Theory test fees.

Theory test fees.

The DVSA has announced that they have launched a consultation on changing the theory test fees.
Under the new plans learner drivers could see a fall in prices for the car driving theory test of £6 from October 2014 and a further reduction of £2 planned from October 2015.

Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond, said:

“We are determined to keep motoring costs down, so we want to make sure theory tests offer the best value for money while continuing to meet rigorous standards”…

..”The theory test plays a vital role in making sure that new drivers know the Highway Code and the rules of the road. Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to providing value for money services that help to keep our roads among the safest in the world.”

Theory Test Type Current Price Price – 2014 Price – 2015
Car £31 £25 £23
Motorcycle £31 £25 £23

The proposals which could save learner drivers £100 million pounds follows the governments commitment to reducing the cost of motoring.

DVSA Chief Executive, Alastair Peoples, said:

“By agreeing new contract arrangements for the delivery of theory tests we have secured significant cost savings, and it is right that we pass these savings on to our customers. We want to make sure that we continue to keep pace with customers’ needs and deliver services in a way which is both convenient and cost effective.”

Another effort to reduce the cost of motoring includes clamping down on the compensation culture. Whiplash claimants will now be targeted by medical panels to ensure only accredited professionals can give evidence, in an aim to prevent fraudulent claims.
The price of MOT testing has also been frozen at a maximum £54.85 until 2015.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said:

“The costs of owning and running a car are felt by millions of households and businesses across the nation. The government is determined to help keep those costs down. That is why we are freezing the price for an MOT test and looking again at the costs associated with getting a driving licence.”

Foreign language tests end

Foreign language tests end.

From the 7th April 2014 driving test candidates will no longer be able to have the aid of a foreign language voiceover or interpreter on their driving test.

The transport minister – Stephen Hammond said:

“It is essential that all road users have the right skills to use our roads safely and responsibly. By stopping driving tests in foreign languages we will cut out the risk of fraud, and help to ensure that all drivers can read road signs and fully understand the rules of the road.”

One of the main reasons for the end in foreign language tests is to help reduce driving test fraud. Since 2008 over 1300 theory test passes have been revoked due to fraudulent interpreters. After an investigation it was found that learners were being fed correct answers without the examiners being aware.

The DVSA stated that between 2008 and 2009 more than 20 percent of the tests taken with a foreign language interpreter were fraudulent.

Another reason for the change has been concerns over the lack of understanding of road safety, for example an individual not being able to read road signs or details of the rules of the roads. Likewise, not being able to communicate with road enforcement officers.

The review from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) consulted almost 2000 people and more than 70% agreed with ending the tests.

In the past 19 different languages were available to take your test in. This has now been reduced to English and Welsh.

Candidates with special needs such as dyslexia or hearing difficulties will still be able to receive help.

Increasing the Licence Renewal to 80

Alex Pallister

Social Media Manager.
Web Manager.

Increasing the Licence Renewal to 80

In the news this week it has been reported that the government maybe planning on increasing the licence renewing age from 70 to 80. By the looks of it, this is due mainly to cost cutting more than anything else. The DVLA seems to be under pressure to reduce it’s cost by £420 million and with 4 million drivers (as reported by the wanting to keep their licence who are over the age of 70, this looks to be one of their cost cutting measures.
One of the main factors that pops up time after time when I have been researching this topic, is not so much an older drivers ability but their decreasing health and reaction times. Many elderly people develop health conditions, which greatly impact on their driving ability. These include vision and hearing changes, joint pains and side effects of medications. So I hear you say, well – they need to inform the DVLA of any health changes affecting their driving. Whilst yes, this is true, what happens if someone develops alzheimers and genuinely doesn’t realize that they have an issue? Not everyone has a loved one around to notice a change. This would not only endanger themselves, but it could potentially harm other road users.

This reigns true when you read this quote from Rospa:

Reported statistics indicate that the risk of being involved in an accident increases after the age of 70, and up to that age drivers are no more likely to cause a crash than to be the victim of another road user’s mistake. However, drivers over 70 and especially over 80 years, drivers are more likely to be at fault when they crash.

