Test Feedback

Jane arrived punctually for her test.

She passed her eyesight test, wearing glasses throughout the drive. Her car was a BMW X3 Xdrive automatic 3.0 diesel. The route lasted 70 minutes (0900-1010) over 48.6 miles, including narrow rural, urban, open road and dual carriageway (no motorway due to distance from test location). Speed limits from 30-70mph. The weather was predominantly dry with momentary fine drizzle, road surfaces dry and conducive to good steering and braking.

The car was driven in full auto throughout which is Jane’s preferred setting and mirrors her previous observed sessions. Prior to starting Jane conducted thorough POWDER and personal checks, with a comprehensive cockpit drill and moving brake test.

Jane took used and gave information in a timely non ambiguous manner. Missing only one speed repeater on entering Uttoxeter resulting in travelling at 35-40 mph in a section of national limit for about 500yards.
From her spoken thought I was very impressed at her view far down the road and strong 360 degree safety awareness. Clearly displaying a good comprehension and application of visual links. This made her planning timely and well thought out. Obvious clear comprehension and application of IPSGA system driving.

There were no issues with positioning at any hazard we encountered. Positioning appropriately for visibility stability and view on all occasions. She demonstrated strong safety positioning by not overtaking a slower vehicle which was following a group of cyclists as we exited Uttoxeter. It would have been easy to get pressured into attempting an untidy overtake for little gain. Positioning for both near and offside bends was considered and appropriate.

Jane could have been marginally more robust and business like getting up to speed. This said she always exploited an appropriate pace for the circumstance. Perhaps a little earlier at getting up to speed would develop more overtaking opportunities and progress for her. Certainly not slow.

The gear box was set to full auto, Jane’s car is a 3.0 diesel and as such highly intelligent; resulting in effortless smooth changes. I would encourage Jane to experiment with the tiptronic side of the gearbox to fully enjoy the potential from the car.

Always very smooth, possibly apply more noticeable acceleration a fraction earlier to maximise progress where appropriate.

Jane delivered a very polished and accomplished drive today. Always safe and courteous to other road users. Jane was receptive to feedback given.

My observations are very minor:-
Her hands dropped fractionally low on the steering wheel, keep little fingers on the upper of the centre of the steering wheel brace when possible, this will keep pull push steering more comfortable and fluid.

Jane’s pace could have been fractionally quicker to exploit a little more progress.

Occasional ‘comfort braking’ was evident. Work on getting the braking done on the straights and setting the speed for the corner prior to steering through the corner. This improved over the drive.

Finally on approach to roundabouts I would like her to trust her observations more. On a couple of instances she looked, slowed, looked again and continued to slow. Had she trusted her initial (well timed) observations she could plan to ‘go’ earlier when safe to do so. Great to be safe but don’t squander the obvious chances to go.

These observations cumulatively are still only minor and as such I have no hesitation awarding Jane a F1rst rate pass based on her drive today.
Well done and continued success with your future exploits. A very accomplished drive today.

Taster Sessions

Would you like to find out what advanced driving is all about before making the decision to go through a course. The Derby Group are offering free taster sessions. To book yours contact the group secretary. Alternatively, check the calendar and come along to the next run session.

The taster session is a short drive with an observer and is arranged at a time to suit you. The observer will explain what an examiner is looking for and will assess your driving against the standards that the IAM expects.

You will receive a short assessment report detailing how the IAM can benefit you. There is no obligation to join but we would be delighted if you do. Taster sessions are booked on a first come first served so don’t delay.


I would like to improve my driving skills can Derby Advanced Motorists help me?

Yes, of course! Any qualified driver who wants to improve their driving skills is an ideal candidate for RoadSmart, our Advanced Driving Course.

I am a disabled driver. Can I become an advanced driver?

There is absolutely no reason why you should not achieve our highest driving test awards. We welcome qualified drivers with any disability who enjoy a challenge! If you drive an adapted car, that’s just fine.

I’ve just passed my driving test; can I join the Derby Group of Advanced Motorists?

Yes, you can, but the group would prefer you to have a few months experience of driving on your own and clocking up a reasonable number of road miles before joining. The RoadSmart course is a great way to develop your driving skills and gain confidence.

How much will the course cost?

Latest course prices can be found on the IAM Roadsmart web site linked below. In 2024 the cost is £200 and this represents very good value for money.

You will get the RoadSmart course manual, a current copy of the Highway Code, a copy of Know Your Traffic Signs, sessions with our advanced drivers who will give advice on how to improve your driving skills, the cost of the Advanced Driving Test itself and a year’s membership of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and Derby Advanced Motorists Group.

In addition, you will have access to competitive insurance from IAM Surety, a year’s subscription to the members’ magazine Advanced Driving, the Derby Group newsletter and any activities we may organise.

Will I drive a dual controlled car with an instructor?

No, you will drive your own car but it must be taxed, insured for you to drive and, if applicable, have a current MOT certificate. You must hold a full driving license for the class of vehicle. You will drive with a qualified advanced driver, who will observe the way you drive and offer suggestions and tips for improvement. The observer will not attempt to operate any controls or make any driving decisions for you.

How long will it take me to achieve the advanced driving test standard?

This much depends on you! If you are an experienced, confident driver with few bad driving habits, then you should be test ready fairly quickly. For some drivers it takes a little longer. Derby Advanced Motorists cannot guarantee everyone will reach the required standard but if you take on board the advice given and are able to put it into practice, then three to six months should see the job done! Be aware that there are no additional fees for the first year no matter how many sessions you want to take.

What does the Advanced Driving Test involve?

To become one of the most skilled drivers on the road is quite an achievement. The test takes around 60 to 90 minutes, covering a number of different routes and scenarios, including country roads and, if possible, motorway driving. To pass, you will demonstrate your awareness of other road users and how to adapt to different conditions and hazards showing such skills as optimum road positioning and an ability to deal with situations as they occur.

How do I join?

The national group of the Institute of Advanced Motorists:

Click: www.iamroadsmart.com

Call: 0300 303 1134

To find out more about the Derby Group of Advanced Motorists please contact:

The Group Secretary: John Butler (reltubj1b@gmail.com)

or phone 01773 824822

or you can drop by at our next Sunday run. We’d love to meet you!

Derby Advanced Motorists is a Registered Charity – Number 1057462

Virus-free. www.avg.com

The Advanced Driving Test

The Advanced Driving test is well within the reach of most drivers so if you want to know what the test is all about please click the link below. It takes concentration, knowledge, skill and practice. You need to demonstrate that you are observing everything that could affect your progress, you are aware of what could happen, you can anticipate the actions of other road users and you can plan your progress. You must drive legally (speed limits!) and you must not drive in a way that relies on, or causes, another road user to take avoiding action. You should make adequate progress for the circumstances and drive smoothly with appropriate use of the throttle and brake. If the examiner enjoys the drive, you will more than likely pass!