Driving schools in West Barnes offer different driving packages to students. Considering how important learning to drive is, you want to make sure that you get the best education while at it. Fortunately, with so many driving schools now available, it should be easier for you to choose a school that has potential in creating a good driver out of you. Always choose the best driving school who offer a pass promise
West Barnes Driving Lessons Choosing the Right Instructor
Recently I've been seeing more and more new driving schools appear in my area advertising cheap driving lessons with a variety of special deals. Offers such as '10 lessons for £99', '5 hours for £55' and '4 hours for £44' are appearing with increasing regularity. But is the customer really getting value for money? Personally I know that I could never operate my business offering such deals - it would barely cover my overheads - and I wouldn't want my business associated with anything 'cheap' anyway - so how are other driving schools achieving it?
Are you getting value for money?
Now I obviously can't speak about every driving school out there offering these deals but from the many stories I've heard the general answer is NO for a variety of reasons:
Sitting on the side of the road for most of the lesson. I often hear tales from pupils who have come to me from other driving schools that they would spend most of their lessons parked up in the car going over theory rather than getting in valuable practical work. This is a way that driving schools can cut costs - less fuel used and less wear and tear on their car. I once heard a story that a driving school in the area carried out a 2 hour highway code lesson with their pupils!
Tying on from the first point, less practical work on lessons is going to result in a decreased progress in the pupils driving skills. If you're sitting about for half of every lesson not actually driving then it's going to take you twice as long to get to test standard. So that '10 lessons for £99' deal looks good on the surface, but if it's going to take you double the lessons it would at a established and reputable driving school is it really a decent saving?
The initial offer will only be a one off and can include some terms and conditions. Once you've had your deal, the lesson price will go back to the driving school's standard prices. The terms and conditions on a '10 hours for £99' for example can typically be something like 3 hours to be held back for test day lesson. That would tie you to the driving school - you get your first 7 hours and then MUST stay with the driving school until your test to get the other 3 hours - something you might not want to do if you're not happy with the instruction being given to you.
So let's do a case study. John decides he wants some good quality driving lessons with a company that have good customer testimonials and some great recommendations. They charge £210 for 10 hours with the first hour free so the pupil can meet the instructor before making any further commitments. Typically this driving school will have a pupil ready for test at around 30 hours - therefore John will spend a total of £630 to pass his test.
James decides he wants to go for cheap driving lessons. He finds a random company online doing a '10 hours for £99' deal. However, due to the driving schools ways of cutting costs it takes James 50 hours to pass. The final 40 hours were also at the standard price of £200 for 10 hours. Also James wasn't particularly happy with his instructor but 3 hours was reserved for his test day so he didn't want to lose that. In total James had to pay £899 compared to John who paid £630. Also John managed it in around 4 months compared to James who took 7 months due to the extra lessons.
These cheap deals can look too good to be true and often are so beware. I think it's much better to choose a school on reputation, testimonials and recommendations rather than price - there's probably a good reason why one school can charge a lot more than another - you generally get what you pay for in this life!!
Jody Thomas, a Grade 6 DSA approved driving instructor and fleet trainer, runs the Jody Direct Drive in Croydon which offers top quality driving lessons to people of all ages and specializes in nervous pupils. For more information click Croydon Driving Instructor
Advanced Driving School
So you're ready to take your first Driving Lesson? How are you feeling? Preparing for your very first lesson can be a very daunting thing for some people and then quite the opposite, such an exciting thing for others! But rest assured, there are instructors out there that are trained to help!
Whatever age you learn to drive, the ideal person to teach you however is unlikely to be a friend or relative. This really is one job that is best left to a professional. Not only do you ensure that you are trained to the correct standard and with all the up to date information and guidelines need to pass your test, but you also ensure that you do not put any of your personal relationships, and of course yourself, under any unnecessary stress or pressure.
When learning to drive, it is essential that you have a structured learning programme to follow. Most good driving schools structure their programme according to the DSA (Driving Standards Agency) syllabus. They will normally provide you with help and advice on the theory aspect of the test and will often supply you mock test papers if required.
