YOUR DRIVING LESSONS
YOUR FIRST LESSON
The majority of my pupils start their lessons from scratch. For these pupils I will normally book a 90 minute session for the first lesson. This will allow time to cover all the basics but without an overload of information.
WHAT TO BRING
On your first lesson you will need to bring your driving licence and (unless you have pre-paid) payment for your lesson or block of lessons.
It makes sense to wear comfortable clothing and sensible shoes. If you wear glasses or contact lenses don't forget them!
WHAT TO EXPECT
Most people approach their first lesson with a mixture of excitement, anticipation and usually a little nerves. Don't worry! I won't expect you to do anything too complicated or scary!
We will find a very quiet, wide road on which to start. Once there, we will begin with the basics.
At the end of the first lesson we will usually have achieved the following :
- Be able to set the car up ready to drive. (Cockpit Drill).
- Have a basic understanding of the use of mirrors.
- Understand all the major car controls and, in particular, what the clutch does.
- Be able to move off safely (POM Routine).
- Be able to drive the car a short distance.
- Stop safely (MSM Routine).
- Be able to move the car slowly (Clutch Control).
- Performed a simple manouver.
During this lesson you will receive your Driver's Pack. This will include recaps of everything you have covered.
YOUR SECOND LESSON
For your second lesson I will again book a 90 minute session.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Your second lesson will begin with a recap of what we covered in the first lesson. Don't worry if you can't remember everything - I won't expect you to. if required, we can go over everything again.
Your second lesson will build on the first with particular emphasis on gears and positioning.
At the end of the second lesson we will usually have achieved the following :
- Be able to carry out all the gear changes commonly used in urban driving.
- Be able to position the car correctly in the road while driving.
- Pull up in the correct parking position.
- Have a greater general awareness.
At the end of the lesson we will update your Driver's Pack.
I recommend that you stick to 90 minute sessions for your remaining lessons though you may want to switch to one or two hours instead.
WHAT TO EXPECT
In your first two lessons we will have put the basic building blocks of driving in place. This will allow more rapid progress in your subsequent lessons.
We will then move on to cover all the driving topics required to be prepared for your test. Starting with basic junctions, we will progress from one topic to another, each presenting a new challenge but in some way linked to what we have done before.
As we progress we will cover the following topics :
- Turning Left at Junctions
- Hill Starts
- Traffic Lights
- Turning Right at Junctions
- Spiral Roundabouts (Bullring Roundabout)
- Dual Carriageways
- Meeting Traffic (narrow roads with parked cars)
- Pedestrian Crossings
- Emergency Stop
- Awareness and Planning
- Pulling up on right and reversing back
- Reverse (Parallel) Parking
- Bay Parking
- Independent Driving - Signs and directions
- Independent Driving - Sat Nav
- Driving on Roads With Higher Speed Limits
- Motorway Driving (if requested)
At the earliest possible opportunity during this time we will get you to drive to and from your home.
Having covered the above topics, we will then move on to improving each category gradually building up to test standard. During this time we will look at what is involved in the driving test and carry out independent driving. As you approach test standard we will carry out mock tests to assess your readiness for the real thing. Finally, the day will come when I tell you to book your test!
YOU HAVE TAKEN LESSONS BEFORE
If you have some previous driving experience I will usually book a 60 minute session for your first lesson. This will give me time to assess your level of experience and plan future lessons.
HOW MANY LESSONS WILL I NEED?
This is a familiar question for driving instructors but it is among the most difficult to answer as it can vary greatly from pupil to pupil. According to the Driving Standards Agency on average it requires 47 hours of lessons with a driving instructor to pass the driving test. However, in reality, I usually find my pupils require considerably fewer lessons than this.
Certainly though, the days of starting from scratch and passing your test after ten lessons are long gone. The driving test is considerably more difficult than it was twenty or thirty years ago - the test itself is longer and is more taxing with higher standards of driving required. Additionally, there is a hugely increased volume of traffic on the roads and more complex and difficult road layouts.
A number of factors affect how quickly you learn :
NATURAL APPTITUDE - Some people take more readily to driving than others - though with perseverance anyone can succeed.
AGE - It is possible to learn to drive at any age, though generally the earlier you start the fewer lessons you will need.
SEX - Personally, I have noticed no difference in driving ability between the sexes - the idea that men are better drivers than women is pure myth. Statistics consistently show that women make safer drivers than men.
ATTITUDE - Is an often overlooked factor. If you approach your lessons with a positive attitude and are eager to learn then it will speed up the learning process.
PRIVATE PRACTICE - Practice done in addition to your lessons is likely to reduce the total number of lessons you will require.
CAR - It is easier to learn in a modern, well equipped and maintained car.
INSTRUCTOR - You will learn more quickly with a reliable and supportive instructor.
The biggest reason for pupils failing the driving test is that they sit the test before they are fully prepared. To this end, I will only advise you to apply for the test when you are ready for it.