Take a few professional lessons or mock test. Only a qualified approved driving instructor can truly tell if you have reached the standard required by an examiner, so taking a mock test with them will reveal how ready you are, what bad habits you exibit and you would have a chance of driving on a typical dsa test route.

The best way to find a good driving instructor is to go by recommendation from a friend who has used one, failing that you can use the DSA website to find an instructor.

When speaking to an instructor, take note if they answer the phone while on a driving lesson (giving directions/instructions), as this is already a bad sign that they are not professional.

More reading for learners using private tuition to learn to drive

Top 10 Driving Test Faults
Are You Ready for The Driving Test (video)
Expensive Driving Lesson with Dad!

Professional Driving Lessons

The most common question a driving instructor gets asked is how many lessons will I need to be ready for a driving test? There is no simple answer to that question, there are a lot of factors that determine this, including choosing the right instructor. However here is some advice to help you get the best out of your lessons and increase the chances of you passing first time.

1. Get a copy of the learners record. Even though your instructor will be guiding you in your preparations, the learners driver record will serve as tracker on your progress against the skills being measure by the DSA.

2. Make good use of your time between driving lessons. If you are really serious about passing the driving test first time, then you need to make use of your free time to continue to learn about what the DSA examiners expect during the test. You can watch videos about the manuevers you are having problems with, memorise reference points, and most importantly of all know the highway code inside out!


Any one who has taken driving lessons with me or read this free online blog would know that I am constantly recommending the highway code for test candidates for one simple reason, you need to fully know the rules of the road, including signs and road markings.
Yes as a driving instructor I will tell you anything you need to know, but knowing the highway code inside out is not only beneficial to you on the driving test, but once you pass, you are less likely to be banned for having 6 points on licence after passing test or get a parking ticket for parking in the wrong place.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, those who put in extra work are more likely to pass at the first attempt compared to those who barely take enough lessons, hardly know enough signs, only been on a high speed dual carriageway twice and are hoping they do not get the reverse round the corner exercise as they are rubbish at it.

Why Do People Fail The UK Driving Test?
Not everyone who fails the driving test is totally unprepared, sometimes test nerves can play a part, while others arrive too late, but for those who do take the test, here are the top 5 reasons and the serious driver errors marked by the DSA examiner.

  • Junctions
    The most common place learner drivers commit a serious major driving fault is at junctions where the fault is usually that of ineffective observations.

    Many driving test candidates approach junctions too fast, leaving themselves not enough time to use the MSPSL Routine. If you can't see that it is 100% safe to go at the junction, you SHOULD wait. The examiner does not expect you to be as fast as experienced drivers, neither can you take some of the risks that they do on the test.
  • Maneuvers
    Whenever carrying out any of the 4 reversing maneuvers, there are 2 skills that the examiner expects from you, effective observations to keep you safe and good car control to enable you carry out the exercise itself.

    You should not hit the kerb, be too wide when reversing round a corner, straddle 2 bays at the end of the bay parking exercise and must parallel park within 2 car lenghts.
  • Mirror Checks
    Failing to check mirrors before changing speed (slowing down or accelerating), changing direction or not acting on the information seen in the mirrors. Do not get into the habit of just moving your head when signalling, you MUST process the image in the mirrors and act on what you see. Remember you driving must not affect or potentially impact other road users.
  • Moving Off Safely
    While stalling the car is not usually a serious driving error, if you try to pull off in 3rd gear, and stall your vehicle half-way into a junction where you are an obstruction to others, then you have no chance of the examiner not marking a major serious fault.
    The other usual reason candidates fail moving off is not checking the right blind spot after stopping on the left handside of the road or causing another car to slow down/change direction as you move into the road.
  • Use of Signals/Indicators
    The common errors here, are not signalling when necessary, poor timing of signals, misleading signals and finally forgetting to cancel a signal after coming off a junction.
More Resources and Tips to Help Pass The UK Driving Test

Dealing with Mini Roundabouts.
Points on Licence and Driving Test.
Simple Driving Test Mistakes That Fail Learners

DSA Examiner Driving Test Routes

As an instructor over the years I have seen some very good drivers get tripped up at some tricky places on some of the routes by examiners in the NW London area, so I have made these tutorial videos to cover these situations.

