There are a plethora of various driving instructors, driving schools and training centres out there, all claiming to offer a quick route to success. But how do you ensure the one you choose will provide you with the best chance of passing your test? Each individual instructor has their own unique style, methods and personality, and it’s vitally important you choose one that will best suit you. So in a competitive market such as this, what do you look out for?
1. Personal Recommendations – In my opinion, the most important thing to consider whilst choosing a driving instructor. Ask members of your family, and friends who they learnt to drive with. It’s likely that they will have similar personalities to yourself, so if they found a particular instructor’s style and personality to be effective, there’s a high chance you will too.
2. Driving Test Pass Rates – Unfortunately, the DSA does not publish driving instructor pass rates. So whilst instructors may choose to quote a high pass rate at you in order to get you on board, the truth is that the legitimacy of these pass rates can be questioned. It’s also important to remember that success is rarely measured in a consistent fashion. Are they counting first time passes, second, surely everyone passes at some point?
3. Check What Grade They Are – Do all driving instructors teach to the same the standard? The answer to this question is no, and this is why. Some larger multi-car driving schools will use potential driving instructors, or PDI’s to teach students. Whilst they are not qualified, they are allowed to charge for lessons, however you most likely won’t be told they are PDIs. Once instructors are qualified a grade system applies, which is regularly monitored by the DSA. These grades range from 1-6, most UK driving instructors are graded 4.
4. Are they friendly? – There is no denying learning to drive can be a stressful experience. Taking this into account, it’s vital you have a driving instructor who is patient and makes you feel at ease when behind the wheel. As with any profession, different people adopt different methods. Some instructors may try to chat with you, which is a great way to help you relax behind the wheel, whilst others may opt to keep the small talk to a minimum in order not to draw your attention away from the road. It’s important to gauge which of these tactics brings out the best driver in you, and choose an instructor accordingly.
5. Cost – Seldom is the cheapest driving instructor the best. It’s a simple fact that everybody has a budget, and we will all naturally make decisions based on price. However, these people will be responsible for teaching you one of the most important skills you will ever learn, and it’s important they are good at what they do so that you are safe. Another thing to consider is do they do discounted block bookings?
Obviously we all want to pass our test and get out on the road ASAP. To do this it’s important we find the driving instructor that is best suited to our needs. As well as taking the above into consideration, it’s also important to keep other questions in mind:
Will you have the same car for every lesson?
How old are the cars?
Do they do 1 hour and 2 hour lessons?
Do they work weekend?
Can you be picked up from work or school etc?