How Accessible Will Driverless Cars Be?

driverless car

It is predicted that over the course of the next decade, driverless technology will transform the way that we take to the road. There are six levels of automation, ranging from ‘no automation’ to ‘full automation’ and it’s believed that the first fully autonomous vehicles will be available between 2020 and 2025. This data is according to the Society of Automotive Engineers. We still have a way to go before we can work out the logistics, like preventing hacking, how the cars will interact with pedestrians and how the law will adapt. However, it’s definitely correct to say that fully automated cars are not so far in the distant future, so let’s take a look at how accessible they will be to the average working-class citizen.

Choice of Vehicle

Practically every major name in the vehicle industry is working on some form of autonomous vehicle technology. Ford, BMW, Renault-Nissan and GM are just some of the brands acquiring startup technology companies, hiring new talent or developing their own technology in-house. Historically, car makers have mostly focused on the body of their cars, and now they are suddenly finding themselves having to think about the software and elements of digital. With so many different industries suffering from not adapting quickly enough from analogue to digital, the car industry (estimated to be worth $2tn) is showing no signs of wishing to join that list.

BMW aims to have a fully autonomous car on the market by 2021 and is making steps towards that goal by partnering with a number of technology companies, including China’s own version of Google, Baidu. The first driverless flagship car will be the iNEXT, and it will most likely be electric. Ford has also announced that 2021 will be the year that they release a fully autonomous vehicle with no foot pedals, or steering wheel – this is particularly ambitious as its unknown when the law to have a car on the road without a steering wheel will be accepted in the UK. Honda has said that it aims to offer driverless technology on a range of models from 2020. Lastly, General Motors hasn’t stated when it expects to have a fully autonomous vehicle on the market, but it recently invested $500m in Lyft, and $1bn in a Detroit-based driverless test centre.

Will Everyday People be Able to Afford Them?

Self-driving cars are often sold as a dream for people who have limited mobility, as it will finally offer them their freedom – they can go anywhere they please, without relying on family members. However, this amazing technology, where a person will never need to touch a steering wheel or pedals, will come at a price. IHS Automotive has predicted that in 2025, driverless technology will add up to $10,000 on to the cost of a new car, before eventually dropping to $3,000 in 2035 when the technology is more common. IHS also predicted that only in 2050, will there be more autonomous cars on the road than ones that are driven by a human.

Companies such as Mercedes-Benz and Audi are at a better starting position, as their customers are well-off, and often willing to pay more for the technology in their vehicles. Semi-autonomous cars are expected to be much cheaper, with the likes of Honda developing cars with the technology for around $20,000.

With affordability a concern relating to driverless cars, there may be more finance options than ever before. As a result of General Motor’s investment into Lyft, it’s clear that ride-sharing will be a huge part of the market, and some industry experts are predicting that you may be able to rent a car on an ad-hoc basis, rather than owning your own. Finance dealers and leasing companies will also have to adapt to the market, with many of them worried about the issue of accidents occurring that could potentially write the car (and their asset) off. Leasing a driverless car may only be possible if elements of the driving are still controlled by a human, which means that for now, at least, you could find it difficult to purchase a fully autonomous car on finance.

Where We Are Today

As previously mentioned, a lot of vehicle brands are testing driverless technology, but we’re already seeing elements of it crop up in the cars that we are purchasing today. New cars can have cameras fitted to help with emergency braking, they can detect if you stray from your lane and correct the mistake for you, and certain models even have low-speed driving assistance which can control speed, braking and steering for you – but only if you keep your hands on the wheel at all times. At the moment, safety is still the primary concern, so any elements of driverless technology can always be overridden by a human. In 2018, hands-off driving, where you can take your hands off the wheel for up to three minutes on a highway will come into action, but you’ll be reminded to put your hands back on the wheel, and if you don’t, the car will stop – again, safety is the primary concern.

It’s clear that fully autonomous cars are closer to becoming accessible to the general public, but the law and the car finance industry still have a lot of catching up to do before we will see them on our roads. Although the vehicles might be on sale by 2021, it will be a while before you can sit in a car, reading your newspaper on your daily commute and not pay any attention to the road.

