Have you just turned 16 and want to learn to drive
Have you just turned 16 and want to learn to drive? If you’re like most students, you will be hurrying to get your L plates and stick them on your parents’ car and go for a spin.
Learning to drive is a serious process that involves a steep learning curve. Controlling a car is not easy and driving lessons should be part of your plan to pass your test and become a safe and competent driver. But it is not always easy to find the right driving school and instructor to learn driving. Here are 5 steps before you commit.
Do not simply book with the first school you come across. Talk to friends and family who have recently learned to drive and see if they recommend the driving school they used. If they have direct experience of the instruction offered, they are well placed to give an informed opinion. Also look at reviews online - any school with negative reviews should be avoided and any decent school should have lots of positive reviews.
Look for a deal
Different driving schools offer different packages at different costs. Enquire about discounts on a driving course – this is often cheaper than booking them individually. Some schools may offer a complimentary driving lesson. Driving can be an expensive process, so it makes sense to limit your expenditure if you can.
Talk to the driving school
Before you book a driving school, phone up the driving school. Ask to talk one to one of the instructors and get a feel for the ethos of the school and their approach. If you want to learn driving from male or female, then don’t be afraid to ask – a good school will accommodate this request. Make sure to ask about the age and models of the cars they use. All cars should be new and top of the range models.
Talk to the instructor before you commit
Ask to talk to the instructor over the phone before you pay. You will be spending many hours with your instructor and it is important that you are on the same wavelength because any personality clash will soon be made apparent and your learning process will suffer. Always make sure that you can arrange your driving training course around your schedule, not theirs. A decent driving school will work around you.
Plan the path to your permit
Before you pay for your driving course, ascertain whether the school has a specialized program for passing your test. They should have a clear plan of instruction, starting from your first time behind the wheel to sitting your test. Enquire whether they cater for both the Competency Based Training and the Vehicle on the Road Test, and discuss which one will suit you best.
The most important thing to establish before you commit to driving courses is to make sure that you are comfortable with the driving school and the particular driving instructor. Ask yourself if you feel like you are getting value for money and if you feel comfortable. If the answer is yes, then you are likely on the right track.