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WELCOME

THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

WELCOME L

EARNING TO DRIVE is hugely exciting, but it can be stressful, too. The Young Driver’s Guide is here to help, from the first time you get behind the wheel to the day you tear up your L-plates and beyond. There’s so much to think about, from choosing a driving instructor, to finding affordable insurance, to buying your first car... We can steer you in the right direction. The Young Driver’s Guide is packed with advice on every aspect of learning to drive, so let us guide you on the road to your full driving licence. Most importantly, we’re here to help you stay safe. Driving is a passport to freedom and independence, but it also exposes you to danger. Drivers aged 17-19 make up just 1.5% of UK licence holders,

COVER PHOTO: DFREE / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

THE TEAM Publisher: James Evans Editor: David Motton Sales Director: Russell Whitehouse Commercial director: Richard Storrs Art director: Caroline Creighton-Metcalf

GET IN TOUCH

info@firstcar.co.uk 08451 308853 firstcar.co.uk facebook.com/firstcarmag youtube.com/FirstCarUK twitter.com/firstcaruk

but are involved in 9% of fatal and serious crashes. Nobody sets out to add to those statistics, but inexperience and a willingness to take risks can be a lethal combination. As well as the advice in this magazine, we can also help with our free e-learning resource, the FirstCar Academy. There are plenty more driving tips on the FirstCar.co.uk website, too. In print and online, we’re here to get you through your first few years on the road safely, ready to enjoy a lifetime behind the wheel.

David Motton Editor

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The contents of this magazine are copyright © FirstCar Ltd and may not be reproduced or transmitted, in any form in whole or in part, without written consent from the editor. Neither FirstCar Ltd nor its staff can be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein or for any consequence arising from it. (02/20)

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

CONTENTS BILLY EILISH

“PEOPLE ARE FREAKED OUT BY ME!”

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CONTENTS

INSIDE 10 LEARNING

Everything you need to know about the learning process, from under-17 driving to posttest training, as well as both the theory and practical tests.

42 BILLIE EILISH

Singer Billie Eilish talks about her music, how nightmares feed her creativity, working with her brother, and finding success at such a young age. BU YING HOW TO FIN D TH E PE RF EC T FIR ST CA R FOR YOU PAGE 48

48 BUYING

Buying a car can be daunting. You can buy a new or used car with confidence if you know what you’re doing. We’ll help you make the right choice.

66 INSURANCE

Insurance for young drivers is expensive, but there are ways to make cover more affordable. Here’s everything you need to know.

82 OWNING

Confused by all that paperwork? Can’t work out how to keep your car running properly? Don’t worry, because it’s all a lot easier than you might think.

PHOTO: BEN HOUDIJK / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

96 ROAD SAFETY

Unfortunately, new drivers crash more than those with extra experience. Here’s how to make sure you don’t become another statistic.

112 DRIVING ADVICE CK S CA R CA RE EA SY HA TO SAV E YOU TIM E AN D MONEY PAGE 82

You don’t stop learning when you pass your practical test. Our tips will help you get the hang of motorway driving and stay the right side of the law.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

OU R Y O T D A O R E TH

DRIVING L You’re starting on one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys of your life. Nothing beats the thrill you’ll get the day you earn your full driving licence, but there are plenty of steps along 3 the road first. Over the next few pages we’ll talk you through them.

4

3

We’ve loads more tips on learning to drive online! bit.ly/fcgetstarted

2

1 UNDER-17 DRIVING

10

1 UNDER-17 DRIVING

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Is your 17th birthday still a few months away? Or maybe it’s years off? You can still get behind the wheel, just not on the road. There are loads of young driver schemes all over the country from the likes of youngdriver.eu and under17carclub.co.uk which put younger teenagers in the driving seat on private land. The best schemes place a strong emphasis on road safety as well as car control. Sign up, and you’ll be better prepared when you do get on the public road.


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LEARNING

G LICENCE 6 5 5 PRACTICAL TEST 3 FIND AN INSTRUCTOR 2 YOUR PROVISIONAL LICENCE

You can’t jump straight into a car on your 17th birthday. You need a provisional licence first. Don’t wait until the big day – you can apply three months before you turn 17. It’s easy to make an online application if you have a Government Gateway ID or otherwise fill out a D1 form which you can collect from the Post Office. Turn the page for more on how to apply for your provisional licence.

If you want to give yourself the best chance of passing first time, you’ll want to find a really good instructor. Practising with relatives is important, but it’s no substitute for the expert instruction of a professional. Turn to page 16 to find out more.

4 THEORY TEST Before you can take your practical test you have to pass the theory test. There are two parts, one with multiplechoice questions and one assessing your ability to spot hazards. Want to know more? Turn to page 24.

Aced the theory test? Well done, but there’s still another hoop to jump through before you have your full licence: the practical test. This takes place on the public road with an examiner in the passenger seat and will last around 40 minutes. We’ll talk you through the practical test in more detail on page 36.

6 NEXT STEPS

Passing your practical test isn’t the end of the road – it’s the beginning. Drivers never stop learning, and post-test training can really help guide you through your first months on the road safely. Read IAM RoadSmart’s tips on page 40.

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LEARNING

THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

UNDER 17 SCHEMES Castle Combe Startline, Wiltshire castlecombecircuit.co.uk Cats Eyes Driving School, Devon, South Wales catseyesdrivingschool.co.uk DriveB4Uturn17, Surrey, West Sussex driveb4uturn17.co.uk Drive Safe, Lincolnshire, under17-drivinglessons.co.uk Driving Ambition, Northamptonshire drivingambitionbrackley.info Flying Colours, Dorset, under17sdriving.com Gold Driving Academy, Dorset, golddriving.co.uk Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy, Surrey, mercedes-benzworld.co.uk Under 17 Car Club, various sites under17-carclub.co.uk Wunda Wheels, Lanarkshire, wundawheels.co.uk Young Driver, various sites Youngdriver.eu

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UNDER-17

DRIVING Although you can’t legally drive on public roads until you’re 17, on private land you can drive at any age. As a result, in recent years there’s been an explosion in under-17 driving opportunities. By starting young you’ll have a better feel for how a car works when you reach 17, and you won’t feel pressured to progress swiftly in a bid to get your full driving licence

as soon as possible. The biggest under-17 driving scheme is Young Driver (youngdriver.eu), available at around 60 sites across the UK. Marketing manager, Laura White, says: “We’re teaching those who are not legally able to be on the road yet, but they get a massive boost when they control a car safely and can tackle a manoeuvre that even parents might struggle with.”


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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE You can start driving on your 17th birthday, but don’t rush the learning process

GETTING YOUR PROVISIONAL LICENCE 14

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IT’S A FACT Once

you’ve got yo ur licence, it’s au tomatically yours until yo u’ have to renew re 70. But you it You’ll no long every 10 years. er receive a pa per counterpart; th ere’s just the photocard po rtion of the licence. You’ll update photo when yo the u renew.

WATCH OUT! Apply for your licence online via the government website. There are several official-sounding sites that charge you a fee and it’s debatable whether or not they add any value.

LEARNING

What does everyone want for their 17th birthday? A new smartphone would be nice, but we’re guessing that a provisional driving licence is close to the top of the list. The day you turn 17 is the first day you can legally drive a car on the public road. But you can’t just jump behind the wheel with a copy of your birth certificate tucked in a pocket – you need to apply for a provisional driving licence. It’s easy to do. If you enjoy queuing you can do it the old-fashioned way at the Post Office. A D1 form is what you need to ask for. But it’s much simpler to apply online. Go to gov.uk/ apply-first-provisionaldriving-licence. HOW SOON CAN I APPLY? You can apply up to three months before your birthday. WHAT DO I NEED? You’ll need to provide some ID (unless you have a valid UK biometric passport), details of where you have lived over the past three years, and your National Insurance number if you know it. HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? It will set you back £34 online. You can pay by Mastercard, Visa, Electron or with a Delta debit or credit card. Applying by post costs £43. You can check if the price has changed at gov.uk/driving-licence-fees. WHEN WILL MY LICENCE ARRIVE? You should have it within a week if you apply online, although it could take longer if the DVLA needs to make additional checks.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

FIND THE PERFECT

INSTRUCTOR A

S A LEARNER driver it is really important you find the right driving instructor. To make this easier, the DVSA has improved its ‘Find driving schools, lessons and instructors’ service. You can now search the database of more than 26,000 approved instructors by the grade awarded to them by the DVSA. Instructors can add links to their website or

Facebook page. This will help you check things like... ●w  hether the instructor provides a photo for security ● i f lessons are available for learners with a special need ● t he instructor’s availability/ working pattern ● t he price of lessons To find the best driving instructor for you go to gov.uk/ find-driving-schoolsand-lessons.

Take a look at the government’s driving schools web pages to find an instructor.

ASK THE DRIVING SCHOOL THESE QUESTIONS

1 2

Is the instructor fully qualified (an ADI)?

4

If I have a PDI (an instructor who is still in training) will I pay less?

7

5

3

8

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If I sign up for a course and we don’t get on, can I have my money back? Or change instructor?

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Will I get the same instructor and car for each of my lessons? How long is each lesson? Can I choose between 60, 90 and 120-minute sessions?

Is my instructor CRB checked? Are all the school’s instructors checked in this way?

Are there apps or online tools included in the price of my lessons?

Will I get help with passing my theory and hazard perception tests? Do you offer post-test training to improve my skills after I pass?


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

LEARNING INSTRUCTION

GET THE MOST FROM YOUR

LESSONS

You're paying a lot for an expert to teach you how to drive, so be sure to make the most of your time. Here's how:

● REST UP Always try to get a good night’s rest before a lesson. A big night out with your mates before a morning lesson isn’t a good idea – you need to be fully alert and sober. ● FUEL UP Eat and drink before the lesson to boost your

energy levels and keep them high.

● GO LONG When you book your lessons, think about 90-minute or two-hour sessions. You’ll have more time to get into a rhythm than if the lesson lasts an hour. ● LISTEN UP... Your instructor knows what they are talking about, so concentrate hard on what they are telling you to do.

TOP HACK

Practise drivin g in lessons to rein between force what you have lear ned. But make sure you stay below the level of difficu lty you have reached with your instructor.

● ... BUT ASK

QUESTIONS If you don’t understand what your instructor is asking you to do, don’t be afraid to say so. And ask them questions to help plug gaps in your driving knowledge.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR

FIRST

GETTING READY A good night’s rest the night before will make sure you are alert and ready to learn. Have something to eat and drink before the lesson starts to keep your energy levels up. It’s best to wear comfortable clothes and shoes that will allow you to operate the pedals easily. Don’t forget to have your provisional licence with you, and keep an eye out in case the instructor waits for you outside rather than ringing the door bell.

LESSON It’s an exciting day, but a nervy one – here’s what will happen

THE BIG DAY IS COMING! Your provisional licence has arrived, you’ve chosen a driving school, and you are about to get behind the wheel for the first time. You’re probably excited. Possibly a bit anxious. Maybe both at the same time! Don’t worry. Your instructor is a professional who is used to guiding nervous first-timers through the techniques needed to drive a car. They’ll start you off with the basics.

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PASSENGER RIDE Don’t expect to be thrown in at the deep end. Your instructor will take you to a quiet road before swapping seats. Listen to what they tell you as it will be your turn in a minute!

BEFORE YOU DRIVE There are some checks you should always make before you set off. Many instructors will use an acronym to help you remember. DSSSM is one you may be taught in lesson one. ● Doors securely closed ●S  eat in a comfortable position ●S  teering wheel positioned correctly ● Seatbelt on ● Mirrors adjusted THE CONTROLS Next, you’ll learn what the controls do. You probably have a pretty good idea already, but the instructor won’t take anything for granted. They’ll give you a rundown on steering, what all the pedals do (three in a manual, two in an automatic) and the gearlever and handbrake. Ask them to repeat anything that isn’t clear to you.


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

Find out more about learning to drive on our website. Go to bit.ly/fccatlearn

MOVING OFF You’ll learn how to pull away. Each and every time you move off you have to be safe as well as in control of the car. That means checking in your mirrors, looking over your shoulder to check your blind spot, and signalling before moving off: mirror, signal, manoeuvre, or MSM for short. To pull away smoothly you’ll need to learn how to balance the clutch and throttle, and find the ‘biting point’ (you’ll hear the engine note change and the car will want to move forwards). You’ll learn how to stop without stalling, and will find out how to use the gears. IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY! Remember, the instructor has their own pedals so they can stop the car if necessary. Put your faith in them, and believe in yourself too!

LEARNING

LEARNING TO DRIVE ON THE

MOTORWAY

Motorways used to be no-go zones for anyone with L-plates. Now learners can get to grips with motorways while still learning to drive. There are some rules to watch out for, though. You need to be in a car with dual controls, and with an approved driving instructor by your side. So there’s no practising on motorways with parents between professional lessons. Ask your instructor if and when they plan to include motorway driving in your lesson plan.

YOU SAY “I was really worried about my first lesson, but I needn’t have been. The instructor was really calm and patient, and the hour-long lesson felt more like 10 minutes!” Nathalie, Portsmouth “Because I’d had some under-17 driving lessons off the public road, I already knew the basics about how a car works and what all the controls are for. It helped me get off to a good start.” Adi, Birmingham firstcar.co.uk

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LEARNING

THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

MAKING MOTORSPORT FOR ALL Nathalie McGloin is passionate about motor racing, and determined to make the sport more accessible. The only female tetraplegic driver in the world to compete at a professional level, Nathalie also campaigns to make racing circuits accessible for disabled competitors. “When I’m racing I leave my wheelchair in the pits. When I’m lining up on that grid with my helmet on, no-one knows I’m female or have a spinal injury. I’m just another driver – and that’s the way it should be.” FIND OUT MORE AT NATHALIEMCGLOIN.COM

LEARNING TO DRIVE

WITH A DISABILITY

A disability isn’t necessarily a barrier to learning to drive. In fact, if you receive the enhanced rate of the mobility component of the Personal Independence Payment, you can start learning at 16 – a whole year before everyone else. Depending on the nature of your disability, driving a car with standard controls could be tricky. Fortunately there are a huge range of adaptations out there to make driving more accessible. Across the country, there are driving instructors who specialise in teaching disabled drivers, and have access to adapted vehicles. You can find your nearest instructor at disabilitydrivinginstructors.com.

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A number of organisations offer help for disabled drivers. Your family may already have a car or wheelchair accessible vehicle through Motability (motability.co.uk). If that’s the case, you can apply to Motability for help with the cost of up to 40 hours of tuition (call 0300 456 4566). You can also practise between lessons in the Motability car, provided you are listed as a driver on the insurance. You’ll need to have someone aged 21 or over with you, with at least three years of driving experience. They must be insured to drive the car too. Disabled Motoring UK (disabledmotoring. org) is also a great source of advice and campaigns for the rights of disabled drivers and passengers.


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Any claim will be settled on the learner driver's insurance policy and will not affect the no claims bonus of the vehicle owner's insurance.** If you’re a twin there’s no need to pay double. Add your brother or sister to your policy for just 30% more.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

INTENSIVE COURSES INSTEAD OF HAVING a lesson or two each week and spreading the learning process over several weeks or months, it’s possible to cram it into a much shorter period – typically a week. While these intensive courses allow you to get everything out of the way quickly, experience counts for a lot when learning to drive – and there’s only so much of that you can gain in a week. However, if this route suits you

best, make sure you’re prepared or you’ll throw all your money away. ■ Check you’ve got your provisional licence before booking. ■ Check that the driving school has booked you a test for the end of the course – some just hope there’s a cancellation thay can grab. ■ You’ll need to have passed your theory and hazard perception tests before making your booking. ■ Don’t assume you’ll pass your test after a week – you can still fail. The best schools will give you an assessment session before you book, to gauge your ability. ■ Expect to pay £800-£1200 for the whole course, including the test fee.

AUTOMATIC CHOICE DRIVING IS A COMPLICATED business and you really need to have your wits about you if you’re not to get involved in one scrape after another. Not only do you have to keep tabs on what’s going on around you but you’ve also got to ensure that you’re sticking to the speed limit, positioned correctly on the road, and in the right gear. But what if your car could help you out with some of this stuff? Well it can – at least the bit about being in the correct gear. As long as you drive an automatic.

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An increasing number of car buyers are choosing an automatic (otherwise known as an auto) because it sorts out all that tedious gear changing malarkey for you. As a result you can never be in the wrong gear, and when you get stuck in traffic you’re not constantly feeding the clutch in and out. You have just two pedals instead of three (accelerator and brake), which doesn’t half make things easier. So if you’re struggling to make progress with your driving lessons, taking the

auto route might just be the answer to your prayers. However, keep in mind that passing your driving test in an auto means you’ll be restricted to driving autos unless you later pass a test in a manual-gearbox car. An increasing number of new small cars are now available with an automatic gearbox but on the used market they tend to be rarer, more costly to buy and less economical. Also, a lot of them aren’t all that nice to drive. But if going for an automatic means the difference between getting your licence and not getting your licence, it’s a no-brainer.


