Monday, 2 September 2013

Life After Your Test: A Few Driving Tips

Passing your test can mean a new lease of life for you, as well as a sense of independence. However it is important to remember that with indepence comes responsibility. Just because you have passed your test it does not mean that you should stop learning, brushing up on your driving knowledge and improving your motoring skills.

Remember our pass plus scheme which will not only improve your skills further but can also get you a considerable discount on your car insurance. This consists of a minimum of 6 hours' driving tuition, which includes motorway driving, nighttime driving, all weather driving (when appropriate), and much more.

Here are a few more tips to help you keep on top of your driving and to continue to improve as a driver.

Don't give way to emotion.

It is easy to become angered when driving. Even the best drivers make mistakes and this can be frustrating. But it is important to learn to cool your temper and not let rage get the better of you. Becoming angry affects your decision making skills and can put other drivers at risk. In this situation, it is always better to remain calm, and if necessary pull over to the side of the road and take a breather.

Drink driving - don't chance it.

This should be blatantly obvious to point out to anybody wishing to drive. But we can not re-iterate it enough - don't mix alcohol and driving. Although there is a legal limit in place, many people find it easier to avoid alcohol fullstop when driving. You may be able to have one drink and remain within the legal limit, but not having that drink in the first place eliminates the temptation to have another one.

No ostriches in the vehicle.

Studies have shown that it is much more difficult to drive if you have an ostrich in the vehicle. Ostriches are vicious animals and do not react well to being confined in small spaces. They may lash out at you while driving. (We are joking).

Friday, 30 August 2013

Theory Test Training

If you are studying for your theory test, there are a number of study guides available on the market which can help you through. However we at Mutual would recommend the Official DSA Theory Test CD.

The CD is available online or at most good high street bookshops. You may also be able to get a discounted copy on sites such as Ebay or Amazon, however it is important to make sure that the copy you order is the most up to date version (pictured below).

The Official DSA Theory Test CD is the best resource for pupils studying for their theory test. We would highly recommend this as your first choice study aid when it comes to revising for your theory test, as it contains multiple choice questions from the DSA theory test question bank, along with detailed answers and explanations for each one.

You can also practice your theory test online at the DSA's website:
This is the DSA's official site; it contains 50 questions which is the same as the real theory test, so it gives the user a realistic practice of what it is like to take your test.

As far as the hazard perception part of your theory test goes, the AA offer a free online hazard perception practice. This follows the same format as the official hazard perception test you will take on the day. You can find this practice test here:

In any event, you will need to study hard and work on the CD and practice tests regularly in order to pass your theory test, but if you stick to your revision and work hard you should get through it at the first attempt. We wish you the very best of luck.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Information On Intensive Courses / Driving Test Centres

For all students on our intensive courses, our lessons are normally taken over a short period of time and we will guarantee a test at the end of the course. The test is paid for by the candidate and it will be the driving school who will solicit an earlier test date for you.

The test will be arranged at a date agreed between the school, yourself and your instructor. We use a number of test centres; for example Barking, Goodmayes, Wanstead, Chingford, Loughton, Tilbury, Hither Green, Sevenoaks, Belvedere etc. 

As the school will search for a test date, we cannot guarantee exactly at which centre tests will become available. All test areas should be similar in design to give each candidate a fair chance, so that it is not easier to pass your test at one particular centre rather than another. Although your instructor may take you to a test area, your test will not necessarily be at that centre. The purpose of this is to make you familiar with how test routes in general are laid out at most test centres.

Please take into account the fact that you may go to Barking or Goodmayes or Wanstead as part of your training, we cannot guarantee your test will be conducted at that centre, although it will certainly help to familiarise you with the format of the driving test and how it is conducted.

Remember, the art of being a successful driver and passing your driving test is to read the road as it presents itself to you, and not to try and remember a pre-planned route.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Driving Tips For Beginners

What to expect on your first lesson

If you have never driven a car before, the prospect of your first lesson can be quite a daunting one. But you will feel less intimidated if you know what to expect. So below we have laid out a plan of a typical first lesson that an instructor might give you if you have never done any driving before.

