Tips for choosing a driving instructor

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A few private driving lessons from a qualified, experienced and knowledgeable instructor can go a long way towards helping you get your licence. They can help to ensure that you develop good driving habits from the outset and thus increase your chances of becoming a competent driver and passing your test the first time around. If you're just beginning your search for an instructor, here are some tips which should help you to find the right one.

Don't automatically opt for the one offering the cheapest rates

A lot of younger people who want to learn how to drive are on a tight budget. However, it's important not to choose an instructor simply because they're offering driving lessons at highly competitive rates.

There are many potentially problematic reasons why they might be charging such low fees; they may have developed a poor reputation in the local area due to their unhelpful teaching approach (they might, for example, be very impatient or unable to explain things clearly) or have a very low success rate (i.e. their students often need to take their driving tests multiple times in order to pass).

Additionally, it's possible that the age and condition of their vehicle may be a determining factor in the rates they charge; instructors with aging vehicles in need of repair may offer lower fees. However, using an older, poorly maintained car could make the process of learning how to drive that much harder.

Book an assessment lesson

A lot of private driving instructors will offer a substantial discount to those who pay for multiple lessons in advance. However, before committing to several driving lessons with one particular instructor, it's sensible to book a one-off session during which you can observe their approach to teaching and their temperament and have them address any concerns you may have.

During this lesson, pay attention to their manner. The most important quality to look for is patience; as a novice driver, you're going to make a lot of mistakes and will inevitably need to repeat certain manoeuvres many times before you master them. If the instructor expresses frustration or irritation each time you do something incorrectly, this could discourage you from practising and make your lessons rather nerve-wracking.

Conversely, the support provided by a patient instructor can make it far easier to learn new skills and help you to develop positive mental associations with the driving process, which in turn will boost your confidence and make you a better driver in the future.

They should also have strong communication skills. A good instructor will know how to break down seemingly complicated driving tasks so that even a total novice with no experience can quickly get to grips with them. If throughout the course of your assessment lesson, the instructor frequently gives vague instructions and expects you to interpret these ambiguous phrases without further explanation, it may be wise to look for someone else to teach you.

Last but not least, they should behave in a responsible and professional manner. If they arrive late, spend much of the lesson checking their phone, turn on the car radio, smoke or ask you to stop off at a fuel station or shop at any point during the lesson, you can safely assume that they don't take their role as an instructor very seriously. A truly professional instructor will not only be punctual and respectful but will also give you their complete, undivided attention for the entirety of the lesson.

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14 February 2017

Taking art classes

I want to get some balance in my life, so I've decided that I need to take some art classes this year. It should be really fun. I'm going with my sister, and neither of us is that great at art, so I think it will be interesting to see how much we improve over the year with some professional help. If nothing else it should be funny to see what we produce! We are keeping track of our progress on this blog, so hopefully each week you'll see our art getting a little better and easier to look at.