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Old 20th September 2010, 17:48   #16
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The public transportation might be good, but you still might want a car. You wouldn't want to carry 2 weeks shopping in your hands to your house. You would rather put you hands in you jacket pockets and keep it warm. Or else, you should be satisfied with online shopping all the time. If you venture out late night, you might need a car. Unless you are in central london, most night buses stop service by 1.30 -2 am. Tubes stops early. Its not very comfortable out in the street during nights too. Its cold and you may feel unsafe. But don't buy the car the first week itself. Get used to the place and traffic before buying it. best way is to travel by bus and see how the driver does it. Except for the bus lane driving.
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Old 27th August 2015, 19:47   #17
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Reviving this thread as I am moving to UK. I am not going to be living in London so I will be needing a car. I heard that insurance is expensive so I intend buying a small hatchback to start with. I also need to get a UK driving licence for myself as well as my wife.
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Old 28th August 2015, 00:02   #18
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A few of my Indian friends use this: https://www.clements.com/portals/europe/motor/uk-motor
Clements Worldwide. Very cost efficient car insurance.
I recommend taking the NCD protection option.

The UK hatchback market is interesting. You'll find a hatchback from 200 to 20,000 sterling. Get a model with a moderate engine and good safety features to save on insurance in the initial years.
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Old 28th August 2015, 23:44   #19
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in Europe

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Originally Posted by Live To Jive View Post
Reviving this thread as I am moving to UK. I am not going to be living in London so I will be needing a car. I heard that insurance is expensive so I intend buying a small hatchback to start with. I also need to get a UK driving licence for myself as well as my wife.
All the best for your move!

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I am not going to be living in London so I will be needing a car
Can you elaborate? Does that mean you intend to drive into London from your living place? Or that you will be working and living somewhere else?

I'm British, but I can't help much as I've been away (here ) for a decade now. Yes, insurance is expensive, especially if you are young. They consider the driver as much as the vehicle, with factors such as age and experience on top of where you live. Yes, of course, an expensive/powerful car is expensive to insure --- but, I'm told that, these days, they hike the rates for cheap, old, second-hand cars too: a person driving some old thing they don't care about can be a dangerous driver!

When I came here, I was shocked at the price of used cars. If the differential is still there, you might, in UK, find that you can afford a better car, three or four years old, than you thought. NB: all cars, from a mere 3 years old, have to have an annual "MOT" test to be legal to drive.

You can drive for 12 months on your Indian licence, with an IDP. See the IDP thread: some people say you don't need one at all if your licence is written in English. I prefer to have one, just in case. Before the end of that period, you must pass a test and get a local licence. It is a real test, and it is not that easy!
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Old 4th September 2015, 19:06   #20
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
All the best for your move!
Thanks

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Can you elaborate? Does that mean you intend to drive into London from your living place? Or that you will be working and living somewhere else?
I'll be living and working in Swindon.

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Yes, insurance is expensive, especially if you are young.
Not expensive; Very very expensive.

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NB: all cars, from a mere 3 years old, have to have an annual "MOT" test to be legal to drive.
I know. That's why I'm planning to pay a bit extra for a car which has a valid MOT.

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You can drive for 12 months on your Indian licence, with an IDP. See the IDP thread: some people say you don't need one at all if your licence is written in English. I prefer to have one, just in case. Before the end of that period, you must pass a test and get a local licence. It is a real test, and it is not that easy!
I will attend classes and give the test ASAP.
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Old 5th November 2015, 21:24   #21
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in Europe

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I will attend classes and give the test ASAP.
I found this website very useful while preparing for the theory test:"http://toptests.co.uk/". I booked practical lessons only after I passed the theory test. Took about 5 practical lessons and passed the test in July with 7 minors. More than learning, it is unlearning.
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Old 6th November 2015, 02:56   #22
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... ... ..passed the test in July with 7 minors. More than learning, it is unlearning.
What is a "minor" in this context?

