Tag Archive: Driver information

  1. A Student’s Guide To Moving House 

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    Moving away to university is an exciting time for many students. Every year the UK’s roads see a huge influx of students who’ve packed up and set off for their new homes. Whether you’re a fresher excited for your first term, or a third-year student who can’t wait to graduate, there are a few things you need to know before hitting the road. 

    It doesn’t matter if you’re just moving around the corner or to a whole new city miles away, getting your stuff from A to B can be a challenge. So if you’re packing up the car or looking to borrow a van for moving your new IKEA furniture, we can insure students making the big move, quickly and – most importantly – safely.

    A Guide To Moving As a Student

    The 2021-2022 school year saw 2.8 million students enrol in UK universities and that number is predicted to grow year on year. But before you get on the road, you’ll need to make sure you have everything you need to get the job done, whilst you may not be driving a van day-to-day, getting insured on one can make the moving day run a lot smoother. That’s where temporary van insurance comes in. 

    To make your whole moving experience easier, we’ve created a handy guide to ensure you get to your new place, stuff intact, safe and sound.

    Clear Out Your Old Space

    There’s nothing worse than arriving at your new home and receiving an angry call from your ex-landlord – or parents! When moving out it’s important that you leave the place the same way you found it. Giving your old digs a deep clean before you leave is the best way to make sure you get your full deposit back, or a warm welcome home at Christmas! It’ll also mean you get a fresh start without having to worry about any loose ends.

    Keep Important Documents to Hand

    It’s probably best not to store all of your important documents at the bottom of a box somewhere. There’s a lot of admin to get through when moving into a new space, so keeping your docs to hand is crucial to avoiding any panicked unboxing – you never know when you might need them. This means finding a safe, accessible spot for your tenancy agreement, driving licence (especially if you’re the one behind the wheel), vehicle insurance policy and other important bits. Best to have eyes on them and not need them, than to need them and not have them!

    Enlist Helping Hands

    If you’re a student moving house, one of the most important things you’ll need is help. No one wants to be on their own carrying multiple boxes up accommodation stairs. Asking family and friends to help out can make life a lot easier. Just make sure to order a pizza afterwards to thank them. 

    Arrive Early

    With so many other students hitting the road, it’s best to leave early to avoid any annoying delays. Sitting in traffic will undoubtedly spoil the excitement of moving into a new home. Unpacking can also take a while, especially if you’re not particularly familiar with your new layout or storage. Arriving early also gives you the chance to meet your new housemates before that inevitable first night out!

    How To Move Cheaply

    If you’re a student moving to a new home, then you know that every penny counts. The last thing you need is to be spending money on superfluous things, especially when there are 2-4-1 cocktails to buy instead. Finding ways to cut moving costs is essential, especially if you’ve just put down a hefty deposit on your new pad. Take a look at our top tips to help cut down on moving day costs.

    Find The Right Vehicle

    The family car might not be your best option when it comes to moving. You need space – and a lot of it – so pick a vehicle that can get you and your stuff there in one trip. 

    It’s always best to give the vehicle you’re using a thorough once over before hitting the road, to avoid any nasty surprises getting on your possessions. Checking the tyre tread depth, brakes and oil levels will ensure that your trip runs smoothly. If it’s a long journey you may also consider asking a professional to service the vehicle before you hit the road. While this can cost a little more in the short term, it can save you any nasty surprise bills in the long run.

    Borrow, Don’t Rent

    If your usual vehicle isn’t quite right for this trip, but renting a van or hiring a moving company is prohibitively expensive – something it tends to be for students and young drivers – you’ll need another option.

    Borrowing a vehicle from a family member or friend represents a significantly more affordable way to get from A to B. You can get on the road quickly and easily without the faff of endless paperwork, complex policies and lengthy waiting times.

    Choose Flexible Cover

    Comprehensive cover is key to your safety on the roads. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving across town or across the country, you need to make sure that you and your vehicle are covered for every eventuality. 

    If you’re just borrowing a van for a day or two, you don’t need to be lumbered with a costly annual policy, or to be added to a current policy, on a vehicle that you’ll barely use. 

    Temporary van insurance is an affordable way to get on the road super quickly. It takes less than 90 seconds to get covered with GoShorty, so you can drive away knowing you’re insured should anything unforeseen crop up. Our policies cover you from as little as one hour up to 28 days, so no matter where you are in the UK – or how many trips you need to move all your uni essentials – you’re covered.

    Our van insurance calculator can estimate how much our cover could cost, so you can get an idea of the cost ahead of time. Find out how much you could save with our flexible temporary van cover, and move into your new digs without breaking the bank, get a quote in less than 90 seconds, easy.

