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Driving Instructors.

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
K, I'm going to start learning to drive soon. Argh scary argh and I warn everybody to keep out of the Braintree area for the next few months.

Anyway, which instructors are good? I preferably want one that offers like intensive courses so I can be ready-ish for my test before I go to uni again. I'm aware that that won't give me a good indication of different weather types and blahblah but tbh for the first couple of years all I'll be using it for is driving to work (3 minutes up a bypass, if that) in shitty weather and the occasional road trip when it's nicer again.

I don't really mind about price, as long as it's not over extortionate, because I am currently getting about £250 a week from work/a bit from my dad. I don't pay rent and I've given up smoking so all I really spend my money on is make-up and train tickets.

Also, I wanna save up about £2kish for a decentish car by Christmas holidays (am getting a job this year while I'm at uni). Which is a good first car? I really want one of the older-style Corsas but I don't know much about cars so if anyone can tell me a really good one that would be LOVELY.

ETA: how long do intensive courses usually last for? I have been looking around and the minimum price I can currently find is £27ph which is fine...ish...as long as it's not for the whole time until I go to uni because I need to buy some new things for uni and I may not have enough for that :/
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some intensive courses are as little as a week!

    Do you have any driving experience at all, or are you starting completely from scratch?

    Maybe you could have a few lessons a week for about a month and then if you do well put in for a week-long course with the test at the end towards the end of the summer, allowing time to get in a retest or two if you don't pass first time (speaking as someone who only passed fourth time in Feb after starting lessons in August!)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some intensive courses are as little as a week!

    Do you have any driving experience at all, or are you starting completely from scratch?

    Maybe you could have a few lessons a week for about a month and then if you do well put in for a week-long course with the test at the end towards the end of the summer, allowing time to get in a retest or two if you don't pass first time (speaking as someone who only passed fourth time in Feb after starting lessons in August!)
    That's a good plan. I have never driven ever so I think that would probably be the best bet :).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah I wouldn't jump staight in the deep end - it's alot to learn in a short space of time from scratch. I've had coming up to 50 hours and still learning - but I'm almost there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ballerina wrote: »
    Yeah I wouldn't jump staight in the deep end - it's alot to learn in a short space of time from scratch. I've had coming up to 50 hours and still learning - but I'm almost there.
    I was thinking if I did 4 hours a week to start with that could work. Like 2 2-hour lessons a week. That IS over £100 a week but I can *just* afford it and I would rather it be like that to begin with than leave me with no money at the end of the summer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    my friends just started having 3 hour long lessons a week and she's happy with that. she's not aiming to pass particularly quickly though, but id definitely start off doing something like that and see how you get on.
    i think for most people it does take longer than they initially think to pass.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Franki wrote: »
    I was thinking if I did 4 hours a week to start with that could work. Like 2 2-hour lessons a week. That IS over £100 a week but I can *just* afford it and I would rather it be like that to begin with than leave me with no money at the end of the summer.

    Two hours at a time is a long time when you first start. I very rarely had two hour lessons because it would just get too much - when you're concentrating really hard and the only times you stop are to reverse around a corner which again means you are trying really hard at something so it's no rest really. Your bum will go numb too!

    I'd suggest a few one hour lessons to get you into it - you might find it tires you out after the first few at least. You'll be buzzing with excitement after finally getting on the road but then the relief of not having to concentrate anymore (once you turn off the engine!) will hit you. Don't get me wrong - it's ace in the end! :D

    Could your Mum take you out in her car, or Rich if he's old enough (needs to be over 21 and to have passed his test over three years ago before you go out together)? Just on very quiet straight country roads where very little is going to surprise you and cause you to panic and hit the brake (I had a nasty experience with a lorry on a usually quiet road!). It'll get you used to stopping and starting and changing gear.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some places will only do 2hr lessons, especially if you live in the middle of nowhere (like I did). Remember to use your student discount!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some places will only do 2hr lessons, especially if you live in the middle of nowhere (like I did). Remember to use your student discount!


    Ah, I didn't know that.. :blush: My instructor was a woman on her own from the next village :)
  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    My instructor suggested 1.5 hour lessons as he noticed that people started flailing after that time. 2 hours is quite long.

    Research. You may find that 2 hours is fine or it could be too much. Everyone is different.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Could your Mum take you out in her car, or Rich if he's old enough (needs to be over 21 and to have passed his test over three years ago before you go out together)? Just on very quiet straight country roads where very little is going to surprise you and cause you to panic and hit the brake (I had a nasty experience with a lorry on a usually quiet road!). It'll get you used to stopping and starting and changing gear.

    Rich doesn't have a car because he lives in the city, although he can drive. My mum did suggest getting on the insurance on my sister's Micra but I can't afford that + driving lessons + saving for a car + stuff for uni + everything else. My mum has a Vectra estate and my stepdad has some other fuck off big Vauxhall so the chance of me learning in their cars is slim :p.

