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The 10 Worst Parking Fails

June 23, 2015
Posted in Editorial,Humour — Written by Nationla Numbers

Even the best drivers don’t enjoy parking at the best of times. Lots of people will even go out of their way to avoid parallel parking or parking too close to other vehicles. This is common, but even the least confident drivers will look at these 10 jokers and wonder how then even managed to get on the road in the first place. We have everything from vehicles parked in the wrong places, to inconsiderate drivers not even caring to park at all, and not forgetting the drivers who leave absolute terror in their wake.


Tesco’s Finest Parking Fail

Parking Fail Trolley

What was the driver thinking?

“My Lord, why is no one using this sheltered parking space? It seems ideal for small vehicles!”

What are we thinking?

“Have you never been shopping before?”

Parking Fail Score: 8/10



The Blocker

Parking Fail Block

What was the driver thinking?

“Well no where to park. I’m sure these disabled people don’t mind if I prevent them from driving any time soon.”

What are we thinking?

“At least he had the courtesy to not use the last disabled space, that would have been inconsiderate …”

Parking Fail Score: 7/10



Motorcycles Only!

Parking Fail Motorcycles Only

What was the driver thinking?

“These markings are more of a suggestion than a rule.”

What are we thinking?

“For real, you can’t read can you?”

Parking Fail Score: 5/10


Two Space Hog

Parking Fail Two Spaces

What was the driver thinking?

“All these other cars smell.”

What are we thinking?

“How little confidence do you have in your parking ability that you need that much space?”

Parking Fail Score: 5/10



Wrong Space, Wrong Number of Spaces

Parking Disabled

What was the driver thinking?

“I won’t be here long. Better make sure I’m twice as annoying as usual.”

What are we thinking?

“If there was a Parking Fail bingo card, this guy would win.”

Parking Fail Score: 6/10



Car Hokey Cokey

Parking Fail Back Up

What was the driver thinking?

“That’ll do. You can see what I was going for.”

What are we thinking?

“Was the extra two seconds of gas too much?”

Parking Fail Score: 4/10



Hit the Grass!

Parking Fail Grass

What was the driver thinking?

“If anyone asks I’ll just say I broke down.”

What are we thinking?

“Better tow it, then.”

Parking Fail Score: 6/10



Balancing Act

Parking Fail Double Yellow

What was the driver thinking?

“Does this not count as a curb?”

What are we thinking?

“Does that not count as being on two double-yellows? (Quadruple yellow?)”

Parking Fail Score: 8/10



Smart Car Indeed

Parking Fail Smart

What was the driver thinking?

“I’m not in the way, am I?”

What are we thinking?

“Nice car. It’d be a shame if someone smashed into the side of it because you cannot parallel park.”

Parking Fail Score: 6/10



Only in America

Parking Fail USA

What was the driver thinking?

“… Like a glove.”

What are we thinking?

“Trust the Americans to take Parking Fails to the next level.”

Parking Fail Score: 10/10



5 Personalised Plates Myths … Busted

June 16, 2015
Posted in Editorial,Interesting — Written by Nationla Numbers

Personalised plates can mean one of two things – 1. Private registrations that Nationla Numbers sells, and 2. The plastic plates that you put onto your vehicle.

You are probably aware already what you can and can’t have on a private registration, but what many people aren’t aware of are the rules and regulations relating to the plates themselves.

Personalised number plates are just strict as the DVLA’s format for car registrations, and the penalties can be hugely costly if you deliberately or accidentally use an illegal set.

In today’s blog we will address the common myths surrounding personalised plates, and we will tell you exactly what you can and can’t have.


Myth #1

“I can space personalised number plates however I want.”

singh personalised number plates

Many people forget that when you buy a personalised registration you are still buying what is a valid vehicle registration number from the DVLA, and so it is still in format. However, since it is a personalised plate you might still make the assumption that you can modify it to look however you want.

For example, if you buy F511 NGH because your name is Singh then you might want to space it so 511NGH is together, thus spelling the name. It makes sense, but it is illegal as it doesn’t match the official format.

All personalised plates much meet the standard DVLA formats, which have been explained here. Spaces are legally mandated and cannot be omitted, altered or moved.

Singh personalised plates


Myth #2

“I am allowed to use my own images on a personal reg.”

derek personalised number plates

You might have noticed that some plates have a flag on the left side. You might think this is a customisation option and you could potentially have any picture you want in place of that, but unfortunately that is not correct.

Flags act as identifiers and the EU symbol is compulsory for any vehicle travelling through Europe. Like characters and spacing, the size, shape and even colour are mandated by DVLA. The only ones you can have are as follows:

  • Union Flag (UK)
  • Cross of St George (ENG)
  • Cross of St Andrew – also known as the Saltire (SCO)
  • Red Dragon of Wales (WALES, CYM)
  • Euro Flag (GB)

I have had customers ask for things like the Cornish flag in the past, but even this is not allowed unfortunately.

derek personalised plate


Myth #3

“It is okay to add my own slogan at the bottom of my number plates.”

sa personalised number plates

If you get number plates from a car dealership you will notice that they will put their name at the bottom. You might this this is them trying to get some free advertising and that if you had your own personalised plates made up you can add your own name or slogan at the bottom.

