When the time comes to learn to drive it’s a good idea to do a bit of research into how you’re going to gain the necessary skills. After all, for most individuals it is likely to be the biggest financial educational investment that they are likely to make in their life, outside of the traditional school to university path. You may be taught exclusively by friends or family, but this is quite rare. In fact well over 95% of drivers choose to have professional driving lessons on their way to getting a license. However fewer than 5% of people are aware that driving instructors are graded according to their abilities to teach.
Approved Driving Instructors or ADI’s as they are known all have to go through a process of examinations before they qualify and regular quality testing throughout their professional career. Just as in every other profession, some of those who are in it are highly skilled, while others are not so. If you do not do your research you could end up paying someone for tuition that is not regarded as good by the instructors governing body, the DVSA. You might even end up being taught by a trainee instructor or PDI. There is no legal obligation for your chosen driving school to tell you that you are being taught by someone who may not even qualify. As with most purchases it is a case of “caveat emptor” or buyer beware.
Only around 30% of instructors are regarded as being able to offer a ‘good standard’ lesson when they are checked by the DVSA and are awarded an A grade. The remaining 70% are graded as B, as their teaching is seen as lacking in several areas. This means that their pupils have to teach themselves to some degree. The grade B instructors have their teaching checked twice as often as the grade A instructors, to make sure that their ability doesn’t deteriorate to dangerous.
There are also some rogues who advertise themselves as driving instructors, but who have been removed from the DVSA register due to sub-standard teaching, or who have never qualified in the first place. If you get into a car with one of these it is unlikely that they will have legal insurance in place, so if you are injured in a collision there may be no way that you can obtain financial compensation.
In short the consequences of making a bad choice of instructor can lead to a loss of money or may instill lifetime long bad driving practices that can have more serious repercussions.
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Considering the problems that can result in choosing the wrong ADI or PDI it’s a good idea to compare the instructors who serve your area. People will naturally have different requirements depending on many factors. Typical options are:
- Grade A Instructor - If you want to make sure that you are going to be as safe as possible. Due to the quality of training you’ll probably take fewer hours.
- Automatic Transmission - If you feel that you lack coordination or are on a limited budget then this this might be the best choice for you as you won’t have to learn how to use the clutch and gears.
- Female instructor - It may be that for religious or other reasons that want to have a female instructor. It’s important that you feel comfortable with your instructor.
- Electric Car - These all have automatic transmissions with the added benefit that they emit no pollution while being driven.
- Intensive Course - These can bring the time for passing your test and getting road legal down considerably from the 18 month average, of first getting a provisional licence to progressing to a full licence.
If you’re anywhere in England, Scotland or Wales and you’re looking to learn to drive, the obvious solution is to compare the local driving instructors. We provide comprehensive and up to date information which we obtain from a variety of sources to help those who are looking to get a licence. This means you can find ADI’s who cover your your area, with the attributes that you are looking for with the minmum of fuss. All of which should help you get through your driving test and see you safely out onto the open road.
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