Even if there was no credit crunch, you should not waste your money on driving lessons while preparing for the dsa practical car test.
I am not saying you shouldn't use a fully quallified, dsa approved, crb checked instructor when learning to drive, I'm just saying you don't have to waste your money in the process by doing somethings that many of my learner driver clients have done which has meant they have spent more money than they should have on driving lessons.
Once you have decided that you want to pass the driving test, your first step should be getting the theory test out of the way. You can still take driving lessons while preparing for this test, but due to the long dsa practical test waiting times (particularly in London), you need to pass this as soon as possible so you can book your practical test early and concentrate your training on the driving skills that the DSA examiner will be examining.
If you can afford to do so, take as many driving lessons as possible a week, you will make more progress this way as the skills will be fresher in your mind, and thus will in the long run spend less on lessons. On the other hand if you don't take regular lessons or take long breaks every few weeks, you will spend more money in the long run because of your lack of consistency in lessons.
Another thing you need to do in between driving lessons is to constantly remind yourself of the rules of the road by reading the highway code, you can not afford to have a gap in your knowledge, be it a road sign that you don't recognise, knowing when to give way to other traffic or recognising a keep clear sign painted on the tarmac. All these simple things are little driving errors/mistakes that I've observered during driving lessons and which eventaully shatters people's dreams during the practical assessment with the DSA examiner.
If you don't trust your driving instructor them you need to find another ADI, as you need to be able to accept advice given to you particularly if there are weaknesses that need working on in the run up to your appointment date, and if you don't have a car for private practise, then you will need the extra driving lessons to sort out these issues in order to pass the test at your first attempt.
The dsa test is not getting easier, and you will only be fooling yourself if you think that luck and a nice examiner with a few paid lessons is all you need to get that full british licence! Independent driving is being introduced to the test in october 2010, so you still have time to prepare before then, as this will be an additional hurdle which will mean more lessons and money to pass.
Thinking about becoming an instructor? Don't just make a decision based on the red driving school TV advertisement, do the proper research and know all the ADI training options available to you.
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