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Top tips on finding your first driving instructor

Cailyn Bendall profile

Cailyn Bendall

June 10, 2019

Learning to drive 6 min read

Searching for a driving instructor can be exciting for some or daunting for others. How are you supposed to know which instructor to go for when there’s so many to choose from? I’m currently learning to drive, so I recently went through the search for an instructor. Here are my tips to help you find someone to help you get on the road.

Personal recommendations

If you’ve got friends or family members who are learning to drive or recently passed their test, ask them for their recommendations! It’s great to have personal recommendations from people you know – it means you’ll have their honest opinion and feedback. But even so – everyone learns differently. The perfect instructor for someone, may not be the perfect one for you. I’d still advise to research still, and look for others before jumping into the car with the first one recommended to you!

Research, research, research!

Maybe you’re the first one out of your friends learning to drive and you’re not sure where to look. Looking up instructors in your area gives you a starting place. As you start to research into it, remember to look for other factors other than price. Don’t forget to look at reviews, pass rates, how long they have been teaching etc…

When researching for instructors, you will come across many results. You can filter down your results by the area, their pricing and reviews. For me, I decided to go with an instructor that was outside of my town, about 25 miles away, knowing I would have a better and more enjoyable experience with an instructor that my friend had used previously.



Obviously, prices of lessons are on everyone’s mind. The price of lessons varies depending on the instructor and some offer a bundle deal! The cheapest price isn’t always the way to go. However, you need to find one that fits your budget. Ask instructors if they offer price bundles as they usually offer a small discount if you pay in bulk.

Referring back to my sister, who like many of us, was a broke college student so she chose the cheapest instructor she could find. The instructor’s performance was reflected in her price as she turned up late 9 times out of 10, made excuses to cancel lessons, cancelled with no advanced warnings and the list continues. She changed her instructor to another who was more expensive than she was used to and passed her test within 2 months! As you can imagine, she learnt the hard way!


Who doesn’t look at reviews nowadays?! Looking at an instructor’s reviews tells you about them and their teaching style. Lots of positive reviews and comments are a good sign that they are liked by many and teach in a way many understand driving.

Take into consideration that each instructor has their own way to teach- so if you prefer positive reinforcement, I’d advise staying away from stricter instructors. You can find reviews on their social media (if they have one) and personal reviews from people you know. It’s always best to find reviews and people’s overall thoughts and opinions about instructors.


It would be handy to have an instructor that is free and available to take you on. Some instructors may not be able to fit you into their route. Just as you have to have the time for lessons, the instructor needs to make sure they have the time to teach you. Availability is key when finding an instructor as some simply don’t have the time or space to fit you in. At least they aren’t committing to you and then let you down.

Find an instructor who is willing to take you on and work around both your schedules. For me, I’ve made a commitment to Thursday’s as that’s a day I can definitely do my lessons, in my crazy schedule, without letting my instructor down and she keeps space free for me too!


Questions to ask your instructors

Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to call or text multiple instructors. You may have narrowed down to a few you’d like to use but you’re not sure who to choose. You can ask these questions to these instructors to help make your decision:

How long have you been teaching people to drive?

Each instructor has a different experience (obviously!). You may prefer someone who hasn’t been teaching that long as you think they will have a fresher approach to teaching or someone with a million’s years’ experience. It’s all down to personal preference and can help you make a better decision.

What is the average pass rate for your students?

It’s unrealistic to expect an instructor to have a 100% pass rate- it’s extremely rare, if possible at all! You can find out how much they care about their pass rate and if they speak proudly about it. It’s not the most important factor but definitely one to ask!

What is your teaching style?

As mentioned earlier, each instructor has their own teaching style. Some instructors may use a stricter approach which works well for people who thrive under pressure whereas some prefer a calmer approach. Again, this is down to your personal preference and personality so don’t be afraid to ask. You’re not agreeing to book lessons with them just yet!

There are lots of things to consider when deciding on an instructor. Obviously, you have to get on with them and their teaching style but make sure you are investing your time and money wisely. Once you’ve decided on 1 or 2, book one lesson with them and see how you feel. Remember it’s your driving experience and you have to make the best of it!

Check out other websites such as The Student Room to find more tips and tricks and people’s experience to finding the perfect instructor!

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Cailyn Bendall profile

By Cailyn Bendall

'Learning to drive is an exciting journey! My name is Cailyn and I am a new learner myself. I have been driving for a few months as of May 2019 and I want to share my experiences with you. My aim is to pass my test before I go to university in 2020.'  See more posts by Cailyn

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