On your first driving lesson, your instructor will drive you to an area where the roads are less busy, so you can get a feel for the car before you move on to interacting with other drivers.
Your first lesson is referred to as a "Controls" lesson. This is because the instructor will use this lesson to get you acquainted with the various controls of the vehicle - that is, the foot controls (accelerator, brake and clutch), and hand controls (handbrake, gearstick, etc) and will show you how all of these work. But first of all, you will be shown the cockpit drill.

The cockpit drill is a series of simple routine checks you will make each time you drive the vehicle. It covers your seating position, seatbelt and mirrors as well as other procedures you will need to carry out. After the cockpit drill is complete, you will then be taken through the foot and hand controls as described above.

When the instructor is satisfied that you have understood all of this, it's time to move off for the very first time. You will be briefed about correct usage of your mirrors before moving off.

It is natural to feel nervous in this situation that you are not used to, however as your instructor carefully guides you through these initial learning stages you will notice your confidence slowly increasing. Remember that driving school vehicles are dual-controlled, which means that there are two sets of pedals - one in the driver side and one in the passenger side. This means that the instructor still has control over the vehicle at all times, so you can rest at ease and concentrate on learning and enjoying your lesson.

Of course, feel free to ask any questions if there is something you are unsure about. And before you know it, you will be on the road to driving success.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Show Me, Tell Me Questions

Show Me, Tell Me questions form part of the practical driving test. Your examiner will ask two random questions out of a possible 19 questions. These questions concern the layout of a motor vehicle and cover the basic knowledge needed to run a car. If you answer either question incorrectly, you will score one fault on your driving test.

The questions are available on the DSA's website. The following is an example of a list of questions you might be expected to answer, please be advised that the questions do change from time to time, these questions below were taken from an official DSA training material however they do not necessarily form part of the test, rather they are designed to give you experience on the type of questions asked so that on the day of your test you will know what to expect.

Q1. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check the engine has the correct level.
Q2. Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
Q3. Show me/explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.Q4. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has enough oil.Q5. Open the bonnet, identify where the Windscreen Washer reservoir is and tell me how you check the level?Q6. Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).Q7. Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don't start the engine).Q8. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
Q9. Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working.Q10. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working correctly.Q11. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
Q12. Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear.Q13. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.Q14. Tell me how you would check the tyres to show that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.Q15. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.Q16. Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.Q17. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system.Q18. Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.Q19. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle).

Please study these questions and have a go at answering them. You can refer to the diagram above to help you. Please Click Here to find the answers!!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Show Me, Tell Me Answers

Here are the answers to the Show Me, Tell Me Questions we posted earlier.

Q1. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check the engine has the correct level.

A. Identify the coolant tank and check the min/max markings. If the coolant is below the min mark then more coolant will need to be added. To do this, unscrew the cap and pour in coolant until the max mark is reached.

Q2. Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
A. Identify the brake fluid reservoir and check the fluid level against the min/max levels.

Q3. Show me/explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
A. If the steering becomes heavy the steering may be faulty. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made. 

Q4. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has enough oil.
A. Identify the dipstick, pull it out and check the oil level against the min/max markings.

Q5. Open the bonnet, identify where the Windscreen Washer reservoir is and tell me how you check the level?
A. Identify reservoir, lift off cap and make a visual check of level as there are no external markings on reservoir.

Q6. Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only).
A. Press the horn and listen (turn on ignition if necessary).

Q7. Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car. (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don't start the engine).
A.Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help. (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine)

Q8. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
A. As you move off check the brakes. They should not feel spongy and the car should not pull to one side.

Q9. Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working.

A. Turn on lights (turn ignition if necessary), walk around car and check that the lights are on.

Q10. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working correctly.

A. Activate the indicators or hazard warning lights and walk around the car to see if all the indicators are working correctly.

Q11. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.

A. Information will be found using the car manufacturer's manual. Check the tyre pressures by using a reliable pressure gauge when the tyres are cold. Don't forget the spare and remember to refit the valve caps.

