Choosing a driving instructor

The best way to learn to drive is to have regular planned lessons with a qualified driving instructor and where possible to also get private practice with a family member or friend. Nationally the average number of lessons required to pass the driving test is around 44 hours of professional instruction and 22 hours of private practice (as quoted by the DVSA). The time it takes will vary considerably from person to person, however, choosing a good instructor and keeping a record of your progress will help ensure you are making the most of the time spent.

Are they fully qualified?

Your Driving Instructor would have needed to pass 3 tough tests in order to be fully qualified, they will also be checked by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) periodically on their level of instruction as well as carrying out a criminal record check. Your Instructor should display a green badge in their car window if they are fully qualified, if a pink badge is displayed they will be part qualified and there would be a chance that they may not pass the final exam (this may mean they become unable to continue taking you on your lessons!).

Cheap lessons can end up being expensive
The cost of driving lessons from one driving school to another will vary, but ultimately you want value for money! Paying less per hour won’t work out cheaper if you end up needing many more hours! Be aware many driving instructors working for large driving schools will need to charge the highest rates to pay their franchise fees to the company! Some driving schools will quote a price for a 45 or 50 minute lesson rather than the standard hourly rate, or possibly car share with someone you may not know or like!
To save some money paying for a number of lessons in advance will often lead to a discounted rate and some driving schools will offer a free lesson for referring a friend.

Are they friendly, reliable and punctual?

The best way to find out any personal qualities of a driving instructor is to ask friends or family who may be able to recommend someone they took lessons with, someone who made them feel at ease, turned up on time, explained things well and ultimately helped them pass their driving test.

What about Intensive Courses?

Some driving schools such as Van Halen Driving School Manchester will offer an intensive course where it is possible to pass your test in one week! The reality is that in order to do so, it is expected that you have some experience already and will need to have passed your theory test first. To start driving from the very beginning and in just one week be ready to take your test and expect to pass is a very big ask! It also makes sense to drive in an area around the town you live, as you want to be confident and safe in the main area you will be driving when you pass. Taking a course of lessons with an instructor in your area over a period of several weeks would give you more time to be confident driving on all types of roads. If you have had experience driving, ideally around twenty lessons and you need to pass for whatever reason as soon as possible, then the a week intensive course may be an option for you.