    Maybe I will do 3 1-hour lessons a week then to start then see how that goes. Depends who I go with. I was thinking BSM because they do an intensive course as well so it would be easy to switch when I wanted to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well I would have to go on my sister's because it's her car, but I will deal with insurance when I have my own :).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah insurance sucks - can't afford it on my mums car. I do have a little 106 thats sat in a garage doing nothing, I'd be able to insure that but my dad won't let me have it so I can't do private practice so it's taking me alot longer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Still can't afford that, cheapest was £900
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    xsazx wrote: »
    noooo I meant get your own insurance (which conseqently means you can drive anyones car with their permission, check T&C) as it worked out cheaper... I was looking at both for driving of mum's car before I got my own
    I can't afford insurance now anyway. At all. So that's not gonna happen for a while. Even when I do need it I will only be using my sister's car anyway so it would be cheaper to go on hers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have you booked/done theory test? It's important to get that done if you want to get it all done quickly as you can't book practical test until you have passed theory.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/LearnerAndNewDrivers/TheoryTest/index.htm
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    xsazx wrote: »
    noooo I meant get your own insurance (which conseqently means you can drive anyones car with their permission, check T&C) as it worked out cheaper... I was looking at both for driving of mum's car before I got my own

    I'd check that actually, because a lot of insurers won't let you do that until you've held your licence for a certain amount of time and are over a certain age. Either that or they charge you a huge whack for doing it. Additionally, it's only third party most of the time too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Franki wrote: »
    I can't afford insurance now anyway. At all. So that's not gonna happen for a while. Even when I do need it I will only be using my sister's car anyway so it would be cheaper to go on hers.
    Hey Franki, why not go with my sister for lessons :-p

    BSM are good, i am with them, but they are hit or miss, some instructors can be brilliant like mine, some can be crap. and since there so large it is hard to tell.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Acrobat wrote: »
    I'd check that actually, because a lot of insurers won't let you do that until you've held your licence for a certain amount of time and are over a certain age. Either that or they charge you a huge whack for doing it. Additionally, it's only third party most of the time too.


    Aye. It's also specifically cars that you don't own, so I'm not sure how that would work with a family.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've never undstood these intensive courses. I dont see how a week later you can pass a driving test? Maybe I was just a very slow learner.

    Anyways the best way to get an instructer is by recomendation by friends etc. Make sure you feel comfortable with them, theyre giving you support and not making you nervous etc.

    It is better to learn in an other car at the same time extra to your lessons but if you cant you cant.

    Deff get the theory sorted ASAP too.

    As to corsas go for it! :D I've got one too :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    xsazx wrote: »
    my ex (17) is paying 700 to be insured on his dads insurance (him being a named driver) and was suggested to him by quinn insurance who are fab. Depends on who you're with and individual terms as well (oh and I'm talking only 3rd party/fire/theft for both... quinn also offer free breakdown recovery which i thought was good:) )

    oh and as to owning the car is in his dads name not his for ownership
    see, Quinn quoted me £1900-£2000 on my car fully comp, cheapest i've got so far is just over £1000. :p not so cheap
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    kate- wrote: »
    I've never undstood these intensive courses. I dont see how a week later you can pass a driving test? Maybe I was just a very slow learner.

    Anyways the best way to get an instructer is by recomendation by friends etc. Make sure you feel comfortable with them, theyre giving you support and not making you nervous etc.

    It is better to learn in an other car at the same time extra to your lessons but if you cant you cant.

    Deff get the theory sorted ASAP too.

    As to corsas go for it! :D I've got one too :D
    I never understood intensive courses either, and my sister whos an instructor says they are a waste of time, only time they're worth taking is if you've had prior driving experience and just have a problem passing the test etc etc
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hellfire wrote: »
    I never understood intensive courses either, and my sister whos an instructor says they are a waste of time, only time they're worth taking is if you've had prior driving experience and just have a problem passing the test etc etc

    Learning to drive is a massive thing. Theres is litterally LOADS you need to be able top do to make a good driver so how can you do that in one week?

    Also usrely after a couple of hours you become overloaded and end up just messing everything up?

    Yeah I hadnt thought of people using them just to get them through a test.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    kate- wrote: »
    Learning to drive is a massive thing. Theres is litterally LOADS you need to be able top do to make a good driver so how can you do that in one week?

    Also usrely after a couple of hours you become overloaded and end up just messing everything up?

    Yeah I hadnt thought of people using them just to get them through a test.

    Yeah I agree. I think it's better to be patient and to become certain you are fine in the roads. Franki you don't wanna crash into a tree :p Safety is priority! Plus you dont really need a car in Canterz.. We got the uni bus! and two train stations!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I know :p. But I need to be able to drive for when I come back at Christmas. Maybe I'll get lessons in Canterbury as well then. Hm.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Franki wrote: »
    I know :p. But I need to be able to drive for when I come back at Christmas. Maybe I'll get lessons in Canterbury as well then. Hm.


    Learn nearer to Christmas then. It's pointless learning and then not driving for months, you will forget half of what you learn (more so if you do an intensive course).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, I don't know if I'm going to be able to afford it then. If I manage to get a job at uni then I will carry on lessons but that's a big if.

    *shrug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I recommend that you find an instructor who you really feel comfortabel and get on with. When I first started lessons at 17, my instructor was awful in that he used to really knock my confidence by making sarcastic comments and smoking in the car which I really hated. I wasn't clued up enough then to know that it was his fault and not mine and to get rid of him but I learned soon enough! A good instructor can really make a difference (and save you money!).

    The point of this post being if you get an instructor who you just don't hit it off with, I'd change sooner rather than later.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    silverhalo wrote: »
    I recommend that you find an instructor who you really feel comfortabel and get on with. When I first started lessons at 17, my instructor was awful in that he used to really knock my confidence by making sarcastic comments and smoking in the car which I really hated. I wasn't clued up enough then to know that it was his fault and not mine and to get rid of him but I learned soon enough! A good instructor can really make a difference (and save you money!).

    The point of this post being if you get an instructor who you just don't hit it off with, I'd change sooner rather than later.
    Oh, I know. My older sister had a driving instructor who used to perve over her and stuff. It was bad :|.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Franki wrote: »
    Oh, I know. My older sister had a driving instructor who used to perve over her and stuff. It was bad :|.

    When one of my friends took her first test the examiner kept stroking her legs :yuck:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ballerina wrote: »
    When one of my friends took her first test the examiner kept stroking her legs :yuck:

    :shocking:
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