Since about my 5th or 6th driving lesson I have been contemplating changing driving instructors. After about 15 or 16 lessons I’ve finally made the decision to definitely change. There were several factors that have influenced this decision and as apparently it isn’t uncommon for people to change driving instructors I thought I’d share my experience of changing.
My main reason for wanting to change was purely the fact that I was essentially being ripped off. My instructor would arrive 15 minutes late and not add the time on to the end so I was paying £25 for a 45 minute lesson when it should have been 1 hour. Obviously if this only happened once it wouldn’t be a major problem but it was happening time after time and 45 minutes isn’t really enough to get anything done. In my head I constantly defended this thinking that because I was driving for the whole time and we rarely parked up to discuss things that I was probably getting more practise than someone doing hour lessons with another instructor. However at the end of the day the fact we didn’t stop to talk shows how little I was taught.
In 15 hours of lessons the only manoeuvre I got to do was a turn in the road, and I only got to have 3 or 4 goes of that before the lesson ended. A lot of my friends started driving lessons after me with different instructors and they were doing emergency stops, reverse parking, parallel parking and turning in the road from the 4th lesson. For me it was frustrating that I felt like my lessons were purposely being unnecessarily dragged out, so much so that most weeks I just drove around the same route as normal and home again without anything new being added into the equation.
Another reason I decided to change instructors was because I always ended up waiting at least 2 weeks between lessons, even when I booked in advance. If I ever needed to rearrange a lesson because of work or anything it was near to impossible to rearrange for the same week even if I gave a lot of notice. Having my lessons so irregularly was a bit annoying and as I want to pass before I go to university, I don’t think I would have been able to with that instructor purely because I wouldn’t be able to have as many lessons as I needed in the space of a few months.
Finding a new instructor
I didn’t think I would have a problem with finding a new instructor however in my area this wasn’t the case. There were some driving instructors that I immediately dismissed from my search either because their websites were unprofessional messes or because I have heard bad things from other people.
I contacted 2 or 3 driving instructors who are part of bigger driving schools and was told that as I had had so many lessons previously that they wouldn’t accept me as a student. One told me it was because they have a set order of teaching everything and a specific way of doing certain things and that it would be too difficult to reteach me in their way. Another driving instructor anticipated he would be fully booked until the middle of June and seeing as I haven’t had a lesson since the beginning of February I don’t want to wait that long.
I’ve finally found a new instructor, my first lesson with them is in 2 weeks and I’ll be continuing to document my driving lessons on Driving Test Success. I’ve gone with a national driving school this time and when I booked the lady at the call center told me that if any point I was unhappy with my instructor, to just ring and they will sort out a new instructor straight away. This immediately showed me that customer satisfaction is a top priority for the driving school.
Overall I don’t regret staying with my instructor as long as I did but it is definitely time for me to move. I can drive from A to B really well now; I just can’t do any of the parking or reversing stuff which unfortunately is needed! I’ve started revising for my theory test and think I’m almost ready to book it…..one step closer to passing!