mycar Weekend 8 October 2021

How to choose a driving instructor


Learning to drive is no easy task. You’re always thinking about the road rules, other people, their cars and what would happen if you did A instead of B… but nothing can lap the fact you’re now in charge of a moving vehicle. Sure, you’re excited to drive, but you’re probably a little nervous too - and that’s okay. The right instructor will transform nerves into nous, ensuring you (safely) drive away with confidence.

How to find a driving instructor

To find a driving instructor, you should:

  • Ask around - talk to friends and family about who they’ve trusted in the past and see what others outside your circle think
  • Search the internet - give it a good ol’ Google and see what pops up in your local area
  • Tap into social media - join a few local groups and scour past posts for instructor recommendations. If nobody is talking yet, ask for recommendations!

Not everybody has access to a huge range of driving instructors. While city dwellers and suburbanites may be able to pick and choose, more rural folk will need to rely on either their parents, friends and partners, or a limited number of instructors. If you can’t find your fit, talk to somebody about going an area code over and kicking off your lessons from a local shopping centre. It all comes down to service areas.

What to look for in a driving instructor

When looking for your driving instructor, there are a few practical things that you’ll want to consider.

  • Location. Where are they based? Don’t be afraid to look outside of your local area if you haven’t found your perfect match.
  • Price. A great driving instructor shouldn’t cost an arm and leg. Shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
  • The car. What type of car will you be learning in? Is it a larger sedan or a hatchback? When was the last time it was serviced? Can you see the logbook? You might want to ask if you’ll be learning in the same vehicle which is great for building up confidence!

After they tick the practical stuff, you might want to get a feel for what they’re like. You’re going to want to look for someone who makes you feel comfortable - no one likes to learn in stressful situations! Here are some things you might want to look out for:

Comfort. Look for someone who makes you feel comfortable - no one likes to learn in stressful situations!

Organisation. An instructor should plan lessons and not just “wing it” as you drive. Look for someone who has a course guideline and supporting materials. Flexibility. You’ll want to look for an instructor that is willing to work around you and your timetable.

Patience. This is a trademark of a great driving instructor - you’re learning after all!

Questions to ask a driving instructor

There’s nothing worse than being stuck with someone you really don’t like in a space as small as a car. Before you get to the booking stage, you should try and get to know your instructor. Pick up the phone and give them a call, or reach out by email or social media - you should have a few questions ready, including:

  • What is their teaching style?
  • What’s the pass rate of their students?
  • How many lessons does it take for their students to pass?
  • What’s their favourite thing about being a driving instructor?

You can ask the basics like how long they’ve been teaching for, but it’s important to remember that this may not help with your decision. Newer instructors may have fresh techniques they want to share. Older instructors who have years of experience may have seen almost every situation, with a solution to help you through them.

Inside tip from car people who have been there: Don’t feel pressured to book the first instructor you speak to (unless they’re a great fit). Instead, take your time and shop around. And remember, never drive a car you don’t feel safe in!


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