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LEARNING

YOU SAY “I had lots of driving lessons away from the public road before I was 17, so I was pretty confident I knew how to control a car. I wanted to learn quickly so I could drive myself to college, so an intensive course made sense for me. I passed first time!” Samantha, Sheffield “Patience isn’t my strong point! I wanted to get the whole learning process over and done with quickly. But driving for so many hours a day was very intensive and tiring. I made a mess of the test and didn’t pass. I’m now having regular lessons and learning at my own pace.” Hassan, Liverpool

SHOULD I LEARN IN AN AUTOMATIC? DRIVING IS A LOT EASIER THERE ARE PLENTY OF NEW AUTOMATIC MODELS TO CHOOSE FROM

about instead of three, With just two pedals to think e life so much easier mak to driving an auto tends

YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO DRIVE A MANUAL AUTOS TEND TO COST MORE TO BUY AND FUEL

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

The THEORY TEST Want to know more about the theory test? Go to bit.ly/fccatlearn

Before you can move on to the practical test, you need to pass the theory exam. Once you have your theory test pass certificate you’ll have taken a big step towards your full driving licence. WHAT IS THE THEORY TEST? You’ll be tested on your knowledge of the rules of the road, to show you understand how to be a safe and responsible driver. The test is in two parts. There’s a multiple choice test, and a hazard perception test.

24

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HOW HARD IS IT TO PASS? Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can bluff your way through it. It takes a lot of study to fully get to grips with the Highway Code, and to learn how to spot hazards early. Just 47% of candidates pass the test, so it’s more likely that you will fail than pass first time. You need to score at least 43 out of 50 in the multiple choice test, and 44 out of 75 for the hazard perception exam. You need to succeed in both elements to earn that all-important pass certificate.

WHERE DO I TAKE THE TEST? You sit the test at a DVSA test centre. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? The fee is £23. You can book online at gov.uk/book-theorytest. WHAT CAN I DO TO HAVE THE BEST CHANCE OF PASSING? Now that’s a sensible question! First, we’d make full use of any theory test learning aids your driving instructor has. They may be included in the cost of your lessons or available for a small


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LEARNING

GREAT APPS THE OFFICIAL DVSA THEORY TEST KIT Because this was created by the same people who set the theory and practical driving tests, you’re not going to find a more useful app, and at £4.99 it’s a bargain. UK CAR DRIVING THEORY TEST For just over half the cost of the DVSA app (£2.99) you could have this independent effort by Webrich Software. It’s user-friendly, interactive and you can challenge your mates for some added fun. DRIVING TEST SUCCESS

extra fee. Read The Highway Code and The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers thoroughly, not just once but again and again, and test yourself on the contents. There are free practice tests online at gov.uk/take-practicetheory-test. The questions won’t be the same as those you’ll be asked in the real thing, but they cover the same topics. There’s a range of apps to help you pick up the theory of driving, and get quicker at spotting hazards, so it makes sense to use them. They don’t cost much.

HOW DOES THE HAZARD TEST WORK? You’ll watch 14 video clips, all around a minute long. There will be 15 hazards to spot, and at least one in every video. You click on a mouse button when you spot a hazard – the quicker you notice potential danger, the higher the score. Don’t just click like crazy, as you’ll score ‘zero’ if you cheat. WHAT NEXT? Fail, and you’ll have to wait at least three working days before taking the test again. Pass, and the practical test is your next step.

Practise every official revision question from the DVSA with this app. Available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire devices. View the full range of apps at theorytestapp.co.uk

You’ve got to spot hazards like this, early

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

FIVE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR HAZARD PERCEPTION Parked cars: They might reverse into the road

☛ ☛ 26

Pedestrian: Could be about to cross the road

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Traffic lights: May change at any moment


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LEARNING

Spotting hazards isn’t just important when you take your theory test, it’s a vital part of safe driving

Blind corner: What could be waiting around the bend?

1

THINK ABOUT IT WHENEVER YOU DRIVE Don’t treat hazard perception as something that’s separate to the rest of your learning. Yes, you’re going to be tested on a computer, but you’ll learn more quickly if you practise spotting hazards every time you drive. The goal is to spot danger and stay safe on the road, not just to pass a test.

2 School bus: Children may run into the road

TALK OUT LOUD The most advanced police drivers are taught to give a running commentary as they drive. Talking about hazards while driving forces you to concentrate on potential dangers, rather than running on autopilot. Saying out loud what you see – and how you are going to respond – makes sure the brain is fully engaged with driving, and helps you learn to process lots of information at once. If you are giving a commentary as you drive there’s no mental capacity left to wonder what’s for dinner or to think where you will go out on Friday night...

3

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Well, maybe not perfect but good enough to pass the theory test. Take lots of mock hazard perception tests before you tackle the real thing. That way you’ll know what to expect and

will be able to sharpen your skills. There are loads of them online and they’re often free.

4

UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STATIC AND DEVELOPING HAZARD Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of hazards. ‘Static’ hazards are things like roundabouts, traffic lights and junctions. You need to deal with them on every journey, but a roundabout isn’t going to suddenly jump out at you from behind a parked car. ‘Developing’ hazards are mobile and tougher to predict. Such hazards include a car pulling out in front of you, a child running into the street, or a cyclist getting ready to turn right. The sooner you spot a developing hazard, the sooner you can respond. Think about it this way – if you see a football roll into the road in front of you, it’s better to slow down straight away rather than wait for a kid to follow it.

5

REMEMBER THERE CAN BE MORE THAN ONE HAZARD Every video in the hazard perception test shows at least one hazard. But just to keep you on your toes, one of the 14 videos has two hazards. So, don’t switch off after you have spotted the first hazard. There could be another one appearing at any moment.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

FAILED YOUR THEORY?

TOP HACK

The Theory Te st Driving Test Su App from ccess allows you to practis e every official 2020 revision question from the DVSA. It’s great for practising on the move. theorytestap p.co.uk

BOUNCE BACK IN FOUR SIMPLE STEPS Don’t beat yourself up! Here’s how to come back stronger 1 GET SOME HELP

If you didn’t pass your theory test this time, come back stronger by using learning aids to improve your knowledge. There are some great apps and revision software like those published by the TSO on behalf of the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency.

2 PUT THEORY INTO PRACTICE

Maybe you fell into the trap of thinking you could breeze through the theory test without trying. Well, now you know different. So do all you can to prepare better. Talk to your instructor about applying your knowledge during lessons, observing clues and actual hazards. It’s one of the best ways to make your knowledge of driving theory stick.

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3 DON’T HAZARD A GUESS

You’ll know by now that the hazard perpeption test requires a sharp eye and a good understanding of the kind of hazards you might come up against. So as well as fine-tuning your theoretical knowledge, try a hazard perception app or DVD, and remember to look out for hazards during your lessons or while practising with parents.

4 KEEP YOUR NERVES IN CHECK

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel nervous before an exam, but don’t let anxiety cause

you to underperform. Deep breathing exercises, eating a banana before the test (no, really), or listening to positive and uplifting music can all help. Not telling your friends that you are about to take the test can avoid unnecessary peer pressure.


LEARNING

THEORY TEST QUIZ

1

When you see a hazard ahead you should use the mirrors. Why is this? Mark one answer ■ A Because you will need to accelerate out of danger ■ B To assess how your actions will affect following traffic ■ C Because you will need to brake sharply to a stop ■ D To check what is happening on the road ahead

2

You are approaching a zebra crossing. Pedestrians are waiting to cross. You should Mark one answer ■ A Give way to the elderly and infirm only ■ B Slow down and prepare to stop ■ C Use your headlights to indicate they can cross ■ D Wave at them to cross the road

Mark one answer

3

Young, inexperienced and newly qualified drivers can often be involved in crashes. This is due to Mark one answer ■ A Being too cautious at junctions ■ B Driving in the middle of their lane ■ C Showing off and being competitive ■ D Staying within the speed limit

4

What can cause heavy steering? Mark one answer ■ A Driving on ice ■ B Badly worn brakes ■ C Over-inflated tyres ■ D Under-inflated tyres

5

You are following other vehicles in fog. You have your lights on. what else can you do to reduce the chances of being in a collision?

■ A Keep close to the vehicle in front ■ B Use your main beam instead of dipped headlights ■ C Keep up with the faster vehicles ■ D Reduce your speed and increase the gap in front

6

You are driving towards a level crossing. What would be the first warning of an approaching train? Mark one answer ■ A Both half barriers down ■ B A steady amber light ■ C One half barrier down ■ D Twin flashing red lights

7

When may you wait in a box junction? Mark one answer ■A When you are stationary in a queue of traffic ■ B When approaching a pelican crossing ■ C When approaching a zebra crossing ■ D When oncoming traffic prevents you turning right

8

You’re approaching a busy junction with several lanes. At the last moment you realise you’re in the wrong lane. You should Mark one answer ■ A Continue in that lane ■ B Force your way across ■ C Stop until the area has cleared ■ D Use clear arm signals to cut across

9

A red traffic light means Mark one answer ■ A You should stop unless turning left ■ B Stop, if you are able to brake safely ■ C Stop and wait behind the stop line ■ D Proceed with caution

10

You should wear suitable shoes when driving. Why? Mark one answer ■ A To prevent wear on the pedals ■ B To maintain control of the pedals ■ C To enable you to adjust your seat ■ D To enable you to walk for assistance if you break down

ANSWERS: 1=B, 2=B, 3=C, 4=D, 5=D, 6=B, 7=D, 8=A, 9=C, 10=B

om ws cial om

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

PARENTAL CONTROL Unless one (or both) of your parents is an ADI, they’re almost certainly not the best choice for driving instruction – but don’t avoid using their help altogether. Use time with them as a supplement to paid-for time with a professional instructor, reinforcing the lessons you’ve been learning. Don’t take anything a parent tells you as gospel – it’s your instructor you must listen to. If you do practice with a parent, here’s how to ensure you spend that time as effectively as possible:

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1

Parents should read a current copy of The Highway Code and work with you on the theory exam.

2

Plan before you set out. Choose a suitable area and route, and know what you want to achieve before you get behind the wheel.

3

Use quiet roads until you’re confident, especially in traffic.

4

Stay below the level you’ve reached with your driving instructor.

5

Avoid carrying passengers – they’re a distraction you don’t need.

6

Work with a professional instructor who tells your parents what you’re being taught and what techniques are being used. Then you won’t get conflicting advice.

7

You’re not ready for all the challenges of the road, so your parent must be aware of all hazards at all times. They must be constantly anticipating the moves of others.


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

LEARNING

A PARENT’S PLEDGE Getting behind the wheel with mum or dad? Ask them to have a read of this first. LEAD BY EXAMPLE It won’t be easy to persuade a young driver to stick to the limit or leave their phone alone if you tend to speed or sometimes check a text at the lights. Set the best example you can by driving by the book. PLAY FOR THE TEAM Work with your child’s instructor to understand how you can best support professional lessons. Decide how soon to start practice drives, and make sure you stay below the level your learner has reached with the instructor.

8

Your parent should be sparing with their comments, but problems must be identified while still fresh in the memory. Confidence needs to be built first.

BE PATIENT Practice lessons aren’t easy for anyone. Nobody likes being criticised, least of all by a parent. Equally, it’s

understandable if you are nervous about pranging the family car. That’s one of the reasons why it’s good to keep practice well below the difficulty reached in professional lessons. You both need to be patient and build up slowly to more complex driving. That way you will both become more confident. BUILD CONFIDENCE It’s important to point out mistakes, but make sure you give praise too. You need to build your child’s self-belief as well as correcting faults. STAY CALM Anxiety is catching. If you seem nervous, your child will be. And don’t become angry – a shouting match at the traffic lights won’t help anyone. Think back to when you were learning, and be the calm and supportive parent you would want if you were the one with the L-plates.

YOU SAY

9

“I found that practising with mum was a great way to get more time behind the wheel. I think it really helped me to pass first time!” Joanna, Leicester

10

“You need to be careful when driving a car without dual controls. That safety net isn’t there if you are practising in the family car, so don’t rush to tackle complex situations without an instructor.” Jake, Stourbridge

Keep calm – parents shouting isn’t effective, and don’t get angry if given constructive criticism. Make learning enjoyable. Your parent must keep their cool so you both enjoy the process. You shouldn’t dread getting into the car.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

How to rule...

REVERSING

The practical test’s reversing manoeuvres need the right technique, concentration, and plenty of practice. Here’s how to reverse like a pro!

PULL UP ON THE RIGHT AND REVERSE STEP 1: LOOK AROUND FOR A SAFE SPOT The examiner will ask you to “Pull up on the right where it is safe to do so”. Find a safe spot for the manoeuvre. You shouldn’t stop directly behind a parked vehicle or close to a junction. Don’t block a driveway or entrance.

1

2

Need more help with reversing? Take a look at the FirstCar website! bit.ly/fcreverse

STEP 2: REMEMBER: MIRROR, SIGNAL, MANOEUVRE Now check your mirrors and over your shoulder. Then indicate right. Look ahead for oncoming traffic, check in your mirrors and over your shoulder again.

3 5 4

STEP 3: PULL OVER TO THE RIGHT Make your way over to the right-hand side of the road at a relatively shallow angle. Aim to stop in a straight line and parallel with the kerb, close to it without hitting it.

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STEP 4: GET READY TO REVERSE Select reverse gear. Allow any traffic to pass. Now check to make sure it’s clear behind you. Reverse slowly and stay close to the kerb, continuing to keep a close eye out for traffic.

STEP 5: REJOINING TRAFFIC Look ahead, in your mirrors and over your shoulder to check it’s clear. If there’s a safe gap in both directions signal left and pull away, moving over to the left side of the road.


LEARNING

BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

Y REVERSING INTO A PARKING BA STEP 1: STAY OUT Reversing into a parking bay is much easier if you give yourself a bit of space to work with before you go backwards. So, don’t stay too close to the row of bays you will reverse into. Instead, check ahead and behind you, and if traffic allows move out around half a car’s width from the bays. Indicate in the direction you will be turning.

STEP 2: SWING IN Come to a stop just beyond the bay you will be parking in. Select reverse gear, and have a good look around you to check for other cars or anyone on foot. If it’s clear, look out of the rear windscreen and start to reverse backwards, turning towards the bay.

3

TOP HACK

Practise manoeuv these res lessons. Yo between u’ll hang of th get the em more quickly.

2

1

4

5 STEP 3: TAKE IT SLOW It’s important to take your time rather than rush. Reversing slowly will give you time to adjust the direction of the car, aiming for the middle of the bay. It may help to use your outside mirrors as reference points – think of each mirror ending up just inside the white lines which mark either side of the bay.

STEP 4: KEEP LOOKING AROUND YOU Good observation is crucial to reverse parking. While your main focus is behind you, it’s important to keep glancing around. If pedestrians or other vehicles come close, wait until they have passed, unless it’s clear that they are waiting for you.

STEP 5: STRAIGHTEN UP THE CAR Once in the bay with the car in line with the white lines, straighten the wheel. If you are not quite straight, check for traffic and people on foot and, if it’s clear, pull forward a little, steering the car so it’s parallel with the white lines. Then reverse back again so the car is squarely within the bay.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

G PARALLEL PARKIN STEP 2: BE READY STEP 1: STOP MOVING You’ll be asked to pull up in a space that’s big enough for the car you’re driving. Stop level with the car you are going to reverse behind and no more than one metre out to the side.

TO REVERSE Select reverse gear while checking all around you to make sure it is safe to drive back, with no other traffic approaching. If it’s clear, start moving backwards slowly.

STEP 3: TURN THE WHEEL TO THE LEFT Look over your left shoulder to see where you are going. When the corner of the car you are reversing behind appears in your passenger-side window turn the wheel to the left one full turn.

1

Straight

STEP 4: KEEP LOOKING AROUND YOU Now check carefully all around you again to be sure there’s nobody walking close to the car or other road users nearby. If it’s safe to do so, continue to reverse back into the parking space.

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5

3

2 4

6 Left

STEP 5: TURN THE WHEEL TO THE RIGHT Now turn the steering wheel hard the other way (two full turns should do it). This will tuck the nose of your car in toward the kerb. Just be careful that the front of your car is clear of the other vehicle.

Right

STEP 6: STRAIGHTEN THE WHEEL Once you are parallel with the kerb, straighten the wheel. It’s okay if you need to move back and forth a couple of times to tuck the car right in. Make sure you’re not sticking out into the road or on the kerb.


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LEARNING

! ! ! P O ST ergency is m e n a in Stopping Well, there’s more t? easy, righ ou might think y to it than

I

F YOU NEED TO STOP in a hurry to avoid a collision, you need to have the right technique. Although an emergency stop is more straightforward than any of the driving test’s reversing manoeuvres, there’s still a right way and a wrong way to stop a car quickly.

1

HIT THE BRAKE PEDAL Obviously, if you want to stop you need to press the brake pedal. As soon as the examiner raises their hand and shouts “Stop!”, move your right foot to the brake and press down firmly. Don’t

worry about checking your mirrors – the examiner won’t ask you to perform the emergency stop unless it’s safe to do so. Modern cars are fitted with anti-lock brakes (ABS). However hard you hit the brake pedal, ABS will prevent the wheels from ‘locking up’ (no longer turning while the car is still moving), which means you will still be able to steer. You may notice a pulsing sensation through the pedal when the ABS is working. Don’t be surprised by this, and keep pressing down hard on the pedal.

2

DEPRESS THE CLUTCH Just before the car comes to a halt, press the clutch pedal with your left foot. This will prevent the car from stalling. When the car stops moving, apply the handbrake, put the car in neutral, and take your feet off the pedals.