Q12. Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear.

A. Apply the parking brake. When it is fully applied it should secure itself.

Q13. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

A. The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable.

Q14. Tell me how you would check the tyres to show that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

A. A safe tyre will have no cuts or bulges. The tread depth should be at least 1.6mm across the central 3/4s of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.

Q15. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.

A. Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary.

Q16. Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens.

A. Set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature, air direction / source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration.

Q17. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system.

A. Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system.

Q18. Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car.
A. Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light

Q19. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. (No need to exit vehicle).
A. Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Cheaper Car Insurance

Pass Plus
List of Participating Insurers And Agents

We would suggest you telephone the insurance companies below to ascertain a quote. Once you have got the quote, THEN ask what the difference would be with a pass plus certificate. 

The following insurance companies have indicated that they are supporting the Pass Plus scheme and offer a discount on their comprehensive third party fire and theft, and third party policies when insuring a Pass Plus candidate's own car.

The discount may be deferred for two years if  Pass Plus candidate currently drives under someone else's policy, providing no claim are made within the intervening period.

The Driving Standards Agency recommends that Pass Plus candidates check with their insurer on the availability of a Pass Plus discount before completing the course.

AA Insurance - 0800 294 1200
Adrian Flux Insurance Services - 0800 505 3000
Churchill Insurance - 0800 200 300
Co-Operative Insurance Society - 0845 746 4646
Direct Line - 0845 246 8888
Privilege - 0845 246 0259
Royal Sun Alliance - 0870 168 8686
Swinton - 0800 409 6551
Quinn Insurance Services - 0800 587 8000

Endsleigh - 0o800 028 3571
4 Counties Insurance - 08456 300 200
Click4Gap - 0844357 8300
i-Kube - 0845 602 6925
Young Marmalade - 0845 644 2026

Although every effort has been made to ensure that the details presented are accurate, Mutual Driving School cannot accept responsibility for any charges or amendments made by insurers and agents.

Other insurers not identified above may still offer some discounts to those who successfully complete a Pass Plus course.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Free Theory Test Training

I would just like to clarify that at present, the price that the Driving Standards Agency charge for a theory test is £31.00 for a car or a motorcycle. This price is the same at evenings, and on weekends and bank holidays. The price is £35.00 for a lorry, bus or coach.

Recently there have been reports of pupils being charged a higher amount for the theory tests, in some cases as much as £80.00. Please be aware that it only costs £31.00 to book your theory test and you can do this yourself online.

Please make certain that you are on the DSA's official website, here is a link to the correct site. There are some bogus sites imitating the DSA's website, which are charging extra for booking the theory tests, this also includes driving tests.

If your driving school are charging you more than the standard £31.00 to arrange your theory test, you may consider switching to another driving school. At Mutual Driving School, for instance, we offer 100% free training on the theory / hazard perception test to all pupils who are taking driving lessons with us.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Driving Lessons in East London

Have you been toying with the idea of learning to drive, but have not yet taken that step and booked your first driving lesson??

If you are sitting on the fence, please keep in mind that there are many hidden benefits of learning to drive. As well as the obvious independence which comes with having a full driving license, any parent will tell you the benefits of owning a car if you have children.

Another benefit of learning to drive is that it gives you transferable skills. A lot of employers prefer to hire people with a full driving license, regardless of whether or not the actual job involves driving. Learning to drive takes concentration, attention, commitment and determination, which are all skills employers look for, not to mention the host of driving-based career opportunities which open themselves up to you once you have passed your driving test. Have you ever thought about driving as a career? Once you have your license, there is nothing stopping you.

If you are somebody who likes to travel, think how easier this becomes once you have your driving license. Hiring a car when you travel abroad can help you in so many ways. Nobody likes waiting around at an airport for a bus or taxi, but if you have a driving license you can get right out on the open road (just remember to check which side of the road they drive on!) And remember it is not just overseas when this comes in handy - there are also many great places to visit in Britain and a car is the perfect tool to help you discover this wonderful island at your own pace. On top of this, most of the time it will be far cheaper than taking the train, and you won't have to put up with drunken football fans and screaming children either.

