This is a very good question and one that possibly opens up more questions which we will look at. How much time do I have available? What is my weekly/monthly budget?
What are the terms of the driving school?
Probably most importantly. How will I learn best?
How much time do I have available? When learning to drive or focusing on any skill it's important you have time for lessons. This is a life skill and for many learning to drive and gaining your drivers licence can open up many other opportunities. It's important to take your lessons seriously and find the right balance. If you are struggling to find even 1 hour per week for a driving lesson, then perhaps your schedule needs to be re-arranged. What is my weekly/monthly budget? Driving lessons are not cheap, but then neither are most things. With driving lessons though once you have completed your training and passed your driving test you no longer have those costs. Yet, you will need to find insurance/tax/mot/service and these costs will be ongoing. A typical taxi journey would cost around £1 per minute/mile. A driving lesson typically costs around .50p per minute. I'm not trying to justify driving lesson fees, but after each driving lesson your instructor will have much more work to do that your average Uber driver. Driving lessons are an investment. It's rather like taking a degree or further qualification. A driving licence opens up opportunities and freedom, that can be very difficult to put a price on. What are the terms of the driving school? Driving schools will have certain policies surrounding the duration of a driving lesson. I recently called a service provider and I asked what their service was for 2 hours. After a brief discussion they said they needed 3 hours to provide the service. They were not prepared to move on their agreement. The majority of driving lessons are from between 1 hour to 2 hours, then you have intensive or semi intensive courses, that I shall discuss later. If a driving school has a minimum or prefered lesson period it is most likely based around a certain schedule. An example maybe an instructor who plans lessons around children and school runs:
School Run 09:00 - 10:30 - 1.5 hours
11:00 - 12:30 - 1.5 hours
13:00-13:45 pick up children arrange care/lunch 14:00 - 15:30 - 1.5 hours collect children
16:30 - 18:00 - 1.5 hours finish You can see that this instructor can manage an effective diary with 2 morning and 2 afternoon sessions. The alternative is having a combination of 2 and 1 hour lessons and it could be that they remain flexible of their decision. How will I learn best?
This is a good question. It's also about what you need to learn. Spending too long in the car may mean you are taking in too much information, having a shorter lesson may not provide you with the knowledge you need. I will break down this question which hopefully will help you find the answers you are looking for. Intensive Driving Courses These are definitely worth a mention. They are very much instructor lead courses. Schools that specialise in intensive driving courses have an approach that one size fits all and when it comes to learning this does not always work for everyone. The problem is many people feel when they struggle with something they need to do more, when in fact sometimes they need to do less. Intensive Driving Courses are ideal for someone who has already taken lessons and has reached a higher standard. They are then already at the stage where their learning can most definitely absorb more information. What's the best duration for a driving lesson? As you can see there is often a conflict of interests. The driving school needs to maximise their earnings and and time. These are factors the student may not concern themselves with but nonetheless the driving school will need to make a profit and if an instructor is mainly doing 1 hour lessons and taking 1 hour between lessons travelling this would not be possible. Due to the nature of the roads and requirements of the current driving test I tend to strongly advise against 1 hour driving lessons. The majority of my students take 2 hours per week, and based on the average learner driver they may expect to gain their driving licence within 6 months. The best scenario and one that I feel would suit many learning styles would be a little but often. 2 x 1.5 hour lesson per week would most likely allow a student time to retain information and progress at a reasonable pace. These are ideal cases, and it will not work for everyone based on the points above. The alternative would be to take a combination of 90 minute and 2 hour lessons. It's important to cover a wide area of road and traffic conditions, and this is not always possible with a 1 hour driving lesson. Longer sessions allow for a sustained period of learning during the lesson. There is a period of recap and then practice. It allows for more practice time. As the period between when the session starts and ends is greater.