At present when you reach the age of 70 you have to renew your car licence every 3 years, however in lorries, minibuses or buses when you reach 45 you have to renew it every 5 years and upon reaching the age of 65 you have to renew it every year. So, it begs the question what’s the difference?

Having looked into this topic, many opinions seem to be repeated over and over. The main one being, re-test. My question would be, is this fair? What says you’re going to be a worse driver on your 70th birthday than you were the week before? Many people of this age will have passed decades ago, trust me the driving test is very different now. So would they have to do a full retest? Or a refresher?

Many elderly people see their driving licence as a lifeline and if they gave it up then it’s the beginning of the end.

At the end of the day we can pull statistics for both sides of the argument, ie younger drivers cause more crashes than older ones. I do believe that something needs to be done, however for once in my life I don’t have a strong view point. If I was forced to make an opinion then I would say everyone (not just the elderly) should be forced into an assessment every few years, both for driving and medical fitness. I feel that passing your test at 17, having driven around supervised for 40 minutes isn’t going to guarantee you’re a safe driver for the decades to come. But how would this be implemented, who’s going to pay for this? Would it work?

So the real question is – to self regulate or not to self regulate?
Answers on a postcard!

Learning to drive around the world.

Alex Pallister

Social Media Manager.
Web Manager.

Learning to drive around the world.

Through our call centre we get a lot of phone calls from worried students and even students from other countries who have native licences enquiring about how difficult the UK Driving test is or if they can drive on their current licence.
In comparison to other countries our test is very different. Some will argue it’s too easy, some too hard. I will let you decide on that, but I thought I would enlighten you with how other countries regulate their driving licences.


This is arguably one of the harder tests from around the world. You must go through numerous tests and it will take a minimum of 2 years to obtain a full licence. Lessons range from skid pan sessions to night time driving. You must then take a 2 part exam before being eligible for your licence.


Egypt however is much, much simpler. In the past it was driving the car forward a few meters and then reversing back, however it has now been made more complicated by the addition of ten questions and having to maneuverer around a few cones or lines.

Saudia Arabia

Whilst some discretion is often used for people from western countries, women in Saudi Arabia are banned from driving. In fact, they may only be allowed to travel in a car if they are accompanied by their father, husband or male relative.


In Japan you learn on fake, purpose-made roads in full-scale replica cities!


Before you can take your exam you must have clocked up at least 3000 km or driving experience with a qualified driver. You are also restricted to a lower speed limit on motorways of 110km per hour.


Until recently you could buy a licence without taking any tests at all.


In Russia all driving tests are taken in Russian, so any foreign nationals need to be fluent in the language to take the test.
You must hold a certificate of mental fitness and you must not have a history of substance abuse.


When you have passed a test in Greece, new drivers must show a red ‘N’ visible in the back window for 6 months.


Like the U.K. they have a points system and if you reach 20 your licence will be suspended. You must also carry your licence on you at all times when driving. In Brazil you are taught to drive defensively because the risk of being car-jacked is so high!

So as you can see, there are many rules for every country and nearly all are different. This is in no way a full representation of rules for each of these countries, but please leave your own experiences in the comments.

If you have a licence from another country and you are not sure if you can use it in the U.K. then please contact the DVLA for full information.

Zero Faults with Bill Plant Driving Instructors

Well we just get excited, the air has a buzz to it and the general atmosphere has life and tingles to it. Smiles appear across all faces and that flicker of pure happiness is clear in every persons eyes as they too hear the news of yet another triumphant achievement felt by so very few…

We are of course talking about that little bit of news that flies back to the Bill Plant Driving School head office every time a pupil who has been taking lessons with a Bill Plant Driving School driving instructor has managed to float seemingly effortlessly through their driving test, and has received that statement, “Congratulations, you have passed”, and what is more, with not even a single minor fault at all!

Congratulations to you!