So if reading this article has convinced you to make that first step, then pick up the phone today. If you are in the East London area, why not give us a call now on 0208 880 7548, or visit our website!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Refresher Courses

Driving is a skill, and like any skill you must practice it regularly. As any driver will tell you, the road is a constantly changing environment. Of course, this goes for driving from A to B, but it also applies to the more longer-term aspect of driving. For example, driving laws and regulations are constantly being reviewed and new ones added, new roads are being built all of the time which could increase traffic in your area, and there are more and more cars on the roads than ever before.

All of this can be daunting if you have not driven for a long time. You may feel that your confidence has suffered as a result of being off of the roads for so long. But there is no shame in wanting to regain that confidence, and a refresher course could be the ideal thing to help you get back on the road.

It is important to remember that there is no pressure on a refresher course. The aim of this course is not to scrutinise your driving, rather to ease you back into it and help you where you might be going wrong, for instance, you may have developed bad habits in your driving, and your instructor can help spot those faults and work with you to iron them out. Feeling at ease is important, so normally on your first lesson back your instructor will drive you a way to a less busy area so that there are less distractions.

Another scenario is that you may have passed your test a few months back, but have only just got around to buying a car. In this situation a couple of refresher lessons could be just the ticket to get you back on the road, or you may even want to consider doing a Pass Plus course, which is a series of pre-planned lessons from which you can practice what you have already learned as well as acquiring new skills. The Pass Plus course has the added bonus of enabling you to obtain a significant discount on your car insurance upon completion.

So if you feel that you just need a little encouragement to get you back on the roads, ask us about our refresher courses and we can give you the confidence you need and help you on your way to becoming a safe and skilled driver.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Common Test Mistakes

Over the last 37 years since we have been in business as a driving school, we have seen a lot of pupils come through our doors and go on to successfully pass their driving test. This has helped us to build up our expertise and our knowledge of the Practical Driving Test. We aim to share this knowledge with all of our pupils and now we feel that our blog would be the ideal platform to share this knowledge with anybody who is looking to pass their driving test.

Below, we have identified five of the most common mistakes which candidates make on their driving tests which could lead to a fault. Remember, you are allowed no more than 15 minor faults on your driving test in order to pass, and you are not allowed any serious or dangerous faults at all. So it is important to remember these pointers below to avoid making one of the common mistakes when going for your test. 


It is important to always check your mirrors when necessary, especially when you are changing direction or changing speed. This should become second nature. You should always make a habit of checking your mirrors in these situations.


You would be surprised how often pupils forget to signal. Giving a signal at the correct time is important as it will inform other road users and pedestrians of the direction you wish to travel in. In some situations, the best form of signalling is to obtain an early position. Which brings us on to...

Because of safety, examiners can sometimes be very strict when it comes to positioning on a driving test. When you first start learning to drive it can be tricky to maintain a good road position in the centre of your lane, but with regular practice and using reference points, you can ensure that your road positioning is up to scratch.
Inappropriate Speed

Be wary about driving too fast or too slow. On your driving test you will most likely already be extra-cautious, but don't let this cautiousness translate into a slower speed than is necessary. Try to maintain your speed at the correct level at all times.

Reverse Parking

This is one of the manoeuvres you will be asked to perform on your driving test which a lot of pupils dread. However, the trick is to keep calm and remember your mirror, signal, manoeuvre as well as keeping an eye out for other traffic. The examiner will be watching your observation, as well as the distance from the kerb and from the car in front.

If you have a driving test coming up, but feel that you are not confident enough in any of these areas, mention it to your instructor so that you can set aside some time to practice these maneouvres on your next driving lesson. Remember that practice makes perfect.

Friday, 8 February 2013

What Makes A Good Driver?

