Frequently asked questions by learner drivers

It can be difficult to differentiate a good driving instructor from bad due to the fact that there are so many driving schools and driving instructors. Generally a local based school or instructor will often be good due to the fact that it will be unlikely they will have a large advertising budget of national schools. Relying on recommendations by providing an excellent service is essential to local schools. Below are some questions that can be asked to a driving instructor or driving school to establish some facts.

Will the same driving instructor be provided throughout my course?

It is important that you remain with the same driving instructor throughout the entire duration of your lessons. Using multiple driving instructors during your lessons can be detrimental in terms of finances and your learning curve. A different instructor will not be familiar with your abilities and your current standard, therefore, it will take a new instructor a little time to gain a good understanding of your ability and at which level of driving you are currently at. This will of course use more lesson time and will overall be more costly to yourself.
Local driving schools or instructors are much less likely to provide different instructors for lessons. A local driving school will have far less instructors than a national school and will provide a more personal approach to teaching by remaining with the same instructor.

Do you use trainee driving instructors or are they fully qualified?

Many driving schools use trainee driving instructors. Taking driving lessons with a trainee driving instructor isn't necessarily a bad thing as he or she will have received a high amount of training before they are permitted to teach. A trainee instructor however has not passed the final exam to become a fully qualified Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). If you want to be sure that your instructor is fully qualified, he or she will be displaying a green licence in the car window. A Potential Driving Instructor (PDI) will display a pink licence in the window.

If of course there is no licence in the window then this means the instructor is not qualified and has had no professional training. In this situation, the unlicensed instructor could be teaching you incorrectly
and could potentially be dangerous.

ADI and PDI driving instructor licence

Have you been a driving instructor for very long?

A driving instructor with a few years of experience will ensure they have a good knowledge of the car test routes used on the driving test. An experienced driving instructor will also have a good knowledge of the difficult parts of the test routes and will provide training in the difficult areas. He or she will also have perfected their teaching methods and will be able to adapt these methods to suit individuals or varying abilities.

Do I use the same car for every lesson are is it dual-controlled?

Using the same car for every driving lesson is important in a similar way as it is important to have the same instructor. A different car will take some time to get used to. The clutch will feel different, as will the gears, steering etc. Even if it is the same make and model, it will feel different to drive. As you will be spending time getting used to driving the new car, it will detract from your learning progress, ultimately costing you more money. Again, a local school is much more likely to provide you with the same instructor for every lesson, therefore the same car.
For your own safety as well as other road users and pedestrians, it is important that your tuition vehicle is fitted with dual-controls. Incase of emergency your instructor will be able to slow down or stop the vehicle.

Where do my driving lessons start from?

Most driving school or instructors will come to your chosen location to start the lesson. This could be your home, work place or somewhere else. It is worth checking this however, because if you need to meet the instructor at a certain location, it could be costly or difficult to yourself.

Are driving lessons offered in the evenings or weekends?

Most driving schools or instructors tend to find the busiest times are evening or weekends. Obviously individuals have work commitments and can do no other time. It is worth checking to see if you instructor can fit you in at these times and to also check what their schedule is like around these times. Little point in taking lessons if the instructor can only fit you in once or twice per month.

What type of car do you teach in?

An ideal car to learn in should be small and easy to drive. A car such as Vauxhall Corsa, Renault Clio or something similar. If a car is small and easy manoeuvrable, then it will make the driving test manoeuvres such as 3 point turn, left corner reverse, bay park and parallel park easier.

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