I'd be very interested to know about what the UK driving test is like these days: I passed one, second attempt, quite a while back, when it was only about half an hour driving with a number of set-piece manoeuvres, and a quick Q&A session with the examiner at the end.
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Old 6th November 2015, 08:26   #23
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I found this website very useful while preparing for the theory test:"http://toptests.co.uk/". I booked practical lessons only after I passed the theory test. Took about 5 practical lessons and passed the test in July with 7 minors. More than learning, it is unlearning.
Thanks for the link. I have not got time to take the classes and test due to other commitments. I will be doing that shortly. I've also decided to defer my car purchase by a year.
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Old 6th November 2015, 15:46   #24
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Originally Posted by Live To Jive View Post
Thanks for the link. I have not got time to take the classes and test due to other commitments. I will be doing that shortly. I've also decided to defer my car purchase by a year.
If you don't already know, you might want to consider the below factors:
1. You will need a provisional driving license before you can take your theory test. If you hold an Indian passport, you will also have to send the passport to the DVLA along with the application. And it will take at least two weeks before you have your passport back. That could be a problem if you have to travel or need your passport for anything else (like an IELTS exam)
2. In Norwich (where I am), it might be a few months before you have a date for your theory test. The practical test can be booked only after you pass your theory test and that can take a few more months of waiting. These waiting periods differ with the place you plan to take the test
3. The theory test also has a section called 'Hazard perception'. You will find many videos in youtube to help you with that.
4. I will strongly suggest that you take practical lessons at the same place where you plan to take the actual test. The driving schools know the routes taken for the practical tests and you would be familiar with the route before the test. That is particularly important when it comes to dealing with roundabouts.
5. Consider section 7 (Rules for car used in the driving test): https://www.gov.uk/practical-driving...-cars/overview

I would also recommend the following DVD. I personally found it very useful for both practical (Went through the practical sections before I took the lessons) and theory tests.

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What is a "minor" in this context?
From what you mentioned, it hasn't changed a lot. I have also included some details, which you would surely know, for the benefit of others.

1. Starts with the examiner asking you to read the number plates of a car about 20 meters away. I think the test ends there if you fail that
2. Gets into the car and there are a set of 'show me' (demonstrate) and 'tell me' (explain) questions. These questions are from a fixed set available on the DVLA website. https://www.gov.uk/government/public...fety-questions
3. The actual drive is for about 40 mins and includes 10 - 15 mins of 'independent driving'. During independent driving, the examiner instructs you to follow the route for a particular place. I had to use the road signs to follow the route. It is fine even if you end taking a wrong route as long as you don't break any rules. Mention it to the examiner and correct your route appropriately.
4. During the drive, the examiner asked me to pull over multiple times. It is often to check that you follow the 'mirror - signal - manoeuvre' process while pulling away.
5. There is a reverse and an emergency stop manoeuvre to be executed too. The reverse could be one among parallel parking, bay parking, a three point turn on a road or reversing into a side road. I had to do the bay parking which is probably the easiest amongst all. The emergency stop was in an isolated road.

There are no trick questions in the test. The examiner will NOT ask you to do something illegal.

During the test, you are allowed fifteen minor mistakes. Repeating the same minor mistake for over four times is a major. You are not allowed ANY major mistakes. The details are in the link I shared.

My minor mistakes included:

1. Did not check the blind spots 'enough' while pulling away from a parked position - 2 times. I did check the mirrors and signals. Otherwise, it would have been a major. Make sure you turn your head enough to convince the examiner that you have checked the blind spots.
2. Undue hesitation at roundabout - 1. I could have pulled away earlier.
3. Appropriate speed - 2. I was at 30 mph when the speed limit was 40. The fact is that I missed the road sign for 40. When you are not sure, keep to 30. It is 30 by default in 'built up areas'
4. Appropriate approach speed on the ramp for a dual carriage way - 1. I sped up enough to merge into the traffic on the dual carriage way. But I slowed a bit (instead of speeding) while I was merging into the traffic
5. Emergency stop - 1. The emergency stop was fine but I also shifted gears while stopping . I just couldn't get myself to slam the brakes when there was nothing in front of me. So, it was a bit controlled. Keep in mind that I would have failed if I had not stopped quickly enough

The roundabouts are slightly tricky. You have to use the correct approach lane for your exit and that means you have to plan ahead. I haven't had to do that in my 10 years of driving. More importantly, you have to ALWAYS give way to the traffic from left. Try that in India. The pass rates are slightly less than 50% which probably means that first time pass rates are still lower. But it is not too difficult with some preparation especially if you have experience in driving. The best advice I can give for the practical test is to be relaxed.

