Choosing a driving instructor is a very important step to take when it comes to learning to drive and passing the UK driving test, so you need to make sure that your decision is not just based on price.
You have applied for your provisional license, started preparing for the Theory Test, and now want to do some practical driving, but don't know where to get a good driving instructor, I hope the following information will be of help.
Your first point of call for choosing an instructor, is to ask friends or family for any recommendations, they know you well, and should be able to judge if you will get on with the driving instructor they had lessons or passed their UK driving test with, you should ask questions like what was it they enjoyed about the instructor, how was his/her time keeping, was he/she patient when you had difficulties and do they offer good value for money (not necessarily the cheapest), where they reliable, what was their lesson cancellation policy, do they offer a full hour or was it 50 minutes.
If you don't get any recommendations, then you'll have to find a driving instructor yourself by either searching on the internet or phoning one of the national driving schools.
Using this avenue usually means you will be paying a premium price for your lesson as the school will want to re-coup their advertising costs, but remember you are the customer, so make sure you are happy with your instructor otherwise ask for a new one if you are not comfortable with who you have got. Never be afraid to change driving instructors if he/she is constantly late, cancelling your lessons, abusive to you, impatient when you make mistakes or you are not comfortable with them for whatever reason! Many learners will put up with bad service when they are the ones paying to be taught, you need to vote with your money, they need you more than you need them, there is no shortage of driving instructors, you just need to find the right one for you!
TIP: Make sure your instructor is based a max of 20mins drive from where you are being picked up for your lesson, this will help ensure your lessons are on time and reduce the likelihood of short notice cancellations.
Question: Do I really need to use a driving instructor in order to pass my test?
Answer: You don't need to learn to drive with a driving instructor, if you can find someone who is 21 or older, has had a Full UK driving license for at least 3yrs, then they can accompany you as you drive and teach you whatever they know, but make sure the car you use has a MOT and is insured for you to drive otherwise you and the driver with you would be breaking the law.
The advantage of taking lessons using a driving instructor are you don't have to worry about the car or it's insurance, but more importantly you have someone qualified and has the current knowledge of the DVSA test requirements to teach you all the skills required to pass the UK driving test and avoid minor or major errors.
Note: I don't think it is possible to pass the current driving test without having had any lessons with a driving instructor (a least not at the first attempt time, even 1 session could make the difference and could save you the fees of having to re-book and the long wait associated with that).