How COVID-19 is effecting driving instructors

Since the 23rd March 2020, the majority of the country has been on lock down due to the Corona virus (Covid-19). According to media sources including Wikipedia, the outbreak was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and was declared to be a public health emergency on an international concern.

I don’t want to write about how many people are dying around the world due to Corona virus related symptoms as this is too much of a delicate subject and one that I am not qualified to write about. But we do know that it’s causing stress and heartbreak throughout.

Keeping on-point and keeping my article relevant to my industry, the majority of driving instructors throughout the united kingdom stopped working on the 23rd March 2020 after listening to the  advice that was coming from the government, in particular, social distancing. It’s impossible for a driving instructor to do their job in such a confined space and still adhere to the 2 meter rule.

There are however a few driving instructors still working as of today’s date although the numbers are reducing and the reason that some instructors are allowed to teach is because they are teaching key workers. Albeit the category of key worker is mainly members of the NHS and the emergency services and all driving instructors are watching the situation closely.

As with the majority of self-employed people, we have closed our business during these times and we are all experiencing financial struggles in one way or another. The government have assured the self-employed that there will be assistance in the form of 80% grant according to the last three tax years and taking an average of this. We are to believe that this scheme will be in place by June and for some of us this can’t come soon enough.

Due to driver training industry coming to a stand-still, this obviously has an impact on driving test waiting times. Those students who already had a test booked for the back end of March and April now have these dates pushed back. At the moment of writing this article, we are seeing test dates come back for the end of June and early July. Whether or not these dates change, well we can only keep an eye on what is happening and keep listening to government advice.

There’s an air of uncertainty when we do eventually go back to work in that we’re not too sure what the whole economy is going to be like. Will there be a recession? We just don’t know at this stage? Will it effect driving instructors? Again I’m unsure as to what effect the current crisis will have on our industry, especially with the social distancing rule. I suppose we just have to keep listening out for changes and take each day as it comes.

Does the North South divide exist?

We often hear about the so called “North South Divide” and I was wondering if this is true? It may be true in non-related industry matters such as regional accents and competitive things such as football, but what about our jobs? Is there a difference in salary? Well after doing a very small bit of research I thought I would put my findings into a Blog and write a short article about the difference in the price of driving lessons in Durham for example which is in the North East region and compare some areas against Andover.

It’s common belief that and perhaps it’s true that products, salaries and the cost of living in general is much cheaper the further North of the Watford gap you travel. I’ve recently been speaking to a driving school who are based in Durham and we’ve compared the prices for driving lessons and it’s clear to see that Durham and surrounding areas are charging much cheaper prices than driving schools in Romford and especially in Andover which is where Superdrive Academy is based.

it’s probably safe to say that houses are cheaper in the North than what they are in the South, especially around London so is it an economic thing? I’m not too sure and I don’t know the answer. I can travel 18 miles away from Andover and I know that I can find driving schools charging from £5 to £10 cheaper but yet we still use the same test centre and can almost have the same clients from the same colleges for example.

I can’t understand what is attached to a pricing structure and the differences. Is it the local authorities and the rates they charge such as council tax? Is it something completely different? It can’t be rates or things related such as council tax because if we have a look at the charge for council tax it’s probably safe to say that London has the highest rate for council tax but yet I’ve found driving schools charging less than what we do here in Andover.

I don’t think that one of the reasons for the differences in price is the quality of tuition. I know some really good quality driving instructors North of the Watford gap and there are loads of instructors better than me.

As a summary and a final note, I don’t think we will ever know the difference or the reasoning for the gap in price for driving lessons. It may just always be a mystery.

Superdrive Academy move into Salisbury

We knew Salisbury was a lovely city and the cathedral attracts thousands of tourists world wide. Salisbury is a beautiful part of Wiltshire and has some excellent scenic rural areas too. Not only does Salisbury attract thousands of visitors each year, it has also attracted Superdrive Academy.

Although Superdrive Academy headquarters are based in Andover, Hampshire. We’ve had a fair bit of interest from the general public asking us for driving lessons. We use Salisbury test centre because Andover doesn’t have a driving test centre so some of our driving instructors travel out to Salisbury.

Maybe we’ve been getting enquiries from the general public in Salisbury because they’ve seen our cars in the area. Due to public demand, a decision was made to expand into the area. So we put a plan together and trained up three driving instructors in Salisbury so we could cater for the demand. In just a short space of time, we’ve been able to place both male and female driving instructors in Salisbury and we’re pleased to say that all three instructors are busy.

If truth be known, we’re actually maxed out in Salisbury now as the demand for our services is increasing. As a business, we take this as a compliment, we’re obviously doing something right. We’re also pleased to say that we have a fantastic pass rate using the Salisbury test centre and all of the driving examiners there are great. Long gone has the horrid tales of driving examiners being the ogar, if anything, it’s the opposite. There’s even a tea and coffee making facilities inside the test centre as not every test centre around the country offer such facilities. So now, whilst our learner drivers are out on their driving test, us instructors can enjoy a brew. Moving into Salisbury wasn’t all plain sailing, we had to get used to the area too, like many towns and cities throughout the united kingdon, it has some quirky roundabouts and back streets. If you’re interested in taking lessons with Superdrive Academy in Salisbury, then visit our Salisbury page here – Driving Instructors Salisbury.

If you want to know more about Salisbury and what it has to offer, then there’s a good article on Wikipedia here

Local Driving School Wins Award

Wow, what a year 2019 is turning out to be. We’re just about a quarter of the way in and Superdrive Academy has already won an award for best driving school. It came as a complete shock to us as we weren’t expecting to come away with an award. We didn’t even consider ourselves as a runner-up so to come first in our category was absolutely brilliant and all of the team at Superdrive Academy are overwhelmed and delighted to have been chosen as the winner.

