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Learning To Drive

 

I hope you find the following information of some use, these are the general thoughts and issues of the average new driver, via feedback over the first few lessons.

 

Your First Lesson

Excited and nervous, that's how most people feel! However, all the questions spinning around most people's head; will I crash? Will I be on busy roads? What if I can't do it? These are all short lived once the first lesson commences. You will feel at ease, and a good instructor will pace the lesson to suit your own individual needs and will not rush you into something you are not ready for. The first lesson will typically cover the correct routine on entering the car (the cockpit drill), the safe and correct use of the main controls, starting the engine and then moving off and stopping (moving the car from a standstill and bringing it to a controlled stop again). If there is time, a little gear changing and planning ahead with a little steering may also be achieved, setting you up for your next lesson.

How Many Lessons Do I need??

 If an instructor is being honest to a beginner driver they won't be quoting figures of 15-20 lessons. This used to be a reasonable guide until the driving test changed to meet current traffic conditions. Depending upon where you live, time of day you are available and how quick you learn all the skills involved, will all be a factor.The DSA recommends around 45 hours of professional training plus additional private practice to give you the best chance of passing. However, everyone learns at a different pace and there is no magic equation to answer this common question. Your instructor will tailor a course of lessons to suit you and will recommend the best time to take your test one a certain standard is achieved. If you're not getting it consistently right with your instructor, then you're simply not ready to take the test. An instructor can only present somebody for test who is at the correct standard.

How The Test Has Changed

The driving test is very different from 10-15 years ago and the further you go back the more it has changed. Years ago, there was no theory or hazard perception test and you were never asked to carry out any parking exercises or car checks. The test also contained less or no high speed roads and it was shorter by almost 10 minutes too! Traffic conditions are now much busier and far more demanding than they were and this is what makes learning to drive a much tougher prospect today than when previous generations had lessons. Naturally the test has had to change to be a constructive qualifying standard to obtain a full driving licence. With quality tuition, passing the driving test is not too difficult; it is simply that more lessons are required than years ago to reach the standard required. You goal will soon be achieved and to drive on your own will be a fantastic reward.

Downloading the following DSA document using the link below explains and confirms the above details;

"I only need 3 or 4 lessons"
 
Every driving instructor I know regularly comes across the same problem, people who contact them, and then tell them how they are the perfect driver and they just want you and your 12000 tuition vehicle for a few lessons and then a test, or even worse 'I've got a test next Tuesday and I only need an hour or two', then we have the ultimate insult..... 'I just want your (12000) car for test, no lessons my dad says I can pass'. The system simply does not work this way, and why contact an instructor weeks before (or less!) regarding a driving test that was booked with no professional guidance? Any professional driving instructor teaches people to drive, works closely with them followed by the driving test once the required standard has been achieved. We also have a commitment to our regular customers who are learning to drive correctly, and letting an unknown person take our car on a test not only can put the examiner in danger, if the tuition car is damaged, your lessons will be effected and the instructor will not be able to work! Although during your tuition the test can seem a very long way off, spreading your lessons over a realistic length of time to enable you to absorb the facts, put them into practice and make the relevant progress is the best and 99% of the time the only way. Driving fluently, with confidence and experience, showing a good sound knowledge of the highway code and a good attitude is what the examiner is looking for as a minimum. Not just someone who can drive the car from a-b without stalling in a similar way to his or her 'uncle' who thinks his driving is perfect !!! Very few people pass the driving test in a short space of time, and cutting corners to try and save money never works.

My Mate Only Had 10 Lessons and had never driven before!
Oh yes, we all know one don't we!! I have met 100's of driving instructors over the years and we all joke about it all the time. In recent years with the current driving test 10 lessons is not enough to cover even a quarter/third of the syllabus! It's amazing however that no driving instructor has ever met a 10 lesson genius, even though everyones 'mate' apparently did this. If you want to learn to drive correctly and pass the DSA test, simply turn up for your lessons and we'll get the job done as quickly as possible. If you are a novice driver, who has previous experience of driving, with friends and relatives or had lessons/tests before 10 lessons may be enough to achieve the standard required, but not from beginner!
Back To Reality
Having achieved over 000 passes in 22 years please let me explain what works best for the majority of people. 1,2 and occasionaliy 3 hours tuition per week is what most people can afford, the 2 or 3 hours is the better option as it can be a long process with 1 hour per week, however 1 hour does work. Turning up every week for your lessons and studying in-between will help achieve your goal. Be concerned why any instructor would have 20 hours of space available in their diary for a week's mini intensive course, and allowing you to hand over a large sum of money, when in most cases a theory test has yet to be passed and there is a waiting list for a driving test. The main national schools, and experienced private instructors work along the same principles as we do at Roadworks. Your progress chart will be a fantastic record of how thing are going, and the driving skills DSA book is exactly what your instructor should be teaching you.
I hope the above is useful and informative for anyone looking to learn to drive. If an instructor tells you they can get you through the test in 20 lessons, just to get your business, what happens when you reach the 20-lesson mark and test standard is still a long way off? Knowing the facts beforehand can be the only way to learn efficiently.

Dave Oliver's Mitsubishi Colt CZ3

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