Each video covers what I have found out to the toughest route, and has additional tips on other places or things that you should be aware as a driving test candidate. These are offered as complimentary preparation materials to your lessons or private practice sessions.

Hendon Driving Test Routes Video 2012

£4.99 Buy Now

Independent Driving On the Test.
Theory Test Changes
Driving Test Changes.

Mill Hill Driving Test Route Video

£4.99 Buy Now

Borehamwood Test Centre WD6 Route Videos


£4.99 Buy Now

Foriegn Licence UK Driving Test

Over the 10 years of being a driving instructor, I have helped many drivers from countries like America, Canada, Pakistan, Nigeria, Soth Africa, etc pass the driving test first time, something they would not have been able to do on their own for ONE KEY reason BAD DRIVING HABITS.

If you are required to take a test instead of exchanging your foriegn licence for a UK one, the authorities (DSA/DVLA) do not believe your country's driving standards are good enough to use here! For this very reason you SHOULD take a few lessons from a qualified instructor to weed out the bad habits, as well as know what the examiners expect. Many candidates with international driving permits who pass the theory test first attempt go on to take a practical assessment thinking that the DSA examiner just wants to see if they can confidently drive from A to B.

It is more than just that, which is why they are surprised when the bad news is delivered at the end of the 40 minute assessment.

A 1hr driving lesson can not get rid of driving habits! I have seen so many drivers try this thinking they are smart by asking for one session on the dsa examiner routes, and while I will give them ALL the help I can, habits don't die that easily. Usually they start off fine, but 20 minutes in, they relax (especially once they start talking with the examiner) and they the normal habits show up (driving with one hand, no mirror checks, harsh braking, excessive speed).

If you are serious about passing, you should consider taking a 2 hr session at least a week before the test so you know what is expected, and can then practise (if you have an insured car with international permit) or take a few more lessons to iron the bad driving out.

Thinking about becoming an instructor? Don't just make a decision based on the red driving school TV advertisement, do the proper research and know all the ADI training options available to you.

Subscribe to my Driving Test Tips so you don't miss any future articles and get DSA updates direct to your inbox by Email. The service is provided and powered by Google Feedburner, so I don't personally keep your email addresses, and you can remove yourself anytime after passing the driving test with just one mouse click, you can also follow UKADI on twitter or join my UKADI Facebook page.Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Aug 26 2013

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Unexplained

Rank #3: To Pass Driving Test Highway Code Knowledge Required

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You can dramatically increase your chances of passing the UK practical driving test on a motorcycle or in a car if you are 100% familiar with the Highway Code.

It only costs £2.50, is very small so you can carry it anywhere you go, but it contains tons of information on how you are expected to behave while driving in the UK, the meaning of road signs and markings, but most of all it could help you avoid commiting a serious driving test fault and thus pass at your next attempt. Over the years I have seen many test candidates ignore advice to read the highway code in between lesson make simple mistakes which could have been easily avoided if they mastered the book.



Simple things like going over a stop line at traffic lights, understanding filter arrows, reading road signs, etc are all simple things that DSA examiners have failed learners on, nothing to do with driving ability!

The video clip below illustrates how lack of knowledge on the part of a candidate who has a test the next day could easily result in a failure with the DSA examiner sitting next to you.
There where no cars in the left lane when the learner was about to move into the left hand lane, but doing so whould have meant crossing a solid line bordering the hatched area used to seperate traffic, doing so would have violated the highway code, and this would have been marked as serious driver error on the DL25 examiner report form!

Even if you are taking regular lessons with an instructor or doing private practice, there is no harm in reading the Highway Code over and over again. It will only boost your confidence in the knowledge that you are doing the right thing.

