Telephone Helen - 07821 943689 - Manual Car only

Welcome to Purple Driving - let Helen help you find the best route to your new driving licence!

My Blog




I am planning to resume driving lessons from Monday 6 July 2020, in line with the latest Government guidelines for other businesses. Please be aware that this may change if the Government guidelines change.

As of today, 28 May 2020, we have been advised not to resume “normal” driving lessons. However, this can change at any time, and I will be sure to keep you up to date with the latest advice from the DVSA.

With this in mind, unless I am advised not to resume giving driving lessons, it is important that we plan ahead and get you booked in now for July. Priority will be given to customers who have already paid for lessons.

Please make sure you read, understand and agree to follow the following points to ensure lessons can be delivered as safely and as efficiently as possible.

These precautions are to keep both you and myself safe, and keep the potential spread of COVID-19 to an absolute minimum. I will ask you to read, understand and sign a declaration to confirm you understand the risks of learning to drive during Covid-19, and that you are currently in good health and virus free.


As it is not possible to socially distance in a car, the following precautions will be taken to keep us both safe.

-When I arrive at your house to collect you, please meet me by the car. Before entering the car and before your lesson starts we will have a chat, at least 2 metres apart, so that I can assess you and make sure you don’t have any Covid-19 symptoms. If I don’t feel comfortable that you haven’t got symptoms of Covid-19 at this time, your lesson will not go ahead.

-Physical contact. There will be no physical contact, unless in an emergency situation. Also, we both need to make sure we try to avoid touching our face with our hands.

- Hand washing. I expect you to follow government guidelines and wash your hands thoroughly with soap for 20 seconds before attending your lesson. I will do the same.

-Gloves. If you wish to wear gloves, make sure you put them on before car, and dispose of them in your house.

- Face masks/covering. If you wish to wear a mask or face covering, please make sure you apply it before entering the car, and ensure you dispose of it in your house.

- The car will be sanitised with disinfectant or anti-bacterial/viral wipes before your lesson commences and afterwards and in between each lesson.

- Car windows will be open – weather permitting – to allow adequate ventilation. We will avoid the use of air conditioning where possible.

-I will ensure my car is sanitised thoroughly in between students.


Changes to my standard cancellation policy are outlined below.

- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, you must inform me immediately and the lesson will be cancelled and rearranged, with no cancellation fee.

- If I have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, I will inform you immediately and the lesson will be cancelled and rearranged, with no cancellation fee.

- Please avoid, as much as possible, cancelling for any other reason as spaces for lessons are extremely limited. Cancellations for any other reason will be subject to our normal cancellation policy and will be chargeable if 48 hours’ notice has not been given.

The main symptoms of COVID 19 described by the government are (but not exclusively):
• a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
• a loss of taste or smell

If you have any concerns or questions please call me. Thank you, I am looking forward to catching up with you again soon! Helen 

Cycle lanes...


Have any of you started cycling in an attempt to get fit just recently, like I have? If so, please make sure you understand and comply with the advice in the Highway Code...especially in relation to cycle lanes!

Here’s what happened to me today. There I was, minding my own business, cycling along, when a driver shouted at me as she (Yes, hate to admit it was a female!), drove past,

“Use the f*****g cycle lane!”

Thankfully, what she said really didn’t affect my cycling in any way, but her comment really did irritate the heck out of me! Enough for me to write this!
What I can only presume that driver thought...and many others think that cyclists should always use the cycle lane.
However, as all drivers and road users should be aware of and in accordance to the Highway Code, cycle lanes ARE NOT COMPULSORY! And just yesterday, I was shoted at by another cyclist...who was using the cycle lane...telling me off for not using it!

So, I'd like ask you to please show a bit of respect for your fellow road users, thank you!

Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.

Cycle lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.
Law RTRA sects 5 & 8

Highway Code

Helen Adams ADI

Are you unhappy with the behaviour of your Driving Instructor?


Are you unhappy with the behaviour of your driving instructor?

Don’t put up with it to the DVSA!
Inappropriate behaviour from a driving instructor is totally unacceptable. DVSA Approved Driving Instructors have a Code of Practice that they should follow...see link below.

Some examples of inappropriate behaviour might include;

Shouting or swearing at you
Using a mobile phone whilst you’re driving their car
Using inappropriate language with you, or in any messages, texts or emails
Using excessive or unnecessary physical contact

You will be asked to provide them with information that will expedite their investigation, such as;

Your full name, email address and telephone number
Name of the driving instructor and driving school
Dates of when the incidents took place
Any evidence, which could include screenshots of text messages, or in-car video recordings

You don’t need to put up with it!

Follow the link below from the DVSA to take action today. The DVSA won’t make you report the incident to the police unless you want to.
If you don’t report them, they are free to continue their abusive behaviour with other learner drivers. I understand that most of us don’t like confrontation, and the thought of actually reporting a so called professional is not something to take lightly. I am always available to discuss any concerns you may have...

Helen Adams ADI - Purple Driving

Saccadic Masking


Have you ever heard of saccadic masking?
Please see the following link for in-depth information on what it is, and how it can affect drivers...even more so novice drivers, whose brains are taken up with just learning how to make the car function in the early days of learning to drive. 

