As you will have noticed from my first few blogs, I grew up in the garage business and although I was always surrounded by cars, I only started driving when I was 17 - the legal age in the UK. Thankfully, with lots of driving practise between driving lessons, I passed first time within a few months. I did have an incentive, in that I was courting the young lady who became my wife, with whom I share my life with still.
So, before I get all sentimental, fast forward a few decades to 2008 through to 2014.
Those were our most difficult years during which time both sets of parents died following individual long periods of ill health. We were traumatised as so many people are when they loose loved ones.
Within that period in early 2011, when my mother became seriously ill and around the time when she sadly died in March 2011, and the following months, after many years of accident free motoring, I had numerous minor accidents.
My confidence in driving was at an all time low, and I was seriously doubting my ability to gain another good insurance ‘no claims’ record again. The incidents even included a misfuelling into our S Type when I filled her up with unleaded and drove for a mile until she died. This resulted amazingly in the insurance company accepting the claim with the heavy excess charge that I paid, but the cost to the insurance company was £5,000. You can imagine with no ‘no claims bonus' being granted, what that did to our premiums for many years.
Time had come to take action, and it was then in Autumn 2012, that I decided to take the advanced driving test with IAM RoadSmart. After all, the last time I took a driving test was when I was 17. I discovered that my driving ability had dropped significantly and as I expected, bad habits had crept in.
Thankfully, after incredible support from the Swindon Group for IAM RoadSmart, I passed first time on 7th February 2013. Dad was so pleased and proud!
Since then, I have made driving for me an art form, and I pride myself on being the best driver my passengers including my family, ever experience.
I am not satisfied to leave it there, so I am now working on their Masters Advanced course, and hope to have a date soon when the test will be taken - hopefully I can then announce more good news not only for me, but also for my family, friends and clients.
The IAM Advanced qualification is also very good news for insurance companies as a lot of them acknowledge the advanced qualification and award discounts. Unfortunately, however, not for a business client like myself.
With more advanced drivers on the road, driving standards are massively improved and thereby road safety. I wholeheartedly recommend the IAM RoadSmart Advanced course. I wish you all well.