So you have received your provisional driving licence and are itching to get started, but what next? The amount of driving instructors registered with the Driving Standards Agency continues to rise year on year. With so many different instructors to choose from, how can you be sure to pick the right one? To be honest, you will only know for sure after you take a few driving lessons but there are some things you can do to help with your decision.

1)      Search for reviews online-
Many consumers leave reviews when they are particularly happy or disappointed with a service. This is especially true regarding driving instructors and driving schools. Google Maps, Qype and Yelp are a few examples of where to look. Don’t be afraid to ask a driving instructor to provide some reviews, as most instructors wanting to develop their business will have no problem with this request.

2)      Compare prices and special offers-
The Driving Standards Agency advise that a 17 year old learner driver will take on average, 44 hours of driving lessons before passing the practical driving test. If the average driving lesson price is £24, the cost of acquiring a driving licence could prove to be very expensive. With this in mind ‘value for money’ is even more important. You should be able to find different ‘Special Offers’ to choose from. However, the cheapest driving lessons you can find may not always be the best value for money. The better your driving instructor, the fewer lessons you might need overall, potentially saving you a lot of money.

3)      Speak to the driving instructor-
If you find satisfactory reviews and a good promotional offer your next step might be to call the driving instructor to ask any questions you may have. This is a good opportunity to get a feel for the instructor and to check out their professionalism and knowledge. You may want to do a little research and formulate a few questions to ask. The driving instructor you speak to should be courteous, professional, and knowledgeable. A lot can be gained from this initial conversation.

4)      Check the instructors’ credentials-

Not all driving instructors are fully qualified, there are some who operate on a Trainee Licence. The majority of Trainee Instructors will never become fully qualified as the pass rates for the final Part 3 exam (test of instructional ability) are very low. The worst about it is, most learners being taught by a Trainee Instructor don’t actually know that this is the case. You should ask the driving instructor before arranging any lessons if they are fully qualified. In addition when you get into your instructors car for the first time you should be able to see your instructors ‘badge’ on display. A pink triangle indicates a Trainee whilst a green square indicates a fully qualified instructor.

Having gone through all the checks listed above hopefully you will have found the perfect driving instructor. The assessment process to become a driving instructor is very stringent in the UK and most instructors are good at what they do. However, there are still a few other factors in this equation. You will spend a considerable amount of time with your instructor and it is important that they are likeable to you with a certain degree of charisma. Too many learners are unhappy with their instructors due to personality traits or communication problems. If this is the case you should not continue your lessons but should try another instructor. Your ability to learn to drive at the optimal rate will be seriously hampered if you are not happy with, and confident in, your driving instructor.

Hopefully after reading this article you will be better able to choose a driving instructor that is experienced, knowledgeable, and likeable to help you to learn to drive safely and pass the driving test with the minimum expense.