Choosing suitable driving instructors

When you are looking for someone to teach you how to drive, do not be afraid of looking further than the local driving school. Learning to drive is expensive and time consuming. Why waste time and money on someone you do not get along well with, or who cannot explain things clearly? 

Driving instructors are registered and approved by the DVSA. The first thing you should do is check their ADI number and name with the DVSA. If they are not on the list, they are committing an offense and you should report them. 

That is unlikely, however. The next step is to check reviews online. Most, if not all, driving schools have websites with profiles of their driving instructors. A quick check can show you their style and personality type. Reviews sites can rate organizations and individuals so you can very quickly see if the instructor might be right for you.

Young learners

When you are young, you learn faster but can be more impatient. Finding the right driving instructor for you when you are young is important. Someone who is patient and calm, and who is good at talking to young people. Not everyone knows how to communicate with teenagers and some instructors actually advertise more to young people because they have the skills. 

Finding someone you do not find sexually attractive is important too. It can be very distracting and promote some dangerous behaviour if you are trying to impress someone.

Mature learners

For mature learners, patience and communication skills are very important in a driving instructor. A lot of people feel they are “too old” to learn how to drive, or have had issues in their lives that have prevented them from learning in the past. In order to give the learner as much confidence as possible, the best driving instructors are patient, know how to put things to you in a way you will understand, and inspire confidence.

Your instructor isn't your friend

It pays to have someone you get on well with teaching you, but it can also be a distraction if you like to gossip or chat. Good instructors will be friendly but keep enough distance to maintain authority. They are responsible for you and you are putting them at risk every time you drive with them, they need to be able to put their foot down and for you to listen.

Even though they are not there to be your friend, it is very, very important that you feel you can ask them anything. Driving is very dangerous, if you have any concerns you should feel able to raise them.

Friends or family

You do not need a driving instructor to teach you how to drive. As long as the other person has had a UK or EU licence for 3 years or more, is over the age of 21, and is fully qualified to drive the vehicle you are learning in, they can help you learn. This can be a lot cheaper than hiring an instructor. For people with confidence issues, it can be the best way to get your practice: having someone you are very familiar with to help you can make a big difference. 

Double driver hire cars can be rented from driving schools so your friend or family member can take you out and maintain control as you learn how to drive. Sometimes this is no cheaper than hiring an instructor, so check before you book.

Getting along with your instructor

Your instructor is a professional that you are paying for a service. You can therefore expect a high standard of quality from their instruction. If you are in any way dissatisfied with their behaviour, or they have done something you disagree with, take it up with their supervisor. Remember, you are paying them, so unless it comes to vehicle safety and management, you are calling the shots. It’s your time and money, get what you paid for. 

Some people do not get on well, and that is fine. If they can teach you well at the same time, stick with it. If you really do not like them, do not worry, just find another one.