However, that is not correct. According to DVLA:

The British Standard sets out the characteristics of the number plate. This includes visibility, strength and reflectivity. To meet the British Standard, each number plate must be permanently and legibly marked with the following information.

1. The British Standard number (currently BS AU 145d)

2. The name, trademark or other way of identifying the manufacturer or supplier

3. The name and postcode of the supplying outlet


This is basically so the supplier of the number plate can be held accountable if there is anything wrong with the plate, such as it not being made to legal standards.

The space reserved for the name can be no more than 13mm in height, so is barely visible at a distance, and no other advertisement is allowed.

sa personalised plates


Myth #4

“Personal number plates don’t have to use the standard sizes and colours.”

des personalised number plates

Technically, this is sort-of half true if you are talking about the size and shape of the acrylic number plate. Many makes and models even require specially cut and shaped number plates these days, such as the curved Ferrari plates.

Other than this though, DVLA do have set guidelines for the size of the font, the colour of the font, and the material used. All personalised plates must be made of reflective acrylic and must be white on the front and yellow on the back, all with black text.

You couldn’t for example had a red number plate to match your Ferrari, like one customer asked for.

You cannot actually have anything in the background on the number plate. It much be plain white or yellow. Even the honeycomb that some number plate suppliers issue is no longer allowed.

des personalised plates


Myth #5

“The font on personalised plates can be changed.”

marty personalised number plates

No matter what personalised number plate you have, no matter the format or the length, every single character on a number plate is deliberately formatted within DVLA’s specifications. You cannot have any variation on the font.

We’ve been through what this format is in the past, but as a summary it is as follows:

  • Characters must be 50mmx79mm (except for I/1), and 14mm thick.
  • Spaces of 11mm between each character.
  • Spaces in the format must be 33mm.
  • Margins at the top and bottom must be 11mm.

Even if you have your own personalised number plates made up you cannot change the font if you want to be able to drive the car. It is this way so every number plate on the road can be easily identified. In fact, that is the reason why many of these rules are in place to begin with.

marty personalised plates



If you are caught violating any of the rules mentioned you could face fines of up to lb1,000 and your MOT will be invalidated, even if you are using personalised plates.

Remember, these are in place to keep you and other drivers as safe as possible. Do not fall for any of these myths, it is not worth it!


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Driving Test: The DOs and the DON’Ts

June 9, 2015

June 1st marked the 80th birthday of Britain’s driving test. It has changed a lot over the years – for example the ability to reverse park was only added to the criteria in 1991.

For many drivers the driving test has been the source of many memories – both happy and traumatic – over the last 80 years and it will continue to be just that for the hundreds of new drivers coming through every day.

To celebrate the Oak Anniversary of the DVLA’s driving test we asked our followers on Twitter and Facebook and our customers what their fondest (and darkest) memories were, what we got was a great list of DOs and DON’Ts that should be studies by all young, future drivers hoping to take their test soon.


- Do -

driving test tips

Get Confident

You know how to drive!

This is just one of those times where you know you are being watched and you have a lot riding on the next 40+ minutes of driving, so you are going to be nervous. Just remember all the preparation you have put in and let the pressure fall off your shoulders and you will get through your driving test no problem.

One young lady thought she failed her driving test in the first five minutes after narrowly avoiding a van. Thinking it was over she continued driving naturally, and it turned out she passed!

Getting confident and loose could mean the difference between a failed driving test and a successful driving test.


- Don’t -

don't get clever

Get Clever

You are always being watched, but you don’t need to overthink things. Stick to what you know, you have had enough time to learn from your instructor what is expected of you.

When asked to do a three-point turn in the road, Iain from Wales thought he found a loophole of sorts when he used a driveway to perform the manoeuvre. Obviously the examiner was not impressed.

Another gentleman, Daniel, recalls his first driving test when he noticed his assessor did not have his seatbelt on and thought he’d earn extra points by sternly requesting he do so. “We were still on the private ground of the test centre car park,” the examiner said. “I am not required to do so.” It was all downhill from there.

Your assessor is the one who decides whether you pass your driving test or not, don’t try to get one over them or you aren’t going to have a good day.


- Do -

do strike up a conversation

Strike Up a Conversion

Seeing as your driving test lives and dies at the whim of your examiner you may as well get them on your side. I know whether they like you or not shouldn’t affect your scores but we are all human so it will have some impact at least.

Sarah from Manchester got on with her assessor so well that at some point during the driving test she stopped being directed and was told to drive until she found somewhere to test her parking. 15 minutes later they were back at the test centre and Sarah was apologising for forgetting to find somewhere to park. “It’s okay, I’m sure you’re capable” said the examiner!

