Party Like It’s 2002 – Top Gear Returns

So as you may have heard, the legendary and divisive motoring show ‘Top Gear’ is finally making its return to TV screens this coming May. Despite the drama that followed Clarkson’s dismissal in 2015, the BBC has good faith in its ability to revitalise the world’s most “widely watched factual television programme”. If the ‘laddish’ nature of the Clarkson era put you off, this welcome reinvention may just change your mind.

We’ve known for some time that Chris Evans would lead the new line up but the word on the grapevine is hardly promising. It is believed that Evans’ suffers from motion sickness and can’t drive and talk at the same time – surely they should have checked this first? No wonder the initial decision upset those looking to forget his 90s reign on TGI Friday. Alas, we’ll reserve judgement till broadcast…

So, who else is set to present the show?

new top gear

The next star revealed as part of the BBC’s hype machine was none other than former Friends’ goofball Matt LeBlanc who you may remember as Joey Tribbiani? A slightly baffling choice but hey, who knows – could be the best decision they’ve ever made!

As for the rest… well, here we go: Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, Rory Reid and of course, The Stig.

Quite the crowd! If you’re unsure who they are, read more over on Top Gear’s official site.

How do you feel about the upcoming reboot – will you be tuned in day one or waiting for Clarkson’s new project?

Let Tudor Driving School know on Facebook and Twitter.

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Rev Up The Resolutions

SONY DSCIn case you’ve been in some kind of booze induced sleep since Christmas Day, you may have not realised its now 2016. The first week of a New Year is always a tough nut, especially for those looking to beat the initial hump that comes with another round of resolutions. What’s yours then? Drink less? Burp less in public? Heh… let us know!

Rather than raise the bar too high for yourself, why not set a handful of resolutions for your car?

We all have individual driving bugbears and some of those may even transpose to our own bad habits; for example, do you often forget to indicate? Take a moment to think about your time on the road recently and evaluate what irritates you… now think how much your own quirks may annoy other drivers. Anyway, before we get carried away let’s think of some resolutions you can actually apply to the vehicle itself…

  • Pipe Down the Fumes

photo_19200_20101230It’s easy to get complacent but it’s advisable to get your car serviced at least twice a year in order to cut down on emissions. This can be done via optimal oil changes, tyre checks and mechanical surveys. If you’re spending more at the fuel station than you’d normally expect then chances are you’re polluting more than advised!

  • Clear the Cash Crunch

It’s easy to get attached to our car but if it’s costing you more to maintain than it would to buy a more efficient vehicle then maybe it’s time to let go? Sell the car, use the money to clear any debts that it’s maintenance has caused you and then do some research into a more affordable and resilient vehicle.

  • Curve Your Road Rage

Think about your early days driving, chances are the pesky driver in front is just getting to grips with the road the same way we all once did. Be forgiving; don’t waste your energy on getting stressed out about minor inconveniences – it’s not worth it.

Do you have any driving resolutions you’d like to share with the team at Tudor Driving School in Lincoln? Feel free to drop by our Facebook and Twitter to comment!

Clear The Fog With These Driving Tips

photo_789_20060111So then people, it’s a wee bit foggy out!

While none of us particularly relish the idea of driving through such fateful weather, more often than not our daily obligations refuse to be put aside. If you are planning on driving during the fog, we recommend taking the following tips into consideration…

  • Drive Slow

But not too slow… speed limits are there for a reason and if there was ever a better time to adhere to such guidelines, now is that time.

  • Lower Your Window

Not entirely, that would be a little too nippy for this time of year. Just be methodical here and lower it to eye level so there’s absolutely no risk of mist or condensation obscuring your view. This is particularly useful on dual carriage ways and the motorway.

  • Methodical Lighting

photo_430_20051109It may be tempting to go ‘full beam’ but you’re only going to further endanger other drives. Use dipped headlights at all times but don’t hesitate to whack on the fog lights should you need to. Other drivers will benefit from your lights as this allows them to better gauge their distance but try not to tailgate!

  • Avast Ye Misty Windows!

Ensure that you spray and wipe your windows thoroughly before setting off and turn on your demisters.

  • Communicate

photo_1017_20060206Depending on where you’re going, maybe let people at your destination the route you are taking and when you set off. It’s comforting for everyone to be in the know during times of increased risk.

Got any tips of your own? Let the Tudor Driving School team know on Facebook and Twitter.

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.

DVLA Wipe Away Your Smutty Plates

modern plateCustom number plates have long been considered a divisive luxury among the public. While the proud owner of a fancy Porsche driving it around with ‘G33Z3R’ printed on his plates might think he looks the mutts nuts, most passersby will likely be muttering ‘what a prat’ under their breath.

A private number plate is kind of an exercise in tasteful vanity – you want to stand out from the crowd but at the same time you don’t want to look like an utter berk. Generally, the best private plates don’t take themselves too seriously and will ignite a genuine chuckle from onlookers. With that said, it has been reported that creative ‘filth’ has been making its way past censors at the DVLA with numerous drivers managing to get vague coded smut onto their car plates.

