Choosing the right driving instructor can make or break your driving experiences. Driving instructors in the UK can only charge for their services if they are an Approved Driving Instructor or a licensed driving instructor who is receiving training.
When choosing a driving instructor, Lauren Clarke, 23, knew that finding one that displayed a Driving Standards Agency (DSA) badge in the front windscreen was vital. A green octagon-shaped badge means that the instructor is fully qualified and has been approved by the DSA, while a pink triangle shows that the instructor is not yet fully qualified and is still receiving training.
You probably wouldn’t buy something from the first shop that you saw, so why choose the first driving instructor that you come across? Lauren contacted several driving instructors to compare quotes and decide whether they would be a good fit for her based on the initial phone call. She says, “If I chose a driving instructor without shopping around enough and did not gel with him or her, it could be expensive to admit defeat and start again with someone else. Because of this, I was very careful to pick a driving instructor that I had a good rapport with over the phone. In most cases, it is obvious within minutes whether or not you can stand to spend an hour or more (depending on the length of your driving lessons) in the same car as them!”
As a student, another of her main concerns was the cost of her driving lessons. While she was obviously keen to find a driving instructor with whom she felt comfortable, she didn’t want to be paying over the odds for her driving lessons. With the cost of the average driving lesson ranging from £17 to £25 for a one-hour booking, she was determined to find a driving instructor who didn’t charge extortionate fees.
As she would be block booking her driving lessons, she quizzed prospective driving instructors on their discount policies. She says, “I was disappointed that not all of the driving instructors that I contacted offered discounts for block booking lessons. Considering how much some charged per lesson, I was surprised that they didn’t ‘reward’ pupils for booking multiple lessons in advance”.
Also on Lauren’s list of considerations was convenience. After contacting some driving instructors, she found that although she would be paying for a one-hour driving lesson, she would not actually be getting this in reality. She says, “Despite charging for a full hour, several driving instructors eventually admitted that they would require me to drive to the pick-up point for the next pupil or the drop-off point for the previous pupil as part of my driving lesson.
Depending on the location of this, my actual lesson could last as little as forty-five minutes. As well as this, driving to the place that the next pupil needs picking up from could be very inconvenient for me in terms of getting back to school or my house. Why should I be put out when I’m paying for the lesson?”. Lauren made a point of choosing an driving instructor who would pick her from school or her house and drop her off there again once the lesson had ended.