Qualities of a Good Driver

For many people, driving is an essential part of our lives. Whether you are an experienced driver or are currently looking to start taking lessons, it is important to remember that driving is a challenge. There are many hazards on the roads, and it is vital that, as a driver, you know how to spot these hazards. You can pass your driving test, but to become a good driver requires certain qualities. Here are some of the most important qualities we feel are necessary to make somebody a good driver: Planning & Responsibility Driving a car can be very rewarding, but it comes with a large degree of responsibility. Remember you are not only responsible for yourself and the other passengers in your car, but for other road users as well. Therefore it is advisable to choose a car with as many safety features as possible. Safety features include, but are not limited to: Safety belts, air bags, dual braking systems, seat belt tensioner, side impact bars, and shatterproof laminating glass. When taking a long journey, take some time to plan your route and also check the weather conditions, keeping in mind that they may vary along your route. Always keep a few essential items in your vehicle, such as bottled water, blankets, flashlight, batteries, and a road map.
Patience We're not just talking about sitting in a traffic jam for hours on end. You also need to have patience on the roads. Unfortunately it is part and parcel of driving that you will encounter frustrating situations, for example you may be in a rush and you find yourself stuck behind somebody who you feel is driving unnecessarily slow, but it is important in these situations to remember that safety is the most important aspect on the roads and it is important to remember at all times that patience is a virtue. Remember also that other drivers may not be as experienced as you are. Care & Attention A good driver should be aware of everything that is going on around them. Remember to always check your mirrors, keep an eye out for other road users and pedestrians, and to look, listen and think. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times as the road is an ever-changing environment. It only takes a split second for a driver to take their eye off of the road and cause a potentially dangerous situation. It is a good idea to free yourself from all distractions, for example, do not eat or drink or do anything else whilst driving. It is also a good idea to keep your music volume to a minimum. If you must have your mobile phone on, use a hands-free device. If you feel tired whilst driving, pull over safely at the side of the road and take a break. If you can take all of these points on board and remember them, you can be sure that you will have what it takes to be a good driver. Visit Our Website Here

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Theory And Hazard Perception Tests

How The Theory Test Works
The theory test is made up of a multiple-choice part and a hazard perception part. You need to pass both parts to pass the theory test.

If you pass one part and fail the other you’ll fail the whole test, and you’ll need to take both parts again.

The questions in the multiple-choice test will depend on the category of vehicle you are hoping to get a licence for. For example, a motorcycle theory test will contain questions that don’t appear in any other test.

For the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles, but the pass mark is different for them.

At The Theory Test Centre

You aren’t allowed to take any personal items into the test room with you. All your personal items must be stored in the lockers provided.

If you’re found with any prohibited items in the testing room your test will be stopped, you’ll be asked to leave and you’ll lose your test fee.
Once you’re in the test room you aren’t allowed to talk to or distract other candidates.

The Multiple-Choice Part

Before the test starts you’ll be given instructions on how it works.

You can choose to do a practice session of multiple-choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin.

A question and several possible answers will appear on a computer screen - you have to select the correct answer. Some questions may need more than one answer.

You can move between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test.

Some car and motorcycle questions will be given as a case study. The case study will:

  • show a short story that 5 questions will be based on

  • focus on real life examples and experiences you could come across when you’re driving
The car and motorcycle multiple-choice part lasts for 57 minutes and the pass mark is 43 out of 50.
After the multiple-choice part you can choose to have a break of up to 3 minutes before the hazard perception part starts.

The Hazard Perception Part

Before you start the hazard perception part, you’ll be shown a short video clip about how it works.

You’ll then be shown a series of 14 video clips on a computer screen. The clips:

  • feature everyday road scenes

  • contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ - but one of the clips will feature 2 ‘developing hazards’
A developing hazard is something that may result in you having to take some action, such as changing speed or direction.

Here is an example of the latest version of the Hazard Perception test, which now used computerised graphics.
Hazard perception test scoring

The earlier you notice a developing hazard and make a response, the higher you will score. The most you can score for each developing hazard is 5 points.

To get a high score you need to respond to the developing hazard as soon as you see it starting.

