Finding the best driving instructor

By Chris Haycock     24 August 2015

Choosing the best driving instructor for your personality can make a huge difference to how quickly you'll be ready to take your driving test. We give you some top tips how to select an instructor to teach you to drive.

You may be sitting just inches away from your driving instructor for up to 40 hours of your life, so you should take a few steps to ensure that you and your instructor are a good fit for each other.

The number one thing to look out for when choosing someone is to ensure that they are an Approved Driving Instructor registered with the Driving Standards Agency. Look out for the ADI sign on leaflets, ads and brochures.

Word of mouth recommendation There's nothing better than a personal recommendation. Have any of your friends, colleagues or family recently had lessons with an instructor? Ask them whether they would recommend their instructor. Is he/she friendly, personable and relaxed?

Choice of car An incredibly important factor when learning to drive. You need to ensure that the car is right for you. If you're 6' 4" then a small hatchback is probably going to feel uncomfortable during those long lessons. Choose a car that is appropriate, reliable and above all, offers a comfortable driving position. You'll find that most instructors have mid-sized roomy cars that cater for all abilities and sizes.

Location Is the instructor / driving school close to where you live? Are there any quieter areas in your area where you'll be able to practice your first manoeuvres? A lot of instructors will know of local industrial areas or business parks that tend to be very quiet during the weekends or evenings. If you live in an area that is very built up and with heavy traffic on the roads then you may want to look slightly out of your area, if it is in their catchment area.

Block discounts Many driving schools offer substantial discounts if you make block bookings, meaning you can save hundreds of pounds by shopping around. However, don't choose an instructor on price alone - if you struggle to get on with them you may find that it takes longer to get to the stage where you're ready to take your test.

Personality Admittedly, this should be top of this list as it's an important point. There's no point in persisting with an instructor if you just don't get on, or your personality clashes. Of course, you can persist - you'll eventually get there, but you'll be spending quite a lot of your time with this person. If you are struggling to get along with your instructor then don't feel pressurised to keep going. Make your excuses and look elsewhere; it's important to feel you're in the right company.

Gender Some people are more relaxed with women instructors, others with men. If you have a natural aversion then stick with who makes you feel more comfortable. And don't feel guilty about it.

Our website lists thousands of driving instructors and schools in all areas of the UK. Make use of it, and read any recommendations that others may have submitted before deciding who to choose.