Check for the badge ??

In the UK, only Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs), and licenced instructors under training, can give instruction for payment. It is illegal for anyone else to charge you for driving lessons. Two types of badge are issued by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) for display in tuition vehicles. A green, octagonal badge shows the instructor is fully qualified and approved. A pink, triangular badge shows the instructor is licenced under training and is not yet fully qualified.

The DSA monitors the quality of tuition provided by ADIs, and grades them accordingly.

Learning to drive can be an expensive business, so it makes sense to choose your driving instructor carefully. Below are some questions you may wish to consider. Always shop around and compare at least two or three instructors in your area.

Questions to Consider

  • Is the instructor a fully-qualified Approved Driver Instructor (ADI)? Check for a green, octagonal DSA badge in the front windscreen of the tuition vehicle.
  • If a driving school proposes to use a trainee instructor for part of your training, what percentage of lessons will be with the trainee and will you pay reduced fees?
  • What is the instructor's pass rate for learners sitting the practical test for the first time?
  • Can you have a free or reduced-price initial lesson to see how you get on with the instructor?
  • How long has the instructor been teaching learner drivers?
  • How long, and how much, are lessons?
  • Will you get a discount for booking a block of lessons in advance?
  • What happens if you need to cancel a pre-arranged lesson?
  • What model of car is used as the tuition vehicle?
  • Does the tuition vehicle have dual controls?
  • How old is the tuition vehicle?
  • Can the driver's seat and steering column of the tuition vehicle be adjusted to suit your height and build? This is particularly important if you are either very tall, or very short.
  • Does the tuition vehicle have safety features such as air bags and side impact protection?
  • Will the instructor pick you up and drop you off at your home address, or other location that is convenient to you?
  • Will the instructor be giving you undivided attention, or will you be expected to either pick up the next pupil or drop off the previous one during the time allocated to your lesson?
  • Is the instructor recommended by a relative or close friend?
  • Does the instructor smoke in the tuition vehicle? This could be important to you if you are a non-smoker.
  • Practising with Friends and Relatives

    If you have the opportunity to drive while accompanied by friends or relatives, this can be an inexpensive way to increase your experience of driving before sitting your test.

    Remember that any person who sits with you must be at least 21 and have held a full driving licence for at least three years.

    To make best use of these opportunities, ask your driving instructor what you should practice, and where. Also, get anyone who accompanies you to read the Official Guide to Accompanying L-Drivers.

    Finally, if driving with a friend or relative, always ensure that you are insured to drive the car being used.