Nothing sets you free like getting your license. Learning to drive can be a challenge you enjoy tackling... or it can be a major headache. It all comes down to choosing the right driving school. With a great driving instructor you'll face the trials of learning to drive with confidence and all the knowledge you need to pass that all-important test.
So how do you choose between the many driving schools on offer? Here's how.
The most valuable thing you can do in selecting your driving school is to ask around. Sure, some driving schools have flashy websites - but are they great to work with? Ask around and find out how your friends and neighbours learned to drive. When it comes to choosing an education provider you can't beat a personal recommendation from a past student.
The next thing to consider is the range of choice available to students. Most driving schools offer dual control cars, which allow the instructor to quickly resume control of the vehicle in an emergency, but not all driving schools can offer you a choice between automatic and manual vehicles to learn in and, most importantly, sit your test in. Before you commit, make sure your driving school has the right car for you.
Making sure you will have one-on-one attention for the whole of your lesson is also vital. To save time, some driving instructors will want to pick up their next student during your lesson. Sure, this saves the driving instructor time, but it doesn't say much for the teacher's commitment to your learning. Driving schools who encourage or permit their instructors to combine students in this way may well prioritise earning money over the success of their students.
Ask your prospective driving school what educational materials they have to offer you. A committed teacher will plan ahead to tackle your greatest challenges and teach you the skills you need to pass that test, and they'll rely on course guidelines and supplementary materials to achieve this. If you're also driving with a parent or friend outside of formal lessons, they'll benefit greatly from knowing what you're learning during these sessions.
Finally, check the ins and outs of your driving school's policies and procedures. Are they fully booked, or can they offer you lessons that fit around your schedule? What happens if you have to cancel a lesson, and how much do they charge. Don't rely on price alone when choosing a driving school. An inexperienced or unprofessional driving instructor may offer cheap lessons, but you may need more lessons with them to gain the skills you need, and end up paying more in the long run.
Taking the time to choose the right driving school for you will ensure that learning to drive is as supportive, educational and enjoyable as it should be. Don't rush your choice. Enjoy the ride.