16/02/15
 There are a great many  trainee and qualified  driving instructors offering cheap lessons but beware of false economy.

I Have recently taken on a new pupil ( for Data protection purposes I will call him Kevin). Kevin has had in excess of 20 hours with his previous instructor who was only charging him £15 per lesson. Kevin's instructor had failed to turn up for many of his lessons and this had prompted him to try another instructor, sadly Kevin had taken a long time to come to this conclusion. If an instructor can't be bothered to turn up to earn his lesson fee, he's hardly likely to be bothered to put his efforts into your driving development.

As Kevin felt by this time he was not making any progress  he asked around his friends about an instructor and was given my number. After our first lesson had got underway it soon became obvious to me after only a short drive that Kevin although his use of the controls was at a reasonable level for 20 hours had learned little else.

Observations to check if it is safe to move off from the side of the road, mirror, signal, manoeuvre routines, what gear he should be using to negotiate which hazards, were all none existent.

On our first lesson Kevin was learning observational techniques which are normally practiced on the first few lessons. Instead of learning how to deal with roundabouts and some of the more complex aspects of driving Kevin was learning  how to set his mirrors correctly and how to  move away from the kerb safely.

When choosing your instructor ask around your friends who they had and how many lessons they needed. On your first contact with your instructor ask about his/her qualifications, most people ask about pass rates but an instructor can tell you anything and its difficult to check that information.

On your first lesson look at the badge your instructor should be displaying in the front windscreen left side . If it's green he is qualified if its pink its a trainee badge and this instructor has not passed the final part of the qualification. This is the  part that most trainees fall down on. This part is all about  testing the instructors ability to teach learners.

A few simple points to remember when choosing an instructor:
  • Ask around people you know for recommendations.
  • When enquiring with an instructor always ask about evidence of qualifications.
  • Check your instructors badge, green means qualified, pink means a trainee instructor.
  • If you do not feel that you are making progress or if something just doesn't feel right then try another instructor, again recommendations seem to bring the best results.
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