Car Insurance

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The UK driving test is a pretty good indicator of your competence as a driver, but does it go far enough?

It judges you on the basics – parallel parking, reversing, roundabouts, emergency stops, the usual kind of day-to-day skills required for normal driving conditions.

But there are a whole host of circumstances, incidents and safety issues that are not tested.

Here, specialist insurance broker Adrian Flux takes a look at 10 things that would give drivers a more rounded set of skills, some serious, some not so serious…

Are we wide of the mark? What would you like to see in the driving test?

  • Dee Harrison

    I agree with all of them except changing a wheel. As a female I know from experience that I am not physically capable of undoing wheel nuts. To have this as part of the test would be discriminatory. If I have problems I contact my breakdown company.

    • Frances Watts

      With due respect, I dispute that! I and my daughters are all capable of changing our own wheels. You need to know the “stand gently on the wheel spanner” trick and of course the “tighten in turn” trick. Once learned, you will never be in the dangerous position of being a woman on her own stranded on a country road in the middle of the night with a puncture!

    • Daniel Emery

      Beg to differ you just need the right tool and a bit of training. The tools that come with the car a junk you want a long extendable breaker bar so you you can apply more leverage with less strength. Also you want the wheel to be done up with the tools you have available at the roadside not a nut gun ensuring you have the tool/ability to remove the wheel.

  • Trevor Fisher

    Pretty good article. Learners should be obliged to have at least one motorway lesson when they pass their test, and teaching people how to move their cars in the event of a breakdown or accident would help. Even if the engine won’t start it’s easy if it has a manual gearbox, just put it in gear and turn the key!

  • andrew

    All good ideas, but, the worst thing is drivers who are not concentrating on ‘driving’, I’ve stood at zebra crossings and watched several drivers drive by, oblivious to me. I don’t think I’m invisible!

  • david

    I agree with Dee Harrison regarding the ability of some drivers to change a wheel.
    Personally I would also include night driving.
    I think overall the driving test (practical) is much too easy.
    Some drivers have a problem with there nerves whilst behind the wheel.
    In some situations this can result in panic with the obvious results.
    There should be some sort of suitability procedure for driving applicants before they ever sit behind the wheel.
    And finally regarding your articles advice on ‘a wave to say thanks’ to a kind fellow road user..
    Well I live in Germany most of the time and I can assure you that the word courtesy
    has never entered the German Highway Code.
    In my opinion all my friends that were or are motorcyclists generally make far better car drivers as when on two wheels awareness of everything must be increased many times.
    I would be interested in accident figures regarding those drivers with a bike licence.
    Finally all drivers over 60 should be re tested every 3 years..
    As a note I am 65.

  • Terence J Davis

    A thing that I would put high on the list of 10 is reversing. A a professional driver of mini buses I am constantly having to reverse up for far smaller vehicles when they have less distance to reverse to a passing place because the drivers are totally incompetent at reversing. As learners they should be drilled and drilled until they are proficient. Teaching them to reverse using their mirrors would help them considerably.

  • Frances Watts

    All car drivers should have to take a trip on the pillion of a motorbike to understand that a motorcyclist cannot stop in a hurry, and cyclists cannot mind read that you are going to turn left in front of them.
    Similarly all cyclists and motorcyclists should take a car trip so that they can understand the problems caused by two-wheelers ducking in and out of traffic and coming up on the blind side.
    BTW, both my daughters took a “Test Plus” after they had passed their driving tests. This additional test was motorway and night driving. It reduced their insurance premiums considerably.