5 Questions To Ask A Driving Instructor5 Questions To Ask A Driving Instructor

Learning to drive can be expensive and stressful; and there are many driving instructors all competing for your business. So how do you choose the right instructor?

Here are 5 questions you should ask any potential driving instructor before you pay them any money:

Do You Like Them?

The first question is one you should ask yourself. You will be spending many hours enclosed in a small stressful box taking instructions from this person and paying them for the privilege. If your personalities clash then you could be wasting your time and your money.

Engage them in conversation either in person, over the phone or by email. Do you think you will be happy in this person's company? Do they seem patient?

What Are Their Qualifications?

What qualifications does this person have as a driving instructor? How long have they been doing it?

Your driving instructor must be an ADI or Approved Driving Instructor. An instructors vehicle will display either a green octagon or a pink triangle. This will have been issued by the DSA or Driving Standards Agency. The octagon means that they are fully qualified and the triangle means they are a licensed trainee.

A driving instructor will have a grading issued by the DSA, this will range from 1 to 6 with 6 being the highest. It is possible for the instructor to have a low or no grading and still be very good. This is because grading is gained by the instructor taking a test. If the instructor does not have a high grade they may have just chosen not to take the test. This is something you ask them about.

The information here is specific to the UK. If you are learning to drive in another country, you will probably have a similar system, but you should check with your local driving authority.

There is a compromise to be made with qualifications. The better qualified the instructor, the more they are likely to charge. It is up to you, if you feel confident then you may want to opt for a cheaper trainee as opposed to a more expensive veteran.

What Car Are You Going To Be Driving?

Usually in the UK driving lessons are done in a smaller lower powered car like a hatchback. This is easier for a beginner to get used to.

Is the car dual control? You should be taking lessons from an instructor in a duel control car. This means that the instructor can hit the brakes if something goes wrong. This makes the whole learning process safer and helps you feel more confident.

Is the car automatic or manual? In the UK, most people learn to drive in a car with a manual gear box. It is easier to learn in a car with an automatic gear box as it is one less thing to think about. The problem is that if you learn in an automatic car you can only legally drive an automatic car once you have passed your test.

How Soon Would You Like To Pass Your Test?

Ask your instructor about frequency of lessons and how long they think it will take to learn. This will depend on how often and how long lessons will be. It will also depend on their teaching style. If you are pretty confident, you may prefer an instructor who will push you through the process quickly and get you driving as soon as possible. If you are a little less sure, you may prefer an instructor who will take longer and go through the process more slowly and gently.

While you are at it, ask them what their pass rate is. Obviously the higher the pass rate the better.

If You're Feeling Cheeky...

Finally ask them if they will give you a short free practice lesson. Many instructors will do this before you pay them any money and it gives you a chance to see what it is going to be like. It is the only real way to make sure you are happy before you go ahead.
by Jenny Alexander
References and Bibliography
Find driving instructors in your local area on TutorWave.com. Each instructor has a detailed profile and you can contact them for free. TutorWave.com is a directory of profiles of instructors and tutors of all topics.
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