If you click continuously or in a pattern during a clip a message will appear at the end. It will tell you that you have scored zero for that particular clip.

You won’t be able to review your answers.

The pass mark for cars and motorcycles is 44 out of 75.
Your Test Result

You will be given the results of your theory tests at the test centre after taking it.

If you pass your theory test, you’ll get a pass certificate. You’ll need this when you book and take your practical test.
Your theory test pass certificate lasts for 2 years after taking your test. If you haven’t passed your practical test by then, you’ll need to take and pass the theory test again.

Preparing for the theory test
Tools and information are available to help you practice and prepare for both parts of the theory test.

Practice Your Driving Theory Test

You can have a go at a practice Driving Theory Test by clicking on this link 

Visit Our Website Here

Don't Be A Twit On The Road

Social networking sites. Love them or hate them, one thing's for sure: they've certainly become a part of our day-to-day lives. Quite often it is tempting to log in and catch up with the latest gossip on your news feed, and thanks to the ready-availability of smart phones, this is becoming even easier to do.

However, a large number of motorists are succumbing to the temptation to use their mobile phone to access social media sites whilst driving.

A recent study by the Transport Research Laboratory and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) found that when accessing social networking sites via mobile phones, drivers’ reaction times slowed by 38 percent. To put that in perspective, reactions from drivers at the alcohol limit average around 12 percent.

45% of Facebook and Twitter users access the sites via a mobile phone, this could equate to as many as 8 million people in the UK alone who log in to Facebook or Twitter via mobiles on a regular basis. That's almost the entire population of London. And while there is no harm in accessing the sites themselves, doing so whilst driving is a completely different matter.

Official government statistics attribute 110 fatal road accidents to mobile phone use while driving between 2006 and 2010, and over ten times that amount including non-fatal accidents. The statistics don't lie. Using a mobile phone whilst driving is dangerous, and can cost lives.

So if you're a driver who is addicted to Facebook or Twitter, you may want to stop and think. Pull over safely before using your phone to tweet or update your status, or simply switch your phone off or leave it at home to avoid the temptation of using social media whilst driving. Don't put the lives of yourself and others at risk. Don't be a twit on twitter when you're driving.
Visit Our Website Here

Friday, 25 January 2013

Pass Plus Can Save You Money

If you've ever watched daytime TV, I'm sure that by know you are sick and tired of those adverts promising you a discount on your car insurance.

Don't worry, this is not one of those. You won't find meerkats or annoying opera singers on this website. But if you have recently passed your test but still feel nervous, or feel like there are areas of driving you have not yet covered, the Pass Plus scheme could be for you. And as an added bonus, it WILL gain you a discount on your car insurance.

The Pass Plus scheme was devised by the Driving Standards Agency for candidates who have successfully passed their driving practical test. It consists of a specific syllabus whereby you would need to take a minimum of six lessons, each dealing with a different aspect of driving. The areas covered are Night Driving, Motorways, Dual Carriageways, All-Weather Driving, Town Driving and Driving Out Of Town.

The Pass Plus scheme can be well worth taking part in. As well as learning a lot about different aspects of driving you may not have covered during your regular lessons, by completing the course you can also earn a discount on your car insurance. There are lots of insurance companies who take part in the scheme, and the saving you make can be a lot more than the cost of taking six additional lessons. For example, one of our recent candidates made a saving of over £500.00. Although it is different for everyone, generally the saving is

Best of all, all you need to do to qualify for the Pass Plus scheme is a certificate. There is no exam or test at the end of the course, you simply need to take all six lessons in order to qualify. Once you have your Pass Plus certificate, you can approach insurance companies for a significantly lower quote.

You can learn more about the Pass Plus scheme and sign up if you're interested by visiting our website

Visit Our Website Here

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Looking To Pass Your Test??

What You Need To Know To Pass Your Driving Test

Firstly, we would say make sure you are taking your lessons with Mutual Driving School.

