The average learner needs around 45 hours worth of driving lessons before they pass their test. That’s 45 hours spent with your driving instructor, so choosing somebody that you feel comfortable with is very important. If you have a bad driving instructor, it may take you a lot longer than 45 hours before you are ready for your test, and your chance of failure is much higher.
That means that the cost of learning to drive will be significantly increased. It’s also worth remembering that this person is responsible for your safety while you are in the car, so you need somebody experienced.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know where to start when choosing a driving instructor and they make the wrong choice. If you are planning to start your lessons soon, here are some of the best tips to help you choose the right driving instructor.
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Ask For Recommendations
Most driving instructors get a large percentage of their students from word of mouth recommendations because it’s one of the best ways to find a reliable teacher. If you have friends or family members that are currently having driving lessons or have recently passed their test, ask them who their driving instructor was.
You should also ask how many lessons they had before taking their test, and how many times they took the test before passing. If you know a lot of people that passed first time with the same instructor, that’s a good sign. Asking for recommendations is always the best way to separate the good driving instructors from the bad ones.
As well as asking for recommendations from friends and family, you should check out the reviews as well. Most driving instructors will have a review section on their website where you can see testimonials from previous students. If there are plenty of glowing reviews, that’s a good sign. But if they don’t display their reviews, that’s a cause for concern.
Check Their Qualifications
This is something that a lot of people overlook, but it is important. Just because somebody puts some stickers on their car and sets up a website, that doesn’t make them a driving instructor. 9 times out of 10, any driving instructors that you find will have all of the right qualifications, but there are still some illegitimate ones out there and you need to avoid them.
All driving instructors need to be approved by the DVSA, and they should have the paperwork to prove it. Don’t be afraid to ask them to see it if you are unsure.
Some people also attempt to save money by having a friend or family member teach them to drive instead of taking driving lessons, but this is not a good idea. It’s ok to go out with somebody and get some practice hours in, but only professional driving instructors will be able to teach you everything you need to know to pass your test.
Meet A Few Different Driving Instructors
Before you make your decision, it’s important to see a few different driving instructors. There’s no need to rush into anything, so take your time and look around at your different options.
When you speak with a driving instructor, you should ask them a few basic questions to get an idea of their approach. Ask them how many lessons they would normally recommend before taking the test, how long their driving lessons usually are, and how often you should take lessons. You can also ask them more practical questions about where they can pick you up and drop you off, and what their schedule is like.
One of the most crucial questions to ask them is how long they have been teaching and what the pass rate for their students is like.
Their answers to these questions should give you some sense of what they are like as a driving instructor and how experienced they are. It also gives you a chance to see how you get on with them generally, which is important because you don’t want to spend all of that time with somebody that you don’t feel comfortable around.
Consider Pricing Carefully
The price will obviously be a big factor in your decision, but it’s important that you consider it carefully and don’t just go for the cheapest option that you can find. It’s important to remember that driving instructors have a lot of costs to cover before they start turning a profit, so if their prices are very low, they must be cutting corners somewhere.
They might be saving money by skipping routine maintenance on the car or fitting it out with cheap tyres, for example. It’s better to pay a little more for an instructor that is professional.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get some good deals. If you do find an instructor that offers very competitive prices, just make sure that you check them out thoroughly beforehand to ensure that they are professional and the quality of the driving lessons is good.
Don’t Be Afraid To Change Instructor
Once you have found an instructor and started your driving lessons, you may find that things are not going as well as you thought. Even if you spend time checking out reviews, getting recommendations, and asking questions of your instructor, you can never know how you will get along until you start the lessons.
It might be that you don’t like their teaching style, their schedule doesn’t work for you, or you just don’t feel comfortable around them.
In this situation, a lot of people end up sticking with the same instructor because they have already started lessons and they don’t want to offend the person. But you have to remember that it will take you a lot longer to pass with the wrong instructor, so don’t be afraid to change instructors if you think that is the right decision.
If you are planning to start driving lessons soon, follow these tips when choosing your instructor so you can find the right person for you.