How many lessons will I need?
The official figure is (on average) 47 hours of professional lessons with 20 hours of practise with a friend or family member. This will vary a lot depending on the individual. For example, some learners can’t practise outside of their lessons. Over the years I’ve had people take a lot less – and some take more.
Is your car an automatic?
No. I currently teach in a Skoda Fabia with a manual gearbox.
What times can I do lessons?
I work on weekdays during the day. I’m not available for late evening or weekend lessons.
What is your pass rate?
Since I started keeping electronic records (from October 2000) to the end of 2019 the overall pass rate for all tests in my car is 64% (800 tests, 510 passes). The pass rate for the Basingstoke driving test centre is 47%. Although we aim for a first time pass, it’s really important not to be put off by an unsuccessful attempt. I’m always really proud of those learners who don’t let a minor mishap deter them.
Should I do lessons for one or two hours?
It’s up to you. So long as you can do at least an hour a week, you will be able to make progress. If you are just starting out, try a lesson or two before making any big decisions.
Do you do intensive courses?
Not as such. Depending on my diary, we can do lessons quite frequently.
Should I pass my theory test before starting lessons?
No, it’s not necessary – but you can if you want. Most people prepare for their theory test at the same time that they take their first few lessons, which means I can help you study.
Do I need a provisional licence to start driving?
Yes, definitely. You can apply for your licence online.
How do I pay?
You can pay by cash, cheque, or bank transfer on the day or in advance.
Are learners allowed on motorways?
Yes, but only with a qualified driving instructor in a car fitted with dual controls.
Do I take the test in the same car I take lessons in?
Yes, nearly everyone does. You don’t have to though. You can take the test in your own car as long as it’s legal and road worthy and has a mirror for the examiner’s use. The examiner does not provide a car for the test.
Should I practise with friends or family?
Yes! Driving is a practical skill. The more you practise the better your driving. However, parents or friends won’t have dual controls so perhaps wait until you’ve had a few lessons to get the hang of things and find somewhere safe and quiet. Of course, you will need insurance and “L” plates and a good tip is to get a stick on mirror for the passenger supervising you. I welcome parents to sit in on lessons to get an idea of your standard of driving before they take you out.
ROSPA has some useful advice for parents.