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There are approximately 38,000-40,000 Approved Driving Instructors on the register. These numbers have reduced since Covid, as many self employed instructors struggled with the pandemic and not being able to earn an income. That means you have a huge choice when it comes to finding a Driving Instructor to begin your lessons. Of course some of these will not be teaching full-time or even giving lessons to learner drivers, but the majority will be working in the learner market. This means its a buyers market and for as long as I can remember, students have been able to find an instructor just by doing a few simple searches online. It can be a problem for people if they don't have the flexibility with the times they are available. I mean, try finding an electrician or plumber who will work weekends! It makes sense that if you are available then your local instructors are most likely available as well. Lets assume for the moment you don't have any family or friends who you can turn to in finding a Driving Instructor. Where do you start? Google

I'm sure you have heard of it. 70% of search traffic online goes via Google and its fair to say any business that wants to succeed is likely to have a website. Driving Instructors are not exempt from needing to advertise. We have seen above that it is still a buyers market. Whilst many enquiries would come from recommendation for established instructors you will always need organic searches to grow your business. You are using these platforms to narrow down your search. Facebook Many businesses over recent years have turned to social media to promote themselves and their business. Its fair to say that using social media can have its advantages. We need to be clear as customers what each one does. Websites will promote a business. Facebook & Social Media in general will promote a business but also give you a chance to see the person, especially as many instructors are self employed. You need to build an understanding of both when making a decision. I remember many years ago I was looking for a Plumber. I was literally ready to contact someone and was put off by the email address which used words that were not appropriate. At the time I felt I didn't want this person coming to my home and meeting my wife alone. So look for finer details and don't be worried about moving onto the next person. Its important when checking social media that you find plenty of content and also up to date content which suggests the instructor/school pays attention to their business.

Google and Facebook are also a good point of reference to find reviews.

There are also lots of local pages you can source opinions. Nextdoor. Mumsnet for example. You are trying to build a shortlist

At this stage you are trying to build a shortlist. Your list should be around 4-6 instructors who you are willing to contact to take things further. You are going contact these instructors to see whether they fit into what you are looking for. The key pointers initially tend to be - When & Where? If you cannot get past that point there is no point continuing the discussion. That's the reality of the process. If I want to book a hotel in Dubai and they only have apartments in Majorca then I need to find another holiday company. Once you have your short list you can begin to make appointments. But what do you look for?

What should I ask when I contact my shortlist? Its really up to you how you contact your Instructor. There are many options and on a personal level, calls are very time consuming. I much prefer emails and text messages. Once a few details have been established a call can follow.

Initially you need to establish When and Where? Are you in an area your instructor can pick up and drop off. Is your instructor available for the times you are free. These are some other questions I feel you should ask before starting lessons which you may find useful.

  1. How long have you been teaching people to drive?

  2. Are you an Approved Driving Instructor?

  3. What vehicle do you teach in, and do you provide Manual/Automatic?

  4. What is the duration of your lessons?

  5. How many lessons can I have per week?

  6. What support do you offer in booking theory/driving tests?

  7. Are there other people in the vehicle during each session?

  8. Will I have the same instructor for all my lessons?

  9. What additional qualifications do you hold?

  10. Why do you feel I should use you for my instruction?

There are certainly many more questions that could be asked. You may begin to understand a little more about your instructor. You really need to give this a moment and see what you want from each session. Some questions maybe specific to each individual. Once you have narrowed down your list the fun car start I have written other blogs which will help with understanding some of the problems associated with any business and service. If you make the right choice from the start it will usually help long term. All to often I here comments from people online where they have fallen foul to something later on. Driving tuition is no different to any other business and there are also bad apples in the driver training profession. Summary:

  • Use recommendations to start your process

  • Check social media and posts to see your instructor/school is active

  • Look at Google & Facebook reviews

  • Ask about availability

  • Check to see if your school/instructor covers your area

  • Be flexible in your own availability as this will help

  • Narrow done your shortlist

  • Ask questions that address your needs and service you want

  • Let the fun begin and book your first lessons


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