Buy Highway Code Today!



If you require affordable high quality affordable driving lessons from a very helpful, patient and fully qualified instructor, then why not call or send me a text message on 07956233032

Subscribe to my Driving Test Tips so you don't miss any future articles and get DSA updates direct to your inbox by Email. The service is provided and powered by Google Feedburner, so I don't personally keep your email addresses, and you can remove yourself anytime after passing the driving test with just one mouse click, you can also follow UKADI on twitter or join my UKADI Facebook page.Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Aug 26 2013

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Rank #4: Driving Test Mistake Misleading Signals

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A simple driving test mistake that a lot of learner drivers fail on is misleading signals which usually occurs when a candidate fails to cancel the indicator after use, or indicates in one director and the vehicle does not go that way.

This instructional video taken during an actual lesson illustrates the point:
Works as much as possible on these small mistakes, as they could let you down when the dsa examiner is in the car.

If you require high quality affordable driving lessons from a very helpful, patient and fully qualified instructor, then why not call or send me a text message on 07956233032

Thinking about becoming an instructor? Don't just make a decision based on the red driving school online marketing, do the proper research and know all the training options available to you.

Subscribe to my Driving Test Video Tips channel and you SHOULD follow me on twitter UKADI here!Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Apr 26 2013

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Rank #5: Dangerous Driving Will Get You In Accident!

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If you have already passed the driving test, don't think you can throw the highway code rule book out of the car window, because sooner or later you will get caught in an accident if you continue to drive dangerously on the roads.

Every single day I listen to the radio traffic updates and there is always delays that are caused either on the motorway or an important A road due to car accidents which could probably have been avoided if the drivers involved had been more safety concious and not in a hurry.

Just because a DSA examiner is not sitting next to you does not mean that you should change your driving ways from what it took you to pass. None othe the drivers in the video clips below would drive like this on a test, so what makes it acceptable to do it after getting a full pink licence?
Another clip of breaking rules after passing, this time it is the 2 sec gap on a dual carriageway.
If you require high quality affordable driving lessons from a very helpful, patient and fully qualified instructor, then why not call or send me a text message using my details on this page.

Thinking about becoming an instructor? Don't just make a decision based on the red driving school marketing materials, do the proper research and know all the ADI training options available to you.

Subscribe to my Driving Test Tips so you don't miss any future articles and get DSA updates direct to your inbox by Email. The service is provided and powered by Google Feedburner, so I don't personally keep your email addresses, and you can remove yourself anytime after passing the driving test with just one mouse click, you can also follow UKADI on twitter or join my UKADI Facebook page.Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Apr 22 2013

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Rank #6: Give Learners Chance If You Passed Driving Test

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Is it too much to ask of you 'Advanced Drivers' to give learners a chance to gain some driving skills by being a little patient? It only takes a few seconds to be courteous, and it can go a long way to make life of other road users much easier.

The most worrying thing is that you drivers who have passed the driving test are more of a danger than the learners with thier 'L' plates as shown in these videos!
And here are more examples of dangerous driving by people who think they are good drivers.
If you require high quality affordable driving lessons from a very helpful, patient and fully qualified instructor, then why not call or send me a text message on 07956233032

Thinking about becoming an instructor? Don't just make a decision based on the red driving school TV advertisement, do the proper research and know all the ADI training options available to you.

Subscribe to my Driving Test Tips so you don't miss any future articles and get DSA updates direct to your inbox by Email. The service is provided and powered by Google Feedburner, so I don't personally keep your email addresses, and you can remove yourself anytime after passing the driving test with just one mouse click, you can also follow UKADI on twitter or join my UKADI TV page.Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Apr 18 2013

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Rank #7: UKADI - Crossing Solid Lines on The Driving Test.

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Sometimes it is what seems like very simple mistakes that learners fail their driving test on, as is illustrated in this video clip below.

