The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

News: I’m sorry to say you’ve failed ‒ as my driving instructor

A NEW survey has found that 20% of novice drivers fall out with their instructor and change them for another before they’ve even taken their test.


Learner resized

IT’S USUALLY the examiner who learner drivers complain about but a new survey has found that 20% of novice drivers fall out with their instructor and change them for another before they’ve even taken their test.

The majority of disgruntled learners blamed poor quality instruction and a clash of personalities in the survey by miDrive, an app-based aid for learner drivers.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the average number of lessons people take before their test is 47, at a cost of £1,128 (based on one hour’s lesson costing £24). Most learners (90%) said they believed a good relationship with their instructor helped reduce the number of lessons they needed to pass their test, hence their willingness to change them when things turned sour.

Scott Taylor of miDrive said: “The fact that 20% of Britain’s 680,000 learner drivers switch driving instructors shows the need to make sure learners get the right instructor from the start.”

However, the survey also found that 63% of learners relied on word of mouth to find their instructor, so their search for a replacement could be just as fraught.

 

How to spot a good driving instructor

 

Peter Boxshall taught learner drivers for 37 years until his retirement. He is treasurer of the Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council (ADINJC)

  • Personal recommendation is a good guide but not infallible. An instructor who suits one learner, might not suit another.
  • Check the instructor’s grade. There are six with grade six being the highest. Four is still OK but from grades 1-3, the instructors receive regular assessment and will lose their qualification to teach if they don’t improve quickly.
  • Consider if you want a man or a woman to teach you. This can be an important issue for some people.
  • Check the condition of the instructor’s car. If it is clean and well presented, they probably take a pride in their job; though if it’s dirty it may mean they’re busy, too.
  • Check their personal appearance. It’s a matter of taste but too casual or scruffy a look might be reflected in the way they teach.