This wouldn’t have been possible without our hard working team of driving instructors in Andover and the surrounding towns and cities. Since we launched Superdrive Academy, we have spread out into Salisbury, Winchester, Basingstoke and all of the surrounding villages between these areas. Our success is also down to our staff who work behind the scenes and who contribute so much by doing constant marketing, public relations, advertising and lots of other things to which all help the business tick over.

This is the second time Superdrive Academy have won an award, we’re going to have to find another shelf in our office so we can proudly display our magnificent achievements if our success continues at this rate.

At the heart of our company, our roots lie with teaching learners’ to reach a safe and competent level to be able to drive safely and independently. Once a learner has reached a good and safe standard of driving, they should then hopefully be able to pass the driving test. We have a lot more information about learning to drive on any of these pages – Learn to Drive. We also have a driving instructor training department. We train up anyone who wants to become a driving instructor and in most cases we can then offer our trainees a place within our team. The training is tough and unfortuanately not everyone can pass the qualification exams. Statistics shows us that on a national average, probably only one in three people go on a qualify as a driving instructor. However, at Superdrive Academy we can boast that we have a 100% pass record. If you’re interested in becoming a driving instructor, then you can find out more about the qualification process here – Driving instructor training.

Andover driving instructors have gone spotty?

A group of local independent driving instructors have come together to fund-raise for the BBC Children in Need charity. The fund-raising event is called “The Big Learner Relay” (BLR) which is officially partnered up with the BBC.

The Big Learner Relay, which is now in its 5th year is a two-week event. It features driving instructors from all corners of the United Kingdom with learner drivers travelling in convoy relaying a Pudsey Bear accompanied by the head organiser for the BLR relay, Lou Walsh.

With many months in planning and travelling in convoy for over 3000 miles, this year the Big Learner Relay is coming to Andover.

Local driving instructor Shaun Harrington-Lunt from Superdrive Academy is going to be the lead car of the convoy with other local driving schools travelling behind in convoy, which include Chris Reilly and Sarah Dunlop also from Superdrive Academy, Emily Green and Tracey Russell from Green Light Driving Academy, Aimee Cook from Andover Driving School, Rachel Hicks from Rachel’s Driving School and Simon Crowe from New Driver.

Shaun says, “we’ve also had two other local driving schools, Jude from Jude’s Driving School and Martyn Cowell from Martyn Cowell’s Driving School helping to fundraise and although they’re unable to take part in the relay event due to other commitments, I’m very grateful for their donations”.  As a group of independent businesses, I’m very proud how we’ve come together as a team to take part in this great fund-raising event.

The Big Learner Relay starts with a day in Jersey on Monday 29th October followed by a day in Northern Ireland on Wednesday 31st October.  The convoy will then continue and relay around the rest of the UK from Friday 2nd November.  The grand finale will be a lap or two around Silverstone Race Circuit on Friday 16th November, which is the Children in Need Appeal Day 2018.

The Andover team have been designated a route which is from Thruxton Race Circuit and will be travelling in convoy each with a learner driver to Wilton House, Salisbury. This will be taking place on the 12th November.

To help us fundraise, the team of driving instructors have placed spots on their car. The idea behind this is that anyone can sponsor a spot by simply signing a spot and then making a small donation. So, if you see a local driving school car with spots on, then please feel free to come over and sponsor a spot.

Alternatively, if you don’t get an opportunity to sign a spot, you can still make a small donation by TEXT message or by visiting our Just Giving page.

To donate by text message, just simply text TBLR94 with the amount £5 to 70070 so it would look like this:
TBLR94 £5 (the amount you donate is optional)

To make a donation via our Just Giving page, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andoverblr

We’re also very excited to have received a Skid-pan course from Thruxton Motor Sport as part of our fundraising activities which you could have a chance of winning. To be in with a chance of winning this great prize, all you have to do is make a small donation using any of the above methods before the 12th November. We’ll then choose one lucky winner on the 13th November.

Birthday & Christmas Gift Vouchers

Give that perfect gift to someone at Birthday or Christmas time and surprise them with a gift voucher for driving lessons. This would truly be a unique gift that would be certain to fill them with smiles and joy. All of our gift vouchers come with a MONEY BACK GUARANTEE.

Vouchers come in lesson blocks of 3, 5 or 10.

Voucher deals
3 Driving lessons = £90
5 Driving lessons = £140
10 Driving lessons = £275

To enquire, just simply send a text message with the word VOUCHER to 0774 376 8369 and we’ll get in touch. Or alternatively, you can use our contact page to make an enquiry

Superdrive Academy – The Driver Training Experts (Andover).

Driving Test “Tell Me” Questions

This video goes through the questions that you can get asked on your driving test. Only one “Tell Me” question will be asked, the same goes for the “Show Me” questions. Please watch the “Show Me” video to find out more. You can get recorded down for a driving fault if you get the “Tell Me” question wrong so it’s best to be very familiar with all of the controls and their operations of the car that you’ll be using for your driving test. Your driving instructor should go through these questions with you. Good luck fro your driving test.

Driving Test “Show Me” Questions

On your driving test, you will be asked one “Show Me” question and one “Tell Me” questions. This video goes through the “Show Me” questions. Please remember that the car may be different to the car in the video so it’s of paramount importance that you get familiar with all of the controls and their operation in the car that you’ll be using for your driving test. You can actually fail your driving test if you commit a serious driving fault whilst operating any of the controls.