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  2. Hot Weather Driving Hacks

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    As summer approaches and several heatwaves beckon, you might be feeling a little anxious about driving in hot weather. Whether you’ve got a trek to the coast on the cards, a cross country road trip lined up, or any other vehicular voyage scheduled – you’ll need to take precautions to make sure those hours behind the wheel (or even travelling as a passenger) are as comfortable as they can be. 

    Following GoShorty’s hot weather driving hacks can transform a nightmare journey into a dreamy start to your holiday. Whether you’ve secured temporary cover for a weekend road trip, or simply need to summer-proof your old banger, we’d always recommend keeping an eye on the Met Office’s Weather-Health Alerts – there’s no reason why a heatwave should hold you back, or why driving in hot weather should be unsafe.

    How to Stay Cool in the Car

    For extreme heat, you’ll need to take every precaution there is to get through the journey without breaking a sweat. It needn’t be an unpleasant trip – following each of our top tips will ensure your hot weather road trip goes off without a hitch.

    Staying Hydrated

    Take cold drinks, and then take more. A cool bag is your friend. Upping your fluid intake during hot weather seems obvious – but can be forgotten easily on busy days. You might need to stop at a couple more service stations than you’d like, but it’s worth it for your wellbeing.

    Passenger Care?

    Whether canine or infant, feline or elderly – never leave a vulnerable person or animal in a stationary hot car. 

    Adding a high quality SPF to your emergency car kit can prove invaluable in case of a breakdown in a spot without any shade. 

    Kids and older people should be supplied with cool drinks and plenty of stops to ensure comfort throughout long trips. If travelling a long way with a pet, consider investing in a cooling mat for them, to help them maintain a comfortable temperature and avoid overheating.

    Depending on how long the journey is, don’t exhaust your conversation early doors – engage in a classic game of ‘I Spy’ to while the hours away in harmony.

    Taking Breaks

    We know the sedative effects of heat, but a sleepy driver is a dangerous driver. Make sure you’re well-rested before undertaking a long drive. Should you feel you’re flagging, take a break! Having a drink, stretching your legs, using the loo – activity outside of the car will refresh you, and get you feeling more alert for the road. With GoShorty, you can get insured in 90 seconds – if you’re really in need of a nap, ask a passenger to get temporarily covered for as little as one hour, and take the wheel. 

    How to Keep the Car Cool

    Now we’ve covered the basics of how to stay cool in the car, it’s time to consider how to keep the car itself cool, running smoothly and capable of a long journey!

    Checks to Make

    There are some fundamental mechanical checks to make before undertaking your hot weather drive. 

    • Fuel: Top the tank up, as cars use more fuel the heavier the traffic (which typically increases in hot weather).
    • Oil: Checking the oil level before you leave can prevent breaking down, damaging the engine and overheating.
    • Battery: Checking your battery beforehand is always a good idea, ensure the brackets are secured and cables are tight. The summer heat can drain the life from your battery 33% faster than the colder seasons, so it is always worth bringing an all-weather vehicle cover to shield your battery (and other components) from the hot sun. Parking in a shaded area where possible will help too. 
    • Tyres: Driving on hot roads can melt tyre rubber – making the sides more prone to damage and even impacting your tyre tread. Make sure you’ve checked them before your journey begins, and keep an eye on them at every stop you make. Also, always check you’ve got a spare!
    • Coolant: Make sure your coolant is topped up before you set off to keep the engine running at the correct temperature. 
    • Electrics: Wiper blades come in handy once the midges arrive – keep your windscreen clear of bugs and bird poo by ensuring your electrics are all in order. (Windscreen washer fluid is a prerequisite here.) The electrics also control the windows, so unless you like driving in heat waves without a breeze, do make sure to check.
    • Clutch: Busy summer roads necessitate more clutch control! Check the clutch and don’t stall this summer. 

    Whatever the weather, keep on moving with GoShorty.

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  3. Speed Camera Hotspots

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    Where in the UK has the most speed cameras?

    Speed cameras are more advanced and efficient than ever before, and if you’re caught you face a minimum of a £100 fine with the potential of being disqualified from driving altogether for repeat offences, which could impact the cost of your temporary car insurance premiums.

    But where in the country are you most likely to be caught out by a speed camera? To find out, we submitted Freedom of Information requests to police forces around the country to see how many speed cameras are in operation, as well as which cameras have clocked the most offences in each area.

    Note that not all forces responded to our request, while some only answered certain parts of the request, refusing others, so some data is not complete.

