Gary Taylor Driving school

Driving lessons with a Calm Patient Instructor in West Glasgow

FAQ and How to's


  1. How many lessons will I need?

    There is no easy answer to this and it basically it really depends on how quickly you pick it up and how much practice you get. The D.S.A recommend that you should have around 40 lessons with an approved driving instructor and 20 hours of private practice, however I have had pupils that have passed their test within 10 lessons and others that needed More than 40 lessons. In other words "how long is a piece of string"? 

  2. What do I need to start learning to drive?

    You must be 17 or older and hold a current UK provisional licence. You also must be able to read a number plate from a distance of 20.5m.

  3. What if I can't make it for a lesson that I booked?

    If you can't make it then phone me as soon as you find out. I do ask that you give me 24hours notice if you have to cancel or I will have to charge you for that lesson time, however if I can get you out on another lesson within the same week or you have a genuine excuse (being drunk is not a genuine excuse) then I won't charge you for the missed lesson.

  4. How do I apply for a provisional license?

    You can apply for your provisional driving licence by completing the D1 application form that is available from the DVLA form ordering service or Post Office® branches. You will also need to enclose original documentation confirming your identity, a passport style colour photograph and the fee of £50.00. Send your completed application and payment to DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD or apply online at

  5. Do I need to pass my theory and hazard perception test before I can drive?

    You do not have to of passed the theory before your first lesson and having a few lessons before you do will help you to understand alot of the reasons behind the highway code. However I want you to pass your driving test quickly and so I reccomend you must study for, and then sit  the theory test as soon as possible. To book your Theory test follow the link on the home page.

  6. What percentage of people pass first time in the UK?

    Sadly, only 43%. We have a great deal of unqualified instructors giving lessons in the UK, be sure your instructor has a green badge in his window (I do), otherwise he /she may be unqualified. The biggest reason given for failing (by 95% of candidates polled by the D.S.A) is “doing something silly on the day due to nerves”.

  7. What are the Top Ten reasons for failing the test according to DSA?

    1. Observation at junctions - ineffective observation and judgement 

    2. Reverse parking - ineffective observation or lack of accuracy

    3. Use of mirrors - not checking or not acting on the information

    4. Moving away - ineffective observation or control when moving away

    5. Use of signals - not given, not cancelled or misleading signals

    6. Incorrect positioning - at roundabouts, lanes and bends

    7. Reversing around a corner - ineffective observation or lack of accuracy

    8. Lack of steering control - steering too early or leaving it too late

    9. Turn round in road - ineffective observation or lack of accuracy

    10. Inappropriate speed - travelling too slowly

  8. How important is it to keep from stalling?

    Let me say this, when I was learning to drive, I was a student and my fellow students and I would often discuss how well our driving lessons had gone. The question most often heard was: 'So, how many times did you stall?' When I talk to my pupils now, they still ask the same question of their friends. I don't remember ever saying: It was brilliant, although I stalled a few times, I never missed a mirror check!' People don't seem to consider errors made in checking their mirrors as important or worthy of comment as they do errors made stalling their car. This is incredible. If you are more concerned about how many times you stalled, rather than your mirrors and awareness, then I think that you need a lesson in perspective. If you miss a mirror check, you can potentially kill someone; however, the usual consequences of stalling are that you will hold a few people up for a few seconds. I'm not suggesting that stalling is a good thing to do; I am saying that if you are more concerned with stalling the car than with your mirror checks then you need to get things into perspective. Stalling may have serious consequences, especially if you stall in the middle of a roundabout, or at traffic lights just as they are about to change, but I don't understand why people place much more emphasis on this than missing a mirror check. Ask yourself how many times you keep thinking about the few times that you stalled on your lesson, compared to the many times that you missed a mirror or blind spot check.

  9. What is Pass plus?

    Pass Plus is an established training course aimed at new drivers. It was designed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) with the help of insurers and the driving instruction industry. Statistics show that new drivers are more likely to have an accident in the first two years after passing their test, due to lack of driving experience. Pass Plus builds on your skills and knowledge. It will teach you how to anticipate, plan for and deal with all kinds of hazards, to help you become a more confident driver. You can take a Pass Plus course at any time, but it’s mainly aimed at new drivers in the first year after passing their test. Pass Plus consists of six modules, usually conducted in three two hour lessons, about driving in different conditions: in town, in all weathers, on rural roads, at night, on dual carriageways and on motorways. Check whether your local authority supports Pass Plus. If it does support Pass Plus, it will usually help you with course costs (normally up to £100) At the moment if you live in the west Dunbartonshire district you can get a discount just contact: West Dunbartonshire Community Safety Partnership, Karen Prior - Community Safety Development Officer, West Dunbartonshire Council, Garshake Road, Dumbarton G82 3PU Tel: 01389 737 731. Email: [email protected] 

    When you have successfully completed your Pass Plus training course you'll be sent a Pass Plus certificate from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). You’ll be able to use this certificate to claim your motor insurance discount. Check for available discounts offered by insurance companies to drivers who have completed their Pass Plus course.

    The following insurers offer motor insurance benefits to car drivers who have passed Pass Plus:

    4Counties Insurance

    AA Insurance

    Adrian Flux Insurance Services

    Churchill Insurance


    Click4Gap (enter voucher code 'PASSPLUS10GAP')

    Direct Line




    Quinn Direct Insurance Ltd

    Royal and Sun Alliance

    Swinton Car Insurance

    Young Marmalade


  10. How much does the test cost?


    At the moment (June 2011) the theory test is £31 and the Practical driving test is £62 for weekdays and £75 for Weekday evening, weekends and bank holidays. On top of the practical test fee there is the cost of the lesson before the test (£22) and the fee for using my car for the test (£22).