I’m not suggestion you become a teacher’s pet, but being friendly and getting off on the right foot with your examiner will go a lot way.


- Don’t -

dont radio

Turn the Radio On

There is such a thing as too confident and nothing says this more than a radio during a driving test!

Keeping in mind you are supposed to get on with your examiner, the last thing you want to do is to put the radio on. I know it can be awkward if there isn’t a conversation going, but blanking out your assessor isn’t the way to go.

Not to mention it could potentially be distracting and could even drown-out your examiner’s instructions. This will not help your final score.

That said, who knows, maybe you can bond over your taste in music? I wouldn’t risk it though.


- Do -

do expect the unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

Did you know in certain cities in America there is such a thing as an automatic pass in a driving test? You basically have to avoid or prevent an accident. It is basically a shortcut to telling your examiner that you are a safe driver, which is enough across the pond.

Unfortunately it isn’t enough over here – not that you should want to be anywhere near an accident on your driving test anyway – but it can be points in your favour.

Jordan, from Newcastle, was warned that there would be an emergency stop on a particular road. The examiner looked out the back window while on the road, likely checking if there was anything behind them, so Jordan waited for a signal. Suddenly, a child on a bicycle rode out in front of them. Jordan slammed down for an emergency stop, sending the examiner into the windscreen.

“Okay, you’ve passed,” said the examiner. “Please take me back to the test centre, my head hurts.”


- Don’t -

dont let your fears

Let Your Fears Get the Better of You

Fear combined with nerves is a horrendous combination, and it is what leads to more driving test failures than anything else.

Mark remembers stopping at a crossroads and outright refused to drive any further, purely out of fear of causing an accident. Anne from Berkshire even remembers asking her examiner to take the wheel at a roundabout. These are instant failures, and brought on by fear.

Some go even further. One girl, who has never passed her test, and swerved and bailed from the vehicle while it was still moving during a driving test. The reason? A wasp flew into the car. She says if she was ever in that situation again … she would react in exactly the same way.

Fear makes fools of us all.


- Do -

do prioritise


Just like how some people let their fears takeover you also find young drivers putting themselves in position to fail just by focusing on the wrong thing.

Gary from London bravely admits he failed his first driving test after checking his phone while driving, and his second after asking his examiner to take the wheel while he checked his phone. I guess you can count that as improving, sort of?

You’ve got to remember some things are more important than others. On a driving test a major fault has more weight than a minor, for example, so avoid majors at all cost even if it means a minor here or there.

Kathryn remembers putting herself in a similar situation on a driving test. She describes it much better than I ever could.

“I swerved to avoid an injured pigeon, and ended up in the path of an articulated lorry. At this point, I did the sensible thing and closed my eyes. My instructor took the wheel and deposited us in the roadside ditch. Upon opening my eyes, I discovered my instructor was nearly in tears. I failed.”



- Don’t -

dont forget your basics

Forget Your Basics

Once again, you can drive!

You should have logged at least 30 hours before you even thing of having your driving test, at which point, if you used the same instructor, you should the vehicle you take like the back of your hand.

Don’t be like Kerry who found herself rolling down the hill while attempting to parallel park, completely missing the fact that she had stalled the vehicle.

Don’t be like Simon who sabotaged himself by completely forgetting how to open the hood of the car during the show-me-tell-me portion of the test. You’re better than that!

You should have also passed your theory test with flying colours, so you shouldn’t have to be reminded that 40mph isn’t the national speed limit, like Freddy from London had to.


- Do -

do improvise


The harsh reality of driving tests is that you will make a mistake – you know it, I know it, and your examiner knows it. All drivers make mistakes, it isn’t an issue, you just need to convince the examiner that you can handle it safely.

Tim vividly remembers his first driving test when he was asked to take the next right, and he did – right into the forecourt of a garage.

“Erm … on second thought perhaps we don’t need petrol,” Tim stammered as he pulled up next to the pumps. He turned back out onto the main road and made the correct turn off as suggested by his assessor.

Tim is still haunted by the mistake 36 years after passing, but it his rather humorous recovery that likely saved him. You know the examiner knew he made the mistake, but he wasn’t going to fault him after he reacted accordingly.

You might find yourself in similar situations. Just remember, you can drive, and you can get yourself out of a situation with a bit of quick thinking.


- Don’t -

dont give up

Give Up

Last, but certainly not least, is this.

In 2014 only around 50% of tests were passed. This is counting people who took multiple tests. This means most people fail at least once, and a lot of people might take several tries.

You can react to this statistic one of two ways.

Either you can panic and let your fears get the better of you, meaning you get nervous, forget your basics and make your job a whole lot hard.

Or you can realise the pressure is off. You can have fun with your test and make it an enjoyable experience for you and your examiner. And if you fail, so what? It was a learning experience and you will be twice as good next time.

Keep persisting, keep trying, put the work in and you will see results.

Above all else, remember, you CAN drive!