Searching for a driving instructor can be really exciting – after all, it’s the first step to getting on the road once you turn 17. Of course, you want to find a good driving instructor – after all, this is the person who is going to teach you to drive and give you the key to freedom – but how do you find a good driving instructor?
How to choose a driving instructor
When it comes to choosing a driving instructor, you’ll likely start by searching for ‘find a driving instructor near me’ and whilst doing online search is a great tool – there’s a few more things you can do to make sure you’re making the right choice. Here are some of our top tips on how to choose a driving instructor in the UK.
1. Check the qualifications
Anyone receiving payment for driving lessons, should be a DSA-approved Potential Driving Instructor (PDI) or an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). If they charge and don’t have one of these qualifications, they’re breaking the law. There is a great tool from the DVLA to find a driving instructor which shows an ADI driving instructor list in the UK to help you start your search .
It’s worth remembering that driving instructors have to opt to be on this service so not everyone who can teach you to drive is listed so it’s also worth checking out local driving schools and instructors near you.
2. Personal recommendations
If you’ve got friends or family members in your area who are learning to drive or have 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. It’s worth remembering that everyone learns differently and so the perfect instructor for someone, may not be the perfect one for you.
3. Find a driving instructor in my area – research!
Maybe you’re the first one out of your friends learning to drive and you’re not sure where to look – it can be a minefield. Looking up instructors in your area gives you a great starting place. As you start to research into it, remember to look for other factors other than price - don’t just opt for finding your nearest driving school, find an instructor who looks like they’re going to get you that magic pass. Don’t forget to look at reviews, pass rates, how long they have been teaching etc.
4. Consider the cost and look for deals
It goes without saying that getting on the road isn’t cheap and of course you will want to save money where you can – who wouldn’t! The average price for an hour driving lesson is £24, but this varies up and down the country. Take a look at the different pricing for driving instructors in your area and compare them to make sure you’re getting a good deal. Keep an eye out for offers too – sometimes you may be able to bulk book driving lessons at a discount.
5. Read online reviews
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 of teaching, but all will ultimately get you driving test ready. If you find you learn in a very specific way – it may be worth trying to book some taster sessions with different instructors to see how each one works for you.
6. Check the instructors and your availability
Driving instructors can be very busy – in fact after Coronavirus lockdown, there is a significant shortage of driving instructors making it even more difficult to get lessons under your belt. This means that when you do decide to take up driving lessons, you need to make sure you can be as flexible with your lessons as possible.
Only being free for 1 hour a week isn’t going to be ideal, as they may not be free at that time. It’s also worth picking up extra driving practice during this time – to make sure you’re keeping everything you do learn fresh in your mind, in case there’s a bit of a wait between your lessons.
7. Questions to ask your instructors
Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to call or text multiple instructors before making your decision. 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 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- in fact, it’s not very common. However, 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 may be pretty stern and others may be more laid back. 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!
8. Don’t be afraid to switch instructors
If you’re a few lessons in with your instructor and you find it’s not quite going as well as you’d hoped, or you’re not getting on or learning as well as you’d like, there is no harm in switching instructors! Don’t just think because you started with one you need to carry on – it’s your money, your time and your driving journey so if you think finding someone new will help, then start your search again! You can find more info about switching driving instructors over on our blog.