3

MOVE AWAY SAFELY The examiner will tell you when they are ready for you to pull away again. Don’t let your concentration drop, and remember to check in your mirrors and blind spots before you drive off and continue the test.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

THE PRACTICAL TEST

W H AT TO E X PEC T

Passed the theory test? Then the practical test is all that stands between you and your full driving licence HOW LONG IS THE DRIVING TEST? You’ll spend around 40 minutes behind the wheel, driving on a variety of roads. WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE I START DRIVING? First of all, you’ll need to show you can see well enough to drive. That means reading a numberplate from 20 metres away (or 20.5 metres if it’s an old-style numberplate). If you can’t, the test will be over before it has really started, so don’t forget your contact lenses or glasses if you need them to see clearly. You’ll also be asked a ‘tell me’ question, such as “How would you check the headlights and tail lights are operating correctly?”. You don’t need to make the check, just prove to the examiner that you know how it’s done. (In case this one comes up, the answer is you would turn on the switch with the ignition on if necessary, then walk around the car.) If you get the ‘tell me’ question wrong you’ll have

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notched up a driving fault, but you won’t automatically fail the test. WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I’M DRIVING? For 20 minutes out of the 40 you’ll be driving independently. That means following road signs or a sat nav to a destination. You won’t have to enter the destination into the sat nav – the examiner will do that for you. Don’t worry if you take a wrong turn, what’s really important is that you drive safely and legally. You’ll be asked a ‘show me’ question while you’re driving. It could be as simple as showing how you would turn on the rear demister, or wash and clean the windscreen. As well as making a hill start, pulling out from behind a parked car, and making a normal stop at the side of the road, you may need to make an emergency stop. You’ll also need to carry out one of three reversing manoeuvres (see page 32 to learn how they are done properly).

HOW GOOD DO I NEED TO BE TO PASS? You need to prove that you are safe and competent – the examiner is not expecting perfection. If you don’t feel ready for the test, contact the DVSA to put it back. But don’t delay just because you are feeling nervous – that’s normal!


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

TOP HACK

Get an early ni before the big ght day. You want to be as fre and alert as po sh ssible when you take the test.

LEARNING

YOUR CHECKLIST FOR

PRACTICAL TEST

SUCCESS If you can put a tick in all these boxes you won’t go far wrong

A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

Your instructor wouldn’t encourage you to take the test if you weren’t ready, so believe in yourself without being cocky.

GOOD TIMEKEEPING

Allow plenty of time to reach the test centre. Your stress levels will go through the roof if you are running late.

YOUR PROVISIONAL LICENCE

How hard would you kick yourself if you turned up without your provisional licence? Don’t forget you’ll need your theory test pass certificate too.

SENSIBLE CLOTHES AND FOOTWEAR

Wear clothes you feel comfortable in, and shoes which make it easy for you to operate the pedals safely.

BE WILLING TO LEARN

Just over half of practical tests end with a thumbs down from the examiner. Don’t be surprised if this happens to you, even if you’ve been flying in your lessons. You’ll be told why you have failed at the end of the test so you can correct what went wrong next time. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE TEST? Whether you have passed or failed, the examiner will talk you through any faults. If you made the grade, you’ll be given a pass certificate. If you didn’t pass and you’re feeling really down, it may be better to have your instructor drive you home. But let’s hope you pass!

● There are plenty more tips on preparing for your practical test at firstcar. co.uk/learnto-drive.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

“I FAILED 10 TIMES!” Travel blogger Maya knows a thing or two about coming back stronger after a failed test

I FAILED MY DRIVING TEST Whilst having a major clear out in my bedroom at my Mom and Dad’s house last week, I stumbled upon some failed driving test documents. 10 pieces of paper, for the 10 separate occasions I’d failed my test. I don’t know why I kept these, however I’m so glad that I did because failing so many times, so early on in life taught me a very valuable lesson. When I failed my first driving test my confidence was knocked. When I failed my second test, my confidence took another hit. Being the eager beaver that I am, I thought perhaps third time I’d be lucky. Guess what? However, I wasn’t so lucky. So when I failed my third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh driving tests I came home and cried. MY CONFIDENCE HIT ROCK BOTTOM I didn’t think anyone could fail so many times. How could anyone fail so many times? I didn’t know anyone who had! Anyway, I continued. Perhaps with the wrong mindset. As I went into my eighth and ninth driving tests, I went in thinking I was going to fail. And surprise, surprise, I did. I doubted myself and I no longer cared about failing. My tenth driving test began and ended exactly the same way as all the others before it.

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A COMMITMENT TO SUCCEED But what kept me going was a commitment to myself. I knew my driving really wasn’t that bad. Nerves had just got the better of me. So on my eleventh test I walked into that test centre differently. I was calmer and wasn’t going to let nerves take over again. I wanted to pass now, more than ever before. Above all, I told myself I would pass. And an hour later, I did pass. I felt relieved, happy, confident and above all, I felt grateful.

there in the end! Having a driving licence opened up so many doors for me. It led me to my first paid job in children’s television several years ago. And just recently, having a driving licence enabled me to buy my own car in Australia and do a road trip along the East Coast. That in itself was a once in a lifetime experience that no amount of money could ever buy. I believe failure taught me the importance of perseverance. Failing 10 times taught me to never stop believing in myself. Never stop going after what it is I truly want. Although the road may be long and seem like an uphill battle, it just goes to show, perseverance pays off! I hope you liked this read! Maya ❤

ADIOS ‘L PLATES’ It may have taken me 10 failed attempts and more than a thousand pounds at Follow Maya’s travel adventures in lessons and om ds.c rien ndf mis sglo bet rott era tests, but I got


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

LEARNING

Need to know more about the practical test? Take a look here: bit.ly/fcptest

WHAT IF I’VE FAILED MY

PRACTICAL TEST? Don’t let failure knock your

confidence. Come back stronger!

J

UST BECAUSE YOU’VE failed your driving test that doesn’t make you a failure. In fact, the pass rate is around 46%, so more candidates miss the mark than pass. Here’s how to pick yourself up and get back behind the wheel. CUT YOURSELF A BREAK Don’t get down over a failed test. Driving a car isn’t something anyone is born knowing how to do. Learning how to do it takes practice, and some people will get the hang of it faster than others. So don’t blame yourself. In fact, we suggest you wear it with pride: some studies indicate that people who pass

second time are actually the safest drivers. GET BACK IN THE CAR Remember the old saying about getting back on the horse? The same applies with a car. So rather than taking a break after failing, regroup, talk through what went wrong with your instructor, and get back behind the wheel soon. BOOKING YOUR RE-TEST When you’re booking your re-test, you need to choose a date at least 10 working days away. Remember, more drivers fail their practical test first time than pass, so don’t put yourself under extra pressure!

COM MON MISTAKES If you failed, there’s a good chance it was down to one of these errors.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

INEFFECTIVE OBSERVATION FORGETTING MIRROR CHECKS POOR STEERING CONTROL BAD JUDGEMENT AT JUNCTIONS RESPONSE TO SIGNALS LACK OF CONTROL AT MOVE OFF POOR ROAD POSITIONING IFFY REVERSE PARKING RESPONSE TO SIGNS AND MARKINGS

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

HOW TO

BE A SAFER D

Driving isn’t rocket science – you’ve just got to stay focused. If though, the experts at IAM RoadSmart have come up with a

1

READ THE ROAD The further ahead you look, the more time you have to recognise and respond to hazards. Always be able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear.

2

ANTICIPATE Having looked further ahead, use that knowledge to anticipate the problems that might come up and plan for them well in

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advance to avoid needing to take last-minute action.

3

USE THE TWOSECOND RULE Spot a marker ahead, such as a bridge or a lamppost and wait until the vehicle ahead of you goes past it. Then say to yourself “only a fool breaks the two-second rule”. If you’re at the marker before you’ve finished, you’re too close. Double it if the road is wet.

4

CONCENTRATE At 70mph your stopping distance is the length of a football pitch. Looking away at the wrong time can be fatal.

5

ASSUME THE WORST Never assume another motorist has seen you or will react as you expect – and don’t rely on somebody else’s reactions to keep you safe.

yo fe


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THE GOOD BOOK

ECO DRIVIN

G

You can save money and reduce emiss ions by using eco driving. Ac celerate and brake smooth ly, change up early, and don’t alw ays con running. Av leave the air oid breaking the speed lim it – it uses mor e fuel, as well as being against the la w.

R DRIVER

d. If ha

LEARNING

you’re not sure what to focus on few pointers to help...

6

LOOK BEHIND – AND TO THE SIDE Use mirrors regularly so you have a 360-degree understanding of what’s going on around you. Always use shoulder checks before you move out.

8

7

9

MANAGE YOUR PERSONAL SPACE If you keep space around your vehicle,

you’ll have more time and room to deal with hazards. STAY FRESH Driver fatigue is a major factor in many crashes. Take a break of at least 15 minutes after two hours at the wheel.

NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS If you’ve scanned around and used that

You don’t have to sign up to a course or go out with a tutor in your car; all you need is a decent source of information, such as the police driver’s bible, Roadcraft. This tells you how to deal with any situation you’re likely to encounter behind the wheel, and for just a tenner or so, you’ll learn all sorts of great techniques that will make your driving smoother, safer and more comfortable. Also look at IAM RoadSmart’s How To Be A Better Driver, and Haynes Publishing’s Advanced Driving. info to predict what may happen, you should never be surprised by another vehicle’s movements.

10

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES Near misses happen to everybody. Afterwards, think how you could have avoided getting into that situation, even if you think it was the other driver’s fault.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

BILLY EILISH “P EOPLE ARE FREAKED OUT BY ME!”

orming Billie Eilish has been st but the charts with her de the ith album. We catch up w enon teenage music phenom

FOLLOW BILLIE t Billie is

Find out wha following doing next by her on Twitter or (@billieeilish) site, visiting her web . Billieeilish.com

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CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

B

ILLIE EILISH HAS BEEN STORMING the charts with her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. The much-anticipated first LP from the teenage music sensation follows her debut EP Don’t Smile At Me and a string of standalone singles. Here, 18-year-old Billie talks about what fans can expect from her first album and how she takes her home with her when she goes on tour. She also talks about her upbringing being home-schooled with her brother, who collaborated with her on the album. Billie also opens up about suffering from night terrors and sleep paralysis, her thoughts on love and more…

Shows have always been something that I crave deep within

INTERVIEW: BY SAMANTHA FRASER/HOTFEATURES PHOTO: BEN HOUDIJK / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

YOU’RE VERY BUSY AT THE MOMENT, TRAVELLING AROUND PROMOTING YOUR ALBUM THEN TOURING – DO YOU LOVE THAT LIFE, BEING ON STAGE? Shows are really something I crave for. Touring is exhausting and kind of horrible at points but the shows are really like… obviously the reason you go on tour, that’s what makes it like okay, what makes it worth it and all that. But yeah, shows have always been something I just like crave like deep within myself. YOUR ALBUM IS CALLED WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? – ARE YOU A GOOD SLEEPER? CAN YOU SLEEP ANYWHERE? Not at all. I went to sleep on a plane sitting up the other day for like the first time ever. I’ve had sleep paralysis three times. I have a lot of weird sleep issues. I have these terrifying dreams and stuff. Sleep paralysis, night terrors – all that so that’s cool. But yeah, it takes like forever to fall asleep. I don’t understand how people can like fall asleep [straight away] – that’s so weird. YOUR VIDEO ‘BURY A FRIEND’ IS QUITE CREEPY AND SCARY, YOU’RE THE MONSTER. SO DO YOU QUITE LIKE YOUR NIGHTMARES, BECAUSE THEY GIVE YOU IDEAS FOR SONGS? [laughs] You know what? I don’t enjoy them when they are happening but that’s a very good point. Yeah because they’ve given me a couple of ideas for my songs. I probably wouldn’t have made that song the way it is if I hadn’t had sleep paralysis and had horrible nightmares and had night terrors and wouldn’t be able to sleep and all that stuff. So that’s a good point.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT? I’m not even going to speak on that. It was really so bad. It just was so bad because I didn’t know how to get out of it. You can’t stop your dreams. I don’t know, it’s weird because my dreams… I was talking to somebody about this. I don’t know what they called it, apparently there is a term for it, but in my dreams I always know that they are dreams. So I can kind of do things knowing that they are dreams. So if I die in my dreams, I normally come back to life. It’s like a video game, almost. I’m kind of living through my dreams, they’re lucid dreams, that’s what it is. And I create. Like I can kind of control things in my dreams. It’s very torturing. SO IT’S LIKE YOU HAVE AN ALTERNATIVE LIFE TO WHEN YOU ARE AWAKE? Yeah, it’s crazy. This is a very deep subject. I actually asked somebody the other day because I didn’t know if anyone experienced the same thing and nobody in the room agreed with me so that kind of freaked me out, which was that... in a lot of my dreams – this is hard to wrap your head around – but in a lot of my dreams something happens in my dreams that in my dream is something that’s been happening my whole life and then when I wake up, I realise that it’s only happening in my dreams. So when I’m dreaming the thing it’s like a thing I do every single day, a thing I’m used to doing, I know how to do it, I know everything about it and then I wake up and I realise that it’s only something that was in one dream one time, which is like sooo weird. MANY OF THE SONGS ON THE ALBUM HAVE A DARKER TONE, A HARDER EDGE. Yeah. It’s a lot of everything I feel like. I feel like hopefully my goal with the album was I just

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I don’t like the idea of listening to an album and listening to the same song over and over wanted every song to sound different than every other song. I feel like I did a pretty good job with that. I feel like I actually really pulled through with that goal and just made every single song really versatile and unique and different from every other song. I just don’t like the idea of listening to an album and listening to the same song over and over. But yeah, I’ve been loving the dark stuff lately, especially like on my videos, or a couple of videos I’ve been trying to go spooky as hell, which is working! People are freaked out by me now! SOME PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY QUITE WORRIED ABOUT YOU ON THE INTERNET. WHAT CAN YOU TELL THOSE PEOPLE? CAN THEY RELAX? They can relax. I’m just living, making my art. It’s a really dark time and I’m speaking about it. I’m making art out of the things that I’m feeling and the things that I’m going through. The thing is half of that song is fiction, half of that song is not about my life, it’s about other stuff that I kind of want to be left to interpretation. YOU HAVE A SONG CALLED ‘BAD GUY’ – WHO IS THIS GUY? Well, ‘Bad Guy’ is more about people that are always lying about themselves. It is about a lot of artists right now, a lot of rappers. I feel like pretty much all the rappers right now are lying, about how much money they have and about their house and their clothes and their da da da da. But the thing is, what the song is about is that people who talk on and on about one thing about themselves – they’re lying. Like somebody who is always talking about, ‘I’m bad and I’m this and I’m that and I break the rules.’ It’s like, ‘No you don’t, people that break the rules shut up about it.’ YOU WERE HOME SCHOOLED WITH YOUR BROTHER, RIGHT? DID YOU ENJOY THAT OR DID YOU MISS GOING TO SCHOOL? No, no I loved home schooling. My life rocked. I mean there was like a year where I was like,

PHOTOS: KATHY HUTCHINS / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

WHEN YOU WAKE UP FROM YOUR DREAMS ARE YOU SCARED? WHAT DO YOU DO TO OVERCOME THAT? It’s weird because normally, the nightmares I have don’t make me wake up. Maybe lately I’ve had a couple that do but normally it’s like the whole dream, the whole night is terrifying and then I wake up when I normally wake up. The thing is that they really mess me up so the whole day is off sometimes. I’ve had the same nightmare for like two months in a row. Horrible. And it like affects me day-to-day, it affects how I act and how I manoeuvre all that.


CELEBRITY INTERVIEW

BILLIE A N D B ON D

e At 18, Billie is th cord re to t tis ar st younge Bond a r fo ng so the theme film, 7 00 w movie. The ne will be e, Di to e m Ti No last Daniel Craig’s . nd Bo as

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‘I want to go to school’ but then I was like, ‘Oh wait I don’t at all, it’s just because everyone else goes to school that I want to’. Because I never actually wanted to go to school, I just wanted to have a locker and a uniform and all that stupid sh-t, you know. YOU’RE VERY CLOSE TO YOUR BROTHER, YOU WRITE TOGETHER AND PRODUCE TOGETHER, CAN YOU READ EACH OTHER’S MINDS? [laughs] Yeah, probably a little bit. Sure. There’s a lot of disagreeing and agreeing and everything that you can possibly disagree about and everything you can possibly agree about with him. But it makes sort of everything, I guess, closer to home. Writing with him, it was so natural at first. It was really just not disingenuous it was just like, ‘We live two feet away from each other, why don’t we do this together?’ We still make stuff in the same room, we don’t need a big studio or whatever. We use my brother’s tiny little room in our tiny little house and it still works for us. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT TURNING 18? I’ve been looking forward to turning 18 since I was born. [laughs] But it’s been cool to be this

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

young and be so young in people’s eyes but really it’s like, I’ve never been older so... [laughs] PEOPLE ALWAYS TALK ABOUT YOU AS BEING WISE BEYOND YOUR AGE. The thing about that is when you are older than someone and you hear that they are young and you’re impressed by what they’re doing it’s like you want to be, ‘Oh my god, you’re only this age, that’s crazy!’ But for them it’s not anything because they’ve never been older than that age. So when I was 13 recording ‘Ocean Eyes’, I didn’t think. ‘Oh my god I’m a 13-year-old recording ‘Ocean Eyes’’ I thought, ‘Let me record this song.’ But it’s cool though, I like being young. DO YOU THINK KIDS TODAY ARE MORE POLITICALLY AWARE THAN ANY OTHER GENERATION? Definitely, for sure. It’s not just politically aware, it’s actually doing something about it and trying to help and being outspoken. I just think that the fact that the old people are making the decisions for us is a little bit goofy. It’s stupid, it’s like they’re going to die pretty soon and we’re going to have to live with all the things that they have created for us and that is garbage. So time for that to change.

PHOTO: BEN HOUDIJK / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

CELEBRITY INTERVIEW


THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

B

UYING A NEW CAR may seem beyond reach, but finance schemes like Marmalade’s Cars for Young Drivers, which combine the cost of the car and insurance into a single monthly payment, can make a showroom-fresh set of wheels surprisingly affordable. On the other hand, a reliable used car can still make a lot of sense. Let us help you choose.

