The UK wide Bill Plant driving school has switched its fleet of driving tuition cars from Vauxhall Corsas to Hyundai i20′s.

The company has received 60 i20 cars so far with a further 500 to be delivered by Hyundai over the course of the year.

Roy Danby, a spokesperson for the Bill Plant driving school said: “The i20 is an excellent, easy-to-drive car for our pupils and they give great feedback on it. It’s a pleasure to teach in and the peace of mind of the safety features reassures both pupil and teacher”.

Hyundai Sales Director, Guy Pigounakis, said: ‘We’re delighted that Bill Plant Driving School pupils will be taking their lessons and tests in the new Hyundai i20. After passing I’m sure many will not want to part company with this excellent supermini”.

Vauxhall’s loss of the Bill Plant contract follows BSM’s recent decision to switch from Vauxhall Corsas to Fiat 500′s, a contract worth 14,000 cars over the next three years to Fiat.

An innovative new Manchester driving lesson website called YourProgressReport.co.uk has been launched by a local driving instructor to help pupils and their parents track the development of their driving skills and how much progress they have made.

Password accessible for each pupil, the site charts the pupils progress across a range of essential driving skills needed to pass a driving test. It also uses a traffic light colour-coded scheme to appraise the pupils’ competency.

Speaking about the site, the owner, John Brocklehurst said: ‘One of the questions I’m asked most frequently by my pupils, and they start asking it from their first lesson, is when will they be ready to take their driving test. That got me thinking about what I could do to help them visualise their progress in a modern and accessible way”.

John continued: ‘From that starting point, the website developed and it has been extremely well received by my pupils since. They can see how quickly their skills are developing and it also allows their parents, or whoever else might be paying for the lessons, to see how much progress they have made”.

The ex-crane driver for BAE Systems established his own driving school four years ago and has invested £10,000 of his own money into the web venture which is attracting interest from other driving schools.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has announced the launch of a new information pack for newly-qualified driving instructors.

The glovebox-sized pack contains cards, leaflets and booklets containing useful information about being a driving instructor.

The move by the DSA to produce the pack follows feedback obtained from experienced ADI’s on what they would have wanted when they commenced their driving instructor careers.

The Registrar of Approved Driving Instructors for the DSA, Charles Morton said: “We have listened to feedback from ADIs, which indicated that when they first qualified, they would have found a pack like this useful, as it contains information about how to make the most of their new career and help their pupils”.

Morton continued: “The pack is designed to be glovebox-sized so that ADIs can have it readily to hand. They will also be able to add any ‘pull-out-and-keep’ brochures we publish in Despatch magazine, and there is room for them to insert their own useful information”.

The DSA will start sending the new pack to newly-qualified ADI’s from Monday, while ADI’s who have registered within the last six months will be sent a pack on request.

Those ADI’s requiring a pack can email adireg@dsa.gsi.gov.uk or write to the DSA at DSA, The Axis Building, 112 Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham, NG1 6LP.

The boss of BSM, Britain’s biggest driving school, has avoided a lengthy driving ban despite having 17 points on his licence.

According to thesun.co.uk, Abu-Haris Shafi was in court after his Volvo car was caught on camera breaking a 50mph speed limit.

In court Shafi refused to reveal who was in the drivers seat of the Volvo and was given 6 points on his licence to go with the 11 already there.

With 12 points usually meaning an automatic driving ban of at least 6 months, Shafi avoided this with a £750 fine.

This followed his solicitor’s success in persuading Bournemouth magistrates that a driving ban would risk his job and prevent him taking his Mum to the doctors.

A BSM insider said: “It is incredibly embarrassing teaching learners to obey rules if our driving force is a serial offender”.

Steve Picton from the Driving Instructors Association, said: “I am amazed he’s maintained his position as company head”.

BSM officials refused to comment.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has released 5 safe summer driving tips for Brits heading off on long journeys to their holiday destinations – many of which will be on unfamiliar roads.

The 5 tips for safer summer driving are as follows:

1. Before setting off, ensure that you have enough fuel; switch off your mobile phone and make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing for driving.

2. Stay alert by taking a break of about 15 minutes every two hours at somewhere suitable, such as a service area; get a good night’s sleep before embarking long journeys and avoid driving between midnight and 6 am when natural alertness is at a minimum.

3. The driver is responsible for ensuring that passengers under 14 are properly restrained in a seatbelt; if you are taking the family pet on holiday, don’t forget to ensure it is secured for its own and your safety.