Yes, I know this might sound like a shameless plug. But hear us out. The best driving schools  are ALWAYS the ones with the most experience in whatever part of the UK you are in. If you happen to be in East London, we have over 37 years’ experience. So if you happen to be looking for Driving Lessons in East London, visit

Otherwise, I would recommend when looking for a driving school in your area, go for the longest established driving school rather than the cheapest. More often than not they will be the ones most likely to get you through your test. Remember, experience tells us that the cheaper the lesson, the worse the driving school.

For more information regarding your practical test and what to expect, check out this video below courtesy of the DSA:

Please be guided by your instructor on the amount of lessons that you need before you take your driving test. You can never have too many lessons, but you can have too few. A test taken too soon will only result in failure.

A confident driver is likely to be less nervous on the day of their test. Confidence will only come from experience.

Remember that learning to drive is not about learning to pass your test, it is about learning the ways of the road so that you can become a safe driver for life.

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Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow Business

Don't Let The Recent Bad Weather Put Your Driving On Ice!!

Read up on our tips for driving in winter conditions!!Driving in snow can be a new experience for many drivers, and a daunting one at that. But by following these few simple tips, you can make the whole experience a much less stressful one.If you are planning a long journey, check the weather in advance along your intended route. It may not be snowing where you are, but if you are driving far north, snow may be forecasted and you may find that you are unprepared.

If it has snowed, be sure to thoroughly clear snow from your vehicle before setting off. Be sure to clear snow from the roof of your car as well. You could be guilty of an act of dangerous driving should a large amount of snow come off of your roof and onto the windscreen of the car behind. It could also fall onto your own windscreen if you brake sharply, causing a hazard.

Also make sure that your mirrors are free from snow. As with many things, prevention is often the best method for dealing with a problem. So if you know there is a good chance of snow overnight, you might want to cover your car in advance.

Use a de-icer to remove ice from your windscreen. If you do not have one, you can use lukewarm water, but do not use boiling water as this can damage the windscreen.

Check tyres for adequate tread before setting off, as inadequate tread on your tires means inadequate grip on the road. It may be worth investing in winter tyres if you drive in snow often.

When driving, keep your speed to a minimum, allowing you more time to slow down and stop.

Avoid heavy braking, as it can cause you to skid.

And remember - stopping in heavy rain, snow and icy conditions can be 10 times the normal stopping period. For example, your overall stopping distance for 30mph is 75 feet. This could increase 10 times in the above weather conditions.
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Thursday, 10 January 2013

Driving Tests - All You Need To Know

For pupils looking to book your driving test.

You can book your driving test online at The site is also available in Welsh.

The process of booking your driving test takes around 15 minutes. You will need your credit or debit card, your Great Britain or Northern Ireland driving license number (This is the long number on your provisional license which usually begins with the first five letters of your surname), and your theory test pass certificate number as well as the date that you passed your theory test.

You will be asked whether you have any special needs or requirements, for example you can use this section to let the DSA know of any disabilities or conditions you may have, and if you will be bringing an interpreter with you on the day of your test you can also tell them in this section.

You will also be asked if you require a test for a car with an automatic or a manual gearbox.

Once you have given this information, click on "Next" and it will take you to the next page, where you will need to enter all of your information. Remember to take care when entering your driving license number as the number is long so it can be easy to make mistakes. After entering all of the necessary information, you can then look for a test centre near you to search for available test dates.

When choosing a test centre, pay no attention to people who try to convince you that a particular centre is better than another. While it is certainly true that the pass rate can be slightly different from centre to centre, a good driver will be able to take and pass a driving test at any centre. As long as you are focused on the day of your test and remember everything you have learned, you should have no problems whatsoever.

It is a good idea to speak to your instructor prior to booking your test to find out if he is available.

The cost of your driving test is £62.00 for weekday tests and £75.00 for weekends and bank holidays. This is a set fee charged by the DSA. Obviously this amount is subject to change, so please check on the DSA's website. Most schools will charge a fee on top of this for the hire of their car / instructor on the day of the test. Be advised that some schools do not conduct tests on weekends or on bank holidays so it is advisable to check with your driving school beforehand.

