Driving Schools Saltcoats – Will Bennett first time pass
Having relocated to Saltcoats from England Will contacted Driving Ayrshire to get an instructor for his upcoming driving test at Irvine test centre. A test date was originally set for Hogmanay in 2020 but was cancelled due to covid lockdown and a further cancellation later in 2021 in England. Having not been too aware of the area he moved to he felt a driving instructor would help assess the area before his test, with not done any lessons in a few months since moving north of the border. Will had set himself 5 weeks of getting ready for test having felt his driving ability would come good on the day of the test. On his initial assessment drive he felt confident in all types of roads and had good awareness of road traffic situations which is essential to passing your driving test. Will wanted to not be caught out by the area and any problem spots to practice and gain real life experience of. He felt he had a good broad understanding of the roads within his first couple of lessons.
Next he wanted to practice some manoeuvres he hadn’t done in a while to refresh himself on. He felt from the practice that they were mostly around the same level and confident with most that we tried. The penultimate lesson was to be the mock test to assess what learning had took place and to use as a platform for the real one in a week’s time. Having found the route more of a challenge Will passed his mock but learned a lot from the traffic and road challenges that come from 100% independent driving.
On the day of the test we practice parallel parking having not had time to look closely at this manoeuvre and covered general junction practice around the test centre. This helped settle down any nerves on the day and drive confidently. Will felt he drove well on the day to only make 2 minor faults to pass his test after a 9 month wait from his original test date.
Will left this review of the School of his short driving test course with Driving Ayrshire:
“Kevin was a fantastic instructor with great adaptability helping me pick up where I had left off with a previous instructor. Would highly recommend for anyone looking to learn to drive or to get test ready!”
Christian came to Driving Ayrshire having booked a driving test post lockdown restrictions in getting his driving polished off to test standard having not found an instructor to do the test with. He found it difficult to get another instructor when the test was booked. Luckily a slot with Driving Ayrshire was able to help him get to his test with additional training to pass first time. Christian came to driving having had experience riding motorcycles and dirt bikes in the past. This gave him a good knowledge of road hazards and felt it helped him pass his driving test quicker without having to learn hazard awareness from the beginning. His standard of driving on his assessment drive was of a high level and went on to do well in his mock test before the big day of the real test.
Therefore the preparation which he put in was helpful to limit mistakes made on the day of the test.
Christian left this review of the school:
“Having booked my test I was stuck to get an instructor for the day of the test. I contacted Driving Ayrshire and was please the support I got leading upto test. My instructor was friendly and gave me good confidence to knowing I was driving well enough to pass my test. I was glad to use the time on lessons to work at areas I wanted to tidy up and be better which I felt I achieved. I’m so pleased to have passed first time with Driving Ayrshire to now driving my kids and family where they want to go”
Kilwinning Driving Schools – Student Mikey passes with no faults
Kilwinning student Mikey Lawson contacted Driving Ayrshire wanting to start his driving lessons with an instructor, having only gain slight experience off road learning basic clutch control in his dads car. Mikey brought good enthusiasm to learn to drive and had a passion for fixing cars with being an apprentice mechanic. This knowledge of cars helped him pick what the car did and gain good control skills early in his training. As training progressed Mikey was becoming competent in controlling the car to safe levels to be out doing faster roads and more awareness on the road.
At this point training had to stop unfortunately due to the country going into a national lockdown which in total between both national lockdowns meant 10 months of training was lost making Mikey one of our longest student to pass their test with Driving Ayrshire. This made him even more determined in between times of resumption to get his theory test passed first time and book his practical test when ready. In preparation for the practical driving test Mikey wanted to test and challenge himself by doing a mock driving test which helped in the run up to the real test he would be doing in the summer. Luckily there was no further lockdowns as restrictions started to ease more to prevent further rescheduling of tests. To help Mikey bought and maintained his first car he would practice in leading up to the test and beyond if he passed on the big day.
Despite feeling test anxiousness Mikey and his instructor was delighted he passed with not a single fault on the drive 😁👏🏻, something not many get to achieve but well deserved due to all the work he put into preparing for test despite all the disruptions of coronavirus restrictions placed on his training.
Mikey left this review of Driving Ayrshire and time training
“My instructor Kevin was great in helping me get my licence first time of trying. He was always very patient and friendly with me which made all the lessons enjoyable to learn in. I never thought I’d see the day I passed with no faults at all 😁 so pleased with that result and couldn’t have done it without the help of my Driving Ayrshire instructor, thanks for everything!!”
