So, you’re ready to learn to drive? Let’s have a look at what you need to think about before selecting a driving instructor.
Six Thinks to Think About Before Selecting a Driving Instructor
Driving Standards Agency approval
If you want to learn anything well, you need to have a proper teacher. And that goes double for something as high risk as driving. That’s why it is illegal for anyone who is not either a licenced or approved driving instructor to charge a fee for teaching someone to drive in the UK.
There are two different levels of certification:
- Pink badge – Potential driving instructor (PDI). These are highly experienced drivers who have undergone the basic teaching course to become a driving instructor. But they have been working on the job for less than 6 months and are yet to complete their final exam. It is perfectly fine to have lessons with a PDI. And in fact, they often bring more enthusiasm to the job!
- Green badge – Approved driving instructor (ADI). Fully trained, with all Driving Standards Agency (DSA) exams under their belt, ADIs are required to reregister with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) every four years.
If your instructor does not display either a pink or green in-date DSA certificate in their vehicle, they should not be charging you for lessons.
Book a single lesson
You know how at school there are some classes you just don’t get on with? And it’s not because you lack any natural aptitude for the subject, but because you just don’t get on with the teacher. They might be absolutely fine, personality-wise. But their teaching style just doesn’t do it for you. The same can be the case with your driving instructor. That’s why it can be a good idea to book just one or two lessons to begin with, before committing to a block booking.
Think about your lesson experience
And leading on from the above, it’s always worth taking stock after a lesson. Did you feel comfortable with your instructor? Did you feel like you were learning? Was it an enjoyable experience? If you answer ‘no’ to any of those questions, it can be worth looking for another instructor.
It’s your right to choose
Driving instructors come in all guises. So, if you’re more comfortable with a female instructor, ask your agency if they can help. If it’s going to be easier for you to learn in a language other than English, you just need to shop around… Just remember, you do still need to be able to fully understand English driving instructions if you’re going to pass your test.
Cost isn’t everything
OK, so you might be ready to call us out on this one. And of course, lesson price is really important. But you’ve also got to consider quality. Sometimes, having more cheaper lessons can cost you more in the long run than fewer costlier lessons. At DGN, we try to keep our lesson prices to a minimum, but we do have to factor in a whole range of expenses. These include ongoing team training, vehicle upkeep and insurance. If someone is offering really cheap lessons, the chances are that they won’t be investing in these areas.
Talk to your friends
Lastly, if you know other people who have just passed their driving test, or are currently learning to drive, find out who they are having lessons with. If they’re happy with their experience, it’s worth investigated to see if their instructor is right for you too.
Learning to driving can be challenging, but it should also be an enjoyable experience. Finding the right instructor is integral to that.
If you’re in the West Midlands and looking to learning to drive, maybe DGN could help. Get in touch to find out more.