NEW VS U

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Why buy NEW? ● Low-interest PCP schemes make new cars more affordable than you’d expect ● Some finance schemes include motor insurance ● New cars are safer than older designs ● At least three years of warranty cover 48

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Why think twice? ● An older car will cost less to buy ● New cars lose value more quickly than used ones ● With a PCP scheme, there’s a large final payment to make if you want to own the car

WHAT’S A PCP? Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) is a type of finance with low monthly payments. You pay a deposit, followed by regular amounts each month for the period of the loan. Then there’s a large final payment to make if you want to own the car, or you can simply hand it back. If the car is worth more than this final payment (sometimes called the Minimum Guaranteed Future Value) you can use the difference as the deposit to buy another car.

It’s


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

S USE D

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It’s not necessarily that sim

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BUYING

We’ve got loads of in-depth new car reviews online. Take a look! bit.ly/fcreviews

ODE L 2016 M should

Used cars buy, but to cost less ys have a lw a ’t n wo cover warranty

WHERE TO BUY?

Why buy USED? ● A used car is typically cheaper to buy than a new one ● Used cars generally lose value more slowly than brand new ones ● No interest to pay if the car is cheap enough to buy outright

Why think twice? ● Used cars have much shorter warranties, or sometimes none at all ● You’ll have to pay for insurance separately ● Any unexpected bills will eat into the saving over a new car

Privately ■ A cheap source of used cars, but no warranty if the original cover has expired. Auctions ■ Some bargains on offer, but it’s easy to make a costly mistake. Independent dealers ■ A choice of models. Usually cheaper than franchised dealers. Car supermarkets ■ These are independent dealers on a big scale. Lots of choice, keen prices, but limited warranties. Franchised dealers ■ New cars as well as used. Even second-hand cars usually come with warranties, but prices can be rather steep.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE Think very carefully before you sign on the dotted line...

MON EY TALKS It’s tempti

ng to offer with th go for the finance e lowest m payments, onthly b measure o ut that’s not the only f a good deal. money ove Borrowing r a lo the month nger period will redu ly bill, but yo ce certainly en u’ll almost du the car ove p paying more for ra comparing ll. Take care when PC too. Alway P and HP deals, s chec amount re k the total payable.

FINANCING YOUR CAR From HP to PCP to PCH, there’s a whole alphabet soup of different finance options. The good news is interest rates are rockbottom, so financing is surprisingly affordable. In fact, with low interest rates and special schemes aimed at young drivers which include the cost of insurance, a new car could be surprisingly affordable. We’ll talk you through the pros and cons of the different finance options.

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PERSONAL CONTRACT PURCHASE (PCP) PCP is the most popular finance option, and it’s not hard to see why. A PCP makes a new car more affordable by reducing the monthly payments. If you see a car advertised as “from just £99 per month”, you can bet it’s a PCP deal. After stumping up a deposit you pay a set amount per month for, say, three years, but at the end of the loan you’ll need to find a lump sum of several thousand pounds if you want to

own the car. You don’t have to pay up, you can just hand the car back. Or you can part-exchange the car and use the difference between the final payment and the car’s value as a trade-in as the deposit to start a new deal. Sometimes the cost of servicing is included in the monthly payment. Schemes like Marmalade’s Cars for Young Drivers include insurance. Just be aware that PCPs will have an annual mileage limit, with penalty charges if you drive too far.


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR GOOD Affordable monthly payments; some PCPs include servicing and insurance BAD You won’t own the car at the end of the loan unless you make a big final payment; watch out for penalties for exceeding mileage limits PERSONAL CONTRACT HIRE (PCH) Think of Personal Contract Hire as a less complicated alternative to PCP. There’s no big lump sum to pay at the end of the loan, so there’s no decision to be made about whether to buy the car, hand it back, or use it as a deposit to buy another. That’s because a PCH is really a longterm rental agreement, so you’re not buying the car at all. Otherwise PCH is much like a PCP. You make a deposit (often the equivalent of three months’ rental), then pay a set amount each month. Sometimes servicing and insurance costs are included. GOOD Low deposit; predictable costs BAD No option to buy; penalty payments if you drive too far HIRE PURCHASE (HP) You pay a deposit, followed by a series of equal monthly payments (generally over two, three or four years). At the end of the loan you’ve paid for the

TOP TIP

Look for a finance offer that comes with free insurance, or has the cost of cover included. This can save young drivers a small fortune.

car in full, and unlike a PCP or PCH mileage isn’t restricted. The trouble is, without PCP’s big final payment, monthly bills are much higher. However, if you want to own the car at the end of the loan HP can be cheaper when you add up the total cost. GOOD Easy to understand; no big final payment BAD Higher monthly bills than a PCP PERSONAL LOAN Rather than borrowing money from whoever is selling you the car, you could take out a personal loan from a bank or finance company. However, lenders will want you to be 18 (or in some cases 21) before they’ll consider loaning you money. It may be easier to find a willing lender if you have a guarantor for the loan (usually a parent) but they’ll have to pay up if you don’t, which could make for a frosty atmosphere at the dinner table... GOOD No need to find money for a deposit BAD Can be expensive; young drivers may not qualify CREDIT CARD You’ll need to be 18 or over to have your own credit card. Interest rates are usually high, so a credit card makes most sense as a way to pay for a car if the card has a 0% interest rate for a limited time and you’re in a position to pay off the car before the interest-free period ends. These 0% deals are usually only available to borrowers with a good credit score, so in practice you may have to lean on mum or dad to use their credit card. GOOD 0% special offers; additional legal protection BAD High standard interest rates; not available to under 18s

BUYING

HOW TO GET THE BEST DEAL Shop around – including online – and haggle. ■ Ask to see examples of repayment plans with and without extras such as payment protection and other insurances – these push up the cost. ■ If you don’t understand anything or the lender uses jargon, ask questions. ■ Contact your lender if you’re struggling to repay. All reputable lenders will help as it’s in their interests that you continue to repay the loan. ■ Don’t be taken in by low percentage flat-rate deals; check the APR. ■ Don’t assume a dealer has the best rate; compare with other lenders. APRs Lenders charge interest on your loan, referred to as the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Any APRs quoted are usually a guide only; the exact rate is decided on an individual basis. Unlike a flat interest rate, an APR gives you a bigger picture when shopping for the best deal on a loan. Even though lenders are required by law to show a loan’s APR, they don’t all use the same fees in their calculation, skewing the comparison, so always check to make sure any APRs you’re comparing include similar fees.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

The best NEW cars for

YOUNG DRIVERS Here’s our pick of the coolest and most affordable small cars

NISSAN MICRA Euro NCAP safety rating Five stars (2017) Autonomous emergency braking Standard Insurance From Group 8E DAB Standard (except Visia +) Bluetooth Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Standard (except Visia +) You could do a lot worse than start out as a new driver behind the wheel of the Nissan Micra. It’s a very safe car, with a five-star rating from Euro NCAP. Autonomous emergency braking is included in the price, along with other high-tech driver aids. The Micra has a lower starting price than the Ford Fiesta, and there’s plenty of scope to personalise the looks inside and out.

F £ 1 ROM 4, 19 0

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HYUNDAI i10 F Euro NCAP safety rating TBC £ 1 ROM Autonomous emergency braking 2 ,4 95 Standard Insurance From Group 5E DAB Standard Bluetooth Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Standard (except SE) You can buy more affordable city cars than the i10. But you’ll struggle to find one that matches the Hyundai’s many talents. It’s rare to find a city car with autonomous emergency braking as standard, even on the most basic versions. But every i10 comes with this brilliant bit of safety kit included in the price. That’s not the only highlight of the i10’s specification. Every car has a digital radio and Bluetooth, and all versions but the most basic come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It looks good too, doesn’t it? We want one!


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR RENAULT CLIO Euro NCAP safety rating Five stars (2019) Autonomous emergency braking Standard Insurance From Group 3E DAB Standard Bluetooth Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Standard (except Play) We reckon the Renault Clio is one of the best looking small cars around. That doesn’t necessarily make it a great buy, of course, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Fortunately the Clio ticks lots of sensible boxes as well. The safety gurus at Euro NCAP awarded the car five stars, with a nearperfect score of 96% for adult occupant protection. In fact, Euro NCAP rated the

BUYING

M FRO,695 £14

Clio as the best supermini they tested in 2019. You don’t need to buy one of the more expensive versions to get plenty of safety kit. Autonomous emergency braking is standard even if you buy the most affordable Clio. Renault’s system can detect

bicycles and pedestrians as well as other cars. Prices are pretty fair considering the equipment that comes as standard, including digital radio and Bluetooth. With fuel-efficient engines and insurance groupings as low as 3E, the Clio will be affordable to run.

OM 95 FR 15,9 £

FORD FIESTA Euro NCAP safety rating Five stars (2017) Autonomous emergency braking From £350 (price varies) Insurance From 5E DAB Standard

Bluetooth Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Standard The Fiesta is a brilliant supermini and a first car any young driver would be

proud to own. It costs more to buy than the Nissan Micra, but the Ford is safe, practical, easy to drive and great fun. It’s Britain’s bestselling car for a reason!

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

O M 25 FR 15,8 £

SEAT IBIZA Euro NCAP safety rating Five stars (2017) Autonomous emergency braking Standard Insurance From Group 3E DAB Standard Bluetooth Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Standard Few first cars combine safety and style as well as the Seat Ibiza. It looks great, drives well, and makes a really practical first car. It’s not cheap, but it is very well equipped.

VOLKSWAGEN POLO Euro NCAP safety rating FR Five stars (2017) £15 OM Autonomous emergency braking ,39 0 Standard Insurance From 1E DAB Standard Bluetooth Standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Standard (except S) Not many superminis come close to the Volkswagen Polo’s score in Euro NCAP safety tests. As well as being very safe, it’s easy to drive, beautifully made, and surprisingly affordable to run. Definitely one of the best first cars around!

FR £25OM ,67 0*

*after plug-in car grant

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RENAULT ZOE Euro NCAP safety rating Five stars (2013) Autonomous emergency braking Not available Insurance From 20A DAB Std Bluetooth Std Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Std New drivers will need pretty deep pockets to buy a Zoe as a first car. But, if you are looking for a car that’s safe, green and easy to drive, there’s nothing better. Being fully electric the Zoe emits no carbon dioxide (or any other gas) and recharging costs much less than a tank of petrol or diesel. Insurance will be on the expensive side, however.


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BUYING

KIA PICANTO Euro NCAP safety rating Three stars/four with safety pack (2017) Autonomous emergency braking Standard or option (except Titanium spec) Insurance From Group 4E DAB Standard (except 1 and 2 spec) Bluetooth Standard (except 1 spec) Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Standard (3 spec and above) It may be a very small car, but the Picanto packs surprising space inside its tiny dimensions. The Kia is a doddle to drive and child’s play to park. It’s also cheap to run, with insurance starting from Group 4 and fuel-efficient petrol engines. It looks good too!

FR £98OM 25

OM 95 FR 10,1 £

TOYOTA AYGO Euro NCAP safety rating Three stars (2017) Autonomous emergency braking £375 (except X spec) Insurance 8A DAB Standard (except X spec) Bluetooth Standard (except X spec) Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Standard (except X spec) Affordable to buy and run, the Aygo makes a fine first car. We’d recommend upgrading to a model with the Toyota Safety Sense package of driver aids, which only pushes the price up by £375.

MORE INFO

These are our favourites. For lots more on car buying and some great deals on new models, check out firstcar.co.uk/buy-a-new-car

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

B U Y I NG A U S E D C A R

Before you hand over your money, check the car thoroughly

1

KEY CHECKS

Think carefully about buying ■ Look for bodywork a car without a spare. Lose damage. Poor panel fit the only key and you may suggests crash repairs. have to have everything ■ Have the tyres worn reprogrammed – which can evenly or are they bald? cost hundreds of pounds. Uneven wear suggests poorly aligned tracking (usually easily sorted) but could be something more serious. ■ Does the chassis number (usually at the base of The V5C is the most the windscreen on the important document of the passenger side) match the lot; the name on this piece of one on the registration paper is the person to whom any document? Also check the speeding tickets or other motoring engine number, which is fines will be sent. If that person usually on the top of the doesn’t deserve them, they have block, down the one side. to prove why – and not telling ■ Are all the keys available? the DVLA of a change in vehicle ownership is an offence.

IT’S A FACT

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■ Is the interior undamaged, along with all the glass? Are there stickers on the windows to cover an old registration number etched into the glass? ■ Have the steering wheel and gearknob been worn smooth? Does this tally with the recorded mileage? ■ Do the speedo digits line up properly? Are the old MOTs to hand? Does the mileage recorded on these tie in with what’s displayed? ■ Check for rust that’s been painted over, plus filler in the wheelarches. ■ Ensure all the electrics work – check everything.


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

BUYING

TAKE A TEST DRIVE

2

Never buy a car without test driving it first. Start the car from cold, and make sure it ticks over happily. Let it warm up then take it for a good run so you can check everything – make sure you’re insured though. While you’re driving, check for a smoky exhaust, ensure there’s no misfiring (that the engine pulls cleanly) and also feel for pulling to one side under braking. Other issues could include a worn clutch (feel for slipping) and listen for any untoward noises – rattles, clonks or whining – that don’t sound right.

Watch out for lame excuses for faults, from the seller

DOING THE DEAL

4

Your goal is to pay less than the asking price. Any seller should set the price above what they’re prepared to accept – so don’t pay a penny more than you have to. Any discount on the initial asking price is a victory though, so don’t be greedy.

3

OR K CHECK THE PAPERW Make sure all the paperwork is in order. The key documents you need are:

■ Service history: for proof of regular servicing and to see if the mileage is correct. ■ Tax: When a car is sold, the vendor has to cash in the car tax so you’ll have to buy your own. Current rates are listed at gov.uk/vehicle-tax-rate-tables – the DVLA no longer issues tax discs though.

■ Registration document or V5C: This tells you the basics about the car, such as how many owners it’s had and who it’s currently registered to. The person named on this form isn’t necessarily the legal owner of the car though. Don’t buy a car without a V5C and make sure it’s genuine by looking for the watermark. ■ MOT: If a car has no MOT it can’t be taxed, and it probably isn’t roadworthy.

Haggle hard so you’re paying as little as possible

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

TOP TIP Don’t be put off by a high-mileage car if it’s been cared for. Highmilers in good condition with full service histories can make good buys.

W H E R E TO BU Y A USE D C A R There are loads of different places to buy a used car. From main dealers to private sales, there are pros and cons wherever you buy. Here’s what you need to know about your options. MAIN DEALER Big franchised dealers will have plenty of used cars. As a rule they’ll mostly stock the make

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they sell new, but they will also sell other makes if they’ve taken them as part-exchange. GOOD ■ Expect at least a year’s warranty ■C  ars should be well prepared BAD ■ High prices ■U  nlikely to stock bargain-priced older cars

CAR SUPERMARKETS If you want a wide choice of makes and models, keenly priced, then car supermarkets are a good bet. Many have a no-haggling policy, so the price you see is the price you pay. GOOD ■ Lots and lots of choice ■K  een prices, often with no-haggling BAD ■S  ervice can be no-frills


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR

BUYING

BUYING ADVICE BE FLEXIBLE Don’t set your heart on one car. There’s more than one model out there to suit your needs. LOOK ONLINE Some retailers sell cars over the internet with delivery to your door. You could pick up a bargain, but check the policy on returns. WARRANTY COVER If you buy a used car without a warranty, think about arranging one through an independent company such as Warrantydirect.co.uk. should pay less than you would at a dealer, but there are pitfalls. GOOD ■S  ome keenly priced cars ■N  o hard-sell BAD ■Y  ou won’t have the same legal protection ■W  atch out for dealers pretending to be private sellers to dodge their legal obligations

■ Warranty cover likely to be shorter than a main dealer offers INDEPENDENT DEALERS Smaller independent dealers won’t offer as much choice as the big boys, but the best offer a more personal service than a big car supermarket. GOOD ■ Should be cheaper than a main dealer

■ The best small dealers really look after their customers BAD ■ Limited stock compared with a franchised dealer ■ Warranties can be short unless you pay extra PRIVATE SALE For a real bargain, look through the classifed ads and find a car for sale privately. You

AUCTION You could buy at a rock-bottom price from an auction, but you need to know what you’re doing. It helps to have some mechanical knowledge – or to know someone who does. GOOD ■S  uper-low prices ■L  ots of cars for sale on the same day BAD ■Y  ou could easily make a costly mistake ■G  et carried away and you might pay too much

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

The best USED cars for

YOUNG DRIVERS Find the right car at the right price

UP TO £10,OO O

HYUNDAI I20 (15-) Euro NCAP safety rating Four stars (2015) Warranty Direct Reliability Index/repair cost 14/£122.14 Insurance From Group 4 A used Hyundai is a safe bet, especially if you choose the excellent i20. It’s our favourite used car for under £10,000, and a car we’d highly recommend. One of the big plus points of choosing the i20 is the transferable fiveyear warranty. Even as the second or third owner, cover continues until the car is five years old with no mileage limitation. So you should be protected against any unexpected bills.

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There’s a good chance you won’t have to claim on the warranty, given how reliable Hyundais are. The independent warranty provider, Warranty Direct, compiles its Reliability Index based on the thousands of cars it covers. The i20 is one of the most reliable small cars on its books, and the average repair cost is very low too. The Hyundai has a fourstar rating from the safety experts at Euro NCAP, and while some rivals go one better with the full five stars, a score of four out of five is still very respectable. From the driver’s seat, the i20 is very easy to get on with – just what you want

from a first car as you build up experience on the road. The light controls make for easy manoeuvring, and the soft suspension makes the i20 very comfortable. It’s practical as well as comfy. Your mates won’t feel cramped in the back seats, and the boot is big enough for festival camping gear or heading off to uni. There’s a choice of petrol and diesel engines. The diesels are best for fuel economy, but a budget of £10k will buy a newer, lower mileage car if you stick with one of the petrols. The 75PS 1.2-litre petrol is the most affordable, achieves decent fuel economy, and sits in Group 4 for insurance.


