1. Why are your prices so low?
A. I believe in keeping prices as low as possible whilst giving quality driving lessons. As I am an independent instructor I do not pay franchise fees and therefore will keep my prices as low as possible. I would rather work an hour more per day to keep them low for the customer.
2. When can I learn to drive?
A. You can learn to drive at 17 with a provisional license (form D1 from post office) or at 16 if you are on mobility allowance. You can also learn at 16 off road on the course at Westpoint Exeter. A passport or suitable ID will be required.
3. What car will I take the practical driving test in?
A. You will take the test in my car as you will be comfortable in driving it and will know all of the controls. Also as the car is fitted with dual controls this is also for you and the examiners safety. You do have the option of taking it in your own car as long as it is suitable for the test.
4. Who conducts the driving test?
A. The test will be carried out by a dsa (driving standards agency) examiner at one of the test centres around the country. I normally cover Newton Abbot and Exeter.
5. How long do the theory and practical tests last?
A. The theory test lasts 1 hour and the practical test around 35 to 40 minutes.
6. What does the theory test involve?
A. The theory test is divided into two parts. The first part is a series of multiple choice questions including topics such as alertness, road and traffic signs, attitude, safety, vehicle handling, rules of the road, documents and accidents. The passmark is 43 out of 50. The second part is hazard awareness. This involves 14 video clips each lasting 1 minute long. You have to click as the hazards or potential hazards develop. There are 15 hazards so you will always have to be vigilant as one clip contains two hazards. Each hazard has a maximum of 5 points. The passmark for this is 44 out of 75.
7. What does the practical driving test involve?
A. The practical driving test lasts around 35 to 40 minutes and involves one reverse manoeuvre and maybe the emergency stop. you will also have ten minutes of independent driving where you have to drive independently following a series of route directions either verbally or from a diagram or road signs.
8. What manoeuvre will I get on test?
A. You will either have to do a bay park at the test centre at the beginning or end of the test, a reverse park, turn in the road or left reverse. The examiner will choose what you do.
9. How much do the tests cost?
A. As of the time of writing this 8th may 2011 the fee for the theory test is £31 and the practical driving test fee is £62. When booking tests I can book for you if paid for in advance or use the links page to take you directly to the dsa webpage. DO NOT use any other site as these charge extra administration fees.
10. I have lost the paper part of my license. Can I still take the theory test?
A. No, you can not take the test without the counterpart. If you try to do this you will be refused and you will lose the fee. The form to apply can be obtained from the post office. (form D1)
11. I am dyslexic so can I have help with the theory?
A. Yes, I will give you as much help as you need and you can also apply for an extension on the time which doubles it to two hours. You will need a headed doctors note which will have to be sent off to the dsa and then they will call you to arrange the booking. The test can also have a voiceover option so you won't have to read the questions.
12. How long will it take me to learn to drive?
A. This is a very vague questions as everybody learns at different rates. The average time it takes is 44 hours with an instructor and 22 hours of private practice. These figures are based on an average so it could be more or less.
13. But my dad learnt to drive in 15 hours?
A. Road and traffic conditions have changed a lot over the years. Learning to drive in today's busy road and traffic conditions is a lot more challenging than it used to be. The test is also more challenging so in order to prepare you fully to be able to drive independently we need to take more time to help you become a safe driver. I do not want any of my pupils to become another statistic.
14. Can I practise with family or friends?
A. Yes, as long as they hold a full UK driving license and have been driving for at least 3 years and are over the age of 21. make sure you are insured to drive the car. I can help in terms of getting you up to a standard and will let you know when I think you are ready to learn with somebody else.
15. How do I know when I am ready to book my test?
A. When you are driving independently and doing everything for yourself then we will discuss about booking your test up.
16. I don't think I am ready to take the test just yet.
A. Ok, we can look at postponing your test and booking you in for more lessons. As long as we give notice of more than three working days then you will not lose the fee.
17. Is it true that examiners have quotas and have to fail a certain amount for each pass?
A. No, this is all myth. If you are good enough you will pass. Examiners can't make up faults.
18. How long is the theory test certificate valid?
A. The theory test certificate is valid for two years from the day you pass the test. Also from the day you pass the practical driving test you have two years to apply for a full license. If you don't apply in time then you will have to retake the tests. At the end of passing the practical test you will have the option of handing over your provisional license so the dvla can process your application for a full (pink) license. This is recommended.
19. Will I be sharing lessons?
A. No, you will not be sharing lessons with anybody else. This is a term referred to as piggy-backing where the pupil drives to the next pupils house and is then driven home by the new pupil. I do not believe this is good practice and you will have my full attention for the duration of the lesson.
20. I am a very nervous pupil and have am anxious about driving on the roads!
A. Not to worry, we will start on a nice quiet estate and just get you moving off and stopping. We will decide when we think is the best time and when you are ready to take the learning up to the next level. When driving a car it is best not to rush anything. The car is also fitted with he-man dual controls so to put your mind at rest I will intervene should anything go wrong.
21. I get confused with left and rights!
A. Ok, I will direct you in good time if possible and will repeat the directions if necessary so you will have time to deal with them. The examiner on test will also do the same.
22. I am very scared about doing the reverse park and don't think I will be able to fit the car into a tight space.
A. Not to worry, we will first practice the reverse park behind another car. Then as you become more skilled and confident we will practice between two cars. you have two car lengths to reverse into so you do not need to demonstrate a level of skill to be able to park into a tight space. The test is based on safety.
23. What if I need the loo on lessons?
A. That's fine. We can stop off at a supermarket or toilets nearby.
24. Are you a fully qualified instructor?
A. Yes. All fully qualified instructors will hold the green badge that should be displayed at all times when teaching. Those in training will have pink badges. You can ask to see mine at anytime.
25. Why should I choose you over an older instructor?
A. I am a young instructor with a lot to prove. I am a member of the dia (driving instructors association) and have signed the code of conduct which you can view on the home page. I have also pledged to carry out cpd (continuing professional development) training to keep me up to date with any changes that may happen.
26. I have just passed my test. What now?
A. Well done! you can take the pass plus course. This course is designed to let you enhance your basic skills. It covers 6 modules that have mostly not been covered on lessons. You will receive a certificate on completion of the course which could help lower your insurance premiums. The list of insurers that take part can be found at www.direct.gov.uk/passplus For more on this course take a look at the pass plus page.