If you are considering taking driving lessons, then we know you will have questions, and you may even have concerns. We want you to be informed and relaxed and hopefully, the information below will address your concerns.
Most students and their parents are looking for a Driving School and Driving Instructor that will teach the driving syllabus efficiently. This should include, both preparation for the practical test and enough driving skills to remain safe on today’s busy roads.
So, how do you choose your Instructor and ensure you will receive the maximum value for your money and be prepared in the shortest time possible?
Will your Driving Instructor Be Fully Qualified?
It may come as a surprise but not all Driving Instructors are fully qualified!
It’s been a long-standing issue within the driving school industry that ‘trainee’ instructors are allowed by law to provide lessons at the same lesson rate as fully qualified instructors! We think this practice is very poor and many driving schools do not mention this fact when students are booking their lessons. I would suggest that you make a point of asking if your driving instructor will be fully qualified during your initial enquiry.
One Hour or Two-Hour Lessons?
Many students and their parents start by asking “How much is a one-hour lesson”?
Let’s explore the lesson length first.
With over twenty years of experience and one of the highest pass rates in the area, we find that taking a 2-hour driving lesson every week, proves to be the most successful strategy for most students. Two-hour lessons would be far more beneficial to you. You will learn far more for your money and you will also be test ready in half the time. You will have a decent amount of condensed learning in one go with time to digest and be focused for your next lesson. Sometimes students think that they would be unable to concentrate for a period of two hours, but this is why we ‘chunk’ your lessons and break up the two hour slot to cover several topics, just as they do in the school curriculum to keep the learning fresh and focused.
Just to be clear and give you a balanced view, there is nothing wrong with 1-hour lessons, we just feel that they offer less value for your money as they prolong the learning period substantially. Another of the drawbacks is having to take time from your lesson to drive to a suitable location that is relevant to cover the topic and then having to drive back again.
Intensive Or ‘Crash’ Courses
Many of the enquiries that we receive asking about intensive courses are from students that have yet to take and pass their Theory Test. Should this be the case, you would normally be waiting for around eight weeks for a practical test from the time you pass your Theory Test. If you are considering taking a week off school or work and condensing your lessons, this could work for you if you were able to schedule your intensive course a few weeks before your practical test. Taking an intensive course and then having to wait more than a few weeks before taking your practical test could mean you find yourself getting rusty while you are waiting. The other thing to consider is that you may be purchasing more lessons than you require and therefore spending more money than is necessary, or booking fewer lessons than you need and arriving on test day underprepared and run the risk of having to rebook another test and having the frustration of waiting a few months for your next test and the extra expense that will come as a result.
Regular Weekly Lessons For Continuity
Taking a regular weekly lesson has proven more successful as it provides continuity, better retention of knowledge and it will reduce your learning period. During your initial enquiry, we recommend asking if your lessons could be booked in advance for a regular weekly slot.
Not all driving schools or driving instructors will allow you to book lessons in advance and many make bookings from week to week! This is often very frustrating to students as there is no guarantee that your lesson slot will be available and it’s one of the major reasons that students change their instructor.
Will Your Driving Instructor Be Compatible With You And Will He/She Provide The Best Value For Your Money?
Driving instructors vary enormously in the way they teach the syllabus, the quality of their teaching, their customer skills and their patience and friendliness. It is quite disturbing that around 30% of all learner drivers feel the need to change their driving instructor before reaching test standard because of incompatibility issues or the lack of progress. Many Instructors work as sole operators and have no requirement for ongoing training. In fact, many independent instructors never take any further training from the day that they qualified. Unlike us very few driving schools monitor their driving instructor’s performance and provide ongoing training to ensure they keep up to date with modern teaching methods.
The Price You Can Expect To Pay For Your Driving Lessons
The price you pay for your lessons will be related to the training skill and compatibility of your instructor. As mentioned, some instructors have never taken any training since the day they qualified and often lack the modern teaching methods recommended by the governing body (DVSA). Those that operate with the lowest lesson prices tend to have the lowest pass rates and lack customer reviews and recommendations. Purchasing what appear to be ‘cheap’ lessons and a good deal is tempting, especially when on a tight budget. But like most things in life, there is often a hidden cost to cheap and that is quite often a much longer learning period, frustration at the lack of progress and the expense of a failed test and having to take further lessons.
The best instructors and those with the highest first-time pass rates will have invested in their training to be at the top of their game. They tend to have superior compatibility skills and as a result, will have copious amounts of customer reviews and recommendations. They command higher lesson fees as you would expect but will provide superior value for money with the quality of their instruction and a shorter learning period.
Hopefully, we have been able to enlighten you as to why driving lesson prices vary enormously and explain why driving instructors are not all the same.
Ever since Geoff Capes qualified over twenty years ago and started the driving school, his approach has always been to provide outstanding value for money and have a great rapport with customers. As he started to grow the school, his main concern was how he could scale the school to meet demand but still retain his own ethics. Geoff was alarmed in the early days just how poor some of the early instructor recruits were and the general standard of tuition being offered in the local area.
It was for this reason that we opened our own Instructor Training Academy in 2007. The only way to guarantee that we only recruited the very best driving instructors, was to teach and prepare them ourselves. All our instructors now, must come through our own Training Academy and take a comprehensive 80-hour course and qualify before they can teach any of our learner students.
So how is this a benefit to you, the student?
We operate a unique ALS (Accelerated Learning System) which as the name suggests, is in place to speed up your learning period and ensure you receive full value for your money. All our instructors are trained on this system and we have quality control procedures in place to monitor the tuition you receive. You will also be provided with feedback forms on your instructor, so you are able to mark them on their performance for all aspects of their interaction with you.
Your driving lessons will adhere to the DVSA’s client centred policy and will be interactive so you will have a big input on how they are conducted. This policy eliminates many frustrations that students encounter with large amounts of time parked at the kerbside and endless hours of aimless driving around with no firm lesson objective.
We are transparent in the services we offer so you can decide if we are a good fit for you. If you have any questions or would like more information please call 0161 627 2105.