Could You Get Cash Back If You Pass Test First Time?

driving-test-cashbackThe Government are considering a scheme which will allow drivers to receive a cashback reward if they pass their driving tests in one go. The scheme was introduced after it was found that many drivers take their test too early, which is wasting the £62 it costs to take a test on a weekday or £75 for the weekend.

One in five learners fail their first driving test to get a licence from the DVLA. Most drivers will usually only pass on their second or third attempts. The Government hopes that, by offering a cash incentive, which will come in the form of receiving part of your test cost back, learners will be encouraged to wait until they have taken more lessons before having a go at the test.

Learners tend to book their tests shortly after they begin learning to ensure they get a slot which is suitable for them. However, most learners will need an average of 45 hours worth of practice before they are ready. The Government hopes that by offering an incentive to wait people will no longer rush to book their test. This should free up more spaces for learners to book their exams after they have had some time to practice. It could also save people money – especially considering it will usually cost nearly £1000 to take 45 hours worth of lessons.

The Transport Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “This is a bold and ambitious approach aimed at putting the user at the heart of everything the motoring agencies do.”

Around 1.4 million driving tests are taken every single year. More people, figures revealed last year, are able to pass their test if they have been learning in suburban areas with quiet roads. Meanwhile, it is harder for people living in city centres. The highest pass rates in the country were in Kendal, Barrow In Furness and on the Isle Of Skye. Meanwhile, Birmingham, Bradford and London had the worst figures.

Learner drivers can contact the DVLA for information about driving exams.

Driving A Petrol Car After Learning In Diesel

driving-407181_1280There is always quite a difficult transition between passing your test and learning to drive your own vehicle. The lack of an instructor alongside you, who has the ability to control the peddles if necessary, is one thing. Another is potentially driving a completely different type of car. Switching cars right after passing your practical exam can feel like learning to drive all over again. Much of what you have just got used to is discarded and must be re-learned. This is especially the case if you have been taught in a diesel car and are now driving a petrol one.

For those who are not entirely familiar with the mechanics of owning a vehicle, petrol cars have a significantly different style of driving to diesel ones. Cars all have different biting points for the clutch, for instance, and this is always something you have to get used to when you change vehicles, but the bite on petrol cars is much lighter to that of diesel ones. New drivers making the transition may notice they are stalling significantly more often. You can, however, attempt to remedy this by putting more emphasis on the accelerator before lifting the clutch. It might make cars alongside you think you are asking for a drag race, but it will help ease the process!

In fact, you will have to give your petrol car more revs in any situation. Compared to a diesel vehicle, petrol ones require a bit more of a wallop in order to get them up to speed. They aren’t quite as smooth as diesel cars, even if they are much quieter. This will be especially challenging for when you are tasked with performing a manoeuvre such as turning in the road or parallel parking. Whereas diesel cars didn’t need much gas at all – you could probably do it all with just clutch control – petrol ones will.

These are the main things to be aware of if you are switching from one type of car to another. However, do not worry. With practice, you will become comfortable behind the wheel of your new vehicle and prove yourself worthy of that pink licence.


Is It Worth Learning To Drive In London?

drivinglessonDriving lessons are quite a major expense for people young and old. It is not only the many lessons you have to take to master the skill it require to operate a vehicle; there is also the theory and practical tests you need to take. For people living in the regional areas of the United Kingdom, this is an unfortunate necessity unless you want to rely on lifts from friends or inconvenient public transport. However, for people in London, this is quite a difficult decision to make. Is there any point learning to drive if you are living in the British capitol?

There are many arguments against beginning driving lessons in the city and its surrounding areas. Perhaps the most compelling is that London has one of the most quickest and most efficient transport systems in the world: the Underground. The Tube system can be found on almost every street corner. It provides easy access to almost every single area of London and has even recently improved even further to allow 24 hour travel at weekends.

