Welcome to Total Drive Industry Round-Up, the place for any need-to-know industry news. Our updates are aimed directly at you, the driving instructors of Britain, and are full of all the things you should know. Here’s what has been going on recently:
Dispatch.Gob ‘Be Prepared ‘Campaign – How you can further help learner drivers to be better prepared for their test
The COVID-19 pandemic and national restrictions had an enormous impact on the number of driving tests that we could carry out. Between April 2020 and March 2021 the number of driving tests carried out decreased by 72.7% compared to the previous year.
This has caused the national average waiting times for driving tests to increase from 6 to 14 weeks which is frustrating to you, your pupils and colleagues. Our priority is to reduce the waiting times as quickly and safely as possible. One of the measures we are taking to help us achieve this is to ensure that learners are better prepared for their test and the critical point at which they drive on their own for the first time.
Currently, less than 50% of pupils pass their test the first time, and of those who fail, 85% have resulted in their test having to be terminated by the examiner.
We hope that by helping them to better understand when they are ready to take their test will enable more learners to pass first time.
Learning more about the learning to drive experience
We also want to understand in more detail from a learner’s perspective what it’s like to go through the learning to drive process and how, and at what stages, we could improve the information or support they receive.
We are working with an external research company, Kantar on this and they will be carrying out in-depth interviews with learners.
These 2 new research projects will begin very soon, and the data and knowledge we learn, combined with the previous research, will be used to help us develop our messages and content for the campaign and help learner drivers prepare for a lifetime of safe driving.
We’ll share the findings of this research with you as soon as we can.
How you can help
It is possible some of your pupils or their family or friends could be contacted by either of the research companies we are working with. If any of your pupils or past pupils get in touch with you to let you know that they have been approached and asked to take part in the research, I’d be grateful if you could please encourage them to take part, as their feedback is vital.
Learn more here: Dispatch.Gov
3 in 4 drivers think new cars have too much tech
A staggering 78 per cent of UK drivers don’t want unnecessary technology in their new cars, while a third of car owners admitted to only using 25 per cent of the features fitted to their vehicles.
The published figures from a survey by Renault-owned budget brand Dacia also suggest that 61 per cent of UK drivers would prefer not to pay for this raft of redundant features.
Diving further into the survey reveals 76 per cent of drivers believe cars overloaded with tech can be dangerously distracting. Also, 69 per cent of people taking the survey believe in-car technology is simply too complicated these days.
The Dacia data shows young drivers between 25-34 tend to use their in-car tech features the most, but even they use less than half of the available features. On average, drivers are said to use just 40 per cent of the available tech, so premium features such as in-car Wi-Fi or self-parking often go completely unused.
Credit Driver Trainer
The return of rush hour: Are traffic levels at pre-Covid levels or higher?
Traffic: it’s back. Like it or not, congestion morning and night has returned. Deserted roads were one of the few positives of a pandemic, and, let’s face it, there weren’t many to be found. So rush hour – please forgive us for not welcoming you back with open arms.
Absent friend or foe, the return of heavy traffic could make you question your own driving skills and confidence.
Working from home, shop closures and international travel bans during the pandemic all affected how much we reached for our cars on a daily basis. Are we still feeling the impact of these changes in UK traffic levels, or have they reverted back to pre-pandemic heights?
Drivers miss out on £2.3m of savings by not renewing licences online
British drivers missed out on £2.3million savings between April 2020 and March 2021 by not renewing their driving licences online, new official figures reveal.
Of the two million photocard licence renewal applications made to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in the 11-month period, around 23 per cent were sent from a post box or post office, rather than submitted online, which is the quicker and cheaper option.
How to get your driving licence
Using the Gov.uk website to renew your licence costs £14, with the new photocard arriving within five days. Applying via post, meanwhile, costs £17 and the delivery of the new licence takes longer.
The online service also brings the added benefit of being able to track your application’s progress on the website.
Drivers have to renew their photocard licence every 10 years. The DVLA provides a reminder when the renewal is due.
The DVLA also warns drivers to only use the GOV.UK website to access its services. Third-party websites posing as official ones exist and will charge additional fees for services that are normally free or cost significantly less.
Julie Lennard, chief executive of the DVLA, said: “Our online services are the quickest and easiest way to deal with DVLA, and customers usually receive their driving and vehicle documents in just five days.
“Remember to always use Gov.uk when using DVLA’s online services. To renew online or find out more about renewing a licence, visit Gov.uk.”
Credit Auto Express
Driving Instructors wanted for the Cycle Savvy project
Shape the future of driver instruction and improve safety for learners and cyclists.
Cycle Savvy is a new educational initiative, funded by the Department for Transport, designed to improve understanding and cooperation between drivers and cyclists.
Driving Instructors are wanted to take part in this exciting project and help make our roads safer for everyone. As a participant, you’ll be assigned to a control or treatment group, with both groups given free online training at different points of the study. Some will also be offered free practical training on the road, too.
This training is the perfect opportunity to shape the future of the driving instructor industry, and gain valuable additional training to help you stand out from your competition.
Credit Driver Trainer