Choosing a driving instructor
They have to pass certain criteria under the DSA (Driving Standards Authority). This is;
They should have been in possession of a full licence for at least 4 years.
The theory tests that they have to pass are much more rigorous that one which a learner driver takes.
The driving test itself is a lot stricter and again they should have passed this.
They have to be registered with the Driving Standards Agency
They are required to maintain a high standard of instruction, which is regularly checked by a Driving Standards supervising examiner.
A qualified ADI should always have an up to date identification credential displayed on their windscreen of the vehicle that you are learning to drive in.
Your ADI will provide advice on:
All the characteristics of driving
What literature to read ie The Highway Code
Advice on when to book and take your test
The best ways to practice
They not only teach you how to drive, but can also help provide different aspects to driving, guidance to the relevant literature you will need to take your written and practical tests and also the best ways to practice, and help you decide when will be the best time to take your test.
The DSA not does recommend individual driving instructors. It can be a good idea firstly to ask family or friends for a recommendation, if not then try the yellow pages, yell.com, or business directory. Your final choice wherever possible should include an ADI:
That is experienced
That is prompt and dependable
Has the type of vehicle that’s appropriate for you
Your eyesight is one of the most important aspects of driving, the DVLA must be informed if you have certain conditions that affect your eyes or eyesight (the standard exception is short or long sight or colour blindness). When applying for a provisional licence you must include any correction surgery you might have had.
During your test, you will be required to read a number plate at a distance of 20 metres, and have up to three chances, to provide the correct answer. After the third attempt, if not answered correctly you will fail your test. If this happens the examiner will ask you to sign a DL.77 form to acknowledge that you have not complied with the eyesight requirements.
Wearing glasses/contact lenses is perfectly acceptable to take the driving and eye test with. They may not be removed during the test and having taken the test with them you are bound by law to wear them for all forms of driving.
Preparation and the Driver’s Record
When you first receive your provisional driving licence, you may have also received a Driver’s Record pocket sized booklet, if not you can get one from your local driving test centre. Your ADI should be able to provide you with one, as this should be to help not only you but also you ADI with a structured learning programme, steering you towards taking your test and provides a track record of your achievements. The record covers 24 key parts which are needed for the practical test.
There are 5 levels – these are:
Introducing each new skill
The skills can be supported by full instruction
Should be correctly executed when guided
It rarely needs prompting
Learning to carry out each skill without any guidance
The record is there to help you, and is a reminder of your continual progress. You should work closely with your Driving Instructor, to discuss your progression, including where you excel and perhaps where you are developing faults, which will need correcting.
Practise, practise, practise as much as you can. Drive on different type’s of roads, including dual carriageways and areas with different speed limitations. Try to drive in differing weather conditions and also at night in the dark, if possible.
The driver’s record levels contain a set of signature boxes which should be completed by your driving instructor along with a declaration to ensure that you should be able to drive safely without being prompted. Take this record with you when you go on your practical test. The person who taught you or your driving instructor should ideally accompany you for the test.
For those wishing to choose this route of learning, they statistically do much better!