Choosing A Driving Instructor
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Choosing A Female Or Male Driving Instructor

Whether your driving instructor is female or male the good ones will be technically competent and will teach you to drive well and prepare you for everything the examiners expect from you on test day.

 

Female learners often opt for a female instructor. Usually because they are unsure if they would feel comfortable with a man or they have a perception of increased emotional support during lessons from another female. Or, of course, because of a fear of sexual harassment from a male instructor.

However, this is an industry where your gender matters. It is simply a fact, primarily for learners.

The Driving Standard Agency publishes its pass rates periodically. It separates them according to gender. The pass rates tend to consistently trend around 8% lower for females than for males nationally with a local 7% swing in that direction at the time of writing for Paisley and Govan test centres.

Do the different pass rates mean that women are lesser drivers? Certainly not. Insurance figures would strongly indicate otherwise.

The difference is most likely due to test day anxiety which seems to effect females more. For one particular reason I have found more than any other. There is a singular issue that matters to almost all female learners as the test gets closer. 'I just hope I get a nice examiner'.

You should consider that Driving Examiners are predominantly middle aged men. If you feel that having a male passenger (possibly two if a quality check is taking place), for the first time ever and on your driving test, would be a particular source of anxiety then you should plan, prepare and aim to eliminate this predictable stressor and increase your chance of passing.

One way of doing this would be to have a mock test or two with an independent male instructor on the run up to your practical test.

Alternatively you could choose a good, honest, friendly and patient male instructor from the start.

Choosing Your Driving Instructor

Learning to drive often takes a minimum of 30 hours and is an expensive process. It is in your interest to find the best driving instructor for you.

The best driving instructors are often recommended by previous learners. If you do not know anyone that can recommend an instructor, simply look online for a local instructor. Online reviews, especially Google + reviews, can indicate a good instructor. Look for a driving instructor that best fits your needs. Don't pick the cheapest you can find at this point.

Upon choosing what you feel is a good instructor, the key now is to have an assessment lesson before committing your money to an entire course.

An assessment lesson is particularly important. It will allow you to establish if you feel comfortable with the instructor. You will be spending alot of time together and you should fully understand the teaching techniques and methods that the instructor uses.

Learner drivers are usually nervous on their first driving lesson. Your instructor should make you feel at ease and comfortable. If for whatever reason, the instructor makes you feel uneasy, look for another.

If you do not understand what the instructor is trying to explain, make it clear that you do not understand. The instructor should use a different technique to explain. If you are still no wiser as to what the instructor was teaching, try another instructor.

Based on this, if you are happy with the instructor, now is an ideal time to discuss a driving course that is suitable for you and to take advantage of any discount the instructor may offer.

The best driving instructors are those that are friendly and patient but are also firm at resolving driving related issues. This is a necessary part of the process. The best driving instructors must identify and remedy all persistent driving errors. You could view this as 'tough love' and an expression of their own desire to see you progress and pass your test. However it is also important that this is properly balanced with praise of your achievements.

The best driving instructors are able to alter, or on occasions, completely change a teaching technique to accommodate your abilities.

Good driving instructors are punctual and reliable. Of course there may be an occasion where the instructor did not arrive or was late due to unforeseeable circumstances. This should be rare and the instructor should make every effort to contact you on such an occasion.

Good driving instructors will encourage you to pass your Theory Test as quickly as possible. Bad driving instructors will let you tarry as a delay in passing your theory will often string out the driving lessons for longer than necessary.

Bad driving instructors often shout at the slightest mistake. This type of behaviour is inappropriate. Shouting at learners makes them even more tense and stressed and will affect their ability to learn. Another sign of a bad instructor is one that just 'goes for the ride' and achieves nothing constructive from it.

If you notice you are making mistakes but the instructor is not addressing them, explain that you have noticed this and expect any issues to be addressed and remedied. Unaddressed and unresolved errors are very likely to be exposed in the driving test and will almost certainly result in a failure.

Cheap driving instructors. We all like a bargain, but the saying we get what we pay for is true. Often the initial cheap enticement will increase dramatically after the honeymoon period. Alternatively a cheap driving instructor may be new to the area and may not be too familiar with the typical locations that a particular driving test centre focus on. This can make a significant difference to whether you pass the test, as all test centres have particular areas that usually confuse and fail a large amount of candidates. Whether that be due to poor road markings, signage or unusual layout. It is not a perfect world out there and local knowledge really does help.

A driving instructor offering overly cheap lessons may also be struggling for work due to a bad service. This is to an extent generalising, but choosing a cheap driving instructor can often result in costing you more overall than a local, established instructor, offering a high quality service at prices that match the local going rate.