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One of Clarkson’s ‘gags’

If you’re down with modern social media slang, you’ll no doubt understand what ‘WTF’ and ‘FML’ stand for, and apparently so do 70% of British drivers… except the DVLA. In light of countless crass plates slipping through, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency are now enforcing more stringent rules about the use of “any letter or digit combinations” that may allude to sexual, religious or booze related cheek. There’s also been considerable debate as to whether a custom plate affects the resale value of a vehicle but considering the plate can be changed by the next owner, we don’t see it being too much of an issue.

Did you know that the average price of a custom plate in this country is around £387? Have you ever considered paying out a wad of cash just to drive around a daft wee phrase on your car?

We are genuinely interested so go ahead and let Tudor Driving School know on Facebook and Twitter.

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

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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!

For more tips from Tudor Driving School please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sat-Navs Assisted Lessons?

sat navThe technological advances brought on by the digital age haven’t just affected the way we engage with media but also the way we travel. It’s evident that both public and personal transport has adapted to the changing tides, especially when one considers the mainstream acceptance of Sat-Nav technology. Tudor Driving School are by no means luddites, which is why the news of a Sat-Nav assisted driving test raises curiosity rather than outright rejection.

As reported in the national press, a young gent named Grant Ferguson became the first person in the UK to take a test of this nature and hey, he passed. The Sat-Nav was only used in the first 20 minutes as a means of judging the student’s ability to follow verbal instruction on a pre-planned journey. This way, the teacher was able to see how well he could incorporate all the different skills amassed over his lessons while following verbal instruction and a journey plan.

More importantly, introducing a Sat-Nav during the test could be a positive way of ensuring that drivers will learn how to listen to instructions instead of staring at a distracting screen. Of course you may be thinking, ‘hang on, putting a Sat-Nav in a test is a distraction in itself?’… well, yes but the point is to teach them to use it conscientiously and safely. Many people employ Sat-Nav’s in their daily driving but few understand how to make safe us of them without looking at the screen constantly.

We’ve spoken of big changes to the UK driving test in the past but this seems far more likely to actually happen in the near future than previous outlandish predictions. The change will be trialled across 1000 learner drivers in the coming year with the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) allowing driving schools to sign up for the trials at will.

For more updates from Tudor Driving School please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

To get in touch about future lessons please give us a call on 0800 7318433.

No Pasta Strainers Please – DVLA

pasta

Click picture for original story.

Learning to drive is something everybody deserves an opportunity to take part in. It’s a universal skill of aspiration and Tudor Driving School will never condemn or scrutinise anybody who comes our way regardless of race, culture or orientation. With that said, is it fair that the DVLA have rejected this man’s driving license application on the basis of Mr Ian Harris wearing a colander (yes, a pasta strainer) on his head?

We’ve all met some odd people in our time, most of them really quite charming, but never have we driven a man around with a colander on his head. Would we object to teaching him? No – but we’re not issuing official photographic documentation for his driving license, so it’s somewhat understandable why they have refused to authorise his photograph. The thing is, Mr Harris says his colander is religious attire for his belief in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He’s a ‘Pastafarian’, in fact it sounds like quite a fun church which is based around free speech and offers a light hearted alternative for atheists. It has a long history and has made the news before but is it a true religious piece of attire?

It’s safe to say Mr Ian Harris isn’t too happy about his rejection and has taken steps to prove his devotion to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Thing is, it’s clear he’s doing it in goodwill and trying to prove a satirical point about conventional religion:- “I have a spiritual connection with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, until they have brain probes how are they going to say I don’t.”

DVLA claim religious headwear is only allowed for major religions and the photograph must be clear and a current likeness to allow police confusion free identification. That’s all very fair but the push for ‘major’ religions only seems to rub some people the wrong way. It would be rather funny if he does indeed get to wear his colander, weirder things have certainly occurred and in this age of cynicism it would be a kind gesture.

For more news from Tudor Driving School please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Outlaw Driving? A Divisive Future

tudor

The joy of driving needn’t end here.

Well then, this is an odd one. We’re used to the news blowing predictions out of context but this is a little hard to contort. Elon Musk, the famous entrepreneur, engineer, inventor and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors believes that if self driving cars take to fruition then traditional driving could be made illegal. The idea seems sound but at the same time a glimpse into a very different future to the one we once envisioned.

As humanity becomes ever reliant on digital methods, there’s a sense we are losing the traditional need to engage with physical tools around us. Sure, self driving cars could be safer but they also represent the oppression of travel and the liberation offered by your own free roaming vehicle. Tesla Motors have long been celebrated for their innovations in electric cars but more recently it’s their autonomous cars which have courted the most press.

Elon Musk thinks that should these self driving vehicles become popular, the all out ban on traditional driving would take around twenty years to achieve “because of the sheer scale in the challenge of replacing cars already on the roads”. It seems a little farfetched to trust the world’s travel to a computer system and a tough pill to swallow for the millions of car enthusiasts across the world. We really can’t see it happening, at least not in the next fifty years at least.

The technology itself is still very much in its infancy and as Mr Musk points out, the biggest hurdle will be “navigating urban streets safely at speeds of between 15mph and 50mph”. Self driving cars can’t predict the future any better than a human, so being able to get the car to respond to an immediate and unexpected danger will be a huge task. The outcry at the first on road death in a self driving car would surely cause a social uproar.

How do you feel about this? Overblown nonsense or a wise, ecologically progressive move? Tell us…

For more news and tips from Tudor Driving School please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.