The easy accessibility the cost of travelling around is certainly not the only reason one might hesitate to begin driving lessons. It’s also much cheaper to use the overground or underground than it is to run a car in London. Furthermore, public transport is not susceptible to the Congestion Charge of £11.50 prior to travel or £14 afterwards.

However, there are also some very good reasons for taking driving tests in London. While you may want to stay away from Central London, there is no telling when you will need to commute to other boroughs or surrounding areas of London where public transport isn’t so convenient. Similarly, taking driving lessons in areas like Kingston, Camden, Islington and other areas of London gives you much greater freedom to move around outside of the city. You never know where your job or education might take you.

At the end of the day, perhaps the best argument one could make in favour in learning to drive in London is the simplest one: why not? There may or may not come a time in your life when you need a car to take you somewhere, and there may or may not come a time when you move away from the capitol. In the event that this happens, you do not have to cram in an intensive driving tutoring to quickly learn the skills. Rather, you will already be equipped with them – and just like riding a bike, you may need some time to re-master them, but you will never forget.

The Pros & Cons of Taking an Intensive Driving Course

learner-driver-on-roadMost people learning to drive will take regular lessons every week over the course of several months to a year. This standard way of learning is useful in the way that it enables learners to slowly build up their experience on the roads, giving them plenty of time (as long as they need) to grow comfortable enough in order to take their test.

There is, however, another way of learning, and that’s by taking an intensive driving course over a period of just a few days. You can choose to either spread the days out over a period of a few weeks, or simply take off for a week and get it done all in one go ( Look at the driving lessons in Liverpool example here).

Whatever you choose, an intensive driving course can be a great if you don’t want to hang about. However, there are some things to bear in mind before you decide to take one…


  • Intensive courses require a hefty pay-out upfront, meaning you’ll need to have the cash available before you can commit to one. However, they can often end up more cost-effective in the long run, as some people can pay over £1000 for regular lessons before they’ve even discussed taking their test.



  • Taking an intensive course is the ideal solution if you need to learn to drive in a hurry, for a reason like a job requirement or a relocation. For many, getting it all over an done with in a contained period is appealing. It means they can simply block out all other life distractions whilst they concentrate on their goal.


  • An intensive course requires total dedication and commitment on your part in order to bring about the most successful results. If your heart’s not in it, and you’re not intent on learning as much as you can in the allotted period, then it’s probably not the best use of your time, or your money!


  • Intensive courses have the potential to feel overwhelming and stressful. You’ll be spending several hours a day with your driving instructor in a confined period, so its really important you choose the right one. There’ll also be no time to feel disheartened about your mistakes or ponder about what went wrong in between lessons – you’ll be right back behind the wheel again the following day! However, many people view this as a good thing, as it pushes you to keep going when things get tough.


  • You’ll probably be required to spend time away from home (up to a week) should you choose to do your intensive course all at once. This can be difficult for home-birds, but others prefer to get time away from family and friends whilst they focus on achieving their goal.


  • Taking an intensive driving course does not guarantee that you will pass your test at the end, and failing can feel all the more disappointing when you have paid a substantial fee to get there. However, most people who fail an intensiv
    e driving course test usually only need a handful of more short lessons to tweak any shortcomings and patch up their mistakes. Your instructor will be happy to give you any additional help you need, or you may wish to try someone new instead.


  • Some people believe tpassing-driving-testhat 1-2 weeks is not an appropriate amount of time to equip somebody with the knowledge and experience needed for something as huge as driving. With the learner needing to digest so much knowledge very quickly, the retention of this information may also not be very high, meaning the learner might have forgotten a lot of it just weeks after doing their course.


  • However, with constant practice even after passing one’s test, new drivers can build up this experience slowly, and driving with other more experienced drivers can also be a good aid to eventually driving independently. Passing a test is only the beginning – learning to drive with confidence will come later.

Learning To Drive – What You Need To Know

So you’ve decided to learn to drive – exciting! Before you start searching for your preferred driving instructor though (or perhaps you’ve found one already), there are some things you’ll need to know.

Driving lessons are often fun, thrilling, beneficial and rewarding. But they can also be hard work, and your learning process must align with the standard codes and practices to ensure you stay safe.