I realize that it was a long post. Hopefully, it was useful one too.
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Old 6th November 2015, 23:30   #25
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in Europe

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Originally Posted by ThomasZach View Post

From what you mentioned, it hasn't changed a lot. I have also included some details, which you would surely know, for the benefit of others.
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1. Starts with the examiner asking you to read the number plates of a car about 20 meters away. I think the test ends there if you fail that
Yep, if your eyesight is that bad, you should not be on the road, and the examiner is certainly not going to want to be driven by you!

Quote:
2. Gets into the car and there are a set of 'show me' (demonstrate) and 'tell me' (explain) questions. These questions are from a fixed set available on the DVLA website. https://www.gov.uk/government/public...fety-questions
... That's new.
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3. The actual drive is for about 40 mins and includes 10 - 15 mins of 'independent driving'. During independent driving, the examiner instructs you to follow the route for a particular place. I had to use the road signs to follow the route. It is fine even if you end taking a wrong route as long as you don't break any rules. Mention it to the examiner and correct your route appropriately.
Back in my day, the route was absolutely fixed: the examiner gave every direction.
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]. During the drive, the examiner asked me to pull over multiple times. It is often to check that you follow the 'mirror - signal - manoeuvre' process while pulling away.
Please remember to do that before pulling over too!. In fact, m-s-m before everything! And 'm' (mirror) all the time anyway. My father used to insist that I could tell him what was behind me at any moment without looking again after he asked. Examiners will waytch to see that you make regular use of the mirrors.

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5. There is a reverse and an emergency stop manoeuvre to be executed too. The reverse could be one among parallel parking, bay parking, a three point turn on a road or reversing into a side road. I had to do the bay parking which is probably the easiest amongst all. The emergency stop was in an isolated road.
In my day, we had to reverse around a corner and "turn the car using forward and reverse gears," not, a "three-point turn," as one is not required to do it in three. We did not have to reverse into a parking space, and parallel parking was not covered. I recall pressure to include parallel parking, as it is hard to avoid in real life.

Quote:
During the test, you are allowed fifteen minor mistakes. Repeating the same minor mistake for over four times is a major. You are not allowed ANY major mistakes. The details are in the link I shared.
We used to get a sheet telling us which faults we had failed on (I had one fail). No points or major/minor system, or not formally, anyway.

Quote:
1. Did not check the blind spots 'enough' while pulling away from a parked position - 2 times. I did check the mirrors and signals. Otherwise, it would have been a major. Make sure you turn your head enough to convince the examiner that you have checked the blind spots.
Important!
Quote:
2. Undue hesitation at roundabout - 1. I could have pulled away earlier.
3. Appropriate speed - 2. I was at 30 mph when the speed limit was 40. The fact is that I missed the road sign for 40. When you are not sure, keep to 30. It is 30 by default in 'built up areas'
It used to be called something like failing to make appropriate progress. Knowing that breaking the speed limit woudl be a big no-no, some people would drive really, really slowly: fail. Stopping at a give-way line, when the road is clear and you can see it is clear is also a fault. Etc.
Quote:
4. Appropriate approach speed on the ramp for a dual carriage way - 1. I sped up enough to merge into the traffic on the dual carriage way. But I slowed a bit (instead of speeding) while I was merging into the traffic
I don't think we had any dual-carriage-way driving.
Quote:
5. Emergency stop - 1. The emergency stop was fine but I also shifted gears while stopping . I just couldn't get myself to slam the brakes when there was nothing in front of me. So, it was a bit controlled. Keep in mind that I would have failed if I had not stopped quickly enough
Just hit the brakes. I think it went against me on my first test that I eased the braking when the car skidded,

Quote:
The roundabouts are slightly tricky. You have to use the correct approach lane for your exit and that means you have to plan ahead. I haven't had to do that in my 10 years of driving. More importantly, you have to ALWAYS give way to the traffic from left.
Typo? You always give way to traffic coming from the right!

