Orpington Alpha1 Driving school

How to choose a good Driving Instructor

How to find a driving instructor

Here are the 'Dos and don'ts'
when looking for a good
driving instructor..

ADI Green fully qualified driving instructor green badge ADI Trainee ADI pink badge

The difference in quality
between a good driving
instructor and a bad one
is huge - don't make a

Approved driving instructor standards check form with A Grade A 100% pass mark - Senior Instructor at Alpha1 Driving School

An well qualified independent
instructor with good statistics
is likely to give better service
and be cheaper in the long run..


Driving lessons green tick bullet DO - If you know someone who has recently learned to drive, and highly recommends a particular driving instructor, identify the individual, not the driving school. A good recommendation should involve small number of driving lesson hours to test (less than 40) and a high first time test pass rate (over 70%)

Driving lessons red cross bullet DON'T- presume all driving instructors from a Driving School will be as good: the larger driving schools will take any driving instructor who will pay the franchise fee


Driving lessons green tick bullet DO - Ask about the qualifications and experience of a driving instructor. Decent driving instructors will be proud of their qualifications and performance statistics. A fully qualified driving instructor will display a green badge (see left) whereas a trainee driving instructor can only display a pink badge Ask for Average numbers of teaching hours to test, pass-rate and DVSA Standards check grading The Standards check form (left) shows a Grade A 100% Pass..

Driving lessons red cross bullet DON'T- Accept the services of a driving school or driving instructor who are not willing to give their qualifications or performance statistics. If you select a driving school, and not a specific instructor, it is pot-luck as to the quality of the driving instructor allotted to you..


Driving lessons green tick bullet DO - Ask if the driving instructor gives full hour driving lessons. Some driving instructor quote price/lesson but give only a 45 or 50 minute lesson so it will cost you more in the long run

Driving lessons green tick bullet DO - Look for a driving instructor who will give at least 2 hour sessions. A good driving instructor will get as much work done in one 2 hour session as in 3 - 4 single hours. Driving instructors get far more money through giving short lessons because: after the 10 minutes start up conversation, getting the car ready etc. and the 10 minute debrief and feedback time at the end of a driving lesson, there is very little time left for teaching and practice, so you end up paying for many more hours..

Driving lessons red cross bullet DON'T- just consider the cost per lesson. Some schools will offer a very cheap hourly rate but give short lessons, and/or have a long average 'hours to test' and/or have a low pass rate. Paying many more cheap lesson hours will be more expensive than a lot less number of more expensive hours..

Large School versus Small Independent

A large school relies on attracting clients on cheap gimmicks, and high availability to attract business. A small independent has to rely on quality service and reputation. (I have worked in both environments) Large schools will accept franchise payments from any driving instructor they can sell work to. A small school will have to provide quality service to compete, and most really good driving instructors, who start with a large school, will set up their own independent.
If you call a school, or use a computerised booking system, it is 'pot-luck' as to the quality of tuition you will receive. On the other hand, if you telephone a driving school and get a driving instructor obviously on a driving lesson giving instructions, he/she is not professional

Alpha1 driving School average hours to successful test: 29.4 hrs

National average hours to successful test: 47.1 hrs

Alpha1 Driving School Pass Rate 96.8%

National Pass Rate 45.8%

Alpha1 driving school average driving tests to pass: 1.01

National average driving tests to pass: 3.1