Top 3 Films Featuring Driving Instructors!

There are countless movies out there which use cars as a central hook to get people sat in cinema seats but these are almost always about slick sporting classics, pimped out drag racers or a VW Beetle going bananas. If you think about it though, how many films do you see about learning to drive?

Surely every actor or person driving in a film had to learn at some point so hey, it should get more screen time. Here are our top three movies which actually bother to craft a script around driving lessons!

Though critics may have found it a little derivative of classics like Harold and Maude (i.e young lad falls for older woman, oh my!), this is a charming British comedy drama featuring great performances from a young Rupert Grint and the ever charming Julie Walters…

Mike Leigh is arguably national treasure and one of the best film writers and directors we’ve ever had. While some may find is transgressive look at social realism and occasional quirkiness a little off-putting, there’s no denying the consistency of his work. Happy Go Lucky stars Sally Hawkins as a free spirited optimist who seems to encounter misfortune and glumness wherever she goes. Her driving instructor (played quite terrifyingly by Eddie Marsan) steals the show here, offering an insight on how NOT to be a good instructor. Scary yet brilliant…

A recent addition to the list, this film brings together two souls with very different ideological backgrounds and cultures. Recently divorced New Yorker Wendy (Patricia Clarkson) and Indian Sikh instructor Darwan (played by the ever diverse Ben Kingsley) soon strike up an unlikely relationship that teaches more than just how to drive.

Do you know any films that include driving teachers as a key part of the plot? Let Tudor Driving School know on Facebook and Twitter.

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The UK’s Oldest Driving Instructor?

Picture - Wales Online

Picture – Wales Online

The stigma around working well into old age is slowly crumbling away and rightly so. Rising life expectancy, better healthcare and a socially liberal approach to vocational choice has allowed many people to pursue their talents well past the dreaded retirement period of old. One particular example the team at Tudor Driving School were delighted to see comes in the form of Laura Thomas from Pembroke Dock, West Wales. Having just turned 95, 2015 marks her 76th year as a professional driving teacher.

76 years – let that sink in for a moment. This marvellous woman has been instructing students to road worthy success through the governance of sixteen different prime-ministers, a world war and raising two children. The pathetic sexism that often greets female drivers is water off a ducks back for Laura who is said to have never experienced a driving accident in her 77 years behind the wheel.

So, does she intend on continuing her much loved status as the UK’s oldest driving instructor? Absolutely – in fact, Laura fully intends on joining the ‘100 Club’ which refers to people who continue to drive after reaching the centurion milestone. Teaching people to drive demands a patient demeanour and keen perception of immediate threats – safe to say, it’s not something the easily distracted need attempt. For Laura Thomas, it looks like she’ll be around as long as people need to be taught:- “As long as I feel like I can do it, and they want me I will (teach)”.

Considering how long she has been teaching locals, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Laura believes she has taught nearly all the qualified drivers in her hometown of Pembroke Dock with no student failing to pass after more than two tests.

Old school indeed – Tudor Driving School can only hope our teaching maintains its prowess and charm into such a ripe old age!

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Driving Test Blunders to Avoid

driving through desert foothillsWhile Tudor Driving School have become renowned for our superior Lincoln pass rates, there are of course exceptions and that is completely natural. Learning to drive is a daunting prospect but one we hope to guide you through with an empathetic and personalised approach. When people do fail their tests, it shouldn’t be considered something shameful but just another step towards a better life behind the wheel.

In any case, there are times when failure comes as a result of something daft or avoidable yet… oddly funny. Here are our top five funny reasons why would be drivers have failed their tests… (according to the internet!)

  • Check Your Boot(y)

Eyes on the road please, avert your vision from that sexy cyclist. Yes, people have actually failed in the past as a result of being distracted by attractive passersby. Is a few seconds of titillation worth failing your test?

  • Crashing

photo_5961_20080516

We recently spotted a post on a forum wherein a student had failed their test immediately for crashing the test car… into the test centre. A fail doesn’t come any clearer than that.

  • Go Straight at the Roundabout

Don’t take this literally. Please.

  • What Country Is This?