1) Before you can begin drivprovisional-driving-licenceing lessons, you must have a provisional driver’s licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland, depending where you are from. You can apply for a provisional driving licence after your 16th birthday by visiting the website, or picking up a form at your local Post Office.

Note that the photo ID card you will carry around with you is NOT your actual provisional licence. The licence part is the form you will receive whenapproved-driving-instructor-badge the Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) issues you your card. On your first driving lesson, you must bring both parts of the form along with your photo ID card.

2) Your driving instructor must be approved by the DVSA, which regulates all driving instructors, including trainee ones. Check that your driving instructor displays a green badge in their windscreen (pink if they are a trainee) and don’t be afraid to ask your instructor if you can’t see it.

If you have been charged for lessons by somebody who turns out not to be an approved driving instructor, you can report them to the DVSA.

3) When learning to drive, you can drive with friends and family providing they are authorised to supervise you. This means they must:

  • Be 21 years of age
  • Have had a driver’s licence for three years or more
  • Have the right licence for driving the type of car you are driving (automatic or manual).

learner-driver-on-roadWhen out on the road without your instructor, you must always display ‘L’ plates on the front and back of your car if you live in the UK. If you live in Wales, you can use ‘L’ or ‘D’ plates.

4) Its important to track your progress as you learn to drive – what you’ll know what you cover in each lesson; what you have mastered; what you still need to work on etc.

Not only will this help you be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, it will also help you determine whether your current instructor is value for money. If after several hours of lessons you feel you haven’t made progress, you can have a word with your instructor or simply switch to another one.

You instructor will probably give you a card to mark on what you’ve covered. Otherwise, you can download one from the driving website.

5) Its useful to start learning the Highway Code and preparing for your Theory Test as soon as possible. The earlier you start, the more time you will have to absorb this knowledge, so canlearning-to-drive take it at a slower pace without feeling rushed. Pick up a Highway Code book from any bookshop, or ask your instructor to recommend or lend one.

You can also take practice Theory Tests online at the website, to get a feel for the questions you will be asked. You can take the practice tests as many times as you’d like.

Cars for Learner Drivers


For lots of people learning to drive can be stressful, from the financial investment to deciding what car to get, im here to give you advise and take some of the weight of you shoulders. First of i would like to say that you don’t need a big powerful sports car for your first car, you just need something that’s going to get you around, i have some examples.



corsa 1Vauxhall Corsa

The corsa is my first choice because it is used by more driving schools then any other, and the professionals cant be wrong. Also with the cheap body parts in case of a minor collision with a lampost, you cant go wrong. In addition to the affordable car insurance and relatively high driving position it is perfect for beginner drivers.



rollerFord Ka

The ford Ka well where do i start, im sure we have all seen this little car in are life time, this is the perfect car for a new driver to have a bit of fun in, the ka is lighter on its feet compared to the heavyweight corsa, also with the cheap insurance its a definite contender for you first car.




roller 2

Peugeot 107

The last car in my selection is a 107, i went for the 107 because its small cheap to run and easy to park, this will be perfect for beginner drivers, that will still be building confidence on the roads and in car parks. The 107 has a three-cylinder engine, it is quiet and provides good performance at town speeds.


What i Need to Know

For a learner driver or a new driver buying a car can be problematic,dont forget like every thing in life you can negotiate
so don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price you got nothing to lose and everything to gain, in addition if you feel like you don’t like someting on the car don’t be afraid to just say its not for me and go. Finally if you are going to negotiate  you need to become an expert in what you plan to buy, as this will give you confidence and help you negotiate and possible get a lower price on your car.


Car or Bike ?

Well i can only tell you my opion but i believe that riding a bike is stupid, yes it is cheaper but is the money worth the risk you will face every time you step on to it, also be preparde to be pulled over by the police as a young person on a bike automatically sets of alarm bells . And finally you need to decide where you will be driving if its short trips a small car is ok, but if you are going on regular long hall trips then you might want to consider a bigger car with a bigger engine.