    The areas with the most cameras

    The three areas with the most speed cameras


    1. London

    Total fixed cameras: 995

    Fixed cameras per km2: 631

    While it might not be surprising to know that London has the most speed camera sites overall (with just under a thousand), the capital also has the most even when we look per square kilometre, with 631. These include spot speed sites, red-light cameras, ‘speed on’ green sites and average speed cameras.

    1. Derbyshire

    Total fixed cameras: 958

    Fixed cameras per km2: 365

    The area with the second-highest number of camera sites was Derbyshire, which had 958, just 37 fewer than London, and 365 per square kilometre. The largely rural county covers much of the Peak District and the highest speed recorded by a camera in the past three years was 148 miles per hour.

    1. West Yorkshire Police

    Total fixed cameras: 402

    Fixed cameras per km2: 198

    As well as having the third-highest number of cameras overall, the county of West Yorkshire also had the third-most per square kilometre (198). The area is home to a number of major urban centres such as Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield and is crossed by two major motorways, the M62 and M1. The highest speed clocked in West Yorkshire between 2018 and 2020 was 159 miles per hour, the second-highest of the areas that responded.

    Chart of areas with the most speed cameras

    The areas with the fastest recorded speeds

    The three areas that went fastest

    1. Humberside – 163 mph

    The fastest speed that was recorded by any police force that responded to our request was an incredible 163mph, which was recorded in Humberside, which is almost 100mph above the speed limit. The driver in question was caught on the M62 between Junction 37 and 38.

    1. West Yorkshire – 159 mph

    West Yorkshire had the third-highest number of cameras in the area and was also the place that recorded the second-highest speed in the last three years. One driver was caught doing 159 mph on the M62 which runs across the county, connecting it to Manchester and Liverpool on the other side of the Pennines.

    1. Essex – 158 mph

    Essex clocked the third-highest recorded speed, with 158 mph, just one mile per hour slower than that of the driver in West Yorkshire. The roads in Essex are busy at peak commuting hours with workers travelling into London, with a number of radial commuter roads connecting it to the capital, such as the M11, A12, A127 and A13.

    Chart of the places that went fastest


    All data was sourced from a Freedom of Information request made to each police force in the UK, requesting the number of fixed speed cameras currently installed, as well as the camera that recorded the most offences and the highest speed recorded between 2018 and 2020.

    25 forces responded to our request with information, although some unfortunately withheld certain aspects so some data is incomplete.

  4. Is it harder to take your driving test in the winter?

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    Is your theory test in the past, and do you want to go ahead and book your practical driving test? You probably want to book your time slot right away, but have you considered how adverse weather conditions could influence your results?

    Many factors will influence your practical test result, but the weather will probably play the most significant part.

    You also need to keep in mind that you will need temporary learner driver insurance when practising your driving skills and new or temporary car insurance once you have passed.

    In this article, we will look at why winter months have lower pass rates, when is the best time to pass your driving test in the winter, and how the Drivers and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) want to help you to pass your test, even in winter weather.

    Why Winter Driving Tests are More Difficult

    Winter is unpredictable, and you risk having your practical test slot cancelled because of hazardous conditions and icy roads.

    If your test centre confirms that your test is going ahead, you will have to drive extra cautiously. Even though main roads would be ploughed, residential streets can still have plenty of ice. There will be snowbanks along the curves, parked cars will be covered with snow, and roads will be slippery.

    The best time to book your test in winter would be in the afternoon, as this will allow ice and snow to thaw, making driving a little bit easier.

    What to Keep in Mind When Taking Your Driving Test in Winter


    If your test occurs in snow conditions, make sure your car has quality tyres suitable for the snowy conditions. Tyres should have at least 3 mm tread depth to safely drive in snow.

    All-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive

    Cars with all-wheel drive are the easiest to control on slick roads as all the wheels are involved in keeping you on the road. If you do not have access to an all-wheel-drive car for your test, the second-best option is a front-wheel-drive vehicle.

    It is not recommended to drive a rear-wheel-drive vehicle for your winter test as these push the car forward from the back wheels, which is much harder to control and more likely to lose traction and slide.

    Following distance and speed limits

    The recommended following distances and speed limits are when a practical test is taken under ideal weather conditions. Of course, the conditions are less than ideal in winter, meaning you should take extra caution.

    You should increase the following distance to about eight seconds to allow enough time for braking.

    The Weather is Bad: What Will The DVSA Do?

