Driving myths
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Driving tips and other life stuff

7 driving myths you probably believed

When our grandparents passed their tests, they pretty much just had to put the car in first and drive once round the block.

When our parents (who like to suggest it was harder back in the day) got their licences, they probably didn't even have to do a theory test - let alone hazard perception, which didn't come along until 2002.

Yup, things have changed a lot over the years but that doesn't stop the same old rumours circulating around driving. I'm here to put a stop to them.

  1. Driving test examiners have a fail quota

    No. This is absolutely, 100% not true. I PROMISE.

    It might make people feel better to tell themselves this after failing a driving test, but it's a complete myth I'm afraid.

    If you are ready to be set loose on the world as a qualified driver, you will pass.

    It's that simple.

    Driving test fail
  2. Men are better drivers than women

    Hmmm. MoneySuperMarket reckon that women are actually safer than men. Whether 'safer' means 'better' will be debated until the end of time but from a staying alive point of view, safe is good.

    However, everyone is different and both men and women have equal opportunity to suck at any activity. But I'm just going to leave this here:

    NCP (the carpark guys) found that women are better at parking than men, scoring 13.4 out of 20 for manoeuvres compared to a 12.3 average by men.

    *Steps away quietly from the debate*

  3. If a speed camera doesn't flash, you're OK

    Wrong-o. Technology has moved on a tad and now loads of speed cameras get you using infra red.

    If you're driving fast enough to feel a bit uncomfortable when you pass a speed camera, check yourself before you wreck yourself, pal.

    And read up on the biggest reasons to slow down for speed limit changes while you're at it.

    Speed camera
  4. Red cars cost more to insure

    Nope (mostly). It's easy to connect speed-hungry show-offs with red cars, but I myself have my eye on a a cheeky red number. And I am the EXACT opposite of a boy racer: a girl crawler. Like me, most people just pick the colour that makes the car they want look good.

    Fact is, the colour of your car won't affect how much you'll pay for your insurance because the type of car is what makes the colour a significant factor - and a young driver is very unlikely to be insuring a red Ferrari.

    Check out our favourite cars from cars insurance group 1 - the cheapest to insure.

  5. Your horn is for telling people they did something wrong

    Denied. Your horn is ONLY to let other drivers know you're there (at a completely blind bridge for example) or to warn people of a hazard ahead.

    It is not a free pass for going round corners too fast and it is not an outlet for your road rage.

    On a 30mph road (street lights, houses) you're actually not allowed to use your horn between 11.30pm and 7am.

    From the archives:
    My treasured 1996 Collins Learn to Drive book warns drivers to avoid "loud, pugnacious hooting." Huh?
  6. Crossing your hands when steering is a fault in your driving test

    Nu-uh. The 10 to 2 position is the recommended way to use your steering wheel because it gives you good control, but you're not going to be penalised if you don't do it.

    I asked my driving instructor if I needed to clean up my act before my test because I feel like I use my steering wheel a bit like a monster truck driver, and he said basically this:

    Everyone has their own driving style and all that matters is that you're safe and in control.

  7. Doing an intensive course means a guaranteed pass

  8. Neeeeeeo. You still have to meet the DSA standards because you'll still have to do a regular DSA driving test. That means you can definitely fail.

    All an intensive course promises is speed. You'll probably still need the recommended 45 hours; they'll just be over a much shorter period of time.

    45 hours

    of driving lessons to pass on average,
    whether that's over a year
    or in 2 weeks

    That makes me worry about burn-out. I get so tired after just an hour's concentrating, thinking, focusing at the wheel. Doing several hours a day for 2 weeks would finish me.

    So no. An intensive course is not a guaranteed pass and is also not the best way for you to learn to drive if you're new to it, because you don't get to drive in all conditions.

Don't be fooled!
You can find the real facts about driving in the Young Driver's Guide.


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Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .