Category: News

Introducing… our new(ish) logo

Frequent visitors to our website and social media may this morning have noticed some changes to the look and feel of our company branding.

Here’s our new logo:

driving school new logo

If you’re sat there thinking “well, it looks an awful lot like the old one”, then you’d be right.

This isn’t a rebranding, but we’ve made some tweaks to keep the look and feel of our driving school fresh.

For the nerds out there, the new design features the cleaner, sharper and more readable font Ubuntu, which replaces Dosis as the company’s main typeface.

Our main web branding colours have also changed from #00008b to #293973 to provide a sleeker, more up-to-date colour scheme.

We’re really starting to build up a reputation as a five-star driving school, so we wanted to keep the basic style the same. This helps you recognise us across the web and on the UK roads, too.

While the font and colours may have changed, the logo style remains the same, channelling a car gear-stick. The logo has been completely re-rendered in full HD for use on the web and in print. This also helps make our branding future-proof and allows us to blow our logo up as big as we like for things like car vinyl.

You may still see our old logo around. If you’re a current pupil of ours you’ll likely still see it on your instructor’s car as we gradually begin upgrading our vehicles to sport our new design around your hometown.

old vs new logo

A brief history

As we gradually move into new areas and expand as a company, we’re spending more time than ever thinking about the journey our pupils go on from that first phone call booking in lessons right through to passing their practical test.

And as 1st 4 Driving has evolved as a business in the past, the company image has never been something that’s been left behind.

Early 2000s

From humble beginnings in the early 2000s, our founder Dave Foster began marketing his driving lessons as 1st 4 Driving alongside undertaking numerous qualifications in driving and education.

2000s logo

While very basic, our very first logo incorporated the three colours of the traffic light system to represent the pupil’s journey to independence on the road.

2006

By the mid 2000s, Dave was not just helping pupils – but instructors, too. Coming from a background in training driving instructors, Dave (along with 1st 4 Driving), started to become a well-established name in the driving instructor training industry. And the logo evolved with the company.

Old logo 2

Following the colour scheme from the first logo, 2006 saw the inclusion of a pyramid graphic, representing how driving schools were able to climb their way to the top of the peak with the right CPD and training.

Early 2010s

old logo3old logo 4

By the start of the 2010s decade, we had almost exclusively become a service to help other driving schools. The early 2010s saw the wheels of web and graphic design, as well as driving instructor training in full motion.

While the company was now offering ‘driving solutions’ including help building other driving schools, you can see how the traffic light colour scheme survived right through to the above logo. But alas, nothing lasts forever.

2015

As ever, the branding adapted with the company. And 1st 4 Driving would start to see new graphics and images as the business expanded on the web and was able to employ a full-time web and graphics person.

By 2015, the website had been completely redesigned with moving objects, a new colour scheme and, excitingly, a brand new logo.

old logo 5

The company was starting to become a real force in the industry, with Dave now looking after and helping maintain over 15 different driving schools across the country.

The typeface moved away from the heavy Word-Art-esque font of the previous incarnation of the logo, to the much rounder, more user-friendly Dosis.

2019

In the four years following, the company would go through some rapid changes.

Relocating from Devon to Cornwall and re-imagining itself as a driving school in its own right, the ‘successful driving school support solutions’ slogan had been dropped, simplifying the logo.

driving lessons logo

We even celebrated Christmas 2019 when a certain somebody’s hat appeared on our logo for Facebook!

2021

So here we are in 2021 and looking forward, expanding into new areas as one of the UK’s fastest-growing driving schools, from the bottom tip of Cornwall right up to Reading and loads of towns and cities in between.

Thank you to everybody for your support over the past two decades – we definitely wouldn’t be here writing this without you.

driving school logo


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New theory test booking service launched

A new booking system for theory tests was launched today, July 19th, for England Scotland and Wales.

new theory test booking system

The new system went live at 8am this morning (Photo: DVSA)

Why is there a new theory test booking service?

Earlier in the year, the DVSA announced a new partnership with Reed, who have taken over the contract for running theory tests in much of Scotland and the north of England. This means there are now two providers for the UK, Reed and Pearson Vue.

It’s important to know that the theory test itself is exactly the same wherever you take it and whichever provider you fall under, and no changes that have been made today affect the test itself.

As this contract comes into force, some changes have been made to theory test locations across the affected regions. Some test centres have been added and some have been taken away, but there will be more test centres in total once the changes have been completed. You can find your nearest theory test centre by clicking here.

Due to the fact there are now two companies providing the day-to-day administration of the theory tests, the DVSA have had to move the booking system back over to the gov.uk website, and with that has meant a new booking service.

What’s the booking system like?

Much like the old one, actually.

theory test booking system wait time

One big difference is the addition of the virtual queue system.

If you’ve tried booking a practical driving test since the first lockdown you’ll be familiar with this screen. This is how the DVSA were managing the queue for driving tests when everybody rushed to book a test when the system reopened last year. The virtual queue stops the website from being overrun with eager pupils, avoiding server crashes and downtime.

But now it seems the dreaded queue will be seen by thousands more people every day trying to book theory tests.

The long queues could be early teething issues for the new service, or could be the product of thousands of people flocking to book a theory test for the new dates that have been released today.

So if you’re looking to book a theory test our advice is to either try to book at a quiet time like first thing in the morning, or make sure you’re somewhere you can keep a tab open for a while in the background.

Once you get through the queue you’ll be prompted to choose a preferred date for your test.

booking a theory test

And then you’re taken to the familiar ‘Candidate login screen’ where you need to enter your name, driving licence number and date of birth.

booking theory test step 2

Got it, so what do these changes mean for me?

This news will not affect most people. If you’re still yet to book your theory test, you will use the new system and hopefully have no problems with it. New test dates are opening up all the time and you’ll now be able to book beyond the 6th of September.

Should you need to contact somebody regarding your existing theory test booking, the DVSA should inform you of who to contact going forward, considering there are now two companies managing the service rather than one.

If you’ve already got your theory test booked and need to change your booking, there is some extra important information.

If you want to change your test that’s booked on or before the 3rd of September to a date on or after the 6th of September you’ll need to cancel your current test and rebook it online using the new booking system.

Practical test locations will be unaffected by these changes.

Click here to book your theory test online.

I have my theory test booked, can I get free theory training?

driving theory test trainingIf you’ve got practical driving lessons booked in with us, you can get free theory training using Theory Test Pro.

Once you’re all booked in, we’ll give you login details to Theory Test Pro, where you’ll be able to practice from a huge bank of multiple choice questions and hazard perception videos.

People who use Theory Test Pro are twice as likely to pass their theory test, and you can use it from the comfort of your own home using a PC or Mac, or on the go with the mobile app.

Click here to read the current updated COVID measures and regulations for theory test centres.

IMPORTANT: Coronavirus Update

Update: 16.07.2021

New government guidance was published today by the DVSA for the new rules on wearing face coverings in driving lessons and tests in England.

1st 4 Driving recommend all pupils and instructors wear a face covering during lessons if possible, though this is now ultimately the choice of the individual and should be discussed before the lesson with your instructor. In some cases, lessons may not be able to go ahead if a pupil decides not to wear a face covering.

Face coverings help protect yourself and other people from spreading COVID-19 and have been a vital part of helping us continue to offer driving lessons with minimal disruption since reopening in April.

As of the 19th of July 2021:

Practical tests:

  • Face coverings are still required for tests unless a pupil has ‘good reason’ not to. This still needs to be declared in advance.
  • Cars will still need at least one window open on each side during tests
  • Instructors may be allowed to sit in on tests again (no date confirmed for this)
  • Examiners will still end a test early if the pupil makes a dangerous or serious fault to reduce time spent in the vehicle
  • Most test centre waiting rooms that are closed due to social distancing will be reopened

Lessons:

  • DVSA are still “expecting” and “recommending” both instructors and pupils to wear face coverings during lessons
  • Exercise caution
  • DVSA recommend testing twice a week even if you do not have symptoms. Rapid lateral flow tests are free and can be ordered from the government website
  • You still need to self-isolate if you’ve come into contact with a confirmed case. This is likely to change after August 16th if you’ve been double jabbed

Theory tests:

  • Masks “personal choice” but “strongly encouraged”
  • Screens etc will remain in place

driving lesson covid guidance

Update: 12.04.2021

Driving lessons are now able to resume, with driving tests following on 22/04/2021. We’re expecting unprecedented demand and a big backlog in some areas so please bear with us while we try to take phone calls, contact existing pupils and respond to new enquiries.

We’re looking forward to welcoming everybody back and seeing a big summer of driving test passes!

 

driving school covid guidelines

We don’t accept third-party vouchers ❌

Unfortunately we are not accepting vouchers bought through other websites

We’ve noticed a trend in the past few months of people trying to redeem vouchers with us that have been bought through third-party sites. These were probably bought for people at Christmas time by parents and grandparents, and understandably – people want to redeem them to get their driving lessons.

If you’re unsure what we’re talking about, they usually look something like this.

driving lesson third party vouchers

We’re not accepting third-party vouchers

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