There are few more satisfying achievements in life than when you pass your driving test.
Being able to drive gives you a massive amount of freedom and independence, however, the process of learning to drive can be something different entirely.
Just about everyone finds it scary when they get behind the wheel for the first time and the prospect of being on the road with other road users is a daunting one.
The best thing you can do from the outset is arm yourself with a good driving instructor.
Finding an instructor who will help make learning to drive a more enjoyable and efficient process is really important and can be the difference between you passing first time or failing.
A poor instructor can also make the process of learning to drive an unpleasant one and actually do more long-term damage to your aspirations than anything else.
Therefore, you need to take the time to understand what you need from an instructor and how to make sure you find the best one possible for you.
It’s also important to beware that a good instructor to your friend or family member may not equate to a good instructor for you.
Everyone has different styles and different ways of learning, so choosing the right driving school is really important.
We’ve put together this guide to help you at the very first step of your driver learning process; finding the right instructor.
It’s genuinely one of the most important decisions to make as you need someone that’s right for you.
This guide will teach you about making that decision.
We will take you through a step-by-step process which will tell you what to look for in your instructor and give advice as to who you should proceed.
Also as important is what to avoid and what to perhaps not give as much importance to in your decision process.
So that we keep things in a methodical and consistent order, it will follow the same outline as all of our driving guides:
So, you’ve made the decision to learn to drive.
Excellent, you won’t regret it, however, now you need to pick a driving instructor or driving school that is right for you.
Here is our step-by-step guide for how to go about doing so.
Talk To Friends & Family:
First thing is first – do your research!
A starting point should be to talk to friends who have done their driving lessons recently and ask for recommendations.
Checkout Instructors & Schools On LearnerDriverZone:
Here at LearnerDriverZone is a great place to look for a driving school or driving instructor.
Our search engine will instantly give you lots of local results which you can go through at your own pace.
Reviews are really important as well, so check out the star ratings and reviews that have been left by users.
Check Their Credentials:
When you have narrowed your shortlist down to two or three, look for evidence that they are qualified to teach you to drive.
They’ll need to have passed three tough tests to have qualified as an instructor and will also need to have a valid criminal record check (CRB check) and have been checked and approved by the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
If all of this is in place, their car should have a green sticker to reflect the fact that they’re fully qualified.
A pink sticker indicates they are part qualified.
Fortunately, all driving instructors and schools can display their credentials on their LearnerDriverZone profile page.
The cost of driving lessons is important and everyone has a budget to work to.
While this should play a role in the decision process, it’s more important that you find the right instructor rather than the cheapest.
Book Trial Lessons:
Whether you have narrowed down your choice to a few instructors, or even just one, it’s now time to book that first lesson.
Regardless of how good of a deal they offer, only book a handful of lessons to start with.
It’s likely that you will need to spend the equivalent of nearly two days with your instructor, so take a trial with them and see if you enjoy it.
How do they react to mistakes?
Is their teaching method one that you find easy to follow?
Take the opportunity to ask them some questions too – see our hints and tips section below for some guidance on this.
Book Block Lessons:
Once you’re satisfied that you have found your instructor and that you have completed an enjoyable first lesson, book them in for a run of lessons and look forward to the process of learning to drive.
You will also find that usually most driving instructors provide a discount for block bookings so it will be more cost-effective in the long-run too.
When you head out for that trial lesson, or even at an earlier stage if you speak to them on the telephone or by email, there are a few questions you may want to ask your potential new instructor to ensure they’re right for you.
Here are a few of them:
What Type Of Driving Courses Do You Offer?
This is a great starter question as you can find out if they offer intensive courses, post-test motorway driving lessons, hourly lessons, etc.
How Long Have You Been A Qualified Driving Instructor?
While qualifications are important, so is experience.
If the instructor has been in the job a long time, they will have a wealth of experience with different driving and learning styles.
Do You Have Good Pass Rates?
Direct and to the point, but it’s useful to know.
Are There Any Other Instructors At Your Driving School?
A very important question to ask in case your instructor becomes sick or goes on holiday at a crucial time in your learning process.
Are You Experienced With The Local Driving Test Routes & Test Centres?
Local knowledge can be so helpful when it comes to your driving test.
If you’ve had the opportunity to drive those roads before your test, it can really help settle your nerves.
According to the DVSA, a learner driver will need on average 44 hours of professional driving lessons before they pass their test.
This underlines just how important it is that you take the time to select the right driving instructor or driving school for you.
That isn’t all.
In addition to those 44 hours, you should add a further 22 hours of private practice with a friend or family member.
Learning to drive is a huge investment of time and money, so you should do everything you can to make sure you get it right and make it worthwhile.
Many people underestimate the importance of selecting the right driving instructor and may only correct this error after they have already wasted a significant amount of time or money on lessons with them.
Worse still, some learner drivers will be put through their driving test and fail due to not having the right instructor or one they feel comfortable with.
This truly is a vital step in the process of learning to drive so don’t feel nervous changing driving instructors if you are not 100% comfortable.
Finding the right driving instructor early will make the whole process much more easier and enjoyable and significantly improve your pass rate.