Also, have a look at the following videos...

This last video gets you doing some training to improve your vision/scanning...have a go and let me know how well you get on!

Useful links...

Helen Adams ADI - Grade A Instructor

Give way...or stop?


Just walking along with my dog minding my own business, when I couldn’t help but notice a dad cycling along two abreast, with what I presumed was his son on his inside. The father was talking to his son, and as they started to draw level to me, I clearly overheard what he said about the give way lines. It went something along the lines of this,
“So, see those lines? When they’re double like that it means the vehicles emerging from them have to stop.”

I wanted to shout out to the son...NO, THEY DON’T MEAN STOP...THEY MEAN GIVE WAY!
To be honest, I was quite shocked that the father didn’t know that broken white lines mean GIVE WAY, regardless of whether there’s a single or double set. See diagram below.


Follow this link about road markings from the Highway Code

Please do check that you're giving your children up to date reliable knowledge of the rules of the road, and if in doubt, check the Highway Code.

Helen Adams ADI-Purple Driving

Trialling the use of text messages to Learner Drivers

 The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), is a government organisation responsible for testing learner drivers; their examiners will assess your driving skills on the day of your driving test. Late last year, they started sending out text messages to learner drivers, either encouraging them or asking them to consider whether they feel confident and ready to take their test. These texts are planned to continue until February 2019.

The texts are designed to inform, rather than replace, the discussions that students of Purple Driving will have before your test to check we’re both happy with your progress and ability.


Why are the DVSA carrying out this research?

The DVSA are working with The Behavioural Insight Team (BIT) to carry out research into learner drivers and how they can:

  • make sure candidates are better prepared to take their test
  • encourage learner drivers not to take their test before they’re ready
  • help keep new drivers safer once they've passed


Before they trialled the messages, BIT and DVSA undertook a period of fieldwork to consider the target group and touchpoints of users. ADIs, learners and test centre staff were interviewed and considered as potential trial participants. A final decision was made to use text messages. We designed the messages to try and complement learner drivers’ efforts to adopt safe driving behaviours. The DVSA hope that any learning they gain from this research will help them to develop future communications.


How did the DVSA get my mobile telephone number?

Anyone over the age of 17 in Great Britain is automatically opted-in to be part of research to improve road safety when they book their driving test. The messages are sent between 14 and 1 days before their test.


What the text messages may look like 

You may receive 1 of 10 of the trial text messages, and only one of these messages will ask you for extra information. This message will be sent from a number ending 284. If you receive a text message asking how many hours you’ve driven for, it’s up to you to decide whether you respond or not, but any responses you do make will help the DVSA inform future communications to learner drivers. Other messages may ask you, the student, to consider things like whether you feel you have had enough practice in different weather conditions or tips on how to relax before taking your driving test. These will all come from the ‘Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’.


If you have any doubts about the authenticity of the text messages you may receive from the DVSA, please don’t hesitate to ask me in the first instance, and I will do all I can to help you. The image below is an example of what a legitimate text from the DVSA may look like.




Data protection rules 

You may be wondering how the text messages comply with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules. As a government organisation, the DVSA can carry out research where it supports our public task.  Making sure candidates understand and are prepared for their test meets that requirement. They’ve published their privacy notice on GOV.UK, which explains how they process candidate’s personal data. The data collected through this research will be stored for a maximum of 2 years. 


Do you have to receive these texts?

No, you don’t, you can opt out of the research by emailing If an individual has already received the text that they need to respond to, they can reply "STOP" to not receive anything else.


Purple Driving, owned and run by Helen Adams ADI  - Helping you stay safe on the roads as always!




Bob Hannigan is the Head of National Standards and Accreditation at DVSA. Part of his role is to look into how the DVSA can help make sure learners are ready to take their driving test, and to ultimately better prepare them for a lifetime of safe driving.



Motorway Training for Learner Drivers - from 4 June 2018


Good news for all learner drivers in England, Scotland and Wales…you will be able to take motorway training with your driving instructor from 4 June this year!

There has been a lot of discussion over the years about allowing learner drivers to practice driving on motorways, and now the DVSA have finally enabled this to become a reality. However, one very important point to be aware of is that this only applies to paid tuition from DVSA Approved Driving Instructors in a car fitted with dual controls. Please note that if you're currently being taught to drive by a trainee driving instructor, then you will need to find a fully trained instructor, as trainee driving instructors are NOT allowed to take learner drivers on the motorway.


I'm really scared at the thought of driving on a motorway!

Don't worry, your instructor will only take you on a motorway when he or she thinks you're ready for the challenge. This will usually only be once you've got your driving test booked, and you've proved yourself competent on dual carriageways.

Any motorways lessons will be voluntary. The change only applies to learner drivers of cars. Learner motorcyclists won’t be allowed on motorways. At the moment, motorway driving isn’t being introduced to the driving test as part of this change. One of the reasons for this is because not all learner drivers have access to a motorway.


What will my motorway training involve?

