How do I choose a driving instructor?
Learning to drive is a nerve-wracking experience, but before you’ve even ventured out onto the roads to take your first, hesitant steps as a driver, you need to find the right person to teach you. Here are our tips to find the best driving instructor you can…
CHECK OUT INTERNET REVIEWS
Almost every driving school company will have at least a section of testimonials on its website – admittedly, the company in question is only going to post the positive reviews, but you can certainly get a vibe for an instructor from these. Alternatively, independent internet customer review platforms offer an impartial viewpoint, warts and all, from customers, so try Trust Pilot, Feefo and Yotpo. That way, you’ll know all the good and bad thoughts from previous learners, and you can then decide which instructor you like the sound of best.
WORD OF MOUTH
While advertising and internet feedback are good for a company, or – in this case – an individual driving instructor, there’s nothing better than word of mouth. Presumably, if you’re learning to drive, you’re likely to be among a group of your peers who are of similar ages and going through the same thing. So ask your friends: is your driving instructor any good? What do they like and dislike about them? Would they recommend them to you? Friends are going to be more honest with you about the experiences you’ll have behind the wheel than random strangers on the internet, so this is the obvious way forward.
Once you’ve found a driving instructor or driving school you like the sound of, shop around with them to find out who offers the best price. The per-hour rates will vary depending on where you live and when you want to take your lessons, so you need to find out from all your preferred choices who will offer the best value for money.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO CHANGE
If you have taken the plunge and found a driving instructor/school and already booked lessons with them, but so far you’ve found your teacher to be less than ideal, then change – it’s as simple as that. There’s an old adage about ‘never changing horses midstream,’ but you can heartily ignore that when it comes to driving. You need to feel relaxed and comfortable when learning how to drive, as there’s enough to take in trying to navigate your way around on public roads in heavy traffic, without worrying about your teacher’s spiky personality and so on. Also, if your instructor is always turning up to lessons late or is cancelling them on a regular basis, you are going to have to think about swapping to someone else.
Naturally, you have to understand that driving instructors are teaching you a skill, so if you’re bad at taking orders from people, you’re not going to get a much better service (in your eyes) from one company to the next – you need to have a word with yourself in this instance! Ask yourself how much you want to drive, versus how much you want to listen to someone you don’t know very well.
MAKE SURE THEIR CAR IS RIGHT FOR YOU
It might be that your instructor is lovely, but if they’ve turned up in a car that’s too big for you to feel comfortable in, or too small for you to attain the right driving position (if you’re tall, for example), then you’re going to have to look elsewhere. It’s not just the person sitting next to you that has to be right for you, it has to be the car you’re sitting in, as well.