A busy driving instructor is busy for a reason..they’re good at their job!
A fully qualified, experienced, driving instructor is also more likely to cost less overall even if their hourly rate for driving lessons seems a bit higher than the “special offers” and “bargain deals” you find advertised in local newspapers or via flyers or website offers. This is because their experience and knowledge means that they tend to get their students to the standard needed for the driving test in significantly fewer lessons than less experienced driving instructors.
The Cost Of Driving Lessons / Bargains & Special Offers!
Is the price of driving lessons an important factor when looking for a good driving instructor? Don’t choose a driving instructor on the basis of price alone! Cheap prices doesn’t necessarily mean good service! Often the one and only thing people consider when looking for a driving instructor is the price a driving school or instructor charges for their lessons. They spend a considerable amount of time shopping around for the cheapest driving lessons they can find without thinking about what they’re actually going to get for their money.
It’s a fact of life that everybody has to work to a budget, but basing your choice of driving instructor simply on how much they charge could mean that what seems at first glance like a great deal for you to learn to drive as cheaply as possible may come with restrictive terms and conditions, or the quality of the lessons or the service you receive may turn out to be poor value for money!
Neither cheap nor expensive necessarily = “good”!
The price a driving instructor charges for their lessons is only one of the factors you should consider when making your choice of driving instructor…
Learning to drive is undeniably expensive, but unlike buying say, a car or a fridge, you CAN’T try to shop around to find the cheapest price for a particular model. A can of Coke is the same product whether you buy it from a large supermarket or the local corner shop.
Diving lessons however, are different! A driving lesson is a service, rather than a commodity or product, so cannot be compared on price alone.
A driving lesson from one driving instructor is not exactly the same as a driving lesson from another driving instructor, so you CANNOT make comparisons or base your choice on price alone as you are not comparing like with like.
You can use price as one of the factors in your decision – but not the only one!
Getting VALUE for your money is the important thing to bear in mind!
I often encounter people who want a driving instructor who is “good and cheap”…unfortunately for them, those two adjectives rarely go hand in hand when it comes to finding a driving instructor as many people find out to their cost.
Prices for driving lessons vary throughout the country but most areas have an average price which you will soon become aware of if you make some enquiries.
If you find an instructor or school offering lessons for a price significantly lower than the area average, be wary…cheap prices are a sales gimmick to attract customers…ask yourself why they are so desperate to attract customers – it could be that the instructor is newly qualified, gone solo and is trying to build up a pupil base from scratch (everyone has to start somewhere after all!)…or on the other hand it could be that the instructor is unpopular and has problems keeping enough pupils to charge the market rate (and you probably don’t want to find out why they’re unpopular…) – or even worse, lessons are cheap because the “instructor” is not qualified and therefore illegal (more about that sort of person further down this section)…
REMEMBER: “there’s no such thing as a free lunch…” or put it another way, “Supermarket Own Brand Cola” is brown fizzy liquid…but it’s not the same as “Coke” or “Pepsi” is it?
There are driving instructors who are reliable, have first class teaching skills, friendly personalities, lots of experience, good pass rates and loads of satisfied customers. These types of instructors are busy and they’re busy for a good reason – they do a GREAT job…and because of their experience, their customers tend to learn to drive successfully in fewer lessons and are well equipped for driving safely on their own. These types of driving instructors have good reputations and their pupils tend to recommend them to others who want to learn to drive. This means that they do not need to advertise themselves very much, if at all and it also means that they do not have to resort to cut-price offers for their driving lessons in an attempt to get work – their reputation does this for them to a large extent…
On the other hand there are driving instructors who don’t provide such a good customer service and so do not get recommendations passed on from their pupils. They find themselves short of work and offer cut-price driving lessons. It costs this type of instructor the same sort of money to actually give a driving lesson as it does the non-price cutting instructor, but because they are offering the lesson cheaply, they make little or no money from it…so they have to reduce their expenses to increase their income.
I have heard several horror stories from people who have had so called “bargain” cut-price driving lessons. I know of people who hadn’t driven the car AT ALL after 4 lessons. All 4 lessons had been spent sitting in the car with the instructor, engine turned off and parked in a car park with the instructor TALKING about how to drive and nothing else. I have heard of people who have done nothing but drive round and round a housing estate in a half mile circuit for lesson after lesson…is that really teaching anyone to drive? Not by my definition…
There’s a BIG difference between learning how to make a car move and how to stop it and learning how to actually DRIVE…driving means getting out onto different sorts of roads, different traffic conditions, all kinds of weather and as many unique situations as possible to prepare you for what driving independently is really like…NOT driving around in circles or sitting in car parks to save the instructor’s overheads on a cheap driving lesson.
I’ve also heard many tales of how offers such as “10 lessons for £99” have restrictions on when they’re taken, such as the customer needing to pay upfront for 20 or 30 MORE hours at the FULL PRICE to get the special offer, or 6 of the 10 “special offer” lessons being kept back for the week of the customer’s driving test…and even the “10 lessons” being for only 30 minutes each!
I know that we’re in a recession and that money is tight for many people but driving is a skill for life, so you have to be able to be clear about what is real value for money and what is a false economy…
cheap driving lessons – bargain or false economy?
ASK QUESTIONS TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU’RE GETTING FOR YOUR MONEY!
Some of the “well known” driving schools don’t necessarily guarantee either quality or good value…some of the big national driving schools who also operate driving instructor training programmes use a very high proportion of partly qualified trainee driving instructors teaching on a short term trainee licence…and unless you ask, they rarely bother to tell you that you are paying full price for a trainee instructor…
Trainee driving instructors have only passed the first two out of the three driving instructor qualifying exams.
After they have passed a Theory Test and an advanced driving test, trainee driving instructors can apply for a six month temporary licence to give driving instruction in exchange for payment. However, at this point, they have not passed the hardest part of the qualification process, the “Test Of Instructional Ability”. The Driving Standards Agency set rigorous standards for the “Test Of Instructional Ability” and statistics show that the pass rate for this exam is very low – only around one third of trainees pass (source: Department for Transport).
So, while a trainee driving instructor may well be a good driver, they may not necessarily be a good teacher…do you really want to PAY to be a guinea pig to help someone pass an exam?…