When it comes to learning to drive, picking the right driving school for you is one of the hardest decisions to make. With over 43000 driving instructors in the UK, there are plenty of driving schools to choose from.
Picking the best driving instructor or driving school is key to your success. Do you pick an instructor that was recommended? Or do you pick an instructor that is cheap? However you make your decision, the following guide can help you.
What questions should I ask a driving instructor?
1 How much do you charge per hour?
2 What deals do you have?
3 what comes with my training?
4 How long have you been a driving instructor?
5 What car do you drive?
6 What areas do you cover?
7 What hours do you work?
8 Can I change my pick-up address?
9 What is your pass rate?
10 What grade instructor are you?
With anything, you need to be sure that what you are getting is going to be exactly what you expect from the offset. Don’t be frightened to ask lots of questions, at the end of the day, you are hiring an instructor to offer you a service, and it is very important to ensure that what they are able to offer and deliver is to your expectations.
Is the price important?
The price of a driving instructor’s lessons, shouldn’t solely be the most important factor when deciding which instructor to go with. Prices in the UK can range anywhere from £15 per hour to £40 per hour. However, the average price appears to be approximately £23-£27 per hour. Some schools offer heavy discounts to encourage ‘bums on seats’ as it is known in the industry. However, these may not appear as generous as it may seem. If an instructor is only earning £15 per hour before business costs, it doesn’t leave much change for a wage. Many instructors are working for minimum wage, and are often exploited by larger franchised schools. However, higher prices doesn’t necessarily mean better tuition or service. They may be savvy businessmen and women, but not necessarily the best driving instructor. So, think before you go for the low deals and also the higher prices, it may not be the crack it appears to be.
Is it a good idea to get a deal?
Lets face it; everyone loves a deal. Deals can be a good thing if done correctly; however, they can also be the worse thing to do. If you are thinking of doing a deal with a driving school, make sure you know and understand the conditions from the off-set. Here are some questions to ask:
1 How much do I save?
2 Is there a time frame on the lessons to be taken?
3 If I’m not happy, can I get a refund?
4 Can I do more than one deal?
What ‘EXTRAS’ are offered?
Many driving schools offer extras. These can range from theory training tools and apps, to parent training and advice. Be sure to find out what you get with your lessons. A training manual is a very useful tool to have, so remember to find out what extras the driving school offer.
Is it important to know how long an instructor has been qualified?
It’s not necessarily the most important contributing factor, but to many learners it is very important. Within any industry, you have your ‘newbies’ and your ‘old hats’; it’s the same within the driver training industry. It is important to know what you are paying for. However, it’s also good to understand that often the newly qualified instructors are often very good, and some of the more experienced ones can be not so. Habits can die hard in any industry, so it is something you would have to consider when deciding if this is an important factor for you.
Is the choice of car important?
The car to many learners is a very important element when choosing a driving school to deliver their lessons. Firstly, you have to decide whether you want manual gear box or an automatic gear box, and then whether you would like to drive in a petrol or diesel car. There are pros and cons to each type, in which you can read about that here. Also, would you like a small or big car? All these things are important when choosing a driving instructor.
Is it important to know the areas they work?
It is very important to know what areas the instructor works. For example, if you live in one post code, but go to college in another, an instructor may not cover one or both areas. If you believe that your lessons will be conducted from multiple locations- check-out where your instructor works before you decide to take on lessons.
Is it important to know what hours an instructor works?
It is very important to know what hours an instructor works. Due to the vast amount of instructors, many Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) work part time. Some may not work weekends, and many may not work evenings; or they may only work a select few. Make sure you find out before starting a course of instruction with a driving school on their operating hours.
Why is it important to know if they will pick me up at a different location?
Some ADIs only work in certain post codes. But some will only pick you up for your driving lesson from one address. It is very important that you know before starting a course of driving instruction.
Is the pass rate important?
It is to some, it isn’t to some. This is entirely up to you how important this is. However, don’t assume that the answer given is the correct answer. Most driving schools claim to have high pass rates, and not many low pass rate schools would openly advertise their ratings. One thing you could do is ask for proof. However, this is also deceiving. IF they provide proof of the last three months, this could prove to be a different story of the past year. The true way to find out, is to ask them for a copy from the DVSA. This would clarify exactly what is going on with their pass rate.
Is it important to know a driving instructor’s grade?
It is to some. It isn’t to others. A low graded instructor could have a great pass rate, whereas a high graded instructor could have a low pass rate. The on-going debate on this matter is one that always challenges ADIs in the major forum'[bigContact form=on hours=on map=on][bigContact form=on hours=on map=on]s online. Check-out my article of instructor pass rates and grades here.