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What makes a good driver?

In our latest blog about driving lessons and learning to drive, we talk about the factors that make a good driver.

Few of us can wait and as soon as we get to our seventeenth birthday, we cannot wait to get behind the wheel and start learning to drive but few of us appreciate what skills it really takes to become a competent driver, until we're much older.

  • Patience
    The first and the most important quality of a good driver is patience. Most road traffic accidents are caused by impatience. Impatience can lead to several unpleasant occurrences. Impatience leads to over-speeding and you know the likely consequences of over-speeding.

    It is also impatience that will make a driver try to beat the traffic light or refuse to stop on seeing the red light. This act alone can lead to a head-on collision with a vehicle going across as your own red light means a green light to some other motorists coming across.

  • Discipline
    Every driver has to have some level of discipline if he wants to succeed in passing his driving test. It is discipline that will prevent him from disobeying traffic rules and regulations. It is also discipline that makes him obey traffic officers. Not only that, it also helps a driver prevent himself from taking dangerous decisions like driving under the influence of alcohol.

    In fact, some drivers do not get drunk at all, whether he is planing on driving or not just-in-case an emergency arises.

  • Responsible
    A good driver takes responsibility for all his actions whether behind the wheels or not. It is true that nobody is beyond making mistakes but a good driver admits his mistakes, takes responsibility and also makes necessary corrections to prevent something similar happening again.

  • Keeping sharp
    Staying alert behind the wheel is highly important. Do not let yourself become distracted with the radio or making calls whilst in the car. Believe it or not some people carry on their lives as if they were not driving - even eating or putting on make-up whilst travelling at 70mph!

  • Proper care
    A very good driver ensures that his vehicle is in top condition all of the time. If there is a fault and he can’t fix immediately, he does not use the car until the fault is fixed. Imagine driving car with a faulty horn. Isn’t that the height of carelessness?

If you need a driving instructor, why not talk to our professional, friendly and helpful team of instructors? Give us a call today and we can help answer any driving related questions or book your first lesson with us.

Learn to drive with Hamilton School of Motoring in Mitcham, Guildford, Wimbledon and across Surrey and London. Visit our Areas Covered page for a full list of towns that our instructors cover.



Dealing With Roundabouts Successfully

Britain’s streets and thoroughfares are littered with the often dreaded roundabout. The sometimes difficult part of the roadway system in the United Kingdom is a result of the development of cities and towns as market centers as far back as people have inhabited British soil. The cultural and historic significance of roundabouts does not make them any easier to negotiate while driving.

Roundabouts come in two varieties. The single roundabout is confusing and the double roundabout is a terror to some drivers regardless of their age and the level of their experience. The problem with roundabouts is that a driver needs to look in at least four directions at the same time. There are more accidents in roundabout traffic than any other road hazard in Britain.

A driver can go to the extra trouble, waste of time and expense to avoid roundabouts completely. A much more sensible and safer approach is to get some driver training. The objective of training is first of all, safety. Training can build a driver’s confidence so that they need never fear the mysterious intricacies of the roundabout again.

These are the qualities you need to look for in a driving training course that helps you with negotiating roundabouts.

  1. Understanding
    The fear of negotiating a roundabout is very real to some people. While many drivers may boast that there is nothing to figuring out a roundabout the person that has problems with them needs an understanding driving instructor. Instructors that are aware of your fears and has the empathy to help you overcome those fears is a must.

  2. Experience
    Safe and successful driving comes from experience. Driving instruction must have a broad range of experience in driving and teaching in order to accommodate the needs of any driver who needs instruction. Age does not guarantee that a person is a safe driver and youth is no barrier to the benefits that driving instruction provides.

  3. Personalization
    Every person is different and each person approaches the driving experience with a different set of skills, a different attitude and a different perspective. You need a driving instructor who understands you. The instructor must take the time with you that is necessary to understand your apprehension about roundabouts or any other aspect of driving. The more an instructor knows the better they can tailor their instruction to you so honesty on your part is imperative.

  4. Consideration
    A driving instructor needs to be available when you are. The instructor should have ready answers to any of your questions. The instructor must have patience and be able to show you what driving skills need improvement without making you feel silly or stupid.

Most drivers in the UK dislike roundabouts if they are truthful. Driving instruction and training is the most effective and safest way to learn to do the roundabout successfully.