The DSA examiner is assessing your knowledge of the highway code as well as your skills of handling a car, so make sure you have enough experience to deal with anything you might encounter during the 40 minutes of the test.
Take the time to read the highway code between your lessons to increase your chances of passing first time.

If you require high quality affordable driving lessons from a very helpful, patient and fully qualified instructor, then why not call or send me a text message on 07956233032

Thinking about becoming an ADI? You can not become a driving instructor for free! It costs money, time and a great deal of effort with a success rate of only 30%.

Subscribe to my Driving Test Tips so you don't miss any future articles and get DSA updates direct to your inbox by Email. The service is provided and powered by Google Feedburner, so I don't personally keep your email addresses, and you can remove yourself anytime after passing the driving test with just one mouse click, you can also follow UKADI on twitter or join my UKADI Facebook page.Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Apr 17 2013

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Rank #8: Driving Test Tips Overtaking Others

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In this short instructional video tip, I offer a simple but very important advice to apply when you are overtaking other vehicles or road users during the driving test. Use it to make sure that you are exposed on the other side of the road for the shortest amount of time.
As always make sure it is safe to overtake, and give way to oncoming vehicles.

If you require high quality affordable driving lessons from a very helpful, patient and fully qualified instructor, then why not call or send me a text message on 07956233032

Subscribe to my Driving Test Tips so you don't miss any future articles and get DSA updates direct to your inbox by Email. The service is provided and powered by Google Feedburner, so I don't personally keep your email addresses, and you can remove yourself anytime after passing the driving test with just one mouse click, you can also follow UKADI on twitter or join my UKADI Facebook page.Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Apr 16 2013

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Rank #9: Driving Test Dont Ignore Road Signs

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This video taken from a real driving lesson illustrates why you need to build up a habit of paying attention and obeying road signs if you want to have a good chance of passing the UK driving test.

As you will see, it only takes one silly mistake like this for you to get a serious fault and fail thus wasting more time and money obtaining a full pink driving licence.
Take the time now to use those driving lessons to practiise everything you need to pass the UK driving test.

If you require high quality affordable driving lessons from a very helpful, patient and fully qualified instructor, then why not call or send me a text message on 07956233032

Thinking about becoming an instructor? Don't just make a decision based on the red driving school TV advertisement, do the proper research and know all the ADI training options available to you.

Subscribe to my Driving Test Tips so you don't miss any future articles and get DSA updates direct to your inbox by Email. The service is provided and powered by Google Feedburner, so I don't personally keep your email addresses, and you can remove yourself anytime after passing the driving test with just one mouse click, you can also follow UKADI on twitter or join my UKADI Facebook page.Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Apr 15 2013

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Rank #10: Passed Driving Test - Dont Cause An Accident

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My people think that because they have passed the tough UK DSA driving test, they no longer need to use the rules of the Highway Code when they are in their cars! This is very evident by the number of dangerous drivers that can be seen around.

I listen to the radio everyday and 90% of the traffic alerts are due to accidents on the road network which could probably have been avoided especially if people stop driving like those shown in the video below.
The fact that you have a number of years no claims bonus does not mean you are a safe driver, and if you continue to ignore the rules you will sooner than later be involved in a serious accident, possibly killing or seriously injuring someone.

If you require high quality affordable driving lessons from a very helpful, patient and fully qualified instructor, then why not call or send me a text message on 07956233032

Thinking about becoming an instructor? Don't just make a decision based on the red driving school TV advertisement, do the proper research and know all the ADI training options available to you.

Subscribe to my Driving Test Tips so you don't miss any future articles and get DSA updates direct to your inbox by Email. The service is provided and powered by Google Feedburner, so I don't personally keep your email addresses, and you can remove yourself anytime after passing the driving test with just one mouse click, you can also follow UKADI on twitter or join my UKADI Facebook page.Please let me know your views by posting a comment on the blog at http://www.ukadi.co.uk

Apr 12 2013

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