How Do I Choose Between Driving Instructors
Choosing the right driving instructor for you from the many that are available can be quite a daunting task. However, if you want to learn effectively and save money by giving yourself the best chance of passing first time, it is really important to choose wisely.
Some people think that the only difference between one driving school and another is the price they charge.
Well surely that must be right, because all driving instructors are the same and offer the same service – don’t they?
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of very good instructors around. Sadly though, there are some very poor ones too!
The national average first time pass rate is only 45%, and has been at or around that mark for several years.
In fact, 30% of learners take 3 or more tests before passing.
If all instructors were the same, by the law of averages, they would all have similar pass rates, but they don’t.
I started Roadmaster in 2001 and since then, over 75% of my students have passed ‘First Time’.
This is not achieved by good luck.
I know the cost of lessons is important, but don’t confuse cheap with good value. Choosing an instructor because they were the cheapest could be like buying a cheap parachute; you might not find out why it was cheap till it’s too late.
If you choose cheap lessons you will almost certainly need more of them. You will also stand a much higher chance of joining the 56% of people who fail their first test when the time comes. This will, in turn mean taking more lessons and retests. The cost of this will far outweigh the cost of taking better lessons in the first place!
So How Do I Choose Then?
There are many things you might want to consider when trying to choose the right instructor for YOU, such as:
Do they come recommended by friends or family?
Driving instructors are no different from any other tradesperson, with good ones getting most of their work from recommendations.
Are they an experienced instructor/teacher, and do they have a proven record?
Many driving instructors come and go or flit between franchises because they can’t get enough work. The better instructors tend to have been around for a number of years, because they are successful.
Having spoken to the instructor, do they sound like someone that you could get along with?
You will spend a lot of time with this person and if you don’t feel comfortable with them you will not enjoy your lessons. Whilst driving needs to be taken seriously, learning should still be fun.
How long would a lesson last, and what options are there to vary the length of lessons to suit your circumstances?
Some instructors only do lessons of a certain length, because it is more convenient for them. However, your instructor should be flexible enough to offer lessons of a length that suits your needs not just their own. Bear in mind that where you live can make shorter lessons impractical, so flexibility should go both ways!
Can you be picked up at home, work, school or other place convenient for you?
Sometimes, it can be useful to vary the pick up and drop off points a little to give more time to experience different areas, especially if you live some way from town and only take shorter lessons.
Is any revision material available, and if so would you have to pay extra for it?
You will be given lots of information during your lessons and you won’t be able to take notes while driving!
Will you always get ‘One to One’ instruction from the same instructor for all your lessons?
Some instructors might ask you to collect or drop off other pupils during the time allocated to your lesson. This is called ‘Piggy Backing’ and should definitely be avoided. Also, some bigger franchises may even send a different instructor for some of your lessons.
What conditions apply, for example should you need to cancel a pre-booked lesson etc?
You should be given proper Terms & Conditions. READ THEM! Terms & Conditions will vary. For example, some instructors will require 48hrs notice to cancel a booking without charge, others 24hrs etc.
What help, if any, is available for your preparation for taking the Theory Test?
Will you be given access to any learning materials, either paper based or online etc? Are dedicated theory lessons available if required? This may be important to you, especially if you have any learning difficulties.
Does the instructor or anyone else smoke or carry pets in the car?
This would be important to you if you are a non-smoker or have any allergies (it is illegal to smoke in a driving school car, as it’s a place of work, even between lessons).
Is the car fitted with dual controls?
Almost every instructor’s car is fitted with dual controls these days, but it is still worth asking.
Does the car have air conditioning, so that you don’t have to sit in an unbearably hot car during your lessons?
You need to be comfortable in the car in order to concentrate on the job at hand. Don’t be afraid to say if you are uncomfortable during lessons. Your instructor should be quite happy to show you how to change the heater controls to find a setting that is comfortable for you.
Does the car suit your build?
You don’t really want to be rubbing shoulders with your instructor/examiner, or have your head rubbing on the roof if you are tall.
If you are unsure about anything, would the instructor be prepared to meet you personally before committing to taking lessons with them?
This can be a good way to break the ice if you are nervous about meeting strangers, and also help reduce the nervous feeling that most people have before the first lesson.
Would the instructor be happy for you to bring a friend or family member along to your lesson?
This can be a great help, especially if they are going to take you out driving for private practise between lessons.
Beware of any extraordinary claims about how few lessons you will need, or of ‘unique’ training methods, matrixes or other gimmicks. You are an individual and the training should be tailored to suit YOUR needs.
These are just a few things that you might like to consider when choosing your driving instructor.
I hope this will help you to avoid the disappointment of taking sub-standard tuition, and the subsequent cost of taking several tests.
Whoever you choose, I wish you good luck and happy motoring.
If I can help you further in any way, please call me. I would love to help you.
01205 357210 or 07952 059515