Unbelievably it’s quite common for some drivers to accidentally fail by driving on the wrong side of the road. One case which was noted in a similar article stated her failure was a result of being “immersed in the culture” of France. *sigh*

  • Bad Habits

Careful who you overtake!

If you have had your parents or a friend take you out and teach you a few things in the lead up to your test, this can result in picking up long nurtured bad habits. Driving no handed, constantly changing lanes and sparking up a ciggie during your test… unfathomable in this day and age but people do it.

Do you have any driving test stories you’d like to share? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.

Preparing for Your Driving Lessons

learnPreparing for your driving lessons can be daunting but try to think of it as an exciting milestone that will shape your life to come. While Tudor Driving School understand most Lincoln students will be completely new to driving protocol, there are some preparations you can take to ensure you are ready for your initial lessons and beyond.

At the very least, driving instructors will expect you to be conscientious and partake in part time home learning. Driving isn’t just a case of sitting down and firing up the engine, it is a dense subject in itself that rewards keen learners.

Our instructors will regularly ask you questions during your lessons about the technical side of your vehicle. This includes (but not limited to) how to check your oil, water and petrol levels, your indicators and engine status. There are many minor attributes in a modern car which are easy to overlook but assist you in unavoidable ways. Be ready to answer questions as they will likely be asked impromptu.

Your lessons will only be an hour or two a session dependent on your timetable; this gives you plenty of spare time to practice independently. If you have a confident family member or friend with plenty of driving experience, ask them to take you to a safe clearing where you can practice what you have learned so far. Just like an academic exam, this is all leading to a final test so be sure to revise!

highThe looming theory test is what catches many out so stay ahead of the crowd and study the Highway Code in between lessons. This way you can apply your learning in a practical way which can only benefit you further when the time comes for your test.

Last but not least, driving instructors like to talk. We natter a lot and we don’t do it to annoy you, this is actually an important part of learning to drive. When you get your license, it’s very likely you’ll have noisy friends and companions in the vehicle distracting you. The driving instructor will prompt you on your driving, engage in friendly chat and sometimes intervene during travel… this is all part of learning, so be prepared to chat!

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Driverless Future?

google carThe bizarre phenomenon of self driving cars introduced by Google seems to be heating up with potential competition from the controversial Uber taxi service. The ‘autonomous car’ is a concept the public are failing to latch on to in fear of their safety but even on paper the notion of the car being in control seems a little far-fetched. Still, this hasn’t stopped Google further developing their driverless tech with UK tests rolling out across the UK in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich this year for a period of 18 to 36 months!

The government are said to be funding a good £19 million of the trials expenses but don’t expect to see Herbie rolling up your high street going bananas anytime soon as all testing will take place away from main public roads. Those that fear a driverless future needn’t worry; it’s very unlikely that the technology or consumer desire will be there to replace the freedom of a traditional vehicle. Those who should be a little worried are taxi drivers, as it’s more than likely that driverless cars are the next progression in public transport.

The news is alight with news that Uber are launching an ‘advanced technologies centre’ in Pittsburgh in order to develop their own ‘autonomous’ technology and trial safety tests. For those unfamiliar with Uber, they are a hugely popular mobile app ‘taxi’ service operated entirely outside of regulation. Their drivers are essentially hired on the basis they own an acceptable vehicle and are qualified to drive, hence worries over passenger safety. They have been at the receiving end of countless protests throughout Europe and American by taxi drivers, companies and government officials who believe Uber are operating an unlawful operation which is threatening the livelihoods of thousands of regulated taxi drivers.

With all this said, the Transport for London Plan for 2050 which was released in July 2014 hopes to harness the driverless tech to reduce deaths on the road, save money on buses and provide a more efficient service. How this plays out only time will tell but for a heavily compacted area like London, they may just be on to something.

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Make Safer Driving Your New Year’s Resolution

learner-driversFirst of all we’d like to wish a very happy New Year to all our students both past, present and future.

As Tudor Driving School enter 2015 (oh, we’ve been in this game a long old time now) we’re feeling as resolute as ever with our eyes looking keenly at the challenges ahead.  When it comes to new year resolutions, it’s easy to pick something daft and easy like ‘cut down on chocolate’ or ‘drink less wine’ but in reality these rarely stick. The best resolutions are applied to physical practices, you know, like driving.

