Learning to drive is a big step, and many people find it quite nerve-wracking. Finding the right driving instructor can make a big difference to how quickly you learn, and how confident you feel on the roads.
There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re looking for a driving instructor:
Ask for Recommendations
Word of mouth recommendations are always useful. If you don’t know anyone who has learned to drive recently, then look for an established driving school. Big names such as BSM and AA are safe bets, as are smaller, local schools that have been around for a long time and don’t have a high instructor turn over.
If you’re paying for a driving instructor, make sure that they are certified as Approved Driving Instructors, and clearly display their badges in the car. The DSA issues grades to certified instructors. Look for an instructor that is Grade 4 or higher.
Lesson prices vary depending on where you live, but you should generally expect to pay around £20-£25/hour for a lesson from a qualified instructor. Some people learn best over several short lessons, while others prefer 90 minute or 2 hour long lessons. Try each schedule to see whether you prefer having longer to get into the swing of things, or whether longer lessons are too tiring.
The Vehicle Type
If you know what kind of vehicle you will be driving when you pass, then try to learn in a similar vehicle. If you’re particularly tall or short, you might need to learn in a specific car that suits your body type. Don’t worry about the specific make of car – you might not be able to afford a BMW yourself, but it’s not as if you have to worry about the BMW repair cost if you mess up parallel parking! The cost of the driving lesson covers insurance, the time it takes the instructor to travel to you, the tuition time, and the BMW repair cost – or the cost of cheaper, more newbie friendly cars, in most cases!
Personality is more important than you might first think. It’s important to find an instructor that you trust and feel safe with, and that explains things in a way you can understand. If you find it difficult to learn from an instructor, don’t be embarrassed about asking to get your lessons from someone else. Different people learn in different ways, and it’s not a reflection on you or the instructor if your first learning experience doesn’t work out.
Finding a good driving instructor involves research, patience, and a little bit of luck. Don’t be scared to ask questions before you take your first lesson, and experiment with a few instructors before you make a bulk booking.
It may take a while to pass your test, but soon you’ll be a proud owner of your very own license and vehicle, and you’ll be the one responsible for Land Rover repairs and service costs, instead of the school – but it’ll be your car to be proud of, and drive wherever and whenever you want.