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Jargon buster for learner drivers

tyres Learning to drive is a hard enough task, and that’s before you even consider all the new terms you have to learn. Beyond the technique of driving, you need to be aware of the terminology surrounding cars. It’s easy to get lost with car jargons and be left completely confused as you learn your theory and take driving lessons. Below we explain some of the jargon for learner drivers.

Anti-lock breaks [ABS]

A system fitted that prevents the wheels from locking when breaking. This is particularly important when you stop in an emergency as it prevents the car from sliding out of control.

Blind spot

A section of the road that you cannot see in any mirror. Typically, you’ll be taught to check your blind spot yourself, by safely turning to check out of a back window during a manoeuvre.

Catalytic converter

A stainless-steel canister fitted to cars exhaust system that contains a thin layer on catalytic material. It induces chemical reactions that convert an engine's exhaust emissions into less harmful products.

Disc brakes

A type of brake that consists of a disc that rotates at wheel speed. Disc brakes operate more efficiently at high temperatures and wet conditions than drum brakes.

Learning driver insurance

Learner driver insurance (also known as provisional driver insurance) is a type of cover specially designed for people learning to drive. It gives you a chance to learn to drive in a family member or friend's car, so you can ease driving lesson costs and get a feel for what might be your future car.

Manual gearbox

A manual gearbox requires the driver to select each gear themselves. Alternatively, there’s an automatic gearbox where you don’t have to worry about picking a gear – but the two different gearboxes do have different licenses. If you pass in an automatic car, you still won’t be eligible to drive a manual one.

Provisional Driving Licence

A provisional driving licence is key for anyone learning to drive. It is an official document that gives you permission to drive on all UK roads (aside from motorways) while under the supervision of your driving instructor or another driver who is over the age of 21 and has held a valid driving licence for 3 or more years. This is only valid if you’re also insured to drive in the vehicle.

Traction Control

This system will help ensure that the car doesn’t suddenly lose its grip on the road. It prevents wheelspin by detecting when a driven wheel is about to break traction, and then reduces engine power or applies the appropriate brakes to prevent danger.


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