Some pupils like to take a driving lesson directly before their test, so that their brain is in driving mode and also to go over any last minute preparations and to help ease your nerves on the day of the test. Having been in business for over 35 years, we at Mutual Driving School have found this to be beneficial for the majority of pupils.

For more information about driving tests, you can phone 0300 200 11 22, or if you are hard of hearing a Textphone service is available on 0300 200 11 44.

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How To Get An Earlier Test Date


The following information is for your reference and should be helpful to you in obtaining an earlier test date.

Please contact the following number
: 0300 200 1122 This can also be done via the website Select the option "Do It Online" and follow the link to "Check, Change or Cancel My Driving Test".

Please note this fact sheet has proved very successful in enabling pupils to move their test to an earlier date, However the following rules must apply:

Before any short notice driving test is taken, please see your instructor for an ideal date when they feel you will be ready. Driving tests taken without the approval of your instructor may need to be cancelled.
Do not accept a driving test less than five days before it is due to take place. If you do, Mutual Driving School may not be able to conduct your test with the same instructor/car. It would need to be re-arranged or taken with another instructor/car at the driving school. Once you have found a test date, you can put this test on hold for 15 minutes whilst checking with us that we have a car free.

Mutual Driving School will only accept tests at the following centres:
Barking, Goodmayes, Wanstead, Chingford, Loughton, Hornchurch, Belvedere, Tilbury, Mill Hill, Wood Green, Hither Green and Sidcup.
There are other test centres that we may cover, however this will needed to be checked with the driving school first.

We at Mutual Driving School would recommend Barking, Goodmayes and Wanstead test centres due to their close proximity.
Please note Mutual Driving School do not conduct driving tests on Weekends. Weekday driving tests are only conducted between 8.40am and 3.27pm including both these times.
Experience has shown that in order to go forward and successfully pass your test it is vital that you continue to take your lessons on a regular basis in order to maintain the standard you have reached. that this time window has the highest pass rate. Driving tests booked outside of these hours will need to be cancelled.

In order to be successful, you need to phone the DSA on 0300 200 1122 and on connection dial "25", or go online at least 6-7 times a day. You may be told that there are no short notice tests available, but be persistent. The situations change by the minute and therefore checking again a little while later may give a number of short notice tests available.

We at Mutual Driving School follow this system and have always been successful. However, with the number of students that we have, we are unable to contact the D.S.A on a continual basis to fulfil your requirements for a short notice test. Please follow the above instructions and you can be sure that you will get a test.

We wish you the very best of Luck.

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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Did You Know?

Driving Test

Did you know some of the driving tests centres are being moved to Halfords, the car accessory shop? Yes, this is a fact. So, hopefully there is one near you!!

Did you know Anticipation is the key to being a safe driver?

Safety Cameras
Did you know from next April all fixed safety cameras in the West Midlands area will be switched off because the council cannot afford to upgrade.

Older Drivers
Did you know that the age demographic of Britain’s drivers is rising drastically? More Older citizens are learning to drive

Practical Driving Test
Did you know that you can now change your practical test up to 6 times? This has been increased from 3. Previously, when you changed it the third time you could no longer move the date. If you were not ready you would have to cancel your test altogether.

Car Tax Disc
Did you know that the government is seriously considering abolishing the tax disc? Unfortunately, this does not mean that we won't be paying any more car tax. It's just that as it is all computerised, the DVLA will know whether the car is taxed or not, and prosecution could commence. 

Your Car
Did you know that motorists will soon be able to update their vehicle records online? From this summer, you will now be able to view and update your vehicle details over the internet, such as change of keeper and address details. Previously, it was necessary to write to the DVLA.

Hazard Perception test
Did you know that the DSA is developing a computer-generated Hazard Perception test? The new test will form part of the Driving Theory Test from this summer. A sample of the new hazard perception test can be seen on Youtube.

Booking Your Driving Test is now the only official website where you can book your driving test without facing extra charges. So remember, when booking a test, it should be done so at Any other sites and you will probably pay an extra fee and it is not an official site.
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