'Selecting the appropriate driving school from the vast array of schools that exist is not an exact science. One rule however always stands out - personal recommendation. Did a particular driving school work for a friend? Were they happy with the service and lessons the driving school provided? If so, at the very least, it's a tick in the driving schools favour.The prices for lessons charged by most driving schools don't seem to differ very much. Expect to pay around £21 for a one hour driving lesson. If the price is considerably cheaper than this then make sure you ask whether or not the driving instructor giving the driving lesson is fully qualified. They may not be hence the low price.  Also don't be fooled by cheap driving lessons. Some driving schools may offer incredibly cheap introduction offers such as ten driving lessons for £50. These prices don't always add up. Remember cheap in, expensive out. They pull you in with a cheap deal but then you find yourself advised to have more driving lessons at the standard rate and taking more tests than you actually need'



So you want to learn to drive??? Who shall you go with?? Where do you start??

Well a good place to start is speaking to other people.  A lot of people have learnt so try to get some recommendations. 

You can also use the internet, Yellow Pages or look for Learner Cars around and about.


However, it pays to do your homework!!! 


Questions to Consider


  • Do you want a Male or a Female Instructor?
  • Is the instructor a fully-qualified Approved Driver Instructor (ADI)? Check for a green, octagonal DSA badge in the front windscreen of the tuition vehicle. If it's a pink, triangle badge then they are a TRAINEE instructor.
  • Do they have a good reputation?
  • Are they reliable and punctual?
  • What is the instructor's pass rate for learners sitting the practical test for the first time? Be careful of instructors stating they have a 100% pass rate - some instructors bend the truth and work their pass rate out on the basis that "everyone I have taken for test has passed" or "everyone of my students has passed" or my favourite "everyone who's stayed with me has passed".......omitting the word - EVENTUALLY!!  ALL driving instructors would have 100% pass rate then!!  It's a bizarre statement - they're possibly trying to hide something! Ask how many tests they've had this year, how many of them passed, ask how many fails they've had and ask how many 1st time passes they've had!  To have a 100% pass rate for the year they must have had NO fails and every one of their learners would have passed FIRST TIME!!!
  • Can you have a free or reduced-price initial lesson to see how you get on with the instructor?
  • How long has the instructor been teaching learner drivers?
  • How long, and how much, are lessons?
  • Will you get a discount for booking a block of lessons in advance?
  • What happens if you need to cancel a pre-arranged lesson?
  • What model of car is used as the tuition vehicle?
  • Does the tuition vehicle have dual controls?
  • How old is the tuition vehicle?
  • Will the instructor pick you up and drop you off at your home address, or other location that is convenient to you both?
  • Will the instructor be giving you undivided attention, or will you be expected to either pick up the next pupil or drop off the previous one during the time allocated to your lesson?
  • Does the instructor smoke in the tuition vehicle?  This could be important to you if you are a non-smoker.
  • Does the instructor speak in a clear and easily understandable way? 

What you have to remember is that you are going to be spending A LOT of time in very close quarters with this person. It's important to get along with your instructor, like them,  have fun yet have mutual respect and understand their professional teaching and training methods!


An unprofessional instructor will do their 'chores' whilst on YOUR lesson - i.e.  getting you to park up whilst they pop into the bank/post office/shops, take cigarette breaks,  make telephone calls (that are not an emergency).  Don't accept this!

We may have to stop when 'nature calls' but that's only natural! But if an instructor takes time out of your lesson they should compensate you for it.


Some other instructors also like to 'sit and talk' unnecessarily (which gives you less driving time, less experience, uses less of their expensive fuel, hence cheap lessons) You can be driving for about 45 minutes out of your scheduled hour for example (unless it's a new topic you're doing, recaps at the start and briefings at the end should only take a maximum of a couple of minutes). They also cut lessons short to 'allow themselves time to get to their next student' - YOUR lesson time should not take into consideration the travelling time the instructor needs to get from one student to another - the instructor should compensate and allow for that between scheduled lessons when planning his/her diary.


It's important that if you DO NOT get along with your instructor or they are taking advantage of your lesson time, you change your instructor - think about it - when you were at school you got better grades in the lessons and teachers you liked as opposed to those you didn't! Don't feel you have to stay with an instructor just because your friend, brother, sister etc learnt with them. You're paying for it at the end of the day!

When you find that instructor they'll be the 'best instructor' - everyone who has connected with their instructor will describe them as such, but remember….what suits one person doesn't necessarily suit the next! 




The Recession

Every week there are instructors struggling because of the recession and every week there are instructors out there that are reducing the cost of their lessons to combat this. But there are loads instructors who have plenty of business and have kept their lesson prices the same despite the recession!

In theory, an instructor's lesson price should have risen due to the increase in fuel costs. Lowering their prices isn't economic sense. Prices go up not down. So you have to ask why have these instructors had to reduce their prices recently - be it by a couple of pounds or by a dramatic amount - and why are these instructors are not getting the business that the instructors, who haven't had to lower their prices, are getting?

The truth is that some instructors are being caught out by the current economic downturn because they do not have the marketing and sales skills to compete without lowering their prices. Or it is because those instructors don't have the skills full stop?


Think about it!!




Do you think these instructors/schools who offer cheap deals REALLY WANT to offer a lower price?

Why CAN'T they charge the higher price?


Think of SALE items - why are they reduced.........?


Remember that last cheap pair of shoes you bought? That 'naff' mobile phone you used to have or kept breaking? The catalogue games console with 150 games on it that you plugs into your TV?

How many of your friends have gone for the cheaper lesson price and/or have changed instructors for one reason or another? Having ended up paying more than expected! 

There are numerous goods that you are willing to pay the extra for to have a certain quality or standard, be it clothes from a certain store, a specific make of car or a particular mobile phone, mp3 player or game console. You should want those standards when choosing an instructor too!

When you are looking for an instructor ask yourself why they have a cheaper lesson price than the average price for the area (£21.00 for this area). A good instructor doesn't have to go into 'price wars' and compete for business by lowering their lesson price, their block booking prices or Pass Plus price within the recession, as they have a diary full of people with no qualms paying their current price. Seriously though, no instructor in their right mind would lower their prices if they had a 100% full diary and plenty of business paying the average/higher price, despite what they say and their reasoning behind it! It's simply a case of supply and demand! If there is no demand then.....well you can work the rest out! Ask yourself why haven't they got a full diary!!




Hooter's has not had to compete for business or go into 'price wars', despite the recession and/or other instructors undercutting my prices! I have a full diary and a waiting list!!




At the end of the day you get what you pay for!


An instructor from a local school who offers 5 lessons for £50, was over heard stating the following:-

'I make 'em do a minimum of 5 tests, to get my moneys worth'



Cheap in, expensive out! Something's got to give if you are paying well below the average price and remember that old saying "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"!!!!


A good instructor does not teach you how to pass a test,

he/she teaches you how to drive safe.....for life!!




Come and Meet Jester - The Harlequin Mini!!