Kilwinning Driving Instructors – 1st time pass David Farrell
David was recommended to Driving Ayrshire through his mum who advised to go with our driving school to pick up further skills he had initially gained when turning 17. David brought a keen enthusiasm to learning to drive and wanted to ask all about it so he knew he was learning the correct way to best help him succeed first time.
Unfortunately for David he only got 10 weeks into his training when a national lockdown happened and he had to stop doing his driving. In this time it allowed David to do studying for his driving theory test and do a video conference call with his instructor to help him understand the theory knowledge. He was able to gain a broad range of knowledge to the questions and with his on the road practice it helped him get good scores in his hazard perception practice. Through this practice time David was able to pass his theory test first time in April. In the run up to his driving test in July David showed great consistency to his driving helped by regular car practice with family members supervising. David found doing a mock test would help assess his driving to the standard of test. This helped David achieve a pass of just 7 minor faults.
David left this review of the School in his time learning:
“I really enjoyed my time learning to drive with Driving Ayrshire. I found my instructor to be patient and supportive in helping me gain the knowledge I needed on the road. I was able to buy my own car during doing my lessons which helped me get practice when not doing lessons. I really wanted to pass my test as quick as I could and with a practice car and help from my instructor I was able to pass first time which I was so pleased about!”
Well done to Callum Murphy of Irvine getting through passing his driving test first time having overcome covid19 restrictions to book a theory test and getting to do a practical test when driving lessons could resume safely. Callum came to Driving Ayrshire in 2019, having had earlier driving lessons when younger, to gain his full licence for work purposes with starting a new job. Callum wanted to gain confidence behind the wheel and to know he was doing it ‘right’ and brought good enthusiasm and energy to his lessons to learn as quickly as he could in between lockdown restrictions. To help his quick learning and confidence gains he started doing private practice with his mum to have extra feedback and pick up driving tips to improve his driving and knowledge of road situations.
As we always encourage our students to do private practice it worked well for Callum having his own car there to top up the skills and tips he picked up on his lessons to be a better driver even with someone else in the car. You can greatly increase your chances of passing first time, beyond the current average of 50% pass rate, doubling up your time on road experience out with an instructor. This has been proven with many of our students who pass first time and many are now learning in their own car now before booking with an instructor to get started on the basic skills of driving.
Callum left this review of his experience of with learning to drive with Driving Ayrshire
I contacted Driving Ayrshire to get my lessons started with an instructor to help build my confidence further on the road and get my licence for work. I really enjoyed learning to drive to the standard for test and my instructor was great at helping me progress each lesson. I can’t thank my Instructor enough for the time to get me in on lessons after not driving. He helped me keep focused and built up my confidence on the road to be sharp for my driving test which I was so pleased to pass first time! Now this gives me new driving opportunities in my work. So pleased!!
Types of pedestrian crossings, know all about them!
New research shows that 81 percent of drivers don’t know how to use a zebra crossing. Meanwhile, as many as one in four don’t know who’s permitted to use a toucan crossing.
This follows news that car drivers are substantially against proposed changes to the Highway Code. The proposed alterations would give vulnerable users like pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders priority over motorists. Less than a third (30 percent) of the drivers surveyed agreed with the proposals.
There are seven types of pedestrian crossings in the UK, including the new tiger crossing, currently being trialled in London. With lockdown restrictions currently in place, there has no doubt been a rise in the number of cyclists and pedestrians on the roads, meaning having good road safety knowledge is increasingly important.
During your driver training you should be aware of the rules for pedestrian, cyclists, and horse riders on road crossings to decrease the chance of being involved in an accident.
Here, we explain the difference between zebra, pelican, puffin, toucan, pegasus, officer-controlled and tiger crossings.
This is most common form of pedestrian crossing. Zebra crossings have flashing beacons on the pavement, black and white stripes on the road and zigzag lines on either side. These lines prohibit parking either side of the zebra crossing.
Traffic does not have to stop until someone has moved onto the crossing. When there is an island in the middle of a zebra crossing, pedestrians must wait on the island before crossing the second half of the road. It is counted as a second pedestrian crossing.
