Here are some useful tips on starting out learning to drive, getting your driving licence then information on looking for driving instructors or driving schools that will be suitable for you.
Before you choose a driving instructor, the first thing you need to think about is what kind of transmission within the vehicle you will be learning in? Manual or automatic gearbox? If you learn in a automatic that is all you can drive once you have passed your test so most people choose to learn with manual gears. It may be that you prefer a automatic but whats the difference?
Before you start to drive
Find out how to get your provisional licence!
Choosing a ADI or PDI ?
Approved Driving Instructor – Green Certificate Below
Potential Driving Instructor – White/Pink Certificate Below
Why use an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)?
It is unlikely that anyone except an ADI would have the experience, knowledge and training to teach you properly. Learning safe driving habits from the start will improve your own and other road user’s safety.
To become qualified, an ADI must pass a theory test, and strict tests of driving and instructional ability. All ADIs must maintain a high standard of instruction.
Fully qualified ADIs display a green certificate on the windscreen of the tuition vehicle. Trainee driving instructors are granted a trainee licence so that they can gain teaching experience before their final qualifying examination. Their licence is pink.
The standard of instruction of all ADIs is regularly checked by DSA. This is done by a DSA Supervising Examiner sitting in on a live lesson.
The instructor is then graded:
Ask any potential instructor for their grade before embarking on a course of lessons.
Your instructor should explain how your lessons will be structured and show you the syllabus that you will have to complete before you take your driving test (the syllabus is contained in the DSA publication The Official Driving Test).
Take advice from your ADI on all aspects of driving which books to read
Simple just select the area in Search 2 Drive Drop down boxes and compare the schools that are around you. Look for someone who has a good reputation, is reliable and punctual and whose car suits you.
Ask the instructor if they have signed up to the Voluntary Code of Practice, or if there is a Company Code, and ask for a copy.
When you get in an instructors car please check there badge is onshow. It is a £1000 fine if it is not!
The Code of Practice has been agreed with the driving instruction industry and covers instructors’ personal and professional conduct, advertising and their complaints procedure. For further information, call DSA on 0115 901 2500.
If you are not happy with your instructor tell him/her why and discuss the way forward. If you still can’t reach an agreement then find another instructor along with that inform Search to drive via the feedback link.
If you have any serious complaints about your instructor then contact DSA as above.You may wish to view the training standards document designed for driving instructors to see how the training to yourself should be delivered.
What to do if the instructor met all of your expectations?
Contact Search 2 Drive Via the feedback link and fill in the form. We are always requiring feedback on instructors.
Points for first time driving and entering an instructor’s car for the first time!
There is no substitute for learning car control skills and how to deal with different road situations with a professional driving instructor before going out to practise privately.
When you have enough confidence, your instructor will advise you what and where to practise. They will also be able to advise the person who is going to supervise you. Your accompanying driver must be over 21 years old and have held (and still hold) a full licence for 3 years.
Practise on as many different types of road as you can, in all sorts of traffic conditions even in the dark and on dual carriageways where the upper speed limit applies. You may be asked to drive on such roads during the test. Don’t just concentrate on the exercises involved in the test.
When you practise try not to obstruct other traffic. Most drivers are tolerant of learners, but don’t try their patience too much. Try not to annoy local residents; for example, don’t repeatedly practise emergency stops in the same quiet residential streets, or reverse repeatedly around the same corner.
Your ADI will be able to advise you where you can obtain these.
You will be ready for the test when you show that you have reached the standards set in The Official Driving Test. Learners who pass first time do so because they are well instructed and get plenty of practice. They pass because they wait until they are ready. Your instructor has the knowledge and experience to tell you when you are ready.
Unfortunately, currently there is only a 43% overall pass rate which means the first time pass rate is much lower. The reason for such a low success rate is because candidates are not properly prepared.
You must be able to drive consistently well, with confidence and without assistance or guidance from your instructor. If you can’t, you aren’t ready for the test. Waiting until you are ready will save you time and money.