Passing your driving test in the UK without a single minor fault is something to be awed at. Managing this feat of driving skill whilst all-the-while being scrutinised and judged at each and every turn is a serious achievement worthy of applaud from all.
The UK Driving Standards Agency sets these minor driving faults with a cap of 15 minor driving faults resulting in the failed driving test attempt. Minor driving faults can occur from various driving errors that do not constitute a dangerous or plausibly dangerous driving fault. Accidentally missing a gear or failure to check a mirror during a maneouvre may constitute a minor driving fault depending on the specific circumstances at the time. However failure to check over your shoulder and look toward your blind spot when changing lane for example, may result in an instant fail as this will no doubt be classed as a serious fault as it could potentially cause danger to yourself and/or other road users.
More dangerous mistakes during taking your driving test will be classed as a dangerous fault as they may involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public, or property.
These will always result in an instant test fail.

So, regardless of which driving school you have chosen to take your driving lessons with, managing to maneouvre your way through your test and making no dangerous faults is certainly something to applaud. Going a step further and making no serious faults either, that albeit do not pose an immediate threat of danger to yourself nor the other road users, is again something to applaud. Getting through this somewhat nerve racking scrutinising experience without accumulating any more than 15 minor driving faults that do not pose a threat of danger whatsoever, is a pass, and is to most people the single most important achievement of their early lives.
Getting through the entire UK driving test without making so much as a single mistake, well, this is altogether something else, and is definitely an achievement worth noting and making public!
Today our congratulations go out to this pupil having pulled off this magnificent feat in Hull, Yorkshire, following instruction from Mick Knowles, a Bill Plant Driving Instructor based in Brough, Yorkshire.

Mick Knowles Zero Faults

Another happy chappy after getting through the driving test without a single minor driver error, with Nigel Smart in Harpenden! Congrtulations!

Nigel Smart Zero Faults

This young gent has flown through his driving test just the other day in York, North Yorkshire with non other than Mark Deighton, and has done so without getting a single minor fault and also on his first ever test! Congrtulations to you!

Mark Deighton Zero Faults

We’re going to be putting fresh pictures here every time we get this great news of pupils passing their driving tests with the Bill Plant Driving School, having done so with no minor faults, why, well we just want to shout it out!


Practical Driving Test – Bill Plant Driving Instructors Help

Young driving insurance no longer needs to be such a daunting prospect to find.  Insurance companies today are more aware than ever that they need to make insuring young drivers as affordable as possible. There are many websites which offer insurance comparisons for younger drivers so that they can find the most affordable options available.\r\n\r\nThe chance to compare hundreds of the leading car insurance companies is always online and you may be surprised at the immediate deals they can offer.   Obviously more powerful cars will increase the  insurance premiums for younger drivers and to maximise the number of results in sites that compare insurance full driver details are required.’, ‘Teen Driving Insurance’, 0, ”, ‘publish’, ‘open’, ‘open’, ”, ‘teen-driving-insurance’, ”, ”, ’2007-09-25 16:02:56′, ’2007-09-25 15:02:56′, ”, 0, ‘’, 0, ‘post’, ”, 1),
(24, 1, ’2007-09-26 16:01:37′, ’2007-09-26 15:01:37′, ‘Bill Plant driving instructors will tell you the best time you should apply for your driving test practical after you have passed the theory test. A period of at least 2 weeks will elapse until you receive your test date.\r\n\r\nYour driving instructor will of course help you with your driving test application should you need it.\r\n\r\nThings to know about the Practical Driving Test \r\n

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    The driving test itself will take approximately 45 minutes and be conducted locally by your DSA examiner.


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    Town driving will be focused on and take up most of the test


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    There may be a variation in routes which will involve both single and dual carriageway driving


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    The driving examiner will take you out of 30mph limit areas


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    The driving examiner will ask if you can read a car number plate at a certain distance just after you leave the test centre


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    You will be asked 2 questions about car maintenance and safety before getting into the car which you will be taking your driving test in


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\r\nOn your driving test day you will need certain documentation with you, such as your test appointment card, some form of photo ID and of course your driving licence.