These are signal-controlled crossings operated by pedestrians. Pushing the button will activate the traffic signals, but pedestrians should not cross when the red figure is illuminated. When a steady green figure shows, drivers will be shown a red light telling them to stop. If the green figure begins to flash, pedestrians should not start to cross.
Drivers must not move until the pelican crossing is free of pedestrians. The Uswitch survey found that 71 percent of people believe pelican crossings can be used by cyclists. This isn’t the case – only pedestrians are permitted to use pelican crossings.
Puffin crossings differ from pelican crossings as the red and green figures are above the control box on the side of the road. There is no flashing green figure phase. Simply press the button and wait for the green figure to show.
These are smart versions of the older pelican crossings. They use sensors to indicate when the crossing is clear to release the traffic. Only one in three people who took part in the survey were able to identify a puffin crossing.
Toucan crossings work in the same way as pelican crossings, with the key difference being that they can be used by pedestrians and cyclists. They are push-button operated. Drivers will see a red light when the pedestrians and cyclists are shown a green light to cross.
Pegasus crossings, also known as equestrian crossings, are for horse riders. They feature pavement barriers, wide crossing spaces, plus horse and rider figures in the light panels. The button is positioned higher for ease of use by the horse riders. Traffic is controlled via standard traffic lights.
Authorised person crossings
These are crossings controlled by an authorised person, such as a school warden or police offer. They will signal the traffic to stop, at which point the pedestrians can cross in front of the authorised person.
A Tiger crossing combines a pedestrian zebra crossing with a crossing for cyclists. They are called tiger crossings because early examples featured yellow stripes on black tarmac.
The first tiger crossing was installed was in London, but the concept is common in the Netherlands. Unlike toucan crossings, they feature dedicated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists. This makes them ideal for use on cycle lanes.
In all cases, pedestrians and cyclists must check that the traffic has stopped before the start to cross the road. Always cross between the studs or over the zebra markings, and do not loiter on the pedestrian crossing.
Winter driving done safely with Driving Ayrshire’s tips
Fewer daylight hours and colder temperatures, not to mention heavy rain, snow, ice, fog and low sun – is it any wonder that winter driving is more hazardous for experienced drivers let alone novices not used to how the car acts under extreme weather conditions. However, while you can’t predict the weather, you can take sensible steps to improve safety on the road, from checking your car thoroughly to how you drive it.
With help from Leaseplan UK, we’ve put together 10 tips for safer winter driving. But first, let’s look at being prepared.
Before you set off
There are seven things to check on your car before driving in the winter, especially if you’re travelling a long distance. These can be summarised as follows:
1) Battery: The car battery needs to work harder during the winter, so ensure it is regularly serviced.
2) Cooling system: Add anti-freeze into your cooling system, but remember to use the appropriate strength of formula.
3) Tyres: Make sure there is at least 2mm tread depth on the tyres. Consider investing in winter tyres, which are more effective in cold weather, not just in the snow. Cooling system: Add anti-freeze into your cooling system, but remember to use the appropriate strength of formula.
4) Wipers and washers: Use high-strength screen wash and replace damaged or faulty wiper blades. Never use the wipers to clear ice from the windscreen.
5) Defrosting: Never use boiling water to clear ice from the windscreen. Instead, use an ice scraper and/or a can of de-icer. Remember to clear all areas of glass, including the mirrors and lights.
6) Lights: Check that all lights are working, including fog lights and reversing lights. Roof and windows: Clear all snow and ice from the roof and windows before setting off.
7) Roof and windows: Clear all snow and ice from the roof and windows before setting off.
10 tips for safer winter driving
1. High gear, low revs Use a higher gear when setting off as this will give you greater control of the vehicle. In slippery conditions, avoid using first gear if possible.
2. Take your time When driving in snow, avoid high revs, but don’t drive so slowly that you risk losing momentum. Keep going, as this could be the difference between making it home or skidding to a halt. Remember, if you’re stuck, the chances are other drivers will be too, so you’re unlikely to receive help.
If you get into a skid in snow or on ice, take your feet off the pedals and steer to safety. Only use the brakes when you’re unable to steer away from trouble.
4. Braking Triple your braking distance and maintain a sufficient gap between you and the car in front. Any sudden movements – such as erratic steering or braking – are likely to result in the car careering out of control. Use a lower gear than normal and gently apply the brakes.