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BUYING

PHOTOGRAPHY: MANUFACTURERS APPROX USED VALUES AS OF MARCH 2020

FORD FIESTA (08-17) Euro NCAP safety rating Five stars (2012) Warranty Direct Reliability Index/repair cost 29/£214.17 Insurance From Group 3 The Fiesta is one of our favourite used cars. As the Ford sold in huge numbers as a new car, there are loads to choose from on the second-hand market. What’s more, the Fiesta is very safe, easy to drive and great fun. Data from Warranty Direct shows it rarely goes wrong and is cheap to put right when it does.

VW POLO (09-17) Euro NCAP safety rating Five stars (2009) Warranty Direct Reliability Index/repair cost 23/£184.27 Insurance From Group 3

The previous generation Polo makes a very grown-up, classy first car. Safety standards are high, reliability is good, and running costs are affordable.

Although it’s not as much fun as a Ford Fiesta, the Polo is easy to drive and very comfortable. There are plenty to choose from, so you can afford to be picky.

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UP TO £5 OO O

KIA PICANTO (11-17) Euro NCAP safety rating Four stars (2011) Warranty Direct Reliability Index/repair cost 18/£155.47 Insurance From Group 2 The design of the Kia Picanto still looks modern, even though it’s nine years old. More importantly, unless you buy a very early example of the previous generation Picanto, it will still be covered by Kia’s sevenyear warranty. With a budget of £5000, you should be able to find a wide choice of Picantos without travelling too far from home. What’s more, the Picanto is well equipped, inexpensive to buy and cheap to run.

SKODA CITIGO (11-) Euro NCAP safety rating Five stars (2011) Warranty Direct Reliability Index/repair cost NA Insurance From Group 1 The Citigo is great value as a used buy. Your £5000 budget buys a car that’s fun to drive, affordable to fuel, and cheap to insure (well, about as cheap as insurance gets for a young driver). Although the Citigo has no Warranty Direct rating, you can expect it to be just as reliable as the mechanically similar Volkswagen Up!. TOYOTA AYGO (14-) Euro NCAP safety rating Four stars (2014) Warranty Direct Reliability Index/ repair cost 29/£209.63 Insurance From Group 5 Being a Toyota, the Aygo is reliable. And if you can find one within your budget that’s less than five years old, you’ll benefit from what’s left of the original warranty. Being so small, the Aygo is easy to manoeuvre, and efficient engines make it very cheap to fuel. It will cost more to insure than a Picanto or Citigo, however.

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BUYING

UP TO £2 OO O FORD FIESTA (02-08) Euro NCAP safety rating Four stars (2002) Warranty Direct Reliability Index/repair cost 50/£263.93 Insurance From Group 5 If you’re on a tight budget, there’s no better first car than the Fiesta. The version that was sold from 2002 to 2008 still has lots to offer. It’s an easy car to drive, and won’t hold any nasty surprises for an inexperienced driver. And while you can’t expect the safety features you’d find in a modern car, for its age the Fiesta is very safe. Reliability is good and running costs are reasonable.

APPROX USED VALUES AS OF MARCH 2019

PHOTOGRAPHY: MANUFACTURERS

CITROËN C1 (05-14) Euro NCAP safety rating Three stars (2012) Warranty Direct Reliability Index/repair cost 14/£256.08 Insurance From Group 1 The C1 is small enough to squeeze into the tiniest parking space, and its cute styling still looks fresh several years after this model was replaced. With insurance as low as Group 1 and efficient petrol engines the Citroën is a good choice for any driver on a meagre budget, but safety standards could be higher. TOYOTA YARIS (06-11) Euro NCAP safety rating Five stars (2005) Warranty Direct Reliability Index/repair cost 31/£245.09 Insurance From Group 2 Yes, we’re recommending another Toyota – but that’s because they make such good used buys! Nobody would pretent the Yaris is the most exciting small car around, but it is reliable, practical and affordable. Go for a 1.0-litre petrol and insurance starts from Group 2, helping drive down your first premium.

MORE INFO

These are our favourite used buys. For more about buying a used cars check out our website: firstcar.co.uk/category/just-passed/buying-a-used-car

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Should I buy an...

ELECTRIC CAR?

Battery electric vehicles are more popular than ever, and prices are steadily coming down for these green first cars Sales of electric cars are booming, and the choice of different makes and models has never been wider. Electric cars are steadily becoming more affordable, and there’s a growing number of EVs (electric vehicles) on the used market. How much does an electric car cost? Our current favourite, the Renault Zoe, costs from £25,670, after the plug-in car grant. What’s the plug-in car grant? The plug-in car grant (PICG) takes £3500 off the price of a zero-emission electric vehicle. How about a second-hand electric car? There are more and more to choose from. You should be able to find a used Renault Zoe for £6000£7000, for example.

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Are they difficult to drive? No. In fact they are extremely easy as they’re all automatics. The pedal on the right makes an EV go, the pedal on the left makes it stop. Simple. What about recharging? It really helps if you have a driveway or garage so you can install a charging point at home. Charging times vary from model to model, but plugging a car in overnight should be enough for a full recharge. What about public charging? Some say the charging infrastructure isn’t sufficient, but did you know there are now more electric charging locations than fuel stations? How much does it cost to charge an electric car? A lot less than the price of refuelling a petrol or diesel car. According to the

charging network, Podpoint, topping up a 60kWh battery for a range of around 200 miles costs £8.40, based on charging at home at a price of 14p per kWh. Enough petrol to go 200 miles in a car that achieves 40mpg would cost more like £29. So lower fuel costs will help make up for the higher price of the car itself.

EV SAFETY EVs are very quiet compared with petrol or diesel cars. Since July 2019, all new types of EV have been required to produce a sound when reversing or driving below 12mph to improve safety for vulnerable road users.


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BUYING

S E V I T A N R E T L A g a c ar to ownin

You don’t need to buy a car to stay mobile Cars are expensive. They cost thousands to buy, hundreds to insure, and then there’s the cost of fuel and maintenance. If you are going to drive most days, then the cost is probably worth it. But what if you only need to drive a car from time to time? There are plenty of alternatives to owning a car that still make use of that hard-earned driving licence.

CAR-SHARING INSURANCE

You can get insured on someone else’s car for short periods. They can either add you to their policy as a named driver, or you can arrange your own cover from the likes of Cuvva.com

or Veygo.com. Policies last from just an hour to around a month, and can be set up in a few minutes online. Car sharing insurance is ideal if you want to share the driving on a long trip or a holiday.

CAR HIRE Hiring a car is another option if you only need to drive once in a while. However, daily rental companies tend to get nervous about hiring cars to young and inexperienced drivers, and are likely to apply a young driver surcharge. They are also likely to restrict the type of car you drive to something small. Some may not hire cars to young drivers at all.

For example, Europcar has a minimum age requirement of 22 and you must have held a full licence for at least a year.

CAR CLUBS An alternative to conventional car hire, car clubs tend to be based in big towns and cities. You pay a fee to join (say, £60 per year), and then have access to a pool of locally parked cars that can be booked online, over the phone, or through an app. You’ll pay a few pounds per hour. However, a minimum age is likely to apply. For example, to join Zipcar. com, you need to be 23. Enterprisecarclub.co.uk has a minimum age of 19.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

C A R IN SU R A NC E

DOS AND DON’TS Stumping up for insurance is one of the least fun things about driving. Here’s what to do – and what not to do – to make insuring your car a little bit less painful DO... shop around. You might think that entering your details into a price comparison site is enough, but some leading insurance companies, like Aviva and Direct Line, aren’t on price comparison sites. It will mean a bit more form filling, but if you get the right cover at the right price, it has to be worth a little effort. DO... pick up the phone. Getting a quick quote over the internet is easy, but it’s often worthwhile to talk over your options with a real person rather than a computer screen. 66

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If you find anything about an insurer’s online form confusing, a phone call should put you straight and avoid making a mistake with your details which could come back to bite you when you make a claim.

DO... think about black box

insurance (also known as telematics insurance). With a black box policy a device is installed in your car to report back to your insurer. Drive well (obey the speed limit, no harsh acceleration or braking) and you can expect to be rewarded with a lower premium. Drive badly (for example, speeding or

driving aggressively) and your premium could go up. As a rule, though, black box insurance works out much cheaper for new drivers than a conventional policy.

DON’T... lie to the insurer. What seems like a little white lie to cut the cost of cover is actually fraud, and could mean the insurer won’t pay out if you need to make a claim. So be scrupulously honest about your age, driving history, where the car is kept, and who the main driver is (pretending your car is really mum or dad’s is called fronting, and it’s illegal!).


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INSURANCE

Want to know more about insurance? We’ve got you covered. Go to bit.ly/fcydins

“Don’t put theory in the corner” KATEY-ROSE GREGORY INGENIE ROAD SAFETY WRITER

TOP TIP

Be wary of fa insurance ads ke on social media. Alway s check for a website and a address and ph UK one number.

DON’T... simply choose the cheapest policy. Look closely at the excess (how much you’ll have to pay out yourself if you claim), any limitations on mileage, or other restrictions. Check whether you are entitled to a replacement car while yours is being repaired. Weigh up what you get for your money before deciding which policy is right for you. DON’T... modify your car. Bigger alloys, tinted windows, lowered suspension, or an uprated stereo may be very tempting, but many young driver specialists won’t cover modified cars. And if they do, you can bet you’ll have to pay a lot more for the privilege.

In some drivers’ minds, the theory test is the easy bit. It’s the part you can study for parrot-fashion, memorising the bits you need, ticking the right boxes and then getting ready for the REAL test. It’s very easy to think that theory is less important than the driving test and it’s probably because the practical seems SO big – but it shouldn’t be that way. Why? Because you’re going to need your road knowledge for the rest of your driving life. We’re all guilty of cramming our brains with what we need to get through an exam and then dumping that information as soon as we’ve left the exam hall. After all, we’re not robots with an unlimited storage to retain information. But as important as your maths and science exams

are, forgetting how to find the square root of a parallelogram (is that a thing?) a few years later is not going to put you in danger. What will matter – forever – is not recognising a give way sign. Trust me when I say there is no scarier feeling than driving on your own for the first time and realising the person you could always ask, “That means I need to stop, right?” is no longer there. Don’t underestimate the importance of holding on to your theory knowledge. Not just to pass the test but to keep yourself, your passengers and others around you safe. Being confident on the road and enjoying driving is the aim of the game.

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Cheaper Young Driver Car Insurance For drivers aged 17 to 25 years old

0800 049 9553

www.thinkinsurance.co.uk/guide Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA No. 499053).


Get on the road for less! Save Money with a Black Box Full & Learner drivers covered No Price Increase when you pass No curfews whatsoever


LEARNER INSURANCE INSURANCE

THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

There’s lots more advice online about finding insurance while learning. bit.ly/fcldins

E C N A R U I NS U O Y E L I H W LEARN

To really make the most of your lessons, it pays to practise regularly. That means hitting the road in a friend or family member’s car under their supervision. You can’t just jump in anyone’s car, you’ll need to arrange insurance. Broadly speaking there are two options to consider...

NAMED DRIVER

Many learner drivers are added to someone else’s insurance policy as a ‘named driver’. This saves on the need to set up your own policy, but it can be expensive. As well as bumping up your parents’ insurance premium, if you have a mishap they could

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lose their no-claims bonus. And that could make things pretty tense at home!

LEARNER DRIVER INSURANCE

Alternatively, you could arrange your own learner driver insurance cover. This means that if you do put a dent in mum or dad’s motor, you won’t put a dent in their bank balance – you’ll claim on your own policy. There are usually restrictions on the insurance group and value of the car you can drive, but it’s a simple way to find cover without putting anyone else’s noclaims bonus at risk, while starting to build up your own.

PUTTING LEARNER INSURANCE TO THE TEST Chloe Hodgson, 17, from Manchester, organised her own motor insurance policy with Adrian Flux so she could take extra lessons in her father’s car. It was cheaper taking a policy of her own rather than being added to his policy which could put his no-claims bonus at risk. She said: “Adrian Flux does all the hard work for you, shopping around until they find something that’s just right for you. “There’s no complicated online forms, just one quick phone call. And when I pass my test they’ll help me find the best deal for my new annual policy. I will definitely use Adrian Flux again.”


LEARNER DRIVER INSURANCE GET THE BEST INSURANCE QUOTE OVER THE PHONE! What to know before you call: How long you want your policy for - we have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 12 month policies available Your vehicle registration number (if you have one) How much your car is worth & an average of how many miles you’ll do per month/year If adding a parent(s) to your policy, you’ll need to know their DOB, when they passed their test, claims & convictions info We are not on comparison websites! Get our best rates by calling our friendly team on 0800 085 6491

Get m d fro u s in re r 85p e und y* a da

CUT COSTS BY CALLING 0800 085 6491 Visit adrianflux.co.uk/learner-drivers for tips & videos

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

*Based on taking out an annual comprehensive policy costing £300


THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

TYPES OF COVER Legally, you only have to insure yourself TPO (Third-Party Only). This covers claims by a third party if you cause an accident that causes damage or injury to someone else. Your own car, however, is not covered. Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT) is as it sounds. As well as TPO cover, your car is insured against fire and theft. Fully comprehensive insurance is the best, as it covers you for everything, even if the accident is your fault. It’s not always the most expensive, but even if it is, it may still be worth paying the extra because of the added protection you’ll have.

EXCESSES The excess is the contribution you have to make in the event of a claim, before your insurer coughs up – it’s there to stop people making trivial claims. A £500 excess is usual for young drivers, so if the claim is for little more than £500, you’ll be paying most of it, and while your insurer will pick up the rest of the tab, you’ll also have a claim on your record. So you’ll ultimately fork out a lot more – which is why you shouldn’t claim.

JARGON B Don’t understand all those weird terms that insurance

BLACK BOXES The more miles you drive each year, the greater your risk to an insurance company. How you drive also affects your chances of a crash. If you constantly drive too fast or you make a habit of braking and accelerating harshly, you’re an accident waiting to happen. But what if you’re a careful driver? How do you prove this to your insurer? One way is to have a black box fitted to your car, which logs where, when and how you drive. Called a telematics device, one of these boxes could slash the cost of your cover – some insurers will only offer a policy using this tech. Check out page 74 for more on this.

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EXTRAS An array of extras can be included with your insurance policy, so spend a bit of time reading through the details before you pick the one you want. See if the policy includes legal cover (for legal advice and fees when claiming for uninsured losses), personal accident cover (if you’re injured), and windscreen cover (if your windscreen is broken). If there’s anything you don’t understand, there’s usually a number you can call for advice – and, if nothing else, it’s a useful test of the insurer’s customer service.

co


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INSURANCE GROUPS

All cars have an insurance group, which in theory dictates how much you’ll pay for cover. There are 50 groups; the higher the number, the bigger the cost. The more valuable and more powerful a car, the higher its insurance group. However, insurance companies build up their own claims profiles for the various models, so a group 3 car could cost more to insure than a group 5 for example. But as a rule, stick with the lowest number you can.

INSURANCE

IT’S A FACT FULLY COMP CAN BE THE CHEAPEST You would think that a lower level of cover would make for a cheaper insurance premium, but that’s not necessarily the case. In fact, fully comprehensive insurance could actually work out cheaper than third party or third party, fire and theft policies. That’s because insurers have found that drivers opting for a lower level of cover often prove high risk. The comparison and switching service uSwitch crunched the numbers for a new driver living in Coventry and driving a Ford Fiesta. A fully comp policy would be £1222, whereas third party or third party, fire and theft cover would be £2248. That’s almost double.

N BUSTER

ce

companies use? Here’s what they all mean

NO-CLAIMS DISCOUNT

For every year you insure a car without making a claim, you’ll earn a year’s noclaims bonus (NCB) or no-claims discount (NCD), usually up to a maximum of five years. How much this is worth depends on the insurer, but it’s not unusual for a five-year NCD to cut your premium by 60% or more. Normally, you need to have a policy in your own name to start earning your NCD. But if you’re a named driver on someone else’s policy – say, your parents’ – there are a few insurers which allow you to build up a No Claims Discount of your own, as long as you then take out your own insurance with the same company.

EXCESS INSURANCE Worried that your excess is, well, excessive? If take out excess insurance from a company like Wepayanyexcess.com they’ll pay the excess for you if you need to make a claim. It might seem odd to save money by taking out another insurance policy, but it can work. The cost of cover should be much less than the amount of your excess, so as soon as you make a claim you’ll be quids in. Even if you don’t make a claim you could be better off taking out an excess insurance policy alongside your motor insurance. That’s because you can choose a high voluntary excess to bring down your premium, safe in the knowledge that you won’t have to pay it. The reduced premium can more than cover the cost of the excess insurance.

