Finding the right driving instructor

This is the first is a series of blog posts covering driving and learning to drive. Please get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions.

First up, choosing your Driving Instructor can be a difficult task, there are plenty to choose from, different prices, different offers…. where to begin?

Here are a few basic tips to help make the decision, which could be the difference between spending a fortune, or ultimately becoming a safe and confident driver.

  1. Are They Qualified?
    It’s now compulsory for all driving instructors to display the license in the car or on their person. Make sure they are Fully Qualified ADI’s (Approved Driving Instructor) or at the very least licensed Trainee Instructors (PDI’s). If you contact an instructor, ask if they’re qualified and ask to see their license on the first lesson. It is against the law for anyone to take payment for driving lessons unless they are licensed. This simple check could save you time and money.
  2. Get Recommendations
    Always ask around your friends and family for recommendations, who taught them? If possible choose a well established instructor or Driving School who actually operates in your area. This means they will be familiar with the area and test routes and will therefore be in a position to plan your lessons properly. Also if you keep your business local, you’ll be keeping locals in business.
  3. What Kind of Car?
    The car can be important too. Always ask if you will be learning in a petrol or diesel. It doesn’t matter really but if say you are getting practice with a friend or family member, it is probably best that you keep to the same engine type. Cool cars are not always the easiest to learn in and don’t necessarily mean good instructor! Make sure the car is in good condition, comfortable and all round visibility is good for you.
  4. You Get What You Pay For
    Price can be the main reason someone chooses a driving instructor. Obviously everyone wants value for money, but be careful. Unusually low prices can be a great indicator. Why are these people so cheap? Usually because they are not busy. Why are they not busy? Usually because they haven’t been getting recommendations. Why are they not being recommended? I think you can answer that one yourself!! Instructors who charge a middle or higher end range of price usually are busy because they do a good job and therefore don’t need to cut price. Remember the old saying “you get what you pay for”. Many learners waste hundreds of pounds with cheaper driving instructors before getting structured training with a good instructor. I have many clients who have made this mistake to their cost!
  5. Are They Reliable
    Don’t be afraid to ask for references from any instructor you’re considering. A well organised driving instructor will put the work in to their scheduling so they can arrange a time that suits you and leave adequate time between lessons to ensure they are on time. If they constantly let you down, arrive late or won’t accommodate your schedule it isn’t good enough. Don’t get me wrong, I have no doubt that fitting everyone in when they want all the time can be difficult or sometimes there are traffic hold ups or life itself can get in the way, but if it happens to you regularly its not good enough. A good instructor will give you good warning if they can’t make it or if they’re running late. By the way please, please always allow your instructor the same courtesy.

There is much more to look for in an instructor once you’ve started your lessons but if you follow these tips it should mainly guide you towards the one you need to begin with. I will update you soon with what to expect from them during the course of your training.

Please feel free to email me – andrew@daleway.com – if you have any questions.

Andrew

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