    The main priority of the DVSA is to protect both the candidate driver as well as the examiner. Although driving tests are allowed during winter, the DVSA can cancel tests if road conditions are not considered safe. This includes road ice, floods, strong winds, or dense fog.

    If you book your practical driving test in winter, you risk having your test cancelled. Naturally, the DVSA does not want to cancel and reschedule hundreds of tests, as this will lead to backlogs in future months. Therefore, they will allow testing to continue during winter.

    Early morning tests have a greater chance of being cancelled, so we recommend that you book a later test during winter.

    How the DVSA determines whether a winter test will be cancelled

    Of course, it is frustrating when learner drivers have been waiting weeks or months for their tests, only to have them cancelled on the day. The DVSA will only cancel a test when absolutely necessary. You can contact DVSA’s customer support team to find out if your test will continue.

    Your safety must come first

    The DVSA has a duty of care to protect the driver, other drivers, and the examiner. It is only fair that all drivers are tested fairly and equally, and taking a driving test in bad weather will be a disadvantage.

    Constantly assess road conditions

    To prevent a backlog, examiners will constantly assess the road conditions and determine routes that are less affected by bad weather. Weather forecasts are continually assessed, and tests will only be cancelled if local conditions turn bad.

    Snow is a hazard

    Snowfall will affect visibility, making it difficult to see road signs, other road users, and road markings. The DVSA is likely to cancel a test on a snowy day since the road ice and slush will also impact the ability to perform driving tests well.

    Things to Keep in Mind When Driving in Winter

    Whether you are taking your driving test in winter or just want to learn more about safe driving in winter weather, here are some things to keep in mind.

    Basic safety

    Drive slowly. There is no need to rush, as this will put you and other road users in danger. Driving slowly during winter means you will have more reaction time, more braking distance, and a greater following distance behind the cars in front of you.

    Don’t crowd other vehicles. Whether a passenger car, snowplough or freight truck, give other vehicles plenty of space to manoeuvre on dangerous roads.

    Tyre safety

    The pressure in your tyres will drop in cold temperatures, so make sure before you drive or take your test that all the tyres are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

    Make sure to inspect your tyres before you drive, including checking for damage, wear, and depth of the treads.

    Car battery

    Your battery power will drop along with the temperatures. Your car will also require more battery power to switch on, and its range will be reduced if you have an electric or hybrid car. Make sure to check your battery before the cold season, as well as during, to make sure your battery is functioning effectively.

    Car safety technology

    Your car will come with plenty of safety technology that will protect you while driving. Familiarise yourself with all the technology in your car, as well as with the warning lights on your dashboard, so that you can have the safest driving experience possible.

    Why Summer is the Best Time for Taking a Driving Test

    As we have mentioned, winter is probably the hardest season to pass your driving test. The months of January and December have the lowest pass rates, while the summer months have higher pass rates. Booking your driving test in summer may be easier, but you are likely to face much longer waiting times as most people will be booking during the summer months.

    Despite this, summer has much better driving conditions and a much smaller risk of having your test cancelled.

    During the summer holidays, there are usually fewer people around, which means less traffic and pedestrians to worry about while taking your test, and also no peak traffic, rush hour or school-run traffic to worry about.


    When will I find out if my test has been cancelled?

    Test centres will know in the morning whether tests will go ahead. Contact your test centre first thing in the morning to find out whether your driving test is still going ahead, especially if your test is early. If your test is in the afternoon, phone a few hours ahead.

    Will my test be cancelled if the weather conditions are bad?

    You will still have to contact the test centre to determine whether your test has been cancelled. If you decide to not show up because of the weather, but the test continues, you will not get a refund.

    My test has been rescheduled, but it is months away. What can I do?

    If your new test date is months away, you can get a fast-track practical test to jump the queue and move your test date forward.

    Your local test centre will also receive cancellations from learner drivers, meaning test slots become available almost every day. A fast-track test is a driving test that is scheduled in one of these empty slots. Several companies can organise driving tests at the local test centre in these cancellation slots.

    It is time for my test appointment, but it is snowing. Can I still take my test?

    The DVSA is mandated to keep drivers safe. If they did not cancel the test and you feel too unsafe to drive, you will forfeit your refund. It is best to take your test if it is not cancelled.

    Wrapping Up

    Even experienced drivers can tell you how difficult it is to drive in winter. Taking a driving test in bad weather can be a harrowing experience, and studies show that it is harder to pass driving tests in the winter months because of inclement weather and bad road conditions.

    If the bad weather persists, test centres will cancel test appointments to ensure the safety of the drivers and driving instructors. The best time to take a driving test in winter will be in the afternoons, as snow and ice would have thawed.