As a parent I know, just as you do, its difficult, sometimes it seems almost impossible, to make the right choices for our children. When it comes to chosing the right driving instructor or school, it can be extremely difficult.
There is lots to choose from out there, but how do you know good from not-so-good, and what about the price? (Based on instructor and population figures, there were 500 to 550 instructors working in the Leeds area in 2015).
Is it better to pay a little bit more - will the instructor be any better than one who charges less? What about reputation and customer satisfaction, or the grade of the instructor? The best way to know is to ask to sit in the back of the car for one of the lessons, ideally the first one and again after about 10 lessons.
If you think it would be better to go to a larger school, what guarantees do you have that the instructor allocated by them will be suited to your son or daughter? Schools will allocate whoever is available and their most capable instructors are most likely to be more busy.
Learning to drive is a gift for life. And it's a really important to make the right choice if you are making it for your child.
Here's a few ideas:
Reputation - look at the individual instructor not just the school. Why not ask to meet them before booking?
Experience and qualification (are you aware some instructors are not qualified and are classed as trainees?).
A qualified instructor will have a GREEN BADGE licence showing they are fully approved. Only instructors displaying a green or a pink badge (trainees are pink) are allowed to make a charge - check the badge is current.
Ask what grade they are. (Instructors are either graded from 1 to 6, where 1 to 3 are sub-standard or poor, grade 4 represent the vast majority, grade 5 is very high & grade 6 is elite, or A/B/C, where A and B are acceptable).
The licence and the law - an instructor must have a valid current DVSA Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) licence, or a pink Potential Driving Instructor (PDI) licence in order to give driving tuition services for money. You are wise to make sure the ADI/PDI licence is current and accurate for the instructor you have chosen, or your son or daughter will be learning to drive with an illegal impostor.
Track record - again check the achievements of the individual instructor, not their school. Can the instructor quote and prove their personal pass-rate over a long period?
What about references and recommendations - ask to see some references about the individual instructor from their previous customers.
Comprehensively insured? Ask to see the documentation.
Why not ask for a private interview? You are the parent after all. Also why not ask to sit in the car to see how the lesson is conducted. No credible instructor will refuse.
But what about cost?
Well yes, of course cost is very important too - first class instruction should not necessarily cost the earth, but an excellent or good instructor is unlikely to be the cheapest.
But try not to make your decision just on price - whoever you choose, the cheapest may not necessarily be the best for your son or your daughter.
By spending a little bit more per lesson, you may actually spend less overall, as fewer lessons may be needed if the instruction is better.