By The Acclaim Team on 01st September 2021 in News

When booking your first driving lesson, an important decision you will need to make is which driving instructor you choose to help you on your journey to gaining a full UK driving licence.

A good driving instructor should have patience, experience, good communication skills, and be someone that you can trust to teach and guide you throughout your development. Having a friendly and personable driving instructor can make a whole world of difference when learning to drive.

Like most new drivers, you may be nervous, and searching for the perfect driving instructor. If this sounds like you, keep reading to find out our top tips! As we explain how to choose a driving instructor.

Ask Friends/Family for Recommendations

Your friends and family more than likely know of good driving instructors in the local area, and a trusted recommendation is worth a lot. Friends and family are much more likely to give an honest recommendation and potentially give you a list of who you should probably avoid.

If you have recently reached the legal age to drive, then you may have several people around you that are currently learning to drive who can talk to you about their instructors to see if they’ll fit your needs!

Look at Review Sites

If you aren’t able to ask friends or family, then review sites are another trusted option that allows you to view and read honest reviews and feedback from thousands of learners online. This way, you can understand overall satisfaction rates and see how other like-minded learners felt about their learning experience.

Some recommended review websites may include Google Reviews, Trustpilot and Facebook.

Check Your Driving Instructor is Fully Qualified

You do not have to learn with a driving instructor as a friend could teach you if they have been driving for long enough. However, to give you the best chance of passing, picking up positive habits and becoming a safe driver, we strongly advise you to choose a DVSA approved instructor. It is important to understand that only DVSA-approved instructors are legally allowed to charge you for their services.

A DVSA-approved instructor, also known as an Approved Driving Instructor (or ADI) is the term used for an instructor who has been tested and registered by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). The easiest way to check if your instructor is approved by DVSA is to check their ADI badge which should be displayed in the front window of their tuition vehicle. This will be either green or pink.

If you choose a professional driving school, like Acclaim Driving, you can have complete reassurance that any driving instructor you choose is fully qualified with years of trusted experience.

Ask About Pass Rates

As a driving student, you have a huge influence on your own driving success and how quickly you learn. With that being said, your instructor also has a massive input. 

The average pass rate is generally one of the most important factors when choosing an instructor, so we do recommend that you compare pass rates between your local driving instructors. As a rough guide, currently, the national pass rate is just below 46%.

Check Waiting Times

Depending on work, college or other personal commitments, you may be quite particular with the timings and frequency of your lessons. If you’re also looking to gain your licence a little sooner, then lesson availability will be an important factor.

Before contacting a driving instructor to book your first driving lesson, we strongly advise asking for their availability and how frequently you will be able to book lessons. For example, if you can only be available on evenings and weekends, it’s important that you check if your chosen instructor can cater to this.

If you are looking to pass your test a little quicker, then an intensive driving course may be appropriate for you.

Look at Pricing

When it comes to pricing, we would always advise against choosing a driving instructor for the sole reason of costs. The most important factors should be average success rates and whether or not the instructor has a teaching style that works best for you. You’ll save money in the long run if you choose the right instructor for you, as choosing the wrong instructor can result in you requiring more lessons until you are ready (or even changing instructors altogether!).

If price is a factor for you, ask about block bookings, which tend to be discounted and more affordable than booking lessons separately.

Manual or Automatic?

You will also need to decide whether you’d like to learn in a manual or automatic car, as you’ll need to choose an instructor that caters to your chosen transmission.

If you haven’t yet decided, we recommend reading our guide which compares automatic and manual cars. Our best advice is to learn whatever makes you feel more comfortable, whether that be manual or automatic. To summarise, learning in a manual car will mean more affordable lessons, more control, and also qualifies you to drive both manual and automatic cars. Whereas an automatic licence will be easier and faster to learn with no risk of stalling but will limit you to driving only automatic cars.

Learn With Acclaim Driving

Pass your driving test with confidence and be on the road in no time with our industry-leading driving instructors. All of our instructors are super friendly and you can either book a driving lesson online or call the office and one of the team will talk you through your options.

Here at Acclaim Driving, we are always here to help with your driving test needs. Be sure to contact us, or reach out on 0800 838 440 if you have any questions about passing your driving test.