Temporary Closure

Temporary Closure

Temporary Closure. 

We will be back.  

Temporary closure of driving schools 

Due to the Coronavirus, it is regrettable but fully understandable that the government has ordered the closure of small businesses and shops.  Therefore driving schools have also been forced to close until further notice.  In order the bring the spread of the virus under control all citizens have been advised to keep a safe distance of at least 2 metres from others and only to leave their homes if it is absolutely necessary.  Social distancing would be impossible in the car so for everyone’s safety please be understanding at this time.

Theory & driving tests

The DVSA also took the decision to suspend all theory and practical tests shortly before the formal governments’ announcement.  Therefore until further notice, there will be no theory or practical tests, however, NHS and frontline key workers could still be offered the chance to take a test if it is urgently required.  If this is the case then the candidate will need to contact the DVSA by email for this to be arranged.

Any candidate that has had a test cancelled or postpone will be contacted directly by the DVSA and your tests will be rearranged free of charge.  Candidates will also have the option to request a full refund if it is required.

Don’t blame your instructor

These are unprecedented times for all of us, so please do not blame your instructor – all driving instructors are self-employed and do not get paid unless they work.  Myself and my colleagues are finding this situation very stressful and are waiting to hear if the government are going to do to help the self-employed.  It has only been a few days where we have all been asked to self-isolate and already we are wanting to get back to work – teaching people to drive is what we all enjoy doing and we are looking forward to returning to work as soon as we possibly can.

We will be back

Once the risks of the coronavirus have passed and the government have lifted the restrictions on the movement citizens we will be back to work.  It may take a while for the DVSA to get driving test up and running again so please be patient as there is nothing any of us driving instructors can do, other than to offer our learner drivers support.  We will look forward to getting back in the car and teaching again as soon as we are allowed to do so.


Thank you to  those amazing heroes still working

Please stay safe and well, stay indoors and follow the government’s advice.  Let’s all give a loud round of applause to the NHS staff, care workers, shop assistants, delivery drivers, emergency services and all of those who are still working and putting themselves at risk to keep the country running.


From all Driving Instructors up and down the country,

Paul Loader ADI
(Paul’s Automatic Driving School)

Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update. 

Coronavirus Update
by Paul Loader ADI

Can driving lessons still go ahead?

Many people are getting in touch with their instructors to find out if driving lessons can still go ahead.  In short, the answer is yes they can.  There is no government advise or DVSA directive to instructors to cancel or postpone any driving lessons at this stage.

Due to the confined environment, the cars interior hygiene is very important.  The advice from a professional on the BBC news today stated that all driving instructors should ensure that the surfaces in the car are cleaned between each driving lesson.

Additional car cleaning and sanitising between all driving lessons using anti-bacterial wipes has been in practice for the last two weeks with my driving school now and will continue until further notice. 

Good Hand Hygiene

Providing all students and instructors continue to practice good hand hygiene the risks can be reduced.  It is recommendable to wash your hands directly before a driving lesson and then immediately after a lesson.  You should also avoid greeting your instructor with a handshake, just smile and say hello. You can also avoid touching any unnecessary surfaces in the car or between the car and home.

Self Isolation 

It is very important for the safety off all fellow citizens that if you or anyone you have been in contact with shows any signs of the virus that you immediately self isolate.  It is obvious that should this be the case that you cancel your lessons until you recover or cease to be a risk.  If all instructors and pupils are careful then hopefully the risk of contracting or spreading the virus during lessons will be minimal.

Theory Tests and Driving Tests

As you may be aware from the news the DVSA are taking preventative action and are temporally closing the Theory Test and Driving Test centres to protect staff from the coronavirus.  Any tests affected are being automatically rebooked and new appointments are being issued.

A candidate affected by a practical test cancellation will be able to claim back any out of pocket expenses that they incur if they need to cancel any driving lessons at short notice and incur a charge.   

Please note that any test cancellations or postponements are completely out of your instructor’s control. 

Paul's Automatic Driving School Basingstoke

Offering automatic driving lessons, classes and tuition in Basingstoke. 



Important Routines  for Learner Drivers. 

A post by Paul Loader ADI
Owner of Paul’s Automatic Driving School Basingstoke

Important Routines for Learner Drivers

Why learn routines

When you learn to drive with a DVSA Driving Instructor you should be taught a set of routines to make some sense of the endless list of things you are going to need to learn. Not all driving instructors teach these routines – but it is my opinion that they should, and I always try to make sure my learner drivers understand what they are.  These routines are often referred to in the theory test and on the driving test by the Driving Test Examiner from time to time.  The routines can add essential structure to the otherwise chaotic learning process that can occur when a pupil does not understand the order or sequence of basic tasks.  I have also found the absence of these routines can disadvantage a pupil who may have been struggling to learn a particular part of the syllabus.  Adding these routines can also accelerate learning and provide reassurance to struggling pupils.

In this post, I will list and give the basics of the routine but it will not be an in-depth explanation of the routines.


List of routines

– D-S-S-S-M,  Cockpit Drill (read)

– M-S-M,  Mirror – Signal – Manoeuvre (read)

– P-O-M,  Prepare – Observe – Move (read)

– P-S-L,  Position – Speed – Look (read)



On your first driving lesson with an instructor, you should be introduced to the cockpit drill.  This is the very first thing you will do on all of your lessons thereafter to get the car ready for you to drive.

This routine is important as it will ensure you can reach all of the controls and set up the car mirrors correctly to ensure you can see what is behind and to the side of the vehicle.  It should also be done following the correct DSSSM sequence.







Perhaps one of the most important routines in driving and definitely something you should get used to as early into your learning as possible is the MSM routine.

– MIRROR (s)



1. Before you do anything that involves a change of speed, position or direction you should always ensure you check your mirrors very carefully to assess how you are going to affect other road uses and to ensure it is safe to carry out your maneuver.  Start with the middle mirror and then a side mirror (left or right) depending on which way you are going to be moving or turning. It is not necessary to check all three mirrors.

2. Once you have checked your mirrors then you can give a signal if it is required.  Make sure it is correct, correctly timed and not confusing. 

3. Then you can carefully and safely make your maneuver. 


To add some structure to moving off you can use the POM routine.  It is helpful to go through each stage in turn, it will also ensure you do not forget something important when moving off.




Preparing the car

1. Before you move away you need to prepare the car.  It is pointless looking around to see if it is safe to move away unless you are ready to go!

a) Turn on the engine

b) Put your foot on the brake and select drive (automatic lessons)

c) Remove handbrake,  keeping your foot on the footbrake so the car does not move.

Then the car is then prepared.  Use common sense as well, use your judgment at all times and only get the car ready if you are actually ready to go.


Once the car is prepared you need to check your mirrors and do not forget to check the blindspot.


Once you are prepared, have checked the mirrors and blindspot and it is safe to go you can move.  But always make sure it is safe to go first, double-check if you are unsure. 


There are many times the P S. L routine are used, but mainly at junctions. 





When dealing with junctions in the important that you position the vehicle in the correct position.  The correct position can also reaffirm a signal or can be used instead of a signal in some situations.


The correct and safe speed is always important.  Sometimes this can also mean coming to a complete stop.


Looking at the way ahead, and looking at junctions is highly important aspect of driving.  Always be on the lookout for hazards, other traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.  

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