Driving Instructors - How to Choose the best

How to find a driving instructor

Look here for some of the
'Dos and the Don'ts' when
looking for the best driving

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

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

Approved driving instructor standards check form with A Grade A 100% pass mark - Senior Instructor at Alpha 1 Orpington Driving School

A well qualified independent
driving instructor with good
pass rate statistics is far
more likely to give better
service and be cheaper in
the long run..


Driving lessons green tick bullet DO - speak to someone who has recently taken driving lessons who highly recommends a particular driving instructor. Identify the individual driving instructor, NOT the driving school. A recommended good driving instructor should average a small number of driving lesson hours to test, (no more than 40 and preferably less than 35) and a high first time test pass rate (higher than 70%)

Driving lessons red cross bullet DON'T- presume that every driving instructor from any driving school will be equally as good as any other; the larger driving schools will take any qualified or trainee driving instructor who will pay their franchise fee, irrespective of their ability


Driving lessons green tick bullet DO - Ask the prospective driving instructor about their qualifications and experience. Decent driving instructors will be proud of their qualifications and performance statistics. Many poor instructors will not keep/share their statistics
Fully qualified driving instructors will display a green badge (see left) whereas a trainee driving instructor will show a pink badge
Ask the prospective driving instructor's average teaching 'hours-to-test', pass-rate, and DVSA Standards check grading (Best is Grade 1)
The Standards check form (left) shows a Grade A 100% Pass awarded to our senior instructor

Driving lessons red cross bullet DO NOT- Accept the services of any driving school or driving instructor who are not willing to share details of their qualifications and/or performance statistics. If you choose just a driving school, and not a specific driving instructor, it will only be a matter of luck as to the quality of the driving instructor you get


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

Driving lessons green tick bullet DO - Look for driving instructors who will give driving lessons at least 2 hour long. A good driving instructor will get as much work done in one 2 hour session as in 3 - 4 single hours. Poor driving instructors will get far more money through giving short (1 hour) driving lessons. This is because after the: 10 minutes start briefing, 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. That means you will end up paying for many more hours.. Driving lessons are expensive: but cost much more if you have perhaps 50 single hours rather than 20 double hour sessions..

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

Large School v Small Independent

Large schools often rely on attracting clients by cheap gimmicks, and availability to attract business
A small independent must rely on quality service and reputation. (I have worked in both environments)
Most large driving schools will accept franchise payments from any driving instructor they can sell work to. Small driving schools have to provide quality service to compete
Most really good driving instructors, who start with a large school, will set up their own independent driving school
If you call a school, or use a computerised booking system, it is only a matter of luck what quality of tuition you will receive
If you telephone a driving school and hear a driving instructor obviously on a driving lesson, giving instructions, he/she is not a professional

Alpha 1 Orpington Driving School average hours to successful test: 29.3 hrs

National average hours to successful test: 47.1 hrs

Alpha 1 Orpington Driving School Pass Rate 97.2%

National Pass Rate 45.8%

Alpha 1 Orpington Driving School average driving tests to pass: 1.01

National average driving tests to pass: 3.1