EU Road Death Target At Risk

Progress towards meeting the EU target to halve road deaths by 2020 has all but ground to a halt, with a dismal one per cent drop in the number of EU road fatalities in 2014. Read More →

Preparing For Your Driving Test

So you’ve finished your Driving Lessons In Gateshead and you’ve booked your driving test, and the day is getting closer and closer. It’s a big day, so it’s absolutely normal to be nervous, but did you know there are lots of things you can do to prepare for the test and help to calm those nerves? Read More →

Driving tests around the world

Driving Lessons In GatesheadThink that your Driving Lessons & Test In Gateshead was tough?

The UK driving test has recently come under scrutiny for not being tough enough. With more than a fifth of deaths on British roads involving drivers aged 17-24, the government has issued a white paper proposing changes such as a driving curfew for new drivers under the age of 30 between 10pm and 5am and a probationary driving period of 12 months.

With 47.7 percent of UK learners passing first time and an overall pass rate of 47.1 percent in the UK, this blog, takes a closer look at how the UK driving test stands up against the rest of the world.

Colombia’s driving test

Colombia has a particularly convoluted and lengthy process for learning to drive. You can start a year earlier than the UK at age 16, but you must enrol in the Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers, or GRAD, programme before being granted a full driving licence.

In Colombia, anyone interested in learning to drive must first complete an exam, which determines the learner’s knowledge of traffic laws, road signs and driving safety rules. On completion of the test, you are issued with a learner’s permit. Once you have this, you can begin your driving lessons. After 40 hours of training, you may take a road skills test to upgrade your licence to a provisional.

Once you are 17, or have held the provisional licence for six months, whichever comes first, you can apply for a full licence with conditions. You cannot apply for a full driving licence until you are 21 years of age – this requires a further road skills test that looks at the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle, use turn signals, parallel park and a range of other skills. Have I lost you yet? If we thought the UK driving test was difficult, we really need to look at what it is like abroad before we complain!

France’s driving test

France also has a rather lengthy system for learners. Unlike the UK, provisional licence holders in France are required to complete a minimum of two years’ worth of training, starting at age 16 with parental supervision and covering no less than 3000km. They are also subjected to reduced speed limits while they are learning. For example, on Autoroutes, learners must drive no faster than 110kph even though the speed limit is 130kph.

The driving test Down Under 

Australia matches France with a lengthy licence application process. There are typically three stages which new drivers must pass. Drivers begin by acquiring a learner’s permit at age 16, and then progress to a restricted, probationary licence which lasts for roughly two years, before progressing to a full licence. New drivers must also keep a log of how many hours they have spent with their instructor to ensure that they hit a regulated number of hours, with a segment dedicated exclusively to nighttime driving. The pass rates range from 43 percent to 58 percent depending on whether it’s the restricted or full licence being tested.

Road safety

In some countries, it is much easier to pass your driving test than in the UK, although you have to seriously question how road ready and safety conscious the drivers are. Unsurprisingly, this is reflected in the countries’ high accident rates.

For example, although you have to wait until you are 18 or older to take your driving test in Pakistan, the test itself is relatively simple. It consists of a theory test and a short practical test, both of which can be taken on the same day. There are no stipulations about the number of practice hours you must have done and the practical test consists of driving through a short course of cones. As you would expect, the pass rate in Pakistan is very high, with around 80 percent of all drivers passing their test first time. The accident rate is also very high, with 16 road accident deaths in every 100,000 inhabitants.



Getting your driving licence in America can be a bit arbitrary as driving laws vary from state to state. Some states, like Kansas and Idaho, issue ‘driver’s permits’ to teenage drivers as young as 14, while in other states you have to wait until you are 17. As long as these learners complete a six-month graduated driver’s licence programme, they are able to drive on the roads if they are accompanied by a person who is 21 or over. However, the graduated licensing law does restrict certain driving privileges, such as whether the new driver may carry passengers – and if so, how many – as well as setting a curfew for young drivers to be off the roads. Pass rates across America vary so widely within cities and across states that it’s hard to figure out the country’s pass rate.

Even more worryingly, in Mexico you do not even need to take a driving test if you are over the age of 18. In fact, all you need to do is simply buy a licence for 626 pesos (equivalent to £28). Mexico City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with four million cars on the road. With no standardised driving test, drivers learn empirically and car crashes are a daily occurrence.

Strict is not always best

Nevertheless, a strict system also has its flaws. The starting age to obtain your licence in South Africa is 18, and you need to pass both a yard test and a road test, where you can lose points for not checking beneath the car for leaks and not using the hand brake every time you stop silently. You will also automatically fail if the vehicle rolls back even just an inch. The pass rate is a low 39 percent and, although the test is purposely hard to improve road safety, it has had unintended consequences, with many learners bribing officials to ensure that they pass.




Even stricter than South Africa, however, are Japan’s road tests, which boast pass rates that fall below 35 percent. Although taken on a course, the test resembles real road conditions. Drivers must remain at 30kmph or under at all times, and driving over a curb, failing to stop at a light or junction, and failing to check for oncoming traffic results in instant failure. With people failing for ‘not staying left enough in the left lane’ or ‘not bending down low enough when checking for cats or children before getting into the car’, Japan requires perfection from drivers before they are licensed.

Should there be a standardised global driving test?

