How to choose your driving instructor.

Don’t be one of the 30% of learner drivers that change their instructor before test!

Most students and their parents are looking for a driving school and driving instructor that will teach the driving syllabus efficiently. This should include both preparation for the practical test and enough driving skills to remain safe on today busy roads.

So, how do you choose your instructor and ensure you will receive the maximum value for your money and be prepared in the shortest time possible?

Will your driving instructor be fully qualified?

It may come as a surprise but not all Driving Instructors are fully qualified!

It’s been a long-standing issue within the driving school industry that ‘trainee’ instructors are allowed by law to provide lessons at the same lesson rate as fully qualified instructors! Personally, I think this practice is very poor and many driving schools do not mention this fact when students are booking their lessons. I would suggest that you make a point of asking if your Driving Instructor will be fully qualified during your initial enquiry.

Lessons duration.

Lessons are usually 1 hour, 1 & half hour or 2 hours in duration. Factors can include where you live in relation to the appropriate training areas, where you are in the training syllabus and how quickly you want to pass your test. I would recommend longer sessions especially in the early stages to give you the best value for your money. When taking two hour lessons multiple topics can be grouped together, similar to the school curriculum to keep learning fresh and focused. Unnecessary travel time between training areas is also eliminated which avoids extending and prolonging the learning period.

Intensive courses.

Many of the enquiries that we receive asking about intensive courses are from students that have yet to take and pass their theory test. Should this be the case, you would normally be waiting for around six weeks for a practical test from the time you pass your theory test. Should you be looking to take a week off college or work and condense your lessons, this could work if you were able to schedule your intensive course a few weeks before your practical test. Taking an intensive course and then having to wait more than a few weeks before taking your practical test could mean you find yourself getting rusty while you are waiting. The other thing to consider is that you may be purchasing more lessons than you require and therefore spending more money than is necessary, or booking less lessons that you need and arriving on test day underprepared and run the risk of having to rebook another test and having the frustration of waiting a few months for your next test and the extra expense that will come as a result.

Will your driving instructor be compatible with you and will he/she provide the best value for your money?

Driving instructors vary enormously in the way they teach the syllabus and the quality of their teaching. They also vary in customer skills when it comes to their patients and friendliness. It is quite disturbing that around 30% of all learner drivers feel the need to change their driving instructor before reaching test standard because of incompatibility issues or the lack of progress. Many instructors work as sole operators and have no requirement for ongoing training. In fact, many independent instructors never take any further training from the day that they qualified. Very few driving schools monitor their driving instructor’s performance and provide ongoing training to ensure they keep up to date with modern teaching methods.

The price you can expect to pay for your driving lessons.

The price you pay for your lessons will be related to the training skill and compatibility of your instructor. Some instructors have never taken any training since the day they qualified and often lack the modern teaching methods recommended by the governing body (DVSA). Those that operate with the lowest lesson prices tend to have the lowest pass rates and lack customer reviews and recommendations. Purchasing what appear to be ‘cheap’ lessons and a good deal is tempting, especially when on a tight budget, but there is often a hidden cost to

cheap. Quite often a much longer learning period, frustration at the lack of progress and the expense of a failed test and having to take further lessons.

The best instructors and those with the highest first-time pass rates will have invested in their training to be at the top of their game. They tend to have superior compatibility skills and as a result, will have copious amounts of customer reviews and recommendations. They command higher lesson fees as you would expect but will provide superior value for money with the quality of their instruction and a shorter learning period.

So how is this a benefit to you, the student?

We operate a unique ALS (Accelerated Learning System) which as the name suggests, is in place to speed up your learning period and ensure you receive full value for your money. Your driving lessons will adhere to the DVSA’s client centred policy and will be interactive so you will have an input to how they are conducted. This policy eliminates many frustrations that students encounter with large amounts of time parked at the kerbside and endless hours of aimless driving around with no plan or structure to the lesson.