Whether you've started learning and you're ready to take your test or perhaps you're a new driver and need to start from the beginning, why not contact our team of driving instructors to help answer any questions?

Our friendly team offer advice and driving lessons in Guildford, Mitcham, Wimbledon and the surrounding areas - click here for a full list.


What Are The Benefits Of Under 17s Taking Driving Lessons?

At what age do you think your child should learn how to drive? Some parents would say it is ideal that children start learning how to drive at age 17 while others may have contrary views. However, no matter the age parents support, studies have shown that most teens want to start driving the moment they are legally allowed to do so which has left most parents worried - it has been shown that the brain doesn't mature fully until an individual reaches the age of 25. Although an individual is declared an adult at age 18.

Today many parents are beginning to see that starting the process early is a great option. Why?

Why is it ideal to allow your child to start driving lessons early?

At the age of 16 and/or 17, a child may still be at home with his or her parents and may be unable to purchase a car or insurance without the help of their parents. Meaning, while a teenager lacks the mental capacity to make the right decisions on all occasions, a parent will be there to help them. A parent can guide them through the process and ensure they are capable of driving safely before they get to the legal age. They can learn things easily and become very good drivers before turning 18.

It will make them safe and cautious drivers

The job of every parent is to ensure that their child is prepared for adulthood. One way to prepare them is to ensure they can travel without harming themselves or others on the roads. You have to understand that you may not have the opportunity to influence your child's driving after they turn eighteen. So if you choose to allow your child to learn how drive at 17, you will be able to influence their driving habits significantly and mould them into safe and cautious drivers when they become adults.

Help them mature

Driving is something every teenager dreams about. It is something that they should be granted. If your teen son or daughter is responsible enough then granting them the permission to enrol for driving lessons can strengthen your household rules thereby allowing you more influence in their driving and before you know it they begin to act like adults and make more mature decisions.

Gives them more experience

The aim of every parent when granting their teenage child permission to learn how to drive is for their own safety. Teaching them early will help them gain more experience about how to drive safely before they reach adulthood.

The bottom line

With the right driving instructors, a teenager can learn great driving skills (that sticks with them throughout their lives). They can learn how to be safe on the road. They can grasp how crucial it is to always stay focused on the road and, avoid bringing harm to themselves and others.

Whether you've started learning and you're ready to take your test or perhaps you're a new driver and need to start from the beginning, why not contact our team of driving instructors to help answer any questions?

Our friendly team offer advice and driving lessons in Guildford, Mitcham, Wimbledon and the surrounding areas - click here for a full list.


Driving Instruction For Temporary Residents

People from all over the world come to the United Kingdom to work. The rules of the road in the UK may be different from the driving practices in other countries. People who come to the UK to work and stay longer than one year have to get a British driving licence.

While tourists, immigrants and people from other countries know how to drive a car, they really need driving instruction to prevent accidents and reduce the cost of any car insurance they may have while in the UK. The top complaint of any visitor to the UK is that we drive on the wrong side of the road to which we politely respond that others drive on the wrong side of the road!

Visitors to the UK need to take these steps with the assistance of a driving instructor and driving lessons in the UK.

  1. Type of car
    You need to decide what type of car you will be driving while in the UK. Telling the instructor the model of car and the type of gear shift allows the instructor to adapt the training to your needs. You learn more quickly and experience less frustration.

  2. Your time frame
    The instructor needs to know the period of time that you plan on being in the UK. This allows the driving instructor to tailor the lessons appropriately. People who plan on being in the UK for longer than a year will need preparation for taking the driving test.

  3. Your schedule
    Driving instructors need to know when you are available for training. This knowledge not only allows the instructor to prepare for you but gives you the flexibility to fit the needs of driving instruction into you busy schedule of work and acclimation to your new life in the UK.

  4. Your driving experience
    A driving instructor needs to know the level of experience that you have driving a vehicle. This allows the instructor to plan the most efficient course of instruction that prepares you to drive safely.

  5. Your country of origin
    The instructor needs to know the country that you come from. This allows the instructor to plan a smooth transition for you to be fully competent in driving in the UK.

  6. Language barriers
    Your driving instructor must know if you are not fluent in English. Accommodations can be made to include a translator in your course of driving instruction provided that you supply the translator and pay for their service of necessary. Extra precautions may need to be taken if a second person will be in the vehicle during the training.

