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2017 might just be the year that hopeful buyers finally get a foot on the property ladder. With rental costs through the roof (excuse the pun), renters are finding it next to impossible to save for a deposit for a home.

Introducing the Help To Buy scheme. It was announced in November 2016, and aims to help First-Time Buyers to buy or build their first home. So you might be wondering what it all means? First Time Buyers, don’t lose hope! AXA Insurance is here to fill you in.


Four first time drivers tell us their funny stories!

first time drivers

For many of us learning to drive might seem simple. And to a lot of first time drivers it is…but it can also be stressful. There are plenty of things that can go wrong – sometimes with hilarious consequences! Be it bossy parents or just getting too confident too quickly, first time drivers can find themselves in all sorts of situations.

Below are some of our favourite confessions and funny stories from four first time drivers , about the things that happened when they had their L plates up.


Know your pedals! – Stacey

“It was my first time driving a car that wasn’t dual control. I was approaching a junction and the instructor said something to me that I didn’t quite catch. I panicked and hit the accelerator instead of the brakes. We were okay, we didn’t hit anything but the instructor was very shaken. So much so that he got out of the car in the middle of traffic and insisted on taking over driving duties.”


No! Your other left. – Amy

“I was still in the early stages of learning when my uncle insisted on taking me out for a lesson. He was barking instructions two at a time. “Indicate, check your mirror, turn on the windscreen wipers etc. He didn’t have a great temperament for teaching and was getting more and more agitated. Naturally the more agitated he got the more stressed I got. He came to breaking point when he told me to take a left and I turned right. He pulled out a felt tip pen and wrote left and right on my hands!”


Mother knows best. – Matthew

“After five or six lessons and impressing my instructor I decided to take my mother out for a spin. I told her to sit in the back and not to interrupt me, that I knew exactly what I was doing and didn’t need her input – she was just to enjoy the journey. We sat in the driveway for ten or fifteen minutes and I was completely at a loss as to why the car wouldn’t start. When all of a sudden my mother’s hand appeared from the back and released the handbrake. I turned to see a weary smile on her face. “I was just testing you”. Word to the wise, don’t be bossy with your mother.”


The dreaded hill start. – Sean

“Everyone knows how stressful hill starts can be when you’re learning how to drive. It’s so easy to roll back or stall. I may have the world record of about 40 attempts before I actually got it! The car was basically back down at the bottom of the hill! Mind you I’m an excellent hill starter now.”


If  you are a first time driver looking for ways to save some money when buying your car insurance we have plenty of options for you.


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*The customers mentioned above have received a gratuity for their time.

Learning to drive with ISM instructor Lorraine Kelly

AXA have teamed up with the Irish School of Motoring (ISM) to reward safe drivers with better premiums. In this installment of our ‘In the Driver’s Seat’ feature we speak with ISM driving instructor Lorraine Kelly, to get her tips on learning to drive.

image driver

Lorraine has been a driving instructor for over 10 years and she has seen every mistake possible!

Lorraine talks to us about problems young drivers face every day and what is expected of learner drivers on test day.

Overcoming nerves is often the biggest issue for a young driver. Driving can seem like a daunting task at the beginning and during the test nerves can take over. Some students have the opposite problem and are too confident, they think they can show up for their lessons, coast through, walk into their test and pass without putting in any extra effort. Effort equals reward. The only way to hone your driving skills is to practice.

I always say to nervous drivers “relax, stay calm and reassure them that they have a skilled professional with them who is going to get them up to speed”. I often get asked for a top tip when it comes to the driving test, but honestly there is no one secret trick to pass! Utilising your time with your driving instructor and committing to regular practice with a sponsor is the best “trick” to passing the test.

Often my new students are driving for the very first time, so it’s my job to create a rapport, explain my role in the process and how I am going to help along every step of the way. I always ask first time students what concerns them the most about the driving test and they all say the reverse around the corner, funnily that’s what every student says right before the test also!

Practice makes perfect and if a student has focused and worked on their maneuvering there shouldn’t be a problem.

Some practical advice for the driving test, be on time! Arrive at least 15 minutes before your test to give yourself time to relax. Have all your documentation with you and make sure your car is road-worthy and clean!

AXA and ISM have a great deal where you can get up to €400 off your car insurance if you take 12 lessons with ISM.

Why not take a few minutes to see what else we have on offer for young drivers or talk to us today on 1890 24 7 365.


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