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TELEMATICS INSURANCE EXPLAINED

Black box cover could make insurance more affordable – and improve your standard of driving too! Insurance is one of the most painful things about being a young driver – unfortunately there’s no way around it. According to the GoCompare website, the average annual motor insurance bill for an 18-yearold driver is a massive £2254. Ouch. Telematics (or ‘black box’) insurance is one way to reduce the price of cover and encourage good driving habits at the same time. So if you drive well it should be a win-win. What is telematics insurance? If you opt for a telematics policy, a ‘black box’ is fitted to your car. This combines a GPS unit, a motion sensor and a SIM card to transmit data. It detects where the car is, how fast it is being driven, and how violently the car is accelerating, braking and cornering. How is the data used? The information the black box collects is fed back to the insurer, and used to reassess your premium at

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regular intervals. Obeying the speed limit, avoiding harsh acceleration and braking, and driving at low-risk times of day can all contribute to a reduced bill. In some cases there are other forms of reward or special offers for safe and responsible driving. This could mean extra miles are added to a limited mileage policy, or you will receive vouchers and free gifts. Can I check up on how well I am driving? Yes. Telematics insurance providers usually have a portal or app through which drivers can see if their driving is up to scratch. By checking back regularly you can tell if you are improving or slipping into bad habits. Are my parents also able to see my driving scores? Typically any named driver will have access to the feedback scores, so if your parent is named on the policy they will be able to see how well you are doing. Some insurers have found that simply knowing that

TOP TIP

Being insured family car is on on the ew cover, but with ay to get your own car and policy you’ a no-claims di ll build scount saving money , long-term. mum or dad can see the feedback improves young people’s driving. Can my parents have a telematics policy with me as a named driver? There are plenty of telematics insurance providers who insure older drivers. But don’t be tempted to name your parent as the main driver unless they really are going to do most of the miles. If your insurer finds out that you’ve fibbed about who the main user of the car is, they’ll have caught you committing fraud. It could invalidate your insurance cover. Also, if you aren’t the main driver on the policy then with most insurers you won’t build up a no-claims


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discount. So in the long run it’s best for you to be the main driver, even if the car is also sometimes used by a parent. What are the drawbacks of telematics insurance? Some policies set curfews that restrict young drivers from getting behind the wheel at night. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on your point of view. You may be frustrated that you can’t give your mates a lift home from the pub, but your parents may be relieved...

Also, just as good driving can be rewarded with a lower premium, so poor driving can lead to a higher insurance cost – even if you haven’t had an accident. That’s not universal, though. Some companies are all carrot and no stick, and don’t increase premiums for bad driving unless it has led to a claim. What other restrictions might there be? We’ve mentioned curfews, which are actually quite rare. Mileage limits are a lot more

INSURANCE

common. Generally these are set when the policy is taken out, and can be extended at extra cost. Some insurers offer bonus mileage as a reward for consistently safe and careful driving. Is telematics insurance right for me? In most cases, yes. You should be able to find a better price by choosing a telematics policy rather than conventional insurance cover. And it encourages safe driving too.

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w ith e v i r d o t w o H

a .. .

: X O B K BLAC

a sm a ll a new d rive r e v d sa n a c e c ra n ut you’l l ne e B lack b ox in su d w it h a reg u la r p olicy, b re’s how... p a re fort u ne com u r sav ing . He o y e is im x a to m to d rive we ll

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Stick to the limit Pretty obvious really. Don’t speed! Not only will you stay the right side of the law and avoid penalty points that could cost you your licence, you’ll be scoring brownie points with the black box. Don’t confuse obeying the speed limit with driving slowly. Your insurer isn’t expecting you to dawdle along with a queue of frustrated drivers behind you. Just choose a speed that’s appropriate for the conditions, and never more than the speed limit.

Brake early Keep your black box happy by braking early and smoothly to slow down for bends and junctions. Look well ahead so you can anticipate the need to change speed, rather than reacting at the last minute. That said, if you need to really jump on the brakes to avoid an accident, make sure you do!

BLACK BOX: ONBOARD

Accelerate smoothly The black box measures how hard you accelerate, so don’t bury your right foot every time you pull away. Drive smoothly, and change into a high gear without letting the engine labour. Driving this way won’t just please your insurer, you’ll save money on fuel too.

Avoid late night driving Being the designated driver once in a while isn’t going to push your premium through the roof, but regular night drives

INSURANCE

could increase the price of your policy. That’s because accidents are more likely at certain times, and late at night is one of them. So don’t make a habit of nighttime driving. If you can’t avoid it (perhaps because you work shifts), a telematics policy may not be right for you.

Keep an eye on your mileage You’ll be asked to estimate your annual mileage when you take out a policy. Some insurers will set a cap on how far you drive. If you are going to go over the cap, talk to your insurer. They may be able to adjust the premium or you could topup the mileage allowance. Even if there’s no set maximum mileage, driving less is likely to lead to a lower premium.

Don’t let an uninsured driver behind the wheel It’s okay to have named drivers on your policy, such as your parents, so they can drive your car too. But you should never let someone who isn’t insured drive your car. Not only is this illegal, but you won’t be covered if they crash. Even if they don’t have an accident, your premium could go up if they drive badly.

Use feedback Most telematics insurers provide feedback online or through an app. Regularly check to see what your insurer makes of your driving, and take on board any pointers.

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STAKING A

CLAIM H

OPEFULLY YOU’LL NEVER have to make a car insurance claim, but for many drivers it’s something they have to deal with early on in their driving career. Before you make a claim, make sure you wouldn’t be better off sorting things out yourself. Easier said than done maybe, especially if repair costs will be steep, but if you’ve got a big excess and your premium will go up as a result of your claim, you may be better off not involving your insurer. If you do make a claim:

ST E P 1 Tell your insurer as soon as possible; your insurer may insist on being told within a certain time frame. If the crash involved another car, your insurer will need to know the following: ■ The registration number of the other car. ■ The name, address and phone number of the other driver. ■ The insurance details of the other driver. ■ The time and date of the accident. ■ The weather conditions at the time. ■ How the accident happened.

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ST E P 2 If there are any repairs that you need to arrange immediately, so you can continue to use your car (if it’s not too badly damaged), take photos of any damage and keep the receipts so you can hand them to your insurance company later. Check with your insurer that it’s okay to do this though, or they may refuse to cough up – especially if the bill seems unrealistically high. It’s also worth getting an expert opinion on whether or not it’s safe to continue to use your car – although any damage might seem light, there’s a chance that it’s worse than you think.

ST E P 3 Your insurer will send you a form, which you’ll need to complete. Provide as much information as possible along with any relevant documents. This will enable them to process the claim. If other people were involved in the accident, your insurer will contact the insurance companies of the other people to resolve the claims. It’s essential that you’re completely honest at every stage of this process. If you tell porkies to try to shift the blame, you could find that your insurer refuses to cough up, or they may refuse to cover you in the future.


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR CRASH, BANG, WALLOP Your insurer should treat you fairly. If not, make a complaint to the Insurance Ombudsman (financialombudsman.org.uk)

IT’S A FACT

According to AX A car insurance, 51% of more than a we motorists wait ek their insurer. On before notifying between an in average the delay cident occurring and a claim being su bm some accidents itted is 11 days, but aren’t reported until almost a year af ter You should mak the event. e a claim as soon as you ca n after a collision.

ST E P 4 Your insurer will send an assessor to look at your car and to see if it’s worth fixing. It may be that the cost of the repairs will exceed the value of your car (or come close to doing so), in which case it’ll be written off. If this is the case the car will be scrapped and you’ll get an insurance payout. If the car is worth too much to scrap it, the assessor will authorise repairs. Most insurers have their own approved repairers. However, you are not legally obliged to use them if you want the work to be done by a garage you know and trust.

HARD FACTS

1.1m

The number of people estimated to have made a false insurance claim, many for whiplash injuries.

£50

How much is added to the average premium, because of ‘crash for cash’ insurance claims.

30% The percentage of personal injury claims accounting for all insurance payouts.

24m The number of privately owned vehicles insured across the UK.

£23M The average amount paid out daily in motor claims, with repair and theft claims both rising in cost.

£3082 The average cost of a car insurance claim (ABI).

INSURANCE

KEEP CALM Let’s hope you never have a serious collision on the road. As anyone who has been in a road traffic accident will tell you, it’s a very stressful situation. One moment you are driving along as normal, the next everything is chaos. The noise and violence of a big impact can be really frightening. Assuming you are unhurt, your first instinct may be to help others. But before doing so you should be sure you are safe. Put your hazard lights on and put a warning triangle back down the road to warn approaching traffic of the need to slow down. Now make sure that all engines are switched off, any cigarettes are out, and that any children are moved safely away to the roadside.

If there are injured people call the emergency services as soon as you have made sure you are safe If you have a basic knowledge of first aid, now is the time to put that to good use. Whether you know first aid or not, if there are injured people call the emergency services as soon as you have made sure you are safe. Your heart will be pumping like crazy but try to stay calm. Once you and others are safe, the accident checklist on page 115 should help you gather all the information you need to make a claim.

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SE C U R I T Y Modern cars are packed with security features, but car thieves aren’t daft. Criminals have learned how to exploit technology like remote central locking and keyless entry, so car thefts are on the rise. Here’s how to beat the modern breed of cyber-smart car thieves. LOCK IT Never leave your car unlocked. It doesn’t matter if you are just nipping to the shop for 30 seconds, or paying for fuel at a filling station. Always lock your car, or risk coming back to find your phone, sat nav or other valuables have gone. And never, ever leave the engine running – it’s an open invitation to an opportunistic thief.

HIDE IT One low-tech way thieves defeat modern security systems is to steal the keys before pinching the car. So, keep keys out of sight rather than leaving them on a table in a café or on display in an open bag, and don’t hang them

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up in a jacket or coat in any public place. Be wary of leaving keys on a key hook by the front door, too. Thieves have been known to use metal coat hangers or even fishing rods to hook the keys through the letterbox.

KEEP IT Car-crime gangs are using signal blockers to trick owners into thinking their cars are locked when they are not. They’re also hacking their way into cars using sophisticated transmitters which mimic or amplify the signals given out by the key fob. How do you beat these high-tech criminals? Go old school. A quality steering lock should stop them in their tracks. And keep ‘keyless’ fobs in a signal-blocking Faraday bag.


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INSURANCE

GIRLS VS BOYS Who drives better? The statistics don’t lie – young female drivers are less likely to be involved in a serious crash than young male drivers. Government statistics show that male drivers under the age of 20 are more than twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured than female drivers of the same age. Ladies, don’t be too smug, though. Any young driver irrespective of gender is at high risk of having an accident compared with older drivers with more experience on the roads.

Whether you are male or female doesn’t make you a good or bad driver, or condemn you to becoming another statistic. Making

smart choices about how you drive can see you through those difficult first years on the road safely, whatever your gender.


THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

G N I N W O A CAR Car ownership brings responsibilities, but it’s not hard to get everything right, with a little help…

G

ETTING YOUR FIRST car is a milestone, and a life-changing one at that. Few things compare with your new-found independence, but when you own a car you need to stay on top of a lot of

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things. Stuff like your car’s MOT, tax and insurance may seem like hassle, but if you fall behind on any of these, the long arm of the law will catch up with you. Probably sooner rather than later.

Over the next few pages we’ll guide you through what you need to know to stay safe and legal with your car. Take our advice and you’ll find car ownership a delight rather than a chore.


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OWNING

KEY DOCUMENTS We’ve got loads more advice about owning a car online. Take a look! bit.ly/runurcar

DRIVING LICENCE You must renew this every 10 years or if you move. It’s free to change the address on your licence, but if you lose it and need a new one, it’ll cost you £20. gov.uk/browse/driving/driving-licences V5C Your registration document, or V5C, is a record of your car and its owners. It logs the registered keeper – who may be different from the legal owner. When buying a car, the registered keeper should be the person you’re buying from, and the VIN, or chassis number, should match the one on the car. Check the watermark to see if the V5C is genuine. It’s illegal to sell a car without a valid V5C, so don’t accept it’s been lost, as you can easily apply for a replacement. gov.uk/vehicle-log-book VEHICLE EXCISE DUTY Any vehicle must be taxed if it’s used or kept on a public road. If you take your car off the road (keep it untaxed), you must declare it SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification), so you can’t keep it on a public road. Known officially as Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), how much tax you pay depends on the car’s engine size or CO2 emissions, depending on its date of first registration (shown on the V5C). A new system for new cars came into effect in April 2017. You can tax a car for six or 12 months, but if you scrap it or take it off the road you can cash in the tax at any time. When your tax is due, the DVLA will send a reminder which explains everything you need to know. gov.uk/calculate-vehicle-tax-rates

TOP T I P

You’ll be sent a reminder when your tax is not your MOT due, but you’re not driv . To ensure ing around with no MOT, put a rem your phone. Th inder in e MOT can be done up to a mon before it’s due. th

THE MOT Once a car reaches three years old it needs an annual roadworthiness test, the MOT. This checks lots of things to see if they’re worn or working properly. As the test costs up to £54.85, you can save cash by making sure your car passes first time. The MOT takes lots of stuff into account, and while you can’t check everything yourself, there’s lots you can do to prepare. gov.uk/getting-an-mot

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

HOW TO...

THE BASICS OF OWNING A CAR ●B  REAKDOWN COVER ● JUMP STARTING ● CONDENSATION ● CLEANING ●M  IS-FUELLING ●S  AVE ON FUEL

HOW TO...

CHOOSE BREAKDOWN COVER It makes sense to have cover in case your car breaks down, as even simple faults can be costly to fix. Here’s what to look for...

WEB WATCH 84

● Make sure the package includes everything you need. Some include homestart (fixing the car if it breaks down at home), some don’t. ● On the other hand, don’t pay for something you don’t need. There’s no point in having European cover if you never expect to leave the UK. ●  If you drive more than one car, consider a breakdown package which covers you personally rather than a specific car.

For more handy information on breakdown cover, including which companies

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BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR This is when you’ll be glad you took out breakdown cover...

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HOW TO...

JUMP START A CAR

If your car’s battery runs flat, you may need to jump start it. ●Y  ou’ll need a set of jump leads and another working car. You can buy the leads from a car accessory shop. ● Park the working car next to yours, bonnet to bonnet. Make sure both cars are in neutral (or park) with the handbrakes on. ● Attach the red lead to the positive battery terminal of the working car’s battery (look for the letters ‘POS’ or a ‘+’ symbol). ● Clip the opposite end of the red cable to the positive terminal on your car. ● Attach the black lead to the negative terminal of the other car’s battery.

 lip the other end to an ●C unpainted metal surface on your car. ● Start the working car, and let it run for a few minutes. ● Start your car. If it doesn’t work, keep the other car’s engine running a while longer then try again. ● Once your car is running, keep both cars connected with the engines idling for another 10 minutes. ● Then turn off the cars and disconnect the leads in the reverse order to the way they were connected. ● If the engine still won’t start, you may need a new battery.

HOW TO...

GET RID OF CONDENSATION ●H  aving to demist windows before setting off is normal in cool weather, but the inside of the car shouldn’t be really damp. If it is, take these steps... ● Clean the windows and surfaces to remove any dirt which water particles may become attached to. ● In dry weather when your car is parked somewhere secure, leave the windows open to allow the interior to dry out.

● Make sure you never leave anything damp, like a wet coat, in your car overnight. ● Dashboard dehumidifiers cost as little as £10, and soak up moisture. Or you can make one yourself with an old pair of tights and some cat litter.

to check out, just log on to firstcar.co.uk. You’ll also find lots more practical advice about owning a car.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

HOW TO...

CLEAN A CAR

You could take your car to a car wash, but cleaning it yourself will be cheaper and it doesn’t take long. ●R  inse off the car with a hose to remove any loose dirt. ● Mix some car shampoo in warm water. Don’t use other detergents as they may wash off any wax which is protecting the paintwork. ● Dip a soft sponge or a special washing mitt in the soapy water. Begin washing at the top of the car and work your way down. ● Rinse the sponge or mitt with a hose before you put it back in the soapy water – you don’t want to mix in dirt and grit. ● Once the whole car has been cleaned, rinse it with the hose. ● Dry the car with a clean cloth of chamois leather to prevent any streaky drying marks. ● For a professional finish, apply a thin layer of wax and buff to a shine with a clean cloth or a microfibre towel.

HOW TO...

CUT YOUR FUELBILL Fuel costs soon add up. Here’s how to keep them down...

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●C  hoose a fuel efficient car. The official economy figures are one guide, but check independent test results, too – take a look at Equaindex.com. ●D  on’t accelerate violently or brake hard (unless you really need to!). Driving smoothly uses less fuel.


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HOW TO...

FIX MISFUELLING

Don’t panic if you put diesel in a petrol or petrol in a diesel... ● Don’t  start the engine! ● Tell the petrol station what has happened, and find someone who can help you push the car to a safe place. ● If you have breakdown cover, call them to arrange for the tank to be drained, flushed and refuelled. ● If you don’t have breakdown cover, find a local garage who can recover your car and drain and flush the tank. Check with your insurance company if you can claim back the cost.

TOP T I P

●O  n mild days, turn the air conditioning off. ● Keep your windows and sunroof closed to save drag. ● Check your tyre pressures regularly, and keep them correctly inflated. ● Don’t carry unnecessary

weight in the car, and remove any roof bars, boxes or bike racks if they are not in use. ● Stick to the speed limit! Not only will you avoid any run-ins with the law, you’ll use less fuel than if you drove more quickly. ● If you can, choose to

Take out pers onal breakdown can call for as cover and you si car you’re in stance whatever . Stick with or di breakdown cover, and on nary ly your car is covere d in the even t failure. So if you’ve got a of a friend with an unre liabl don’t want to e car and you be stranded , choose pers onal cover... drive at times when the roads are quiet.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

SAT NAV

On the RIGHT ROAD It’s not easy to stay safe and find your way at the same time. Used responsibly, sat nav or a smartphone can really help

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VER TRIED READING a map and driving at the same time? It’s not easy. More importantly, it’s not very safe. Driving well demands your full attention, and that’s not possible when you’re reading a road atlas rather than reading the road. Used carefully, satellite navigation systems can make travelling somewhere you don’t know less stressful and – more importantly – safer. Used badly, a sat nav can be just another distraction, so make sure you know how to use sat nav carefully.