Of course, it is vital to choose an instructor who is fully trained and licensed with the DSA. They will give you continuous feedback on your progress and guidance on when to apply for your tests. The DSA guide for the average number of driving lessons required by someone to prepare for the practical driving test is one and half hours per year of age. However this can vary according to the individual. Often those with good road sense already progress much quicker as half of the battle is being aware of the hazards of the road and constantly being aware of what is happening round you. On that note, you often find that cyclists and motor-cyclists that are looking to learn already have the basic understanding that they need to develop much more quickly than others... so if you are reading this as a 15 or 16 year old then perhaps taking up cycling or considering a moped when it is legal to do so, would be a worthy exercise if you want to pass your driving test with fewer lessons than average!
Lessons can normally be arranged at a time to suit you with many an instructor offering early morning or late afternoon lessons as well as weekends too so that you can fit in learning to drive around your schedule, family, work or college. Some people prefer a steady approach and take one or two hours' tuition each week, while others prefer an intensive week-long course.
So... are the intensive courses really a good idea?
With time being important to everyone, more and more driving schools are offering intensive driving lessons for learner drivers, some of them spread over just one or two weeks.
But please be aware that this approach to driving lessons doesn't suit everyone. The skills needed to drive safely take time to learn, and although you may learn enough to pass the driving test, you may lack on some of the more general awareness and skill that you need to drive safely. And, its often said that the quicker you learn, the quicker you forget things too!
You may also be the sort of person that strives under pressure and the intensity of a weeks' course could help you, but, if you are quite the opposite and find it hard to focus or concentrate on things during such an intense period, then this approach may not be for you... So give serious consideration to the type of driving lessons that will suit you before booking a black course!
If you have had previous experience on other vehicles, or other driving lessons before, intensive lessons can be useful. As you're not starting from scratch, things may be a little easier. So as mentioned above, for those that have cycled for years or perhaps had a moped or scooter, then this could be a great option for you... and it may even save you money too!
If however you have had no experience on the roads at all, then the best way to learn effectively and safely would be to have 1 or 2 hours a day, a few times a week. On that time scale, you might expect to be ready for your test after 8/10 weeks. But please remember, there is no guarantee as to how long it will take... It really does just depend on the person.
If you have had experience before or perhaps started with lessons previously then the amount of lessons, and therefore the time it will take will vary a lot. This is because every instructor is different and what you have learnt... and hopefully remembered... may be in a very different style or approach to your new instructor. In this instancethe best thing to do would be to book a single lesson or an assessment driving lesson with your new driving instructor, who should then be able to give you a better idea of what you will need and if they can help!
So... you may now be wondering, how many lessons could I need?
This question comes up at some point or another with pretty much everyone who learns to drive. Most people ask it out of financial interest as learning to drive can be expensive, that's why its important to pick the right instructor and approach form the start. Others are just interested to see roughly how long it will be before they can buy their first set of wheels!
According to the Driver Standards Agency, the 'average' driver takes almost 50 hours of lessons with an Instructor with additional hours spent "practising" with a friend or family member.
However some students can pass in as little as 15-20 lessons, while those that have problems or difficulties with certain aspects of the training can increase the number of lessons that they need to over 100. Typical though, the average number you should expect to require between 30-50. But rest assured, the driving instructor will advise you when you are ready.
One thing to remember when learning to drive is that you have two parts to your training now... the theory and the practical. Its worthwhile noting that the sooner you can undertake the theory training and test, the better positioned you will be during your lessons. This is for two reasons.
You will learn the basics of the road, hazard perception, safety and general knowledge to give yourself a head start when you do get behind the wheel.
You can't take your practical test until you have done your theory. So... rather than taking lesson after lesson spending money on lessons, it's well worth getting your theory training and test done as soon as possible, it means you can then put in for your actual test as soon as you are ready rather than having to wait until you pass your theory test and then waiting again until a slot comes about to get your final test booked. So doing you're theory training and test will ensure that you're all set from the start... and it could also save you money too!
Well, hopefully you've found something of use an interest here, thank you for reading, and whatever approach you take, Good Luck with your lessons... And happy motoring!
Submitted on behalf of Sky Blue Driving School Coventry. http://www.drivingschool-croydon.co.uk