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  1. What should you expect on your first driving lesson?

    What to expect on your first driving lesson
    So, you have your provisional licence, you have chosen your driving instructor or school, and you have arranged your first driving lessons for a suitable time next week. 
    So, what happens now? 
    On the day of your driving lesson, your instructor will arrive to pick you up from the agreed location and at the agreed time. If for any reason they are running late, they will call or text you to let you know. 
    At this point if your anything like me when I was 17, I was very excited but also extremely nervous about learning to drive. I can remember my leg trembling on my first driving lesson, and although I really enjoyed my driving lessons I used to dread them while waiting for the driving instructor to turn up. So if your nervous, please don't be, your instructor will be used to helping nervous customers and they will do their best to help you stay calm and relax. 
    Upon arrival, your driving instructor, especially on your first driving lesson, will come and meet you at your front door unless otherwise arranged.
    Provisional Driving Licence
    You will need your provisional driving licence, and your driving licence check codewithout this your lesson cannot go ahead and you may still be charged for the booked time. You will also be asked by the driving instructor to read a car number plate that is approximately 20 metres away. This may be done before you get in the car or could be done later if there are no suitable cars available nearby.
    Remember to wear some comfortable clothing and some sensible shoes for your driving lessons, after all you might be sat in the car for anything up to two or more hours. 
    Your driving instructor will likely ask you some questions about any previous driving experience you might have, don't worry this is normal as they want to find out what you might already know about driving, so they can start you off at the best possible point with your lessons. Any previous road experience such as riding a motorbike, push bike or even just walking and using the road as a pedestrian can be helpful in your understanding of things to come. 
    Once they have asked these questions and got a better understanding of where you are at, the instructor will either ask you to sit in the driver's seat and start running through setting you up to drive. In most cases, your instructor will ask you to sit in the passenger seat to start with and drive you to a suitable location to start your driving lessons, we call these nursery driving routes or areas.
    But don't worry, if you have chosen an experienced local instructor then they will know the nearest safe place to start your driving lesson, so it won't take you long to get there. On the way to such an area your driving instructor will be talking to you about your previous experience and getting you to watch them drive, some instructors will also use this opportunity to give you a full talk through of what they are doing on the drive. You should also find that while in the passenger seat you have some dual control pedals by your feet, these are for the instructor to help keep you safe as you learn and they should explain that they are there and to avoid pressing them before you set off. 
    Now we are going to assume that you haven't driven before and your experience so far is limited, if you have some previous experience then your instructor will adapt their teachings accordingly and may ask more questions at this point. 
    Once you arrive at a safe and quiet nursery area, your instructor will then start showing you something we call the Cockpit Drill, this will allow you to exit and enter the vehicle safely and set yourself up in the best position ready to drive. This can take around 5-10 mins, maybe less if you have any previous experience. 
    Next you will run through the controls together, this again will be a mix of questions and helping you if you don't know. The idea is to get you involved as much as possible in your own learning and Q&A is a great way of doing this. 
    Next you will discuss Moving off and Stopping again using Q&A this should take around 10 minutes. 
    So now this is where it becomes real, the next point will be for you to move off from the side of the road and drive a few hundred feet down the road before pulling back in to the side of the road. Don't worry, your driving instructor will help you every step of the way, be it with Q&A, complete talk through or if your confident they must just ask you to have a go, but remember the instructor will adapt their teaching method to suit your needs and will always be on hand to keep you safe and manage the situation. 
    Now normally on an hour lesson you might get to practice this a few times and then your instructor will drive you home. If you have a 2 hour driving lessons or more, then after moving off and stopping your instructor should start you on left and right turns and maybe a bit of emerging from junctions. Remember not to worry as your instructor will help you as much as you need and they will control the lesson and keep you safe at all times. 
    At the end of your driving lessons your instructor will allow some time to review with you what you have done on today's lesson, we call this a recap and it's to determine what you have absorbed from the lesson today. Your instructor may use a driver record to record your progress, this should be done with you while you are still in the car and this can used to help both you and the instructor plan your next driving lesson. 
    Before you go, your driving instructor and yourself should work together to plan your next driving lesson, this will be the date and time but also what possible subject you might practise, and don't worry if it's the same as you have just done for a couple of lessons. Remember everyone learns differently and at a different pace. So, some will progress fast and learn a new subject every week (Rarely happens) whereas most will need to still work on a subject until it is good enough to move to something new. Your instructor will work with you on this so you always know what you need to do to help you improve. 
    If you need more clarification on the subjects you are learning and to the standard you need to reach in order to be test ready, then please take a look at the DVSA national driving and riding standards
    And there you have a basic first driving lessons for a new learner driver. 


  2. How can you find a good driving instructor?

    Local Driving Instructors

    When learning to drive you are going to want a driving instructor who is

    • local 
    • experienced 
    • has a good reputation 
    • is reliable and punctual 
    • has a car that suits you 
    • who comes recommended 

    If your 17 then chances are that someone you know will already be learning to drive, ask your friends and family if they would recommend a local driving instructor to help you.
    Failing this your best bet of finding someone is a Goggle search, just type in local driving instructors near me and you should get loads of local driving instructors and driving schools who cover your area for driving lessons.

    Social media such as Facebook can also be a great place to find your nearest driving instructors.

    Always make sure you look for driving lesson customer reviews and see what others have to say about their own driving lessons. You can also look at the GOV UK website finding your nearest driving instructor, all official driving instructors registered with the DVSA will be here on these pages and its really simply to use, just put in your local post code and the website will list 40 local driving instructors nearest to you. Remember this is an official register and should not be seen as sign of their quality or greatness.

    So how can you be sure that the customer reviews online are genuine? Unfortunately, we have come across websites or driving schools in the past that have either completely fabricated reviews or even paid for customer reviews.  It's important for the customer reviews to have a full name and often the review will mention their driving instructor by name as well. You will often be able to see customer pass pictures along with the reviews on the driving school website or at the very least on the driving school's social media pages.

    If you start your lessons and find you don’t like your driving instructor, don't be afraid to contact the school and ask for a new one: it’s important that you get on well with whoever is teaching you to drive and as you will find with most experiences in life we don't always gel with everyone that we meet.

    If you have any serious complaints about your driving instructor or their conduct on lessons then firstly report them to their driving school, don't worry you won't get yourself in trouble and any reputable driving school will want to know of any problems or concerns with their driving instructors and they will be genuinely interested in your complaint, after all its the driving schools reputation on the line if there is a problem. Please don't ignore any concerns you might have and report them as soon as possible. You can also take things further and report driving instructors directly to the DVSA who govern driving instructors in the UK, you can report them here.

    You can have a read customer reviews for our driving school right here if you want to get an idea of what some genuine reviews look like.