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5 Money Saving Tricks Good Driving Instructors Will Tell You
Learning to drive is not cheap; it’s common for people to spend upwards of £1000 just on lessons. Obviously costs will vary from student to student, but they can significantly decrease depending on the kind of instructor you have.
A good driving instructor puts their business rewards to one side – as it could be suggested that they financially benefit the longer you remain a ‘learner’ – to focus on what’s best for the student. This includes helping them save money and pass their driving test as soon as possible.
Here are 5 things that a good driving instructor should tell you about saving money whilst learning to drive.
You can practice with a friend or family member
If your instructor does not explain that you can practice with mum, dad or a close friend, they are doing you a massive disservice. Whilst it is important to have professional tuition, it is also helpful to mix paid lessons with private practice, as you could make substantial savings (read just how much).
As a provisional licence holder, you can legally drive a car as long as you are insured on the vehicle and are accompanied by a qualifying driver (check legal and insurance requirements for specific criteria).
These days a learner can take out a ‘top-up’ policy to cover them whilst learning in a borrowed car – this avoids having to add them to the vehicle owner’s policy and removes the risk on that policy also.
There are 16 disciplines to being a safe driver
There are 16 important disciplines every driver should practice. Among these disciplines are: Appropriate etiquette for meeting traffic; safely approaching and emerging at junctions; correctly performing manoeuvres – and more.
Once you feel comfortable that you can perform these disciplines well and safely, you should look to book your test. However, there are some instructors that may try to convince you that there is still more to learn, when in fact you are adequately prepped and ready for the test.
You have control over what you learn
Don’t just live by the mentality ‘instructor knows best’. You are paying for the lessons, learn what you want. Your instructor has years of teaching experience and taking their advice is valuable, but you may find some instructors try to EFFICIENTLY schedule lessons to maximise business.
For example, instructors may plan lessons that don’t adequately touch on topics their students are struggling with, but are devised in a way that allow the instructor to finish on time. There are also some instructors that won’t even drop you off at a destination of your choosing. In fact, they may even drop you off somewhere close to their next pick up!
A good instructor ensures lessons are best suited for the individual learner, not for themselves. If you feel your instructor is taking advantage, make sure to speak up and be more confident.
You don’t need approval to book your test
If you are confident that you’re ready for the test, you are free to book your driving test as soon as you have a provisional driving licence and your theory test pass certificate.
Take into consideration your instructor’s advice, but don’t just wait for them to tell you to book your test. Take the initiative, as some instructors may extend your learning period longer than it needs to be. A good instructor will respect your decision and wish you ‘GOOD LUCK!’
Take the test in your choice of car
Your instructor may offer you their car for the test, but that usually means paying them an extra hour to use it. If you are short on funds, a good instructor will let you know that you don’t have to take your test in their car. You can take your test in any car that meets the requirements enforced by the DVSA.
A common troupe of a bad instructor is not allowing students to use their car for the test, suggesting they are not ready and pushing them to have more lessons. If you feel confident and ready to take the test, a good instructor will support your decision. Don’t feel trapped by an instructor pushing you to take more lessons. Again, if you’re provisionally insured on a car that meets the DVSA standards, you are able to take your test in that car, when you see fit!
A good instructor would not take advantage of their students. If you feel that your instructor may be ‘taking you for a ride’, get yourself a second opinion. By taking out learner driver insurance, not only will you be able to get in valuable practice but you can also compare what your instructor thinks against what your accompanying driver says. This will help inform you about whether you’re test ready or in need of a few more lessons.