    As this is, in my opinion, an expensive day I would say it is very important that you are ready to pass when you book your test.


  11. How does the scoring work in the hazard perception test?

    I had a pupil ask me this today and I thought as a few of you had asked me before I should put it here. So the score you get will depend upon how quickly you spot the developing hazard. The time from when the developing hazard could be potentially seen on the screen to when the vehicle arrives at the hazard is the time frame used to determine your score. This window of time is divided into 5 equal segments. If you click the mouse while in the first segment (i.e. just as the developing hazard appears) you will get the maximum score of 5 points. If you click in the second segment of this window of time you will score 4 points, then 3, then 2 and then just 1. This is accurate to one twenty fifth of a second. If you click several times during this window of time the computer will always take your highest score and record that for that particular clip. If you don’t click the mouse button in this window of time you will score nothing in respect to that hazard. If you try to cheat the system by clicking the button repeatedly throughout the video clip the computer program will pick this up. It does this by analysing the number of clicks over the clip as a whole and the pattern of clicks. Within the scoring window no such checks are made and if you click several times in this window only the first click will be used to determine your score, as stated earlier (i.e. the highest scoring click). When watching the video clips do not be frightened to click the mouse button whenever you see a potential hazard involving another road user (i.e. anything that you think may cause the driver to change speed, position or direction). Watch the hazard and if it continues to materialise continue to click the mouse button. This will ensure that you click within the scoring window. In a few instances it is difficult to determine when a potential hazard becomes a developing hazard and therefore when the scoring window should start. This is why it is safer to click a few times as you see a hazard develop to make sure you don’t click too early and miss the opening of this window.

    Hazard Perception Test Clip

    In the example above (supplied by the DSA) you will notice a very young child riding a bike on the pavement. This alone may be classified as a potential hazard, particularly as the child is unsupervised. However, the scoring window on this clip doesn’t open until the child starts to turn towards the road to cross it as shown below and highlighted by the red circle. This is the point at which the potential hazard becomes a developing hazard and the scoring window opens.

    Hazard Perception Test Clip 2

    Therefore if you had only clicked your mouse button once as you saw the child riding her bike along the pavement you would have scored zero. Therefore, remember to click the button a couple of times as the hazard develops to avoid this problem.

    Types of hazards you need to look for are:

    Pedestrians or cyclists crossing the road

    Vehicles emerging from side roads, parking places or driveways

    Large vehicles moving over to your side of the road

    Meeting oncoming vehicles on narrow roads or where other obstructions or slow moving vehicles make the road narrow

    Where animals may wander onto the road

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  1. What are the 'show me tell me' questions?

    Show Me Tell Me is the name given to the technical / safety questions asked by a driving examiner in the U.K. practical driving test. This element of the practical test was first introduced in September 2003, and the question bank was amended in July 2008. On your driving test you will be asked one 'show me' question and one 'tell me' question at the start of the test, after the eyesight test, but before starting the engine. The 'show me' question will require you to physically do something such as turning on lights or to point to something such as the engine oil dipstick and describe a procedure under the bonnet. The 'tell me' question will be purely verbal. Answer any or both of these two questions incorrectly and you will gain one driving test fault. You can find all the questions here 

  2. How to Reverse Park

    This takes advantage of a car's manoeuvrability when driving in reverse gear. When doing this you will be something of an obstacle, so use of the mirror-signal-manoeuvre routine is important. It is also vital to keep a lookout for passing traffic and pedestrians.The examiner on the driving test will expect you to: Reverse into a space of about two car lengths,park your car at the kerb safely, smoothly and under control, take all-round observation, do not get too close to the parked car, do not mount the kerb and stop reasonably close to the kerb. Before you move off check all around (remember P.O.M) Drive forward; check your mirrors then stop parallel to, and not more than one metre (half a door length) away from the target car. Select reverse gear. Look to check it's O.K. to move off. Drive back very slowly and watch for the corner of the target car appearing at the back of the passenger seat (if the target car is parked facing you then line up your wing mirror with the target car wing mirror). When you can see the corner of the target car on that point, stop and look all round the car. When the road is clear and it’s safe, turn the wheel to the left full lock, as the car is moving slowly. Check the road ahead and the road behind over your right shoulder. If it's safe, continue reversing until the car is about 45 degrees or “2 o’clock”. Then turn the wheel fully to the right. So that’s Full lock till two o’clock then full lock again, watching you clear the target car. The car will begin to swing in towards the kerb. Here you will be close to the kerb and the target car. Still move the car very slowly and take off some of the right lock (one and a half turns) when the car is just short of straight so that the front of your car does not swing in too far. Check your distance from the kerb and from the target car. Keep your car within two car lengths from the target car. Here you should be close to the kerb. If you need to correct your position you are allowed to move forward and backwards to get it right. But too much will be frowned upon by the Examiner. If you are not in the middle of the road and not on the kerb you should be O.K.

  3. How can I remember the Hazard drill?

    The best way to remember the hazard drill is to practice- any time you are in a vehicle approaching or emerging at a junction you need to go through the drill in your head (don't do it out loud unless you don't mind looking like a weirdo). Also you can use this to help - Must= Mirror/ Surely= Signal /Prevent=Position/ Some=Speed /Grief=Gear /Lawrence= Look .This gives you the fist letter of the drill in order.    

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