We’ve compiled 4 suggested New Year’s resolutions for you to consider when it comes to your time behind the wheel. Feel free to suggest some of your own on Facebook.

  • Signal

Your indicators are there for a reason and neglecting their use is lazy and dangerous. Drivers and pedestrians aren’t telepathic; they don’t know your next move before you do, flick the switch for courtesy and safety.

  • Speed Limits

Goodness, this should be an obvious one. The arrogance of the over confident driver can be the undoing of more than just pride and those speed signs are there for a reason. We know it can be tricky to keep to 40 or 50 on an open valley of road but if you’re frequently driving on a curvy, dark roads while hammering the accelerator then you might wish to take heed.

  • Hang Up

Phones, iPods, Sat Navs – leave them alone, just stop fiddling during driving. It doesn’t matter if you’re stuck at a light because that could change any second. If you want music on then choose an album or playlist before you set off and don’t even think about answering that phone.

  • Tyres, Wipers and Engine

It’s easy to get complacent when it comes to car maintenance; if it’s not affecting you directly then it must be fine right? The problem is these problems can sneak up on you at the most inopportune times.  Keep on top of your tyre inflation, check your wipers for muck and keep the tank happy. Also, give your car a good clean!

Contact us today to see how we can help you get on the road.

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UK driving test to enter a new era?

learner-driversYou may have heard in the news lately about some significant changes that could be introduced to the standard UK driving test. Tudor Driving School have been in this business for over 25 years but this has the potential to be the most significant change seen in some time. First up is the dreaded ‘three point turn’ which faces redundancy due to its supposed lack of relevance to modern driving. This is interesting given there are far more important manoeuvres and situations that have long gone neglected.

The DVLA have also released a statement that suggests they have been seriously reconsidering how effective the current test procedure is to new drivers. An unnamed spokesman from the agency has said “We are carrying out initial research to explore how the driving test could better reflect real life driving. Any future changes to the test would be subject to full public consultation”, the last part is an encouraging democratic move but we hope the consultation also comes from those who moderate and teach driving on a daily basis too.

So what’s going to happen next? 1000 learner drivers from the UK will be taking part in an exclusive trial of the new practical exam with the suggested changes. Reversing out of a parking bay, rejoining heavy traffic flow and following SatNav directions as part of an independent driving section are key additions to the reshuffle. The emphasis on motorway driving and joining traffic is welcomed as this is something many new drivers find daunting and struggle with.

For now we’ll have to see what the future brings but this reshuffle will affect all of our lessons and usher in a new era of modern test conditions. Till then, we shall continue to offer the absolute best in Lincoln driving instruction.

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Theory Test Preperation

dsa theorySo you think you’re ready to hit the road but one last hurdle remains – the theory test. At Tudor Driving School we like to bring out the best driver possible in all our students and all this takes is little faith, confidence and passion from our instructors in you. The theory test is something outside of our curation but we want to ensure that come the big day, you’ll be confident in the knowledge we’ve bestowed upon you.

There are several important things to consider in the lead up to your theory test, chief among them is revision. The Tudor Driving School website contains a special section with an extensive list of official safety questions which shall arise in your test and theory, so please take the time to read over these and refresh your memory. The theory test will take place in two halves, the first will contain 50 multiple choice questions out of a potential 1000. You’ll need a minimum of 43 correct answers to pass onto the next area of the test – hazard perception. Before we discuss this, we’d like to recommend your investment in the official Driving School Agency theory test handbook which is available at all respectable high street and online book retailers. The handbook is especially useful for its imagery, example questions and revision tips.

Next, you’ll want to consider your knowledge of hazard perception. This is where most people trip up come the test as it requires a keen, educated eye and a precise hand. The test will run through a variety of video clips which depict a variation of common driving hazards, it’ll be up to you to isolate and inform what these hazards are on screen. There are websites and services which can assist you in preparation for this such as Drive IQ.

It may seem daunting but revision is the key, don’t procrastinate and put in the time. Get friends and family to test you from the handbook, do blind tests and play to your strengths as a learner. You’ll be fine.

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