First driving lesson save some money

First Driving Lessons Advice

If you have no previous driving experience, and are taking your first driving lesson with a UK approved driving instructor (ADI), then you will be doing what we call a controls lesson.

If you have only booked a 1hr driving lesson with your driving instructor, you will hardly do a lot of actual driving, as the controls lesson involves learning the cockpit drill (DSSSM), being introduced to the controls of the car and the instructions that the instructor will be using when refering to these controls, by the time you and the instructor have been through this, you will have little time left to do the next bit which is moving off and stopping.

So here is how you can save some money on your first driving lesson.

1. Learn the cockpit drill by yourself or with some who already drives. There is a lot of information on the internet about the cockpit drill (DSSSM), so this shouldn't be too difficult. There is a video of an instructor teaching the cockpit drill at Jon Reynolds website.
Doing this will save you about 15 minutes which on a 1hr driving lesson would mean more actual driving since the instructor should check your previous driving experience, and if you say you know how to do this, he/she should ask and watch you do it, and then just ask a few questions about your responsibilities regarding the doors and seat-belts for minors.

2. Learn the car controls. This would require either some reading on your part, or getting somewho who knows the controls and what they do to explain them to you. If possible ask to start the engine and try pressing the Accelerator (gas) pedal to get a feel for how sensitive it is. Get to know the gears, their selection and their use, the hand controls and the parking (hand) brake. If you learn and understand these, then you could save another 15 minutes on your first driving lesson which would be used learning to move off and stop.

3. Book a 2hr lesson. Even if you don't do steps 1 and 2, by booking a 2hr lesson for driving, you will learn more and get better value for your money than having 2 separate 1 hour lessons even if you have them the same week, here is why.

The time on your lesson starts ticking when your instructor picks you up, the instructor then has to drive you to a suitable training area, so depending on where you live, this could take up to 15 minutes (even though the instructor could use this driving time to explain a few things to you, I find most of my pupils hardly remember what I've told or shown them during the drive). So potentially you could only have 30 minutes available for actual tuition! If you've only booked a 1 hr driving lesson, and have not done steps 1 and 2 above, then you will not be doing any actual driving. This isn't you instructor's fault, he would probably have tried getting you to book a 2 hr lessson, but you might have insisted that you could only afford 1 hr driving tuition.

If you had done steps 1 and 2 above, but only booked 1 hr you should get to do moving off and stopping, but again that will probably be all.

Booking a 2 hr driving lesson however changes a lot of things, even if you have a 30 minute travel time, you'll have 1.5hrs of tuition time, enough to cover a controls lesson, moving off and stopping with plenty of practice, and if you have done steps 1 and 2 above then you have time to do moving off and stopping and another lesson which could either be junctions or a turn in the road. This obviously depends on your progress.

4. Finally until you start driving from your home, I advise you to book 2 hr lessons instead of 1hr ones, to reduce your loss during travel time. Even after you start driving from home, if you can afford it, stay with 2 hr lessons, as your first 10-15minute of a lesson are spent remembering the last lesson and not learning new things, so you generally have more time to learn new things and make better progress with 2 hr lessons.

I hope this lenghty article has been of help to you, and that you will save some money in the credit crunch economy of today, if so, let me know by leaving a comment, sharing it with friends and also digging it using the button below.

Book that 2 hr driving lesson today.

Recommended Product
Focus Media's Driving Test simulator for the PC, a virtual driving test simulator based on the DSA practical driving test.


  1. When I was an ADI I always used to feel a little bit guilty about how little actual driving the pupil did on leson one so this is all good advice.

  2. I am an adi and in the first lesson my pupil has they learn how to start and stop the car how to change gear from 1st to 4th and 4th to 1st how to steer and when to steer they do junctions and roundabouts and they drive at 60 or 70 mph and they drive home it doesn't matter where they live my garrantee is if they don't do all the above the next two hours are free and i have never given any free lessons

  3. Anonymous9:41 pm

    i pick up and drive to location on first lesson and time doesnt start until they are behind wheel, then they get the full hour and them i drive them home. if they are capable of driving home then this is included in the hour. Even during lessons most of mine run into 1.5 hrs due to travel time, and i know that affecting my time - but the amount of referrals is amazing!! during a recession and i have a waiting list. so that extra time is generating more and more work so i really cant complain.


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