Choosing a Driving Instructor is not just about Personality.Choosing a good driving instructor is essential if you are going to pass your driving test first time and enjoy the whole experience of learning to drive. There are many different driving instructors to choose from so where do you start? Price, grade, pass rate or recommendation, or is it simply a case of attitude and behaviour?
Let’s look at these in more detail.
Driving Lesson Prices.Choosing the cheapest driving instructor can be a big mistake! Taking advantage of special offers, etc. does make a lot of sense, but a driving instructor charging really low prices for all or most of their driving lessons may be undervaluing themselves or charging what they are worth. There are even some driving instructors who, despite the money they have had to pay for their own training, are actually working for less than the minimum wage. Remember, the price you pay for your lessons does not end up in the driving instructors pocket; here is what they typically have to pay for (click on a question below to find out the answer):
What costs are behind driving lesson pricing?
- Dual Controls.
- ADI Licence.
- Admin costs.
- Car insurance for driving school.
- Car tax.
- Car servicing.
- Car repairs.
- Cancellations and No shows.
- Professional Memberships.
- Payment for holidays and sick.
- Mobile phone.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance for driving instructors.
- Public Liability Insurance for driving instructors.
What extras are there for none franchisee instructors?
- Car Logos.
- Phone answering.
- Continued Training.
- Pupil management system or data base.
- Time off to do all the above.
A question our director Kathy Higgins asks, “How can some driving instructors charge the same hourly rate that I charged back in 1999?I was not the most expensive either, fuel was only 69p a litre back then, everything was cheaper. It seems like everything is going up, yet driving lessons are coming down! “
So how are you going to choose your driving school?
Driving Instructor Grade.This could be a good start, but there are driving instructors out there who had a fantastic grade 6, who could have put on a really good show for the one hour on the day of their check test. Kathy, who has seen 100s of driving instructors deliver lessons, during check test training, said “I have seen some fantastic grade 4 driving instructors, the lowest grade you can get and still keep your licence to teach. I have also seen some horrible grade 6 driving instructors, some people, as we know simply don’t do their best under test conditions and driving instructors are no exception”. Having said all that at least you know they do have the skills to produce a good driving lesson. But please do not discount a driving instructor who is a grade 4. From April 2014 the way driving instructors are checked is changing. They will now undergo a new standards check, which will remove the grading system as we know it.
Driving Test Pass Rate.This is a minefield and can actually mean nothing at all, perhaps looking at a first time driving test pass rate could be better. The best heart surgeon in the world apparently loses the most patients as they get end up getting the worst cases referred to them. Let’s look at 2 driving instructors: John Doe is a part time driving instructor who actually has a full time job, so just does driving lessons in the evening and weekends. He takes 4 learner drivers for driving tests in a year and they all pass their driving tests, so John has a 100% driving test pass rate. Jane Doe is a full time driving instructor, who is experienced in taking very nervous learner drivers and those learner drivers other driving schools have written off! Jane takes 40 learner drivers for driving tests in a year, but only 20 pass their driving tests in that year, so Jane only has 50% driving test pass rate, half of John’s! On reflection, which driving instructor has the most experience and which one has the most passes?
Driving School Recommendation.This can be by far is the best way; however, beware of why your friends are recommending them. There are driving instructors who get recommended for getting their learner drivers though the driving test really quickly! Other driving instructors will be recommended because they are the cheapest driving instructor in the area. However, you don’t find out how many cheap lessons where required in order to get to test standard. Or how nervous was the learner driver, while driving solo. It has been estimated that 40% of learner drivers don’t feel ready to drive solo even after passing their driving test! So have they been short changed.
Driving Instructor Attitude and Behaviour.This is where you will really know if your driving instructor will suit you! If your driving instructor turns up in a dirty driving school car, dirty clothes or shows any inappropriate behavior or language, change them immediately. All driving instructors will occasionally have a bit of a messy driving school car, you could be the last driving lesson of the day so the driving school car will have been doing driving lessons all day and may gone though some mud, etc. but turning up every week for your driving lesson with a dirty driving school car inside or out is not acceptable. Inappropriate behavior or language or simply feeling uncomfortable, is not acceptable either! You should always feel safe and secure. Always watch out for the instructor who simply allows you to drive around while they chat away to you, while offering very little help or guidance, even when you make a mistake.
Another important point.Because we know we are all different and occasionally we will all come across people, we simply don’t like or for some reason we feel we just don’t get on. This is why at Insight 2 Drive we have a policy for just this happening. If you do not like the driving instructor you are assigned to, we will simply change them, no questions asked, just ring us to discuss.
Summary of choosing a Driving InstructorGo with your instinct, if something does not feel right, it is possible that it isn’t right, so ask questions! If you do not like your driving instructor and they are part of a multi-car driving school like ours, please ring the driving school and get it sorted, you will actually be doing them a massive favour.
Here are a few or the areas you can choose your driving instructor from, check our Areas We Cover page for more;
Liverpool Driving School. Widnes Driving School. Runcorn Driving School. St Helen’s Driving School. Wigan Driving School.