Driving lessons for people who are not residents of the UK is not mandatory but it provides the assurance of safety and the preparation for obtaining a UK driving licence.

Do you need driving lessons in Guildford, Mitcham, Wimbledon or the surrounding areas - click here for a full list - let Hamilton School of Motoring help you pass your test.


10 Tips To Help You Pass Your Driving Test

After successful driving lessons comes the driving test. This test is considered a passport to freedom and it’s an important rite of passage. To some people, it may prove difficult to handle. Here are ten tips that will help you pass your driving test.

  1. Practice often
    It is recommended that learners practice driving for about 45 hours with a professional trainer and 22 hours by themselves. Ensure that you practice with a driving instructor that you are comfortable with. When you are home, practice with a relative who is an experienced driver.

  2. Warm up
    Before the test, plan a lesson, so you don't drive without warming up. This will also help you scope out obstructions like local congestion, new roadworks and potholes. You will be completely prepared when it's time to take the test.

  3. Think positively
    Have a positive outlook before entering the test centre, just believe that you will pass. It may be difficult but try creative visualisation. Close your eyes and imagine yourself driving on the route without making any mistakes. Also imagine the potential obstacles that could affect your success.

  4. Relax
    Being nervous before taking a driving test is normal, so relax. If you can’t relax, take deep breaths and count to 10 each time you feel nervous. You can try this severally and its guaranteed to help you relax.

  5. Be comfortable in the car
    Ensure that you are comfortable in the car you use for the test or it could be the car you’ve been practicing with. You should feel completely comfortable in the car and with the controls since they will enable you move and change gear smoothly.

  6. Know the route
    Before the day of the driving test, do your homework and study the area around the spot of the test. However, it's important also to master every other road and not just the one for the test. This will prepare you for life after your driving lesson test.

  7. Avoid common mistakes
    The common driving test mistakes include inadequate observation during reverse, not checking side mirrors, poor positioning at roundabouts and junctions, and excessive speed.

  8. Be ready for everything
    It’s important to avoid surprises, so be ready for anything that could happen on the day of the test. Try driving at different times during the day and in different weather conditions and where possible, slippery and icy conditions. This way, you will be prepared for the test in whatever form it takes.

  9. Ask when you are in doubt
    During the test, don't be afraid to ask the examiner if there is anything that you do not understand. Also, ask the examiner to repeat a question if you did not hear it correctly.

  10. Keep your eyes only on the road
    When taking the driving test, remember to focus on the road ahead. You shouldn’t look at the examiner or try to peek at their notes to know how well you are doing. Doing so will make you lose concentration. Make use of mirrors and be aware of the environment.


Whether you've started learning and you're ready to take your test or perhaps you're a new driver and need to start from the beginning, why not contact our team of driving instructors to help answer any questions?

Our friendly team offer advice and driving lessons in Guildford, Mitcham, Wimbledon and the surrounding areas - click here for a full list.


5 Benefits Provided By Driving Lessons

For those who have not yet learned to drive or want to seek additional pointers to brush up on their skills, driving lessons can be incredibly helpful. A quality driving instructor allows you to learn more about the rules of the road, how to operate your car and prepare for any upcoming driving exams. Read on to learn more about the top benefits that driving lessons have to offer.

  1. Learning More Efficiently - While you can always have a family member or a friend teach you how to drive, a driving instructor can offer the same level of insight in a shorter amount of time. Thanks to driving courses, a student can now learn how to drive at a much faster pace, without having to schedule lessons around other aspects of their schedule. Driving instructors are also able to work with their students and provide added flexibility.

  2. Increased Learning - The amount of learning that takes place in a professional driving course far outweighs the amount of learning that takes place when you are learning to drive with your friends. Every single aspect of driving is covered intensively and the student's level of understanding is increased. The instructor does not move on to the next step until they are certain that you have fully grasped the task at hand.

  3. Avoiding Memory Loss - It's no secret that we struggle to retain certain memories, especially when it comes to the classroom environment. However, driving is a skill that must be retained for future safety, so a student must be able to remember all of the lessons that they have been taught in order to become a good driver and remain a good driver. Driving lessons help a student to avoid memory loss and increase the amount of retention that takes place.

