How do you find driving lessons in York?
To find driving lessons in York, or indeed anywhere can be tricky at the best of times. Currently, amidst the ongoing chaos of the pandemic, now (December 2021) is not the best of times. Here are some tips that might help;
If you know someone who’s had driving lessons recently, then that’s a good start. But rather than just asking a vague question like “are they any good?” I recommend you get into specifics such as;
- Did the instructor usually turn up on time?
- One of the most common complaints (perhaps THE most common complaint) is punctuality. Nobody can be punctual 100% of the time but if a driving instructor is frequently late then this should flag up a warning.
- If the instructor was late did they compensate by adding extra time at the end of the lesson?
- You’re going to be paying for this time – you don’t want to be sold short because the instructor is late.
- Did the instructor frequently cancel lessons?
- Did the pupil get regular driving lessons that suited their schedule?
- Ideally driving lessons should be taking place at least once a week.
- Did the pupil feel they were constantly learning or just driving around aimlessly?
- Every driving lesson should have a purpose and a structure. The DVSA talks about “Learning Outcomes” – your instructor should too.
- Did the pupil feel comfortable with the instructor?
- I’ve heard too many tales of instructors causing clients to feel personally uncomfortable either through words or actions. Not acceptable.
- Did the pupil get on well with the instructor?
- People learn faster when they are happy . If you don’t feel like you get on with your instructor this really isn’t going to help.
- Did the instructor keep notes?
- I’ve known some instructors tap their head and tell me “it’s all in here, mate” when asked about keeping notes. I’ve never known one of their clients agree with them.
- Did the pupil feel properly prepared when they went for test?
- Pass or fail, when going for test, the pupil should at least FEEL like they’ve got a chance of getting a pass.
- Did the pupil pass first time?
- Even with the best instructors, not everyone will pass first time. Nerves can get the better of pupils or they can just lose focus at the wrong time, but a first time pass suggests that the pupil was ready.
If the answer to any of these questions other than the third is “no” then I’d think twice. If more than three are “no” then my advice – steer clear!
However if the answer to all of the above is yes, then I’d recommend waiting until the instructor concerned has availability and stick to them like glue.
If you don’t know someone that can recommend a driving instructor then Google search is probably the next bet. Alternatively you could use the DVSA “Find My Nearest Instructor” page to locate an instructor near you. A couple of things to bear in mind though…
- The fact that an instructor’s website shows on the first page doesn’t mean they’re a good instructor. It just means they’re good at search engine optimisation (or they pay someone who is). Be prepared to dig down a few pages to find someone.
- When looking at an instructor’s website, look for testimonials to see what their other clients say
- Do the testimonials look and feel genuine? – I have personal knowledge of an instructor writing at least one of his testimonials himself. Incidentally, all the testimonials on my site are 100% genuine.
- Look to see what the instructors say about themselves.
- What is their background?
- How long have they been qualified?
- Do they have any other driving qualifications?
- Do you get a feel for who they are, and do you want to spend several hours in a confined space with this person?
Driving instructors must qualify with and remain qualified with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). There are three initial exams they must pass then they are tested again every few years. The highest grade achievable is Grade A, though Grade B is still considered acceptable. A Grade A is not in itself a guarantee of quality – it just means that the instructor performed well against a specific set of criteria on one occasion. Having said that, would you really want to get involved with an instructor that wasn’t able to meet the criteria on that one occasion?
No? No, me neither? Find what Grade the instructor you’re looking at is. If it’s not declared either on their own website or on the DVSA “Find My Nearest” tool then you might want to wonder why.
Can the instructor you’re looking at fit you in straight away? If they can this may not be all good news. If they are not busy, especially now, I’d be wondering why not? The best instructors tend to be busy and have waiting lists. Even more so with the huge demand for lessons following the lockdowns over the last two years. I do know of one instructor that has a reputation for fitting people in. The problem is he is then not able to deliver regular lessons to them because he’s so busy fitting everyone else in too!
Be prepared to go on a waiting list. If you can’t decide between instructors then get on all their waiting lists and go with the first one (that meets all the other criteria) that can fit you in.
Cheapest is best, right?
Well, no, not necessarily. The best instructors can charge more simply because their pupils know they’re worth the money. An instructor that charges less per lesson may not be as good and you may end up needing extra lessons to compensate. This is not going to save you money overall. I recommend doing a bit of research to find out what the going rate is and not paying less. An instructor offering cheap lessons or super attractive deals is probably doing so because they are struggling to get pupils. Stay away.
Find Driving Lessons In York
Hopefully reading this has helped you understand what to look out for. If you’re still not sure how to go about it then hey, drop me a line on 07710 227763 or info@dgdrivertraining and I’ll happily add you to my waiting list.