5. Stick to main roads Keep to the main A-roads and motorways when possible, as these are more likely to have been treated with salt and cleared by a steady flow of traffic. There’s also a greater chance of help arriving should you breakdown or get stuck in a snow drift. Avoid unlit rural roads, as there’s a risk that you or your stranded car could be hit by another vehicle. It’s also worth remembering when you last passed a house or shop, in case you need to find help.
6. Visibility Use dipped headlights in the snow, but remember to turn them off when conditions improve.
7. Potholes Potholes are more likely to appear after freezing temperatures or a flood. It will be difficult to spot them at night, in the snow or when the roads are covered in water, so drive with extra care. Not only can a pothole cause damage to a car’s wheels, suspension or steering, you may also lose control of the vehicle.
8. Fog In foggy conditions, reduce your speed but don’t slam on the brakes. Keep your distance to the car in front and don’t rely on them to guide you through a dense fog patch. Use dipped headlights and fog lights, but remember to switch them off when conditions improve. It’s also important to remember that LED daytime running lights are unsuitable for driving in fog or at night. If you have automatic lights, make sure they’re switched on when driving in fog.
9. Flood water Avoid driving directly through the deepest water, which is normally near the kerb. Stick to the centre of the road, but look out for debris and potholes beneath the surface. If in doubt, don’t drive through flood water – seek an alternative route. If you do drive through, take your time, avoid sudden acceleration and test your brakes when you’ve made it through the water.
10. Be prepared for a breakdown If extreme weather is forecast, it’s worth packing for every eventuality. Should the worst happen, it’ll take longer for the breakdown service or emergency vehicle to reach you, so you could be left in the car or stranded by the road for a prolonged period of time. Before you set off in the snow, pack some warm clothing, blankets and basic nourishment.
While a winter driving safety pack might seem extreme, you’ll be glad of it should you run into trouble. We’d recommend carrying the following items: high visibility jacket, torch, warning triangle, spare tyre, first aid kit, de-icer, screen wash, jump leads and sunglasses (for low winter sun)
From all at Driving Ayrshire stay safe this winter and only travel if really necessary.
Learning to drive is learning ‘a skill for life’ and a voucher of driving lessons, as a gift either for a birthday or Christmas, helps to make the process of learning to drive easy, and paying for driving lessons, that bit more affordable as time and cost is both covered so no excuses to just enjoy learning!
There are so many reasons to learn to drive:
It’s brings independence.
It’s makes travelling more convenient.
It gives a great sense of achievement.
It’s a necessity for many jobs.
It helps to improve employment prospects for anyone looking to enter the labour market.
It can be the skill that helps someone to gain that promotion.
It’s a practical skill that’s used all the time.
It’s truly enjoyable!
For these reasons, a voucher for driving lessons, as a gift, is often hugely appreciated by the recipient.
With Driving Ayrshire Driving School, there are a range of vouchers to choose from that make great presents for anyone who is keen to learn to drive, or whose employment prospects would be improved by having that extra skill. Vouchers can be processed to include any number of driving lessons, from one lesson upwards.
Vouchers for driving lessons
Please note: If the person to receive the Gift Voucher has never before taken lessons with Driving Ayrshire Driving School, then the voucher price will incorporate the first discounted price saving £2 per lesson. For further details, please contact us and we can arrange a Voucher for Driving Lessons suitable to your needs. We’ll be happy to discuss some options with you.
Our most popular vouchers, and the corresponding prices, are listed below
Our vouchers are valid for a full six months from the date of purchase.
If you’re at all interested in giving the gift of driving lessons, or have any enquiries about our voucher range, then please feel free to contact us .
Prices correct as of November 2020. Please note that all lessons contained within the Gift Voucher are bound by Driving Ayrshire Driving School Voucher Terms and Conditions, seen below.
Gift Voucher Terms and Conditions.
