Driving Instructors - Learn How To Find A Good Driving Instructor...

Make sure you know how to find a good Driving Instructor...

My friend recommended my driving instructor....

....if we had a £1 for every pupil that uttered those words - we'd be rich! OK, we'd be better off financially at least! But it explains why so many pupils are wasting money on lessons....

A pupil will pay for 20 lessons on someone's recommendation!

Don't get me wrong - recommendations are a good thing. They're what the Driving Instructor industry relies on. Lets face it, when a friend says their Driving Instructor is good, you're probably going to ring the number they've given you. The problem is - it doesn't mean the lessons are good!

How do I Find a good Driving Instructor?

Always ask the Driving Instructor the right questions.

There are numerous reasons why learners move Driving School. However, there are a few reasons that keep cropping up. Here's a list of common reasons why pupils change their Driving Instructor.

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We recommend preparing a list of questions for a Driving Instructor before you contact them. That way, they are aware what you expect when you book a driving lesson.

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How do I find a good driving instructor?

A DSA Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) must pass strict theory, driving and teaching tests to gain the green certificate that they are required, by law, to display. They're also checked regularly by a supervising examiner to ensure they maintain a good standard of instruction.

A Trainee Driving Instructor (PDI), has passed a strict theory test and driving test but not the test of teaching ability. They are required, by law, to display a pink certificate.

Of course, all that said, the best learning takes place when you enjoy your lessons and get on well with your Driving Instructor.

Recommendations from friends and family can be useful. However, from experience, we can say that just because someone recommends a driving instructor, it doesn't always mean the lessons are any good.

The best advice is - if you're not happy with your lessons, try a different school or instructor.

Remember - it's your money, it's your choice....

More Info: Book Driving Lessons

Tell your driving instructor what you expect!

You want to learn to drive right? Well that's a start! But what date do you want to pass by? Would you like the driving instructor to give you lots of feedback? Do you prefer quiet when you're concentrating? Do want to just drive around or do you want to learn something in each lesson?

Get the picture? Decide what you want and make sure you discuss it with the Driving Instructor BEFORE you pay for your lessons....

Ask your Driving Instructor the right questions....

Here's a few questions you should ask before you book your driving lessons. They'll help you make a better choice and save you money. A good driving instructor should happily answer them:

Are you a Fully Qualified Driving Instructor?

Amazingly, we've never heard a pupil ask this question!

Many companies employ Trainee Driving Instructors because they earn more money from them.

Are your lessons on a 1 to 1 basis only?

Do you really want to take the previous pupil back to their home as part of your lesson?

Will you be able to give me a lesson every week?

Some pupils told me their previous instructor could only fit them in for 1 hour every two weeks - that's a long time to test standard!

How long will my lessons last?

Some of our pupils told us their instructor would include travelling over to pick them up as part of the lesson!

Can I take my test by a certain date?

this depends on the amount of work you're prepared to put in. Be realistic! The DSA says the average number of lessons to test standard is 40 + 20 hours of practice. However, it does mean your instructor has a target to work to - no aimless driving around!

How well do you know the test area?

If an instructor doesn't know the test area - they won't know the test routes. Also, they probably won't know the best place to practice manoeuvres etc.

Some pupils like to ask instructors for their pass rate. Though it's a fairly relevant question. In my opinion, it's too easy to make a rate up:

"I have a 90% pass rate" could mean - "I have a 90% pass rate for the last 3 months".

Remember - it's your money, it's your choice......

What is a Fully Qualified Driving Instructor?

Fully Qualified Driving Instructor - (ADI) Approved DSA Driving Instructor

A fully qualified Driving Instructor, also known as an ADI (Approved Driving Instructor), has passed ALL 3 exams set by the DSA (Driving Standards Agency).

The 3 exams a Driving Instructor must pass in order to receive and display the Approved Driving Instructor's (ADI) green badge are:

Exam 1 - ADI Part 1 (The Theory and Hazard Perception test)

A more extensive version of the theory and hazard perception test that a learner has to take before the driving test.

Exam 2 - ADI Part 2 (The Driving Test)

A longer and more difficult version of the official driving test.

Exam 3 - ADI Part 3 (The Test of Teaching Ability)

The most difficult exam. It's where the driving instructors are tested on their ability to teach. This means that, as the pupil - you should be able to understand clearly what you're being taught, why you're being taught it and how to do what you're being taught.

Remember: the green Approved Driving Instructor Badge must be displayed clearly

Can't see a Green badge? Ask where it is!

What is a Trainee Driving Instructor?

Trainee Driving Instructor - (PDI) Potential Driving Instructor

A trainee driving instructor has passed 2 exams of the 3 required to become a Fully Qualified Driving Instructor.

So why are there trainee driving instructors (PDI)? Well, it's a good question! After all, if you're giving money to a driving instructor you'd probably expect them to know exactly what they're doing! In a nutshell - trainee instructors teach real learners to gain experience for the 3rd exam. The 2 Driving Instructor Exams that a Trainee Driving Instructor (PDI) has passed are:

Exam 1 - ADI Part 1 (The Theory and Hazard Perception test)

A more extensive version of the theory and hazard perception test that a learner has to take before the driving test.

Exam 2 - ADI Part 2 (The Driving Test)

A longer and more difficult version of the official driving test.

A TRAINEE DRIVING INSTRUCTOR HASN'T PASSED Exam 3 - ADI Part 3 (The Test of Teaching Ability)

The most difficult exam. It's where the driving instructors are tested on their ability to teach the pupil.

What this means to you.......

Because a trainee is still learning how to teach, they will have had less in-car experience with pupils. They will also have had less experience teaching the subjects you need to learn.

Note: many Trainee Driving Instructors are excellent. Also, it's worth remembering that often it's a good pupil/instructor relationship that leads to better quality driving lessons.

Remember: the pink Trainee Driving Instructor Badge must be displayed clearly

Can't see a badge? Ask where it is!

Common reasons why pupils change their Instructor

  • All I did was drive around - I didn't really learn anything
  • They shouted at me when I made a mistake but didn't help me to avoid it
  • They didn't teach me any manoeuvres for 20 (or more) lessons
  • They told me what to do but didn't explain why I had to it
  • I had to drop the previous pupil off as part of my lesson
  • They could only fit me in every other week
  • The instructor kept answering the phone during my lessons
  • They were smoking in the car during my lesson

Of course, there are other reasons pupils change, but the list above contains the reasons we hear over and over again. It also highlights the type of behaviour, by Driving Instructors, that creates a poor learning enviroment and therefore, sub-standard driving lessons.