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MOB I L E S

You can u se as a sat nav a smartphone , so securely m long as it is o not block unted, does your view , and you don’t touch it while driv ing.

SAT NAVS IN THE DRIVING TEST Following directions from a sat nav is usually an important part of the practical driving test. Most tests now have the sat nav element, but one in five don’t. If it is included in the test, the examiner sets the destination for you. The important thing isn’t that you follow every last twist and turn of the directions perfectly, but that you show you can continue to drive safely. Don’t let sat nav distract you.

HERE’S HOW TO USE SAT NAV RESPONSIBLY

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Keep a clear view Position your sat nav or phone carefully so it’s not obscuring your view.

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Set the destination before your leave If you’re in a rush it’s tempting to set off and enter the destination as you go. This simply isn’t safe.

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Check the route It’s easy to head to Farnborough in Kent when you meant to go to Farnborough in Hampshire. So before driving off make sure you are definitely heading where you want to go.

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SAT NAVS: WHAT CAN I GET FOR MY MONEY?

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Garmin DriveAssist 51 LMT-S £269.99 Garmin’s top-end sat nav has wi-fi connectivity, voice activation, free map updates and a built-in dash cam. buy.garmin.com

Listen more than you look Research by Royal Holloway University has found that the safest way to use a sat nav is to rely on verbal instructions rather than staring at the map on the screen.

You’re driving, not the sat nav If a sat nav tells you to drive the wrong way up a one-way street, ignore it.

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Keep your device up to date Refresh the device’s mapping regularly to take account of new roads and changed layouts.

TomTom Start 42 £119.99 This smart-looking sat nav has a fourinch colour screen and free map updates for life. TomTom provides the sat navs used in the practical test. www.tomtom.com

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A DASH CAM

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Good quality footage This has to be the top priority when choosing a camera. Grainy footage with blurry number plates is no use to anyone. You want to be able to read plates clearly, and see how many people are in the car to guard against false whiplash claims. Expect cameras to record in 720p resolution which should be clear and detailed. More expensive cameras may offer 1080p resolution. It’s not just the resolution that’s important – a wide angle view will show more of what happens. Auto start-stop You’d kick yourself if you had a crash and had forgotten to click ‘record’, wouldn’t you? That’s why most dash cams automatically start recording when you turn on the ignition. GPS positioning A built-in GPS will confirm where an incident occurred, and will show what speed you were travelling at – so don’t speed!

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DASH CAMS

Your impartial

WITNESS A camera could prove you were driving safely and save you money

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OUCH WOOD, YOU’LL get through your first few years on the road without a crash. But as a young driver, there’s a strong chance you will have a mishap at some point, even if it won’t necessarily be your fault. How do you prove the other driver was to blame? A dash cam doesn’t take sides. By recording any incident, you’ll have evidence of your

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actions and those of the other driver or drivers involved. It’s a lot harder to argue with a video recording than somebody’s fallible memory of who did what. Being in a crash can be stressful and intimidating, especially the first time. It’s easy to forget to write down details like the number plate of the other car. A dash cam will remember what you forget. And if the other driver sees you have

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a camera, they’re more likely to behave calmly as they know they are being filmed. Not only can dash cams help you prove you were driving responsibly, they can make a worthwhile investment even if you never have an accident. That’s because many insurers offer a discount for drivers who use a camera, which can be as high as 30%. This could save far more than the cost of the dash cam, given that you can pick up good quality cameras from around £50.


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Switch on to

DAB

You can upgrade your old car radio to receive a DAB signal. Here’s how...

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NALOGUE RADIO is about to go the way of the record player, VHS and cassette tapes (if you don’t remember those, ask mum and dad). The government hasn’t set a date for when it flicks the big switch and almost all radio goes digital, but it could be within the next few years. The trouble is, some new cars and many used ones don’t have a digital (or DAB) radio. But don’t worry, upgrading is usually easy and affordable. Why should I upgrade before the switchover? You don’t have to, but a DAB radio gives access to more channels. Tuning is less fiddly, sound quality is better, and you get more info about what you’re listening to. With the track and artist displayed on a screen, there’s no temptation to run music through Shazam while you are driving. What’s

more, a DAB unit is more likely than an older radio to have a USB port or Bluetooth connectivity so you can listen to music from your phone. How do I get DAB if my car doesn’t have a DAB radio? If you have a conventional radio head unit (either single of double DIN) rather than one that’s built in and specific to the car, you can just swap it for a more up-to-date DAB radio. Expect to pay upwards of £100 for a single DIN DAB radio, rising to £300 plus for a high-spec double DIN unit. A replacement digital radio is likely to also come with an uprated aerial for receiving the digital signal. You can also buy roof-mounted aerials which generally receive a clearer signal but are more difficult to fit. What if my car doesn’t have a DIN radio?

Standard-sized radio units became less popular in the noughties, as many car makers switched to built-in units that were fully integrated with the dashboard and so couldn’t be stolen. If your car has this type of radio, you can still upgrade. The simplest option is a ‘plugand-play’ adapter. These plug in to the car’s 12v socket, and play DAB through your existing FM radio via the aux-in port. You could pay as little as £30, although higher quality devices with more features like the Nextbase Adapt DAB250 cost around £99 or so. There are downsides to this type of adapter. If your car stereo doesn’t have an aux-in port, they won’t work. Even if it does, reception may not be as good as with a built-in DAB radio with a roof aerial. But so long as your stereo has an aux-in port this is the easiest and cheapest way to install DAB in your car.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

TREAD

CAREFULLY I T’S HARD TO GET EXCITED about car tyres. In fact, it’s all too easy to take them for granted. But you know what? Everything your car does depends upon your tyres. Accelerating, braking and cornering all rely on those four patches of rubber in contact with the road surface. That’s why it’s vital that you look after your tyres. For one thing, correctly inflated tyres will cut your fuel bill, saving you money. What’s more, if you neglect your tyres you could be breaking the law.

If the tread is too worn or the tyres have other defects you could be fined £2500 – for each tyre – and receive points on your licence. Now here’s the really important bit. Taking regular care of your tyres won’t just save you money at the fuel pump, and keep you the right side of the law. It’s absolutely vital to keeping you safe, especially in bad weather. Tyres with plenty of tread can make the difference between a near miss and not making it home in one piece at all.

HOW TO CHECK YOUR TYRES 1

Make sure your tyres are cold before doing these checks. Start by parking the car on level ground and make sure it’s secure. Apply the handbrake for points 3-6, to make sure the car doesn’t roll away.

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2

Check all the way round each tyre for damage such as cuts, bulges and nails or screws. For this it might be easiest to have a friend drive the car slowly backwards and forwards.

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Look for uneven tyre wear, which could be a sign of a problem such as a worn part. You can always drop in and ask for advice at a reputable tyre fitter, who will normally give advice for free.

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Next, see how much tread is left – if the tyre has worn too much it could be illegal. There should be at least 1.6mm of tread all around and across the central threequarters of the tyre.


STOP SAFELY

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STOPPED SAFELY

70 -0 MPH WITH 3MM

While the car with 1.6mm is still travelling at 50mph

37 METRES

70 -0 MPH WITH 1.6MM

FURTHER TO STOP

The minimum legal tread depth may be 1.6mm, but tyres become less safe in wet weather well before the legal minimum is reached. Tests carried out by Continental Tyres and Auto Express magazine compared stopping distances for four cars from 70mph with 3mm of tread and with 1.6mm of tread. On average, the cars with 1.6mm of tread left needed another 37 metres to stop and were still travelling at 50mph when they would have come to a halt with 3mm of tread. So it’s much safer to change at 3mm than to wait until tyres are barely legal.

PART-WORN TYRES During your first few years on the road, the chances are you’ll be on a tight budget. It can be tempting to cut corners and part-worn tyres are one way to save a few quid. Take care, though: an investigation by the Local Government Association, published in early 2017, found that as many as 83% of second-hand tyres in some areas don’t meet minimum legal standards. Some tyres were 23 years old. What’s more, the industry body

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To check a tyre’s tread depth, insert a 20p coin into the tread grooves. If the outer rim of the coin is covered by the tread, your tyres are okay, but if the outer rim is visible, you need fresh rubber.

TyreSafe found that 58% of part-worn tyres they examined had serious safety defects. Think about it. Do you really want an unsafe tyre someone else has thrown away on your car? And if you fail an MOT because your part-worn tyres are faulty then any saving will quickly disappear.

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Finish by checking each tyre’s pressure when ‘cold’ – that is, when you’ve driven less than two miles. You’ll need a gauge for this. You can buy one for a tenner or the air machines at

your local garage will have one. The correct pressures will be in the car’s handbook, or may be on a sticker on one of the door jambs. Don’t forget to check the spare wheel, too.

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k u . o c . r f i r st c a

T F I H S I N TO GE A R

r o f e c i v d a l a E s s e nt i s r e v i r d g n u yo


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E  xpert advice: from helping you pass your test, to buying your first car T  ailored content for you, whatever your stage of learning P  ick your first car with the help of our new car reviews F  REE regular newsletter W  in a brand new Vauxhall Corsa worth £15,750

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The honest truth about...

SEAT BELTS

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T H E HON E TRUTH ST T

HT is a n safety cam ational road p closely wit aign that works h police, fi re, local authoritie s instructors and driving . Find out more at thehon esttruth. co.uk

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VERYONE WEARS A seat belt, don’t they? Surely it’s a no-brainer. Well, most drivers and passengers do. Government stats show that... ✪ 99% of us put on belts when we drive ✪ 93% of front-seat passengers wear a seat belt ✪ 90% of rear-seat passengers put on a belt. The problem is, that still leaves a minority of people who don’t belt up. And there are serious consequences. Take a look at the stats for car occupant fatalities, and you’ll find 27% weren’t wearing a belt when they died. That’s over 200 people per year who might still be alive if they had put on their seat belt. It’s not just you who could be hurt if you don’t wear a belt. If you are in a crash at 30mph, your body will hit whatever’s in front of it at a force that’s 30-60 times your own body weight – the same force as a charging rhino.

STAY SAFE

SEAT BELTS AND THE LAW You must wear a seat belt if one is fitted in the seat you are using. There are a handful of exceptions but they are unlikely to apply to you. As a driver, you are also responsible for making sure any child under 14 is wearing a seat belt or travelling in a suitable child seat, depending on their age and height. Don’t make the mistake of thinking an airbag will do the seat belt’s job. Airbags are a supplementary restraint system – it’s the seat belt which they supplement. The seat belt is probably the single most effective piece of safety equipment in any car, credited with saving more than a million lives worldwide. Why wouldn’t you wear one?

NICOLE’S STORY Nicole was in a car with her friends, travelling to a nearby town. She was the front-seat passenger. Nicole noticed that the driver was speeding. They were travelling at 90mph in a 60mph zone. Not wearing a seat belt was Nicole’s first mistake, not asking the driver to slow down was her second. The two mistakes together almost cost Nicole her life. The driver lost control of the car and hit a tree. The car rolled several times and finally landed on its roof. Not wearing her seat belt led to Nicole having serious arm and facial injuries, leaving her badly scarred. The crash has left Nicole having nightmares and lacking in confidence. Every day she faces what happened when she looks in the mirror and sees her scars. Belt up in the back – don’t be a dead weight

Not wearing a seat belt led to Nicole having serious arm and facial injuries, leaving her badly scarred firstcar.co.uk

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE Don’t catnap behind the wheel

The honest truth about...

T I R E DN E S S

B

ELIEVE IT OR NOT, fatigue is thought to be a bigger contributor to injury and death on the roads than drug-driving. Around 20% of collisions are reckoned

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to be fatigue-related, and up to a quarter of fatal and serious accidents. Fall asleep at the wheel, and you won’t brake or steer away from danger. You’ll go on to hit

something – another car, a brick wall, or maybe a pedestrian – without slowing down at all. It only takes a moment. If you nod off on the motorway for just six seconds


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STAY SAFE

MOLLY’S STORY After finishing work, Molly drove from Plymouth to Liverpool to collect her father, taking her partner and two brothers with her. She started her return journey at 4am and drove all the way back to Devon without a proper break. At 8.40am Molly fell asleep at the wheel and collided with the rear of a tractor and trailer at 60mph. Her partner in the front seat died instantly and her brother died on impact as he went into the front of the car from the back. He was not wearing a seatbelt. Her father and other brother had serious injuries. The investigation showed she had taken only one short break in 10 hours of driving. It also showed she had suffered a series of micro sleeps before falling asleep. Molly went to court charged with the offence of causing death by dangerous driving.

FIVE WAYS TO BEAT FATIGUE

Fall asleep at the wheel and you won’t brake or steer away from danger you’ll have travelled nearly 200 metres. It’s not just falling asleep completely that can cause an accident. If you are drowsy, you’ll make worse decisions and will react more slowly to hazards. Some studies suggest driving while tired is just as bad as driving while just over the drink-drive limit. You wouldn’t drive drunk,

so why drive tired? A quick coffee or an energy drink might wake you up for a while, but when the effect wears off you’ll end up feeling more tired than you did before. So if you are really tired, the safest thing you can do is stop and rest. A nap of around 10-20 minutes should help. Better to arrive late than to not arrive at all.

1 - Get a good night’s rest before a long journey. 2- Avoid alcohol. Even if it is clear of your system by the time you drive it reduces the quality of sleep. If it’s still in your system the combination of fatigue and drink can be deadly. 3 - Take regular breaks. Stop for a breather every two hours. 4 - Share the driving. Short-term insurance from companies like Cuvva.com, Dayinsure. com and Veygo.com make it easy to arrange quick cover so a mate take a turn behind the wheel. 5 - Don’t drive late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

The honest truth about...

S P E E D I NG Y

OUNG DRIVERS MAY have a rep for speeding, but that’s not entirely fair. Drivers aged 35-44 are the ones who are caught and convicted the most, far more than drivers aged 17-24. What’s more, the chances are new drivers will have a telematics insurance policy, which means a higher premium for those who regularly drive too fast. So, be like most young drivers, and respect the limit. Better still, remember that it’s a limit not a target. Your driving instructor has probably spoken to you about ‘appropriate’ speed. You need to drive at a speed that’s appropriate for the conditions.

Thick fog, heavy rain or other hazards could mean an ‘appropriate’ speed is well below the legal maximum. There are times when obeying the letter of the law isn’t enough to keep you safe.

THE TRU OF SPEEEDCOST ING A little mo

re speed ca a big diffe n make ren with yours ce. Could you live elf if drivin g too fast led to a fa tal cr distances ash? Braking increase w ith every mph you are ove r the limit.

TWICE AS LIKELY AT 35MPH A DRIVER ISTH EY ARE AT 30MPH AS E ON ME TO KILL SO

HIT BY A CAR AT 30MPH TWO OUT OF 10 PEDESTRIANS WILL BE KILLED

HIT BY A CAR AT 35MPH FIVE OUT OF 10 PEDESTRIANS WILL BE KILLED

HIT BY A CAR AT 40MPH NINE OUT OF 10 PEDESTRIANS WILL BE KILLED 100

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STAY SAFE The speed limit is not a target

REASONS TO DRIVE AT A SAFE SPEED ✪ You’ll save money. Sticking to the limit burns less fuel. ✪ You’ll pay less for insurance. Driving at a

sensible speed will reduce your premium if you have a black box policy. ✪ You’ll keep your licence. Rack up six points for speeding offences in your first two years on the road (or any other illegal driving) and your licence will be gone.

REASONS TO SPEED ✪ You might arrive at the next queue of traffic a few seconds sooner. Really, that’s it. Not much of a reason compared with all the benefits of driving at a safe speed...

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

The honest truth about...

SHOWING OFF P

ASS THE PRACTICAL test, and you can give your mates a lift. It really is a great feeling, especially if you are one of the first in your circle of friends to pass. Why wouldn’t you be proud of your full driving licence and the skills you have learned? But all too easily, that pride

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can turn to arrogance. With the confidence a full licence brings, and no highly trained instructor or watchful parent keeping an eye on you, it can be tempting to let speeds creep up, to brake later, or corner harder. Think twice, though. You’re more likely to scare your

friends than impress them. The National Travel Attitudes Study 2019 shows that a massive 82% of people think it’s never acceptable to speed even slightly on residential streets. So driving quickly and aggressively is going to make you look irresponsible and immature.


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Pride can easily turn to arrogance

STAY SAFE

DOS & DON’TS DO... keep a lid on your speed DO... focus on driving, not your passengers DO... save lairy driving for Grand Theft Auto DON’T...

overtake aggressively

DON’T... play really loud music DON’T... overtake when it’s not safe

ROB’S STORY

Are they laughing with you or at you? Here are just some of the reasons why showing off behind the wheel is a bad idea... ✪ You could lose your licence. Driving without due care and attention covers things like driving too close to the car in front or overtaking on the inside.

Sergeant Thompson was on patrol in a city centre when he witnessed a BMW doing handbrake turns in a public car park, being watched by a number of young people. When the vehicle was stopped and the driver spoken to it was established that the BMW belonged to the driver’s girlfriend’s father. The driver, Rob, had already received a warning notice (Section 59 Police Reform Act) for antisocial driving a few weeks earlier, albeit for a different vehicle. Sergeant Thompson considered the display of driving to be ‘without due care and attention’ and as Rob was already subject to a Section 59 notice, the vehicle was seized and towed away. This left Rob’s girlfriend, Amy, to explain to her father where his company car was. Rob was convicted of driving without due care and attention and he ended up with a fine and the recovery costs totalling well over £400. It could lead to between three and nine penalty points, and six is enough to say goodbye to your licence in your first two years on the road. ✪ You could lose money or even your car. The fine for driving without due care and attention may be up to

£2500. Persistent offenders could have their car seized. ✪ You could lose your friends. Not only might you alienate the very people you are trying to impress, showing off could cost a friend their life. More young females are killed as passengers than drivers...