1. Driving lessons purchased through Driving Ayrshire Driving School Gift Vouchers are only valid to be redeemed with Driving Ayrshire Driving School 2. If more than one Gift Voucher is bought and each Voucher has been endorsed through the ‘Special Offer to New Pupils’ deal, then each individual Gift Voucher must be redeemed by a different, individual recipient. 3. The Gift Voucher recipient must be in possession of a valid UK provisional driving licence or equivalent at the time of voucher redemption. 4. Gift vouchers are required to be presented to the Driving Instructor at the first lesson appointment to be authenticated and have tuition time allocated, and will be surrendered at that time. 5. Non-presentation of a Gift Voucher at the first appointment will result in the lesson being chargeable. If the Gift Voucher is unable to be presented, for whatever reason, the School has the right to refuse tuition, or monetary refund. The Gift Voucher is a proof of purchase – please look after it. 6. Driving Ayrshire Gift Vouchers are valid for a period of six months from date of purchase. 7. Lessons require to be commenced within six months of the date of purchase. 8. Once teaching commences the lessons banked within the Voucher shall be available for 1 year from the date of purchase. At the end of the year period, any untaught lessons banked within the Voucher will be deemed invalid and any outstanding monies will be non-refundable. 9. Gift Vouchers purchased through Driving Ayrshire Driving School incorporate a discount on full lesson price and, therefore, monies returned on cancellation will be proportional to the amount paid.
Contact Driving Ayrshire Driving School, for a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor.
The driving test costs £62 and when you add in the extras like refresher lessons and using your instructor’s car, the cost of taking the test can start to rocket! Over half the people who take their driving test fail! Let’s face it no-one looks forward to retaking the test – that’s why we’ve developed the Driving Test Wiz app, helping you avoid the most common mistakes.
Learners fail the driving test for many reasons, and it should not be attempted before you are ready as learning to drive is a serious business and not something to be rushed. However, there are some very common mistakes that people repeatedly make on their test. Don’t worry, Driving Test Wiz highlights these and helps you avoid them.
Developed by FirstCar in conjunction with one of the UK’s leading driving instructors, Driving Test Wiz contains ten video modules designed to help you be better prepared on test day, including…
Improving observation skills
Moving off and stopping
Controls and positioning
Correct use of speed
Anticipating & planning
Road signs and signals
Control at junctions
The mock test
Save money retaking your test, the Driving Test Wiz app is priced at £4.99 and could be a very wise investment. Available to download soon on the App Store and Google Play!
Remember if you haven’t already done so head over to our ayrshire driving lessons page to download a free theory app to help pass first time!
The Pass Plus scheme is a post driving test course made up of six modules. These modules can be done at your own pace to completing the Pass Plus course which can work towards safer driving and keep your insurance premiums down. At Driving Ayrshire we support your driving journey post test to further your driving confidence and competence.
Town Driving – Module 1
The first parts begins with an introduction to Pass Plus, explaining the course aims and the skills and knowledge to be covered. The second part of Pass Plus is a practical session, covering the different features of driving in a town, such as complex junctions and public transport.
You’ll focus on:
observation, judgement and awareness
consideration for vulnerable road users
keeping space around your car
All Weather Driving – Module 2
This module will be covered as much as possible in a practical session. You’ll focus on correct speed, safe stopping distances, plus seeing and being seen in:
sleet, snow and ice
mist and fog
You’ll also look at skidding:
what causes skids
how to prevent skids
correcting slow-speed skids
braking on poor surfaces
Driving in the Country – Module 3
This module looks at the main differences between town and country driving:
observing the road ahead
making progress safely
bends, hills, uneven roads and dead ground
keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead
pedestrians, horse riders and animals in the road
slow moving vehicles
It also covers the correct use of a horn, coping with mud and debris on the road and how to use passing places.
Night time driving – Module 4
This covers the important parts of driving at night, dawn and dusk. You’ll learn about:
the importance of using headlights correctly
adjusting to the dark
judging speed and distance
the correct use of lights and keeping them clean
dealing with dazzle
hard-to-see road users
Dual Carriageway driving – Module 5
Dual carriageways are high speed roads where the two carriageways are separated by a central reservation. You’ll need to have particular skills, including:
effective observation, using your mirrors and checking blind spots
judgement and planning ahead
joining and leaving a dual carriageway
overtaking and lane discipline
the correct use of speed
Motorway driving – Module 6
This will be a practical session if possible. You should drive on a motorway as soon as you can afterwards so you can put the theory knowledge into practice.
The topics covered include:
Varying traffic conditions for journey planning. You’ll be joining and leaving a motorway, using slip roads to gain the experience of applying the following topics and skills:
safe speeds in different circumstances
signs, signals and markings
overtaking and lane discipline
courtesy to other road users
use of lights, including hazard warning lights
debris on the carriageway
Upon completing the Pass Plus you will receive a DVSA certificate to acknowledge your achievement.