4. If you are towing a caravan for the first time in a number of years then make sure you are familiar with the relevant changes that have taken place before getting in the driver’s seat; anyone who is unsure of the rules which apply to those towing caravans should check the Directgov website for further information.

5. Sat-navs are a useful tool but they are not a substitute for route planning; drivers should be aware of road signs, exercise common sense and use the sat-nav’s estimated time of arrival as a guide, rather than trying to achieve it or better it.

Commenting on the driving tips, the DSA’s Chief Driving Examiner, Trevor Wedge, said: “We all want to enjoy the summer holidays from the moment we leave the house. So, if you have a long drive ahead of you then have a look at our tips for safe summer driving to help get your holiday off to the best possible start”.

Last year 661 people were killed in road crashes between July and September with another 6,704 seriously injured.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has announced that its online practical driving test booking service for learner drivers will be shut for 4 days, starting from tomorrow the 30th July.

The DSA’s Driving Instructor Registrar, Charles Morton, said, “I apologise in advance that there will a short interruption to service next week. For essential IT maintenance and update work to take place we need to close down all of DSA’s operational booking systems”.

Morton continued, “This system closure will last approximately four days from 5.15pm on Thursday 30th July until 8.00am on Tuesday 4th August. All online services to book or amend practical tests and other instructor services including updating your contact details, applying for registration, renewing your certificate and ordering PassPlus packs will be unavailable”.

The DSA’s contact centre on 0300 200 11 22 will only be able to offer a limited service during the closedown period.

Theory tests services are not affected.

A recent survey from the AA has revealed that one in seven drivers avoid going on motorways.

According to the motoring giant, up to five million Brits lack sufficient skills for motorway driving and have spent years doing their best to avoid driving on them.

Commenting on the findings, Simon Douglas from the AA said, “Motorways are Britain’s most feared roads, with a lost generation of drivers avoiding them completely”.

Steve Tattersall from Driving School Lessons, said, “This is a real concern. We encourage people who avoid motorway driving to undertake a course of motorway refesher driving lessons that we and many other UK driving schools provide. These help equip the motorist with the necessary skills and confidence to return to motorway driving”.

The so called motorway phobia means many motorists are driving on more dangerous A-roads.

Tennis ace Andy Murray has passed his driving test at the first time of asking and with only 2 minor faults.

Days after losing his Wimbledon semi-final to Andy Roddick, Murray commenced a 2 week intensive driving lesson course and warned his mates to ‘stay off the road’.

The world number 3 revealed his driving test success on his Twitter site yesterday. He said, “Sorry for passing my driving test first time this morning. Just two minor faults. Thanks to blaine at adi training for the lessons!”

Steve Tattersall, spokesperson for Driving School Lessons, said, “Congratulations Andy. Passing your driving test with only 2 minor faults is a real achievement when you consider that a learner driver can make up to 15 faults in their driving test and still pass”.

Steve continued, “Near perfect driving test performances are pretty rare. Pupils who do pass make on average 9 faults”.

Over 80,000 fans follow Andy Murray on his Twitter site.

The expansion of leading Hampshire driving school, Driving School Lessons, continues today with an announcement from the company that it is to commence the provision of driving lessons in Basingstoke.

In similar fashion to its recent launch in Winchester, the driving school (which also runs this industry news service website) will be offering new pupils in Basingstoke their first 5 lessons for just £55.

Commenting on the company’s latest expansion, Steve Tattersall, spokesperson for Driving School Lessons Ltd said, “Basingstoke is a key town for us in the North East of Hampshire and has a population in excess of 80,000″.

Steve continued, “We are excited to be in a position whereby we can offer our renowned driving lessons to the learner drivers of Basingstoke and look forward to helping them pass their driving test”.

People living in and around Basingstoke can find out more about the company’s new driving lessons in Basingstoke here.

Driving School Lessons, the popular south coast UK driving school and owner of this news service has expanded its coverage by offering driving lessons in Winchester.

To celebrate its arrival in Winchester the company is offering new pupils their first 5 driving lessons for just £55, followed by £20 per hour thereafter.

Steve Tattersall of Driving School Lessons, said, “We are delighted to be able to expand our driving school to cover the historic town of Winchester and look foward to teaching many new pupils to learn to drive”.

Steve continued, “Despite the current UK recession, our business performance has been strong. We remain committed to our goal of expanding the exciting Driving School Lessons franchise concept to new geographical areas across the UK and invite interested instructors to get in touch”.

Prospective pupils in Winchester can find out more about the 5 for £55 driving lessons in Winchester offer here.