Quote:
I realize that it was a long post. Hopefully, it was useful one too.
Certainly! Thank you

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 6th November 2015 at 23:33.
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Old 9th November 2015, 17:43   #26
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In my day, we had to reverse around a corner and "turn the car using forward and reverse gears," not, a "three-point turn," as one is not required to do it in three. We did not have to reverse into a parking space, and parallel parking was not covered. I recall pressure to include parallel parking, as it is hard to avoid in real life.
It is still not required to be completed in three. It is just called so though one can take more than three turns to complete it.

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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
We used to get a sheet telling us which faults we had failed on (I had one fail). No points or major/minor system, or not formally, anyway.
The sheet is still there. I got my copy too. I will try to find it and upload it if it can be of any use.

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Typo? You always give way to traffic coming from the right!
Absolutely right! Thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 25th August 2017, 10:28   #27
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Default Buying a car for 1 year in the UK?

Hello Everyone,

Next month, I am moving to Manchester, UK to do my Masters for a year. As a car nut, I could not help but wonder if I could buy a used car there, drive it for a year and sell it off for a similar price. In theory, it looks like its possible. I've seen really nice cars at killer prices on autotrader.co.uk. Cars that we dream about driving in India are available for just 5000 Pounds. 6 Series, Boxters, Z4's and what not.

However, I'm sure it's not that easy. There must be other additional expenses like insurance, parking etc. that drive up the cost significantly. To be honest, I don't think I'll actually go for it (unless I'm convinced otherwise ), but I thought that this would be a good topic for discussion.

Note: Mods, I couldn't find a related thread. Please merge if necessary
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Old 25th August 2017, 11:31   #28
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Hello Everyone,

Next month, I am moving to Manchester, UK to do my Masters for a year. As a car nut, I could not help but wonder if I could buy a used car there, drive it for a year and sell it off for a similar price. In theory, it looks like its possible. I
I know Manchester well as I have a lot of family. Note:

1: Cars don't hold their value, sports cars are seasonal. Buy in winter and sell in summer if you must

2: Insurance will kill you. A student with an India licence means you might pay almost as much as the car

3: Manchester has decent public transport within, there is so much to do which does not require a car or you will be in a state not to drive a car

Consider hiring when you need to

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 25th August 2017 at 13:02. Reason: Typo corrected. Courtsy jacobvarughese :)
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Old 25th August 2017, 12:29   #29
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Default Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in Europe

I was placed in an interesting conundrum 11 years ago when I read for my Masters in North Wales(Bangor University).
Less than 2 months into the course, my friends and I finalised a vehicle for circa 250 pounds from the owner of a Turkish doner kebab outlet, and he asked me a simple question whilst going for a test drive: who will drive the vehicle? I replied all of my friends (as we had pooled in the monies to purchase it)- the guy, who was shocked, explained to me that unlike in India insurance was not dependent on a vehicle but the person. This meant every friend have to pay the premium and get his name registered. He also further pointed out insurers have several permutations and combinations in premium calculation, and the total premium cost may exceed 1,000 pounds. As a result, we shelved our car purchase plans in the U.K. during our studies.

Last edited by jacobvarughese : 25th August 2017 at 12:30.
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Old 29th August 2017, 00:57   #30
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I lived in UK for more than a year in 2006-07. Since I used to live in Ipswich and used to travel to London often on weekends I figured I could save time (and money) if I bought a car. I bought a car at an RAC inspected and approved dealership buying insurance from them and taking driving lessons from the same group and having RAC membership. Found it hassle free that way and they even provide Travel insurance for my weekly travels across the channel. Not sure how expensive they are now.
I failed my license test twice and got it only in my third attempt but found it did not reduce my insurance fee even after getting an UK drivers license. I even elected for "Pass Plus" course in hopes of reducing the cost but the savings were not very significant.
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