Are you looking for an instructor and finding it difficult to decide?
There are a lot of driving instructors and driving schools to choose from, so who's best for you? In Leeds there are around 200 and 250 instructors to choose from.
So how do you decide? A lot of people enquiring often ask me "how much?" and maybe that's because this is how we shop for most things, right? We're always looking for the best, for the least, aren't we?
If you're savvy, try more than one instructor and compare - "Try before you buy!" - before you commit yourself (and your cash)!
Why don't you ask to speak to a few previous or current customers. They will all be paying the same, so if you're not sure if it's worth it, they're the best people to tell you if it is.
Even if you're a fast learner, you will be with your instructor for a long time, so you need to trust them, understand them and get on with them! If you don't feel comfortable with your instructor, change, they are not for you!
Is there anything else other than price? Yes, lots, some instructors may be or may seem to be better than others, but it is very subjective, in fact you're in a partnership.
If an instructor seems expensive, cheap or just about right, is no measure of how good they are for you - the only way is to try them out.
Why don't all instructors charge the same or offer amazing deals? Instructors set their prices based on what they feel they are worth. There's no set price. In order to provide lessons to you, an instructor has to provide a car, insurance and various running costs.
Your instructor should give you a full hour of tuition, and this should be your time, so be very wary of instructors who car share (it's a practice called "piggy-backing" and when this happens, the instructor is not giving you your full time).
Some instructors take extra training just to give you a better service. All these things add up and may be a reason for why some instructors cost more than others.
Is there anything else? Well how much you pay is always important and driving lessons do cost a lot of money, especially if you pay a lump sum - so make sure you've made the right choice beforehanding over a large cash sum...
Apart from price, then, what else is there that's important to find out?
There are two types of driving instructor: 1. ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) - ADI's are fully qualified and have a green licence to prove this. Ask to see it. Check the date. It has to be on display in the car at all times. 2. PDI (Potentional Driving Instructor) - they are part-trained, usually under supervision and are not fully qualified. Sometimes referred to as "Trainee's", PDI's are legally allowed to give driving lessons for money, just like ADI's, but have a pink licence, again which they will show you. Ask to see it. Check the date. Again it has to be on display in the car at all times. 3. Caution - if the instructor you are with cannot show you a green or pink licence, the likelyhood is that they are operating illegally, so do not give them any money, and do not take lessons with them.
Ask these questions: - Fully Qualified (ADI) or Trainee? - "When did you qualify as an ADI?" The longer an ADI has been a driving instructor, the better, as this shows success in the job. - Trainee's (PDI's) are not fully qualified & don't normally work as trainees for more than 6 months. They must become fully qualified during this period. Ask how long they've been training as a PDI and which ADI they are with. - Show me your "ADI/PDI licence"? If this is not current, they are operating illegally! The licence must be on display in the car at all times during your lessons. - How busy are they? (busy is good, it might seem frustrating to go on a waiting list to start, but it is a good sign if they are full) - What is your grade (ADI)? (highest is 6 or A) - References from past / present clients? - Years of experience?
About former clients (ask these questions): - What's your 1st time pass rate? - Average number of lessons to pass? - Customer satisfaction (retention)? - Testimonials / reviews?
Any instructor who is proud of their reputation will willingly answer all your questions and provide any supporting evidence you ask for.
Why not "Try Before You Buy"? If you are unsure, take a few lessons to try out the instructor before handing over any large lump sums of cash. Any instructor who is confident about their service will be happy to do this before accepting your pre-payment.
You don't have to pay upfront for lots of lessons at high cost, and so, unless you're happy with your driving instructor, don't do this. It's your money, remember that.