 Once you've got your driving test booked,,and, if you want to, my aim is to help you achieve the following skills;


  • The importance of checking your mirrors
  • How to safely check your blind spot at high speed
  • How to scan the motorway to maintain your safety
  • How to change lanes safely
  • How to overtake safely
  • The importance of sticking to the speed limit
  • How to use cruise control
  • How to operate the sat nav, radio and CD system whilst driving at high speeds
  • The importance of keeping a safe gap
  • Understanding the “safety bubble”…an advanced driving technique
  • What to do in the event of an accident ahead
  • What to do if you breakdown
  • How to exit the motorway safely



Advice for driving near learner drivers on the motorway

Driver's under motorway tuition can be easily identified by their vehicles sporting either L plates or a driving school roof sign or both.

Please take a moment to remember your time as a learner driver and be patient with learner drivers. They may not be so skilful at anticipating and responding to events. As with any vehicle on the motorway, keep a safe distance from a learner driver in front of you. Increase the gap on wet or icy roads, or in fog.


Useful Links

The Highway Code will shortly be updated to cover learner drivers using motorways. Here's a link to the current rules…


How to drive safely and legally on England’s smart motorways.

The day of your driving test...what to expect.


If you are having professional driving lessons, your driving instructor will explain exactly what will happen on the day of your driving test. This blog is for those of you who are self - training, and would like know what to expect on your big day.


Your driving test will last for approximately 35 - 40 minutes. You would be wise to arrive at the driving test centre between 5 - 10 minutes before your allotted test time. It is important not to get there before this as you may block the returning test candidates from using the car park. If in doubt, you can always park up outside the test centre and wait until you see the previous candidates leave before you reverse into a bay of your choice.


Once you've parked up, I always advice to lock your car. Make sure you have your driving licence to hand. Most test centres have toilet facilities and drinking water available, so feel free to use them. Choose a seat, and wait your time.


The examiners will enter the room wearing hi-vis vests; this is to keep them safe whilst in the car park. They will call out your name. At this time they will ask you to read and sign your test form, and want to check your driving licence. They will then ask if you'd like your accompanying driver to sit in on your driving test. If you decline, they will then ask you if you'd like them to be present at the debrief.


At this time, the examiner will ask you to exit the building. They will then want to check your eyesight, so will direct you to a suitable car. Once you've done this, they will ask you to lead the way to your car. They may ask you to open the bonnet and ask you a “show me tell me” question. They will then ask you to get into your vehicle and make yourself comfortable. They will then walk around the car to inspect it and make sure they are happy it's road legal and that they are happy to go out in it.


Once the examiner gets into your car, they will fasten their seatbelt, and adjust their mirror. They will then set up the sat nav and explain in more detail how the test will be run.


And that's it…it's now over to you!

Keep reading for more useful advice!

Helen Adams ADI

Purple Driving

Potholes - watch out for them!


We've all seen them, but have you ever wondered what causes pot holes? They develop when snow and ice melt. The water seeps beneath the road through cracks by the wear and tear of traffic. When the temperature drops below freezing again, the ice expands, and causes cavities to appear. The holes get bigger because of the damage caused by numerous vehicles driving over the hole.


Check your vehicle for damage 

Check to see if there is any physical or cosmetic damage. The other thing to watch out for, which may not be immediately apparent, are non immediate signs of damage such as vibrations, the car pulling to one side or the steering wheel not being aligned properly. 

Make notes and take pictures

Take pictures and measurements of any damage, the pothole and make notes about what damage has occurred. Including something with a sense of scale in a picture could also help. 

Report the pothole

Report the pothole to the local county, city or borough council so that they can arrange repairs. 

Get quotes

When getting your car repaired, get multiple quotes and keep all of them along with invoices and receipts. 

Making a claim

Make a claim to the responsible council with all your evidence as this will help support your claim. 

One thing drivers making a claim should be aware of, however, is that under section 58 of the Highways Act 1980, councils have a defence against claims. 

In section 58 it details that if a council failed to maintain or repair a pothole they were aware of or hasn’t followed maintenance guidelines then a driver may be able to claim compensation. 

Motorists can also make a claim against their car insurance, however, this may impact premium costs and no claims bonuses.


So, as you can see, potholes can cause an awful lot of damage. The best advice is to avoid driving over them if at all possible. If you have no choice but to drive over them, then you should go as slowly as possible…around 15-20mph.

Watch this space for more driving advice! 

Helen Adams ADI

Purple Driving

New Driving Test "Show Me" Questions


I'm sure that by now, most of you will be aware of the impending changes to the driving test. Apart from a couple of new manoeuvres, and dropping two manoeuvres (the left reverse and turn in the road), and a 20 minute sat nav component, you will be asked a question DURING your driving test. 

I think this is an excellent idea, as you need to be able to do this confidently. I always used to make sure my students are familiar with the controls in my car, but, with these questions being asked on the move, you will need to ensure that you can do them with ease. I have created a video which shows me demonstrating the different questions, which i hope you will find useful. Check it out by clicking New "On the Move" questions

Any questions...just ask! You may find more useful videos in my YouTube Channel 

Helen Adams ADI

Purple Driving

Purple Driving - Manual Driver Training in & around Bognor Regis & Chichester, West Sussex