Comparing Driving Schools: Making a Sound Decision
Cheap & Cheerful? You Might Repent at Leisure
If your instructor is not sufficiently experienced, or sufficiently committed to you, then you might not get the best practice and pointers. You do not want to be at any disadvantage, because passing your test the first time is hard enough as it is.
Are Your Lessons Measured in Hours or Minutes?
Most driving schools will not offer a lesson time of under one hour and with good reason - shorter lessons are less effective. We'd advise you to insist on at least one hour's practice to begin with. Apart from your first few lessons (where the teacher might need to drive to a quiet road before you can take the controls), you getting into the driving seat should be the start of the lesson.
Can You See Their Licence?
Only an Approved Driving Instructor or ADI is allowed to take payment for driving lessons, and they are issued with a licence by the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency that they are required to display on the windscreen of their car. ADIs are subject to periodical re-tests to prove their continued ability to give useful lessons.
Is There a Second Set of Foot Controls?
There should be: this is referred to as a 'dual control' car, and it means that your instructor can step in if required to reduce the car's speed or bring it to a standstill.
Not ready for the Theory Test? Your instructor should have some advice.
Can You See Your Instructor Refer to a Plan - or Notes?
You should be able to, because your practical test is an evaluation of your awareness and ability to meet all the criteria in the DVSA's official syllabus for light van and car drivers. It follows that your instructor should be keeping tabs on where you stand with regards to these criteria.
When Do Your Lessons Take Place?
It's generally accepted that someone learning to drive will not do as well as they could if they do not have at least one hour's tuition a week. We find that the 'sweet spot' is to have two hours' driving time in one lesson every six to seven days.
A Truly Essential Driving Lesson
All lessons are important, but the last one before your Practical Test is the most important. It's time to rehearse all the set manouevres, and generally get yourself settled behind the wheel and in the right frame of mind for the examiner. Your instructor should set aside the time for it.
Find out more about Taking Your Test
Find out more about Driving Lessons
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