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

The honest truth about...

DRUG DRIVING R

ESEARCH BY THE Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) found that 17% of drivers who die in road crashes (more than one in six) have traces of illegal drugs in their system, which may have affected their driving. TRL also found that almost 6% of drivers (one in 17) who die in road crashes have traces of prescription drugs which may have contributed to the crash.

DRUG DRIVING – THE FACTS The different ways that drugs can affect a driver’s behaviour and body include: ✪ slower reaction times ✪ poor concentration ✪ sleepiness/fatigue ✪ confused thinking ✪ distorted perception ✪ over-confidence

THE EFFECTS OF DRUGS ON YOUR DRIVING CANNABIS You have slow reaction times and struggle to do two tasks at once (such as change gear and steer straight). Combining cannabis with alcohol magnifies its effect. ECSTASY On ecstasy you have blurred vision and can’t judge distance or speed. You might suffer extreme emotions that are lethal behind the wheel, like anxiety and paranoia. This could easily lead to a crash.

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COCAINE You’ll probably think you’re the best driver on the road — but you’re erratic, likely to take risks, may suffer from paranoia, and you might even hallucinate. SPEED Amphetamines make you overexcited, restless and can lead to risk taking. You may experience strong emotions such as fear, panic and aggression. You may get dizzy and you could collapse.

HEROIN You are sluggish, sleepy and unable to control a vehicle. PRESCRIBED MEDICINES Although we have concentrated on illegal substances, all types of over-the-counter or prescription medicines are drugs. If you’re taking more than one medication, there may be a combination effect. Read the information leaflet supplied with the medicine before driving, or speak to your doctor or pharmacist about the medicine(s) that you are taking.


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STAY SAFE Drugs change you, and not for the better

JOSH’S STORY A young motorist who had taken illegal drugs was jailed for seven years after his dangerous driving caused the death of two friends. Unqualified driver Josh had been driving too fast to negotiate a bend when he ploughed into a wall. The impact caused the car to literally split in two.

Josh, 21, was found to be one-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit and he had traces of ecstasy and cocaine in his blood after the crash. He had been seen drinking during the day and a number of

witnesses reported the car travelling excessively fast and slewing across the road. Josh survived the crash with minor injuries but his best friend Paul, 18, and another friend Callum, 20, were killed.

Josh survived the crash with minor injuries but his best friend Paul, 18, and another friend Callum, 20, were killed firstcar.co.uk

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

THE MORNING AFTER Sleep doesn’t make alcohol magically disappear. You could still be over the limit and unsafe to drive the morning after a night out. It takes around an hour for your body to break down each unit of alcohol, so five pints of strong lager containing three units per pint would take around 15 hours to break down. So if you are drinking the night before driving, make it a quiet one – or don’t drink at all.

The honest truth about...

D R I N K D R I V I NG D

RINK AND DRIVING don’t mix. Fortunately, millennials drink less than their parents. According to a recent survey, only one-in-ten

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see getting drunk as “cool”. Four-in-ten see it as “pathetic” or “embarrassing”. So, if your mates think you’re an idiot as you stagger home from the pub, imagine how

they’ll react if you reach for your car keys. Most drivers, young or old, wouldn’t dream of drinking and driving. But there’s still a core of offenders who think


BROUGHT TO YOU BY FIRSTCAR You could end up in the dog house

STAY SAFE

HOW DOES ALCOHOL AFFECT DRIVING SKILLS? ✪ It slows your brain function and reaction times. ✪ Alcohol also causes blurring and loss of peripheral vision. ✪ Drink reduces your ability to judge distance and speed. ✪ It makes you overconfident and reduces the perception of risk. ✪ Just one drink is enough to increase the risk of a crash. After two, the risk doubles. After five it can increase tenfold.

TOM’S STORY

they will get away with it, or don’t care. Their recklessness led to an estimated 250 deaths in 2017, according to government statistics. Include injuries as well as deaths, and the total number of casualties is 8600. Do the smart thing. Drink or drive, never both.

Like many people, Eve’s brother Tom wasn’t always known for making the best decisions. One Wednesday night he’d make the final decision of his short life. Tom and a friend had been out drinking and had trouble finding a taxi. Tom decided he’d be okay to drive. He wasn’t. He simply didn’t see the corner coming. His car left the road and collided with a tree. While his friend was fortunate enough to escape with his life, Tom was killed almost instantly. He was only 19. Eve was given the news the day before her first GCSE exam, and it shattered her world. One of the hardest parts was not being able to say goodbye – the funeral had to be a closed casket affair due to the damage to Tom’s face and body. Eve is now older than her brother will ever be, and the loss is still keenly felt by those who knew and loved him. All it took was a few drinks and one bad decision to take Tom away forever.

Tom decided he’d be okay to drive. He wasn’t. He simply didn’t see the corner coming firstcar.co.uk

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE Don’t be a road hog!

T The honest truth about...

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

HE DAY YOU GET behind the wheel with your full driving licence, you’ll probably feel like the king or queen of the road. Good for you. Passing your test is a big achievement. Just remember, once you are a fully qualified driver the roads don’t suddenly belong to you. Other road users have the right to use the road too. That includes bikers, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians. It’s important to share road space with all user groups, especially as vulnerable users are, well, vulnerable. Hit a cyclist with your 1.5-tonne metal box and it’s going to hurt them more than it hurts you.

THE RIGHT (AND WRONG) WAY TO DRIVE AROUND VULNERABLE ROAD USERS DO... overtake wide and slow, when you can see far enough ahead to do so safely. Give cyclists and horse riders plenty of room (at least a car’s width). Be especially careful with horses, overtaking at no more than 15mph and accelerating gently once past. Search ‘Dead Slow Road Safety BHS’ on YouTube to find videos giving great advice about sharing the road with horses. Type in ‘Too Close For Comfort Virtual Reality’ 108

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to find a film that gives a cyclist’s perspective on being overtaken.

DO... use the ‘Dutch reach’ when getting out of your car. This road safety technique involves opening a car door with the opposite hand (so the left hand opens the driver’s door, not the right hand). Having to twist around to open the door turns the head and upper body towards the road, encouraging the driver to look out for cyclists.

DON’T... assume other road users have seen you. In particular, look out for elderly pedestrians and children. Slow down, and be ready to stop. DON’T... be impatient if you feel you are being held up. Drivers are sometimes annoyed if cyclists use the road rather than a nearby cycle path, but cyclists are entitled to be on the road. Everyone deserves to get from A-to-B safely and without intimidation.


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STAY SAFE Keep your eyes on the road – not the ones horsing around

The honest truth about...

DISTRACTIONS T HE BLEEP OF A TEXT, loud music, your mate messing around in the passenger seat – sometimes there’s a lot going on that can distract the driver. Not all distractions are against the law. Using a

handheld mobile phone is illegal, banter with your best friend is not. But anything that takes your attention away from the road is dangerous. Other people are one of the biggest distractions of all. Believe it or not, young drivers

are up to five times more likely to crash when they have two or more passengers in the car. It’s easy to lose concentration. If you are driving, make sure you stay focused on the road. And if you’re the passenger, don’t horse around.

FIVE WAYS TO AVOID DISTRACTIONS 1 Turn your phone off before you drive, and put it out of reach so you aren’t tempted to turn it back on. 2 Keep the volume down and set the music playing

before you set off so you won’t need to use the controls. 3 Set the sat nav destination before leaving. Rely more on voice instructions rather than staring at the screen, so you

keep your eyes on the road. 4 Stop to eat and drink. Don’t snack at the wheel. 5 Talk later. Save in-depth conversations for when the journey is over.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

The honest truth about...

MOB I L E PHON E S THREE WAYS TO BE PHONE SAFE 1 - Switch it off. You can’t be distracted by a phone if it’s not on. 2 - Do not disturb. If your smartphone has a mode that blocks calls and messages, switch it on before driving. 3 - Block it. A signal-blocking pouch like Solon Security’s Defender Signal Blocker stops calls getting through.

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Y

OU’RE DRIVING WHEN the phone rings. You know you shouldn’t pick it up but it’s your best mate calling. You reach down to answer and... your licence is gone. Get caught using a handheld mobile and you face six points and a £200 fine. For a driver in their first couple of years on the road that’s enough for you to lose your licence. There’s another scenario that’s even more serious.

STAY SAFE

Maybe it’s a pedestrian rather than a police officer around the next corner. They step out into the road and you don’t see them in time because you’re on your phone. Most drivers have the sense to leave their phone alone while driving. According to the RAC Report on Motoring, some 77% don’t make handheld calls (although hands-free calls are also a dangerous distraction). Be part of the safe majority, not the reckless minority.

HANDHELD VS HANDS-FREE The law treats handheld calls differently from handsfree, but the University of Sussex has found that it’s the conversation rather than holding the phone to your ear that takes your mind away from driving. So while a hands-free call may be legal, that doesn’t make it safe. Anything that allows a phone to take attention

from the road is a no-no. That includes: ✪ hands-free calls as well as handheld ✪ checking a text ✪ catching up on social media ✪ playing music It’s better to put the phone down. When you drive, just drive.

ANDREW’S STORY

Driving blind as a bat

Andrew was 21 and had recently started going out with a girl. On Boxing Day he met her parents for the first time before setting off on the 30-minute journey home. While he was driving at 60mph along a rural road, she sent him a text telling him what a wonderful evening it had been. How much of the text he read will never be known. Shortly after the text was sent, police were called to the scene of a serious crash. When the police arrived, they found the car had collided with a solid stone wall, the driver’s side having taken most of the impact, reducing the width of the car by half. Andrew’s phone was found within the car and the text had been opened. Andrew was killed a a result of the collision and she never received a reply to her text. Andrew had been wearing his seat belt and had consumed no drugs or alcohol. Christmas will never be the same again for the families of Andrew or his girlfriend.

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THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

Y A W R O T O M DRIVING I

F YOU’RE TERRIFIED BY THE prospect of motorway driving, there’s nothing to fear. Motorways are our safest roads. And recent changes to the law mean you can now take lessons on the motorway before your practical test so long as you are with your ADI and in a car with dual controls.

LORRY You can drive at 70mph on the motorway, but articulated lorries have a lower limit. As a result, they can take ages to overtake each other, so if you come up behind one already in lane two, prepare to go into the outside lane to pass it.

5

KEY STEPS TO STAYING SAFE

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STUDS SLIP ROADS Once you’re on the slip road to join or leave a motorway, you’re committed to keep going. It’s an offence to turn around, so if you’ve made a mistake you’ll have to keep going and get back on course later on.

1

Make sure that you’ve got plenty of fuel before you get on the motorway. Service stops can be few and far between and you don’t want to run out of fuel – even if you’ve got breakdown cover. Fuel is also much

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more costly on the motorway, so you don’t want to be forced to shop there as the chances are you’ll end up paying much more than you need to.

2

As you get to the end of the slip road to join the motorway, match

Reflective markers separate the lanes from each other (white ones), the slip road (green) the hard shoulder (red) and the central reservation (orange).

your speed to the traffic in the inside lane. Slot between any vehicles already in the inside lane; they’ll hopefully make room for you but they do have right of way. You don’t want to stop at the end of the slip road; then you’ll have to start off from a standstill...


DRIVING ADVICE

OVERTAKING

PLANNING

You should treat overtaking on the motorway the same as anywhere else. That means you check it’s clear, signal, then pull out to overtake. There’s no rush to get past, but once you’ve overtaken make sure you pull back in.

Usually, the first sign for a junction is a mile before it, the next is at the half-mile point. A mile sounds a lot, but if you’re in the outside lane at the half-mile point, you might not be able to get across in time if it’s busy. Miss your junction and you’ll have to go to the next...

MARKERS

LANE HOGGING

BREAKING DOWN

Motorways can have anywhere between two and five lanes on each side of the central reservation. Unless overtaking, you should be in the inside lane. Lane hog and you risk a fine as you’re obstructing other traffic.

3

If you break down, make sure you know where you are. There are emergency phones every mile with markers every 100 yards that give you the direction to the nearest phone. These phones will instantly tell the control centre where you

If you break down on a motorway you must move to the hard shoulder. Get as far to the left as possible, get out of the car and stay away from it, ideally behind a crash barrier and wearing a hi-vis jacket.

are, including which direction you’re travelling. If you don’t have breakdown cover you’ll have to pay to be recovered – and it won’t be cheap.

4

You’ll have to change lanes correctly if you want to make progress, so you’ll be pulling

At every junction there are three markers, counting down to the exit. The first is at 300 yards, the second at 200 yards and the third at 100 yards. If you’re leaving the motorway, be in the inside lane before the 300-yard marker, then start signalling as you pass it.

out to overtake then back in again. Before you make any move, check over your shoulder to ensure you’re not cutting anyone up, and don’t forget to signal before changing lane.

5

When you come to leave the motorway, ease off

the gas before you leave the inside lane. Then start braking gradually as soon as you’re on the slip road; you’ve got a lot of speed to scrub off and you don’t want to get to the end of the slip road to find you’re still doing 50mph; it’ll suddenly seem very fast...

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DRIVING ADVICE

THE YOUNG DRIVER’S GUIDE

PENALTY

TIME N

OTCH UP SIX POINTS within two years of passing your test and you’ll be banned from driving. This 24-month span is called the probationary period,

and it applies to anyone gaining a new licence, regardless of age. Get points on your licence and your insurance will go up, so don’t do any of these things or you’ll pay the price…

THE PENALTIES RUN A RED LIGHT: Three points, £100 fine. SPEEDING: At least three points plus a £100 fine. Serious speeding offenders can face a fine of £1000 (or £2500 for speeding on the motorway). DRINK OR DRUG DRIVING: This offence leads to an obligatory ban, jail for up to six months and an unlimited fine. A second offence within ten years means a driving ban of at least three years. FAIL TO STOP AT A ZEBRA CROSSING: Most pedestrian crossing offences are dealt with by a Fixed Penalty Notice, with three points and a £100 fine, but the penalty could be £1000.

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DEFECTIVE TYRES: If they’re flat, bald or damaged, you can get a £2500 fine and three points – for each faulty tyre. NOT IN PROPER CONTROL: Includes eating, smoking, drinking or being otherwise distracted: three points, a fine of at least £100, and possibly a ban. USING A HAND-HELD MOBILE: Six points plus a £200 fine. Put up a fight in court and lose and you could be fined £1000. You may also be banned. FAILING TO STOP AFTER ACCIDENT: Cause personal injury, and

You really don’t want to see this in your rear-view mirror...

you must give your details, then report the incident to the police. Otherwise you face 5-10 points and a hefty fine. You could be banned and spend as long as six months in prison. DANGEROUS DRIVING: If convicted of dangerous driving by a Crown Court, you could face an unlimited fine and/or two years in jail. NO INSURANCE: At the very least, a £300 fine and six points. DRIVING WHILE BANNED: If caught driving while disqualified you can be jailed for up to six months, fined an unlimited amount, and you will almost certainly have the length of the ban extended.


Accident checklist

CUT OUT AND KEEP

Nobody wants to crash, but make sure you’ve got this page handy just in case, along with a pen and sheet of paper. If it all goes pear-shaped, just follow the instructions.

FIRST: ■ Stop and warn other road users of the incident. If anybody has failed to stop, take their registration number or a description (make, model, colour). Even just a partial registration number may be of use.

■ Switch on your hazard lights and, if possible, move the vehicles to a safe place. Assess any injuries and offer first aid if you can. If anyone has been injured, contact the police or ambulance service straight away.

■ Call the police if there’s debris on the road or an obstruction to traffic; don’t put yourself in danger making the crash scene safe. Call the police if any other driver is aggressive or uncooperative.

ACCIDENT INFORMATION: Date: Time: Weather conditions (low sun, foggy, raining, sunny): Road conditions (wet, dry, muddy): Road where accident occurred:

Brief description of what happened, using a diagram if it helps:

OTHER VEHICLES:

Note: If more than one other vehicle is involved, make sure you collect their details too.

Driver’s name:

Make & model:

Description of driver:

Number of occupants in car:

Colour:

Driver’s contact number:

Car’s insurer:

DAMAGE TO VEHICLES: YOUR VEHICLE

Insurer’s contact number:

Policy no:

OTHER VEHICLE

Registration:

Take photos of the scene, the cars involved and any other damage – photograph from every angle you can.

YOUR DETAILS:

Fill this section in right away, so in the event of an accident, you can simply tear it out and hand it over.

Name:

Contact number:

Make:

Model: Colour:

Insurer:

Car registration: Policy no:

Insurer’s contact number: I confirm that all details on this sheet are to the best of my knowledge, correct and accurate: You: Other driver: Signed: Signed: Date: Date:

■ Don’t admit liability – even if you think it was your fault. If you do, it’ll only cause problems later on. ■ Don’t put yourself in danger to make the area safe – call the police and stay out of the way of any moving traffic. ■ Don’t leave any valuables in your car if you have to leave it at the scene – damaged cars are often looted. ■ If you have a dash cam, offer the footage to your insurer and the police if they are involved. ■ Contact the police – even if you think the accident is only minor, they will have it on their records if any dispute arises. firstcar.co.uk ■ Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident – and certainly within 24 hours. 115


£400

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You’re on track for a big discount.

Plus up to 21% MONEY BACK over the year for good driving Black box insurance for new drivers Based on all ingenie customers Jul 17 to Jun 18. Premium increases could apply for poor driving.

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The Young Drivers Guide Q1 2020  

The Young Drivers Guide Q1 2020  

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