Learning to drive is a big step and an important landmark in your life. Passing a driving test opens up so many opportunities and freedoms, so no doubt you’ll be itching to get started.
Before you do though there are a few things you should think about before you even set foot inside a learner vehicle. The main point to think about, aside from organizing a provisional driving license, is how to choose your driving instructor. The instructor you choose will determine how well you do in your driving, how quickly you learn and how quickly you can get to the stage where you are ready to pass your test.
Choose your driving instructor
The best driving instructor is one who has amassed the relevant government-sanctioned qualifications to become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI); to do this they must train for and pass a 3 part set of tests consisting of theory, practical driving and instructional ability. They will also have been through a criminal record check and will have their own driving record and license examined by the DVSA. They will have a thorough understanding of the regulations for driving tests but most of all they should have an instinctive ability to teach.
Aside from the essential qualifications a driving instructor must have to safely teach someone to drive, they should ideally possess great people skills. A good driving instructor should be able to put you at ease and allay any fears you may have about being on the road. They should know how to work on your confidence in order to make the best of your driving skills and give you the tools you need to drive safely, confidently and in any situation.
Choose a driving school that will actively encourage you to meet them before booking your first driving lesson so that they can match you with the best instructor for your needs.
Work out your commitments beforehand in terms of time and cost
Beverly Slater understands that learner drivers need to be able to fit their lessons around busy work schedules and that learning to drive can be expensive for a complete beginner. If you work unsociable hours or you have regular appointments to keep or domestic and everyday commitments then you will need to work with your chosen instructor to format a timetable of lessons to suit your needs. Your instructor will give you an idea of how many lessons a week would be the optimum number for you so you will need to decide how many lessons you can comfortably commit to both in time and financial terms.
The big question: manual or automatic?
If you have a definite preference for one or the other then the question is not relevant. The important thing is that your chosen driving instructor should not press you or try to change your mind. Manual and automatic cars each have their pros and cons but the decision on which one you choose to drive is yours and yours alone. If you are undecided on which way to go talk to your driving instructor beforehand to get some advice then, once you have made your decision, make sure you are matched with an instructor fully trained and qualified in teaching how to drive an automatic or manual car.
In the excitement of considering driving lessons, motor insurance is probably not at the forefront of your mind but it’s something you must have to get behind the wheel. Reputable driving schools have their own insurance policies to cover learner drivers but if you intend to have any extra-curricular instruction from a friend or relative you must get insurance.