  4. Added Focus - Some driving courses take place over longer periods of time, but top notch driving lessons are spaced out over a shorter length of time, so that the student's focus is not disturbed. Remembering all of the valuable learning points that take place during a driving course is much easier when a student can remember all of the lessons that have already been covered. Thanks to driving lessons, a student is provided with the necessary structure and discipline so that they can focus.

  5. Bespoke Lessons - Driving lessons are not a one size fits all sort of thing, they must be tailored to fit the specific needs of the student. No two students are created equally and having driving lessons that are structured to your personal strengths and weaknesses is very important. Being able to take driving lessons that are designed to rectify your weaknesses and further increase your strengths is one of the most crucial benefits that they can provide.


The 5 Most Important Questions To Ask Your Driving Instructor

Before tackling the process of learning how to drive, you'll need to select a driving instructor. Once you've gone through the process of choosing a bespoke instructor, getting the most out of your lessons becomes the next priority. Asking your instructor the right questions during your driving lessons is crucial to your long term success and the following queries are the most important.

  1. "What Have I Done Right?" - Learning to drive is not easy and you'll definitely want to ask your instructor what you are doing right, so that you can increase your self confidence. Once you've had a few lessons and the instructor has had time to properly gauge your strengths and weaknesses, ask them what you can build on going forward.
  2. "What Areas Do I Need To Improve Upon?" - Knowing what you're good at is great, as it will help you to develop a higher level of confidence behind the wheel. But it is important to ask what you are doing wrong, too. Don't be nervous about asking these types of questions, the instructor is there to help you, not shout at you and make you feel small. There are definitely going to be things that you will need to improve on in order to become a good driver and if you do not take a proactive approach and inquire with your instructor, you will not learn as efficiently as you could.

  3. "What Will Happen During My Driving Test?" - One of the greatest benefits that a driving instructor can offer is a professional level of insight into what to expect during their driving test. No one likes surprises, especially not during a moment of great importance and your driving teacher is typically more than happy to allow you to pick their brain about the process and what you should be watching out for.

  4. "Can You Give Me A Mock Test?" - The driving instructor is not going to be able to fully replicate the test that you will take, but what they can do is give you a mock simulation of what the test will be like, so that you are not taken aback when the big day finally arrives. A driving test is also not free, so you may want to ask your instructor for a free mock test, as this will allow you to avoid the indignity for spending additional money on multiple exams.

  5. "Will You Remain Available?" The process of learning how to drive does not begin and end with receiving your license. In all likelihood, you will still need a refresher course every now and again. Take a moment at the conclusion of your driving lessons to ask your instructor if they are willing to remain available to you for further pointers and additional tips when needed.


Driving lessons in Guildford, Mitcham and Wimbledon and the surrounding areas.

5 Helpful Tips For Selecting A Driving Instructor

When you are learning how to drive a car, the process of choosing a driving instructor can be quite a challenge. Luckily, this helpful guide can provide you with the helpful tips that you need for choosing a driving instructor that can meet your specific needs. Be sure to read on and learn more.

  1. Level of Qualification - You'll want to select a driving instructor that is highly qualified, someone who has a long and storied history of helping students achieve their desired objective. Before choosing an instructor, be sure to inquire about their past experiences and find out more about their specific plan for you as an individual. All driving instructors are not created equal and the more questions you ask, the more informed of a decision you can make.
  2. Pass/Fail Rate - In a perfect world, you will be able to hire a driving instructor that passes the vast majority of their students, as opposed to a more harsh instructor that is more concerned with finding reasons to issue a failing grade. Finding out what the instructor's pass/fail rate is provides a great deal of insight into their teaching methods. Every instructor's goal should be to pass as many as their students as possible, so take the time to find out as much as possible about their grading rubric.

  3. Discuss Your Transport - The type of vehicle that you are learning to drive in goes a long way towards determining your success rate. Make sure that if you are thinking of buying a manual car, take lessons in a car with manual gears.

  4. Level of Flexibility - If you are currently attending university or work a full time job, it can be difficult to find time to attend driving classes. Having a driving instructor who understands the ins and outs of your busy schedule and is able to work with you is instrumental to your long term success. In some instances, the instructor may be able to pick you up and drop you off, in order to make life a little easier.


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      53 Angus close, Chessington, Surrey, KT9 2BN

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