There are huge disparities in the driving test from country to country, and it is shocking how the driving test standard varies on a global scale. For some learners, mastering the reverse park or driving through a congested city centre is challenging enough, so spare a thought for learners across the world where, in some cases, the driving test is far lengthier and more complex than the UK’s.

Have You Lost Confidence Behind The Wheel

One of the biggest challenges for many learner drivers is overcoming the apprehension that affects them when they sit behind the wheel of a car. This lack of confidence can seep into all your actions on the road, leading you to execute moves in a hesitant manner and freeze at the sign of something unexpected. Read More →

Intensive Driving Courses – Your Key To Driving Success?

More and more drivers are turning to intensive driving courses to get through their driving tests. So what are the advantages, and how can they help you?

When you need to learn in a short time

Intensive courses are ideal if you don’t have months to spare. Intensive driver training can have you ready to take your test within weeks. The time saved by doing an intensive course is estimated to be around 30% compared to weekly lessons.

Make use of spare time

If you’re a student home for the holidays, then why not use the time to learn to drive? You might find it improves your job prospects after you graduate, as some jobs will require you to have a license – so, why not get ahead of the game?

You won’t forget between lessons

If you have driving lessons every week, chances are you’ll forget some of what you’ve learned in the intervening days. With an intensive course, you’re driving every day, so there’s much less chance of you losing the knowledge you’ve built up.

Save money on driving lessons

With an advanced course, you can stick to a budget, and it’s just one outlay for the tuition and test. With weekly lessons, it’s much harder to predict when you’ll be finished – things like work and holidays inevitably get in the way, so the costs can mount up over time.

Intensive Driving Courses

Intensive driver training for learners

At Experience Driving Lessons In Gateshead, we have three different types of intensive driver training. For complete beginners, you’ll do three hours a day over 12 days to get you test-ready.

If you’ve already had some experience of driving as a learner, then we offer an intermediate eight day course. You could start off with weekly lessons and when you’ve got the hang of the basics, book on to the intermediate course to prepare for your test.

If you’re new to the UK, or you haven’t driven for a while, we can help you regain your confidence and get your UK licence quickly. Our intensive training for experienced drivers will have you up to speed in four days, practising for three hours a day.

All our intensive courses at Experience Driving Lessons In Gateshead are taught by experienced driving instructors who know how to get you confident behind the wheel quickly. Why not enquire today and see if our courses are just what you need to get you on the road?

How Long Does It Take To Pass A Driving Test?

Passing a driving test once you have finished your Driving Lessons In Gateshead can be a breeze for some people and a long and arduous process for others. Nervousness, spatial awareness problems or forgetting all the starting/turning checks necessary are some of the most common pitfalls. Read More →

Driving Test Tips – Help on passing your test once your Driving Lessons in Gateshead have finished

When the day comes to take your driving test and your Driving Lessons in Gateshead have finished, it can feel pretty daunting to apply hours and hours (and often, month’s) worth of learning in an hour-long test setting. To give you an extra hand Driving lessons Gateshead has put together an extended list of some of the best nuggets of wisdom before, during and after your test day!
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Theory test tips: What is a hazard?

Part of your theory test is identifying hazards on a simulated driving environment. During the test you’ll use your mouse to signal your response to hazards.

Driving Lessons In Gateshead

While having Driving Lessons In Gateshead you will learn to identify hazards

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Driving tests should include more about cycling hazards

Driving tests should include more about cycling hazards City cyclists (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Cian Ginty-Flickr)

Road safety charity IAM (The Institute for Advanced Motorists) have said this month that Britain’s driving tests are inadequate and do not fully prepare new drivers for the dangers on the roads.
The IAM want to see more information about cycling included in both the theory and practical tests.

They believe that more cycling scenarios in hazard perception tests are required and that more questions about behaving around and sharing the road with cyclists should be included in theory tests.
Poor road and weather conditions, driving during the night, and driving on country roads should also be tested before a new driver is given a license, they said. They are the most common risks faced by new drivers within their first six months of driving, but are not currently included in the test.
The charity also wants to see a system of phases of tests replace the single test that is required before a new driver is able to drive alone. They highlight the Austrian system as evidence of the success of this, where the compulsory tests that are taken 12 months after a driver’s first have resulted in a drop in casualties amongst young male drivers by a third.
Earlier this month, the charity also said that they wished to see more road safety education included in the national curriculum in order to decrease fatalities and injuries on UK roads.
They stated that information about cycling safety would be included. Road safety education is currently voluntary in schools in the UK, but compulsory in eight in 15 countries across Europe.

The IAM believe that it is crucial that it becomes part of the curriculum, so that schools are obliged to teach it.
Rebecca Montague, Personal Injury Solicitor in Redcar comments ‘Cycling has seen a surge in popularity, particularly since the Tour de France commenced in Yorkshire last year.

With more cyclists on the road, it makes sense for drivers to be made better aware and educated as to how to drive safely and share the road. Cyclists are vulnerable on our roads and drivers need to give them plenty of room. When overtaking a cyclist they should be given as much room as if you were overtaking a car.’


The Benefits Of Driving Lessons In Gateshead In An Automatic Car

Having Driving Lessons  In Gateshead In An Automatic car is much EASIER than learning to drive a manual car and Experience Driving Lessons Gateshead can provide this for you. Read More →