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#1 13-06-09 23:04:13

moerketid
Member
Registered: 13-06-09
Posts: 4

My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

I have been learning to drive with my boyfriend for the past couple of months and so far had done about 20 hours driving with him.  At this point I will state that my boyfriend is Dutch but has lived in the UK for 5 years and has had his license for about 8 years.

As I am now quite confident driving on all different kinds of roads, I drive us around quite a bit to the shops and all that, but have not yet learned to parallel park or reverse park.  I have passed the theory test too.  I decided I'd start "official" lessons to get to test standard.  I booked my first with a driving school I found online and who seemed quite good (not a major school but a large one in the county).  I was really looking forward to this but my first driving lesson has left me somewhat put off for these reasons.

1.  This I guess is going to be the case for every instructor.  But I was pulled to the side of the road after 5 mins and told I was an unsafe driver and he wasn't happy being in the car with me because I used hand over hand steering.  I know (now) the UK standard is to shuffle, but on the Dutch test you *fail* for using that method, it is considered unsafe, so I was taught to steer to the Dutch standard.  I just found it upsetting to be told so harshly that I was an accident waiting to happen for this.

2.  The instructor showed up 20 mins late but the lesson ended at the normal time and I was charged full price. I do not have a lot of cash and this was disappointing.

3.  He informed me that I was "so nervous" that I misheard all his instructions and would often drive left instead of right.  I am SO sure that didn't happen.  I was very very careful to follow his instructions correctly.  And I was not that nervous, just slightly awkward after his calling me an unsafe driver.

4.  He told me I hadn't looked in my mirrors at one point but I know I did.  I told him this and he said I was imagining it, it's a psychological thing.  If that was the case, why did I know there was a black car behind me right then? But he said I was imagining it. O_o

5.  The instructor asked me when we were approaching the house if my boyfriend, who has been teaching me to drive and is my supervising driver on practice, would come out to talk.  I said of course he would, thinking he wanted to discuss a plan to help me.  He told me that he didn't want him to hear what he had to say and not to tell him what we'd discussed on the lesson? This seemed really really off.

6.  I originally asked for a course of 10 lessons and he told me I was far too unsafe for this.  He said I MIGHT get through with 20 lessons but if I booked another 2 lessons he might change his mind and give me the 10 lesson course anyway.

7.  We only drove for about 20 mins of the lesson (40 mins) and I drove all the time.  Rest was stopped and parked.  We only drove in a housing estate that was about a mile from my house.


Regardless all this has really put me off.  Is this what I should expect from any lessons I'd take? I'd really like to get some lessons to help me refine my driving but this was unhelpful and just lowered my confidence.  The driving instructor was ok...I didn't dislike him personally or anything...but I certainly didn't find it a good way to learn or at all worth the money.

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13-06-09 23:04:13

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Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?



#2 13-06-09 23:17:59

evondoll
Verified Member
From: Glasgow
Registered: 27-01-09
Posts: 204
Website

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Sounds nothing like a lesson I'd be giving.

1. You are not an accident waiting to happen if your instructor teaches you properly.
2. You should not have paid for 1 hour if you didn't get 1 hour......If I'm late, the lesson runs late or time is added to next lesson if more convienient for pupil.
3. No wonder you were nervous. Even if you did drive left instead of right this isn't a fault unless your driving was at fault.
4. 'it's a psychological thing.' If he said that.....ask him if he has studied psychology.
5. If your boyfriend is supervising your practise then he should be kept informed of your progress.
6. I wouldn't book any more never mind 20 lessons with this person.
7. Some lessons do involve some talking at the side of the road...but only enough for you to understand what you are going to be doing or time to review what you have done.

Are you sure it was an ADI you had your lesson with??

Evon x

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#3 13-06-09 23:21:37

Aspyre
Member
Registered: 17-01-09
Posts: 2,754

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

(typed while above reply was being posted)

1. it doesnt matter how you steer if it is safe.. you shouldnt be spoken to in a way you find offensive.

2. that is not acceptable at all.. being late is bad but charging for it is worse.

3. that is not acceptable.. a good instructor overcomes this sort of problem if it exists and doesnt make a big deal out of it.

4. if you know you did then this is unacceptable.. may be you did it at the wrong time but he should have managed it properly if that was the case.

5. that is unacceptable.... it is your choice.. An instructor might be uncomfortable talking to someone else if that other person has an agenda (parents who think some one is test ready after one lesson are a night mare) but he should deal with it.

6. that is ridiculous.. dont be forced to pay that way.... but just accept you might not be ready (or you might - you wont know until you do the driving).

7. stopping to discuss problems isnt unusual but only driving for 20 mins and being charged for an hour is way off.. Hard to say how much time is spent parked...... i did a one hour lesson with some one today and we did the show me tell me questions and emergency stop so not a lot of driving.. Other times i will have them driving for 45 mins or more.... just depends.

Dont let it put you off.. if you can drive like you say you can you can drive well enough to pass the test.... yoiu just need to polish up a bit with some one who you are happy with.

From what you have said i'd find another instructor quickly.

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#4 13-06-09 23:37:23

moerketid
Member
Registered: 13-06-09
Posts: 4

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Thankyou very much for the responses.  It has reassured me somewhat and made me feel like it's definitely worthwhile to seek out another instructor and give it another go!

The instructor was definitely an ADI, he had the sticker in his window at least.  I am also quite aware that there will be parked time during the lessons - this is perfectly fine, it just seemed a little excessive during that lesson and a lot of well...small talk as well.  Like some story about a friend of his who was a police driver and all the things they could do on the road...well at the time I didn't think much of it but sitting hearing that for almost 10 mins on my money is not really worth it! tongue

Also about the agenda thing.  I can imagine that is awkward for an instructor but he'd not spoken to my boyfriend so he didn't know his attitude at all.  I am quite lucky in that he has a good attitude, is prepared to back up an instructor's methods fully and to reinforce their teaching since they are the professionals. smile

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#5 14-06-09 07:40:16

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Where are you based?  Perhaps there is someone on here who can help you?

What colour was this instructors badge?  It sounds as though he may be a trainee who has a lot to learn yet, or, perhaps, he has only recently passed.

Things like the steering, as has been mentioned above, hand over hand is fine for test provided steering control isn't compromised.  But!  Bear in mind there is an airbag in the middle of the steering wheel.  If this goes off when your arm is across the steering wheel you will be punching yourself in your face with some considerable force!  Pull/push isn't essential but is 'best practise'.

If you were 'so nervous' then he is responsible for addressing that and adjusting his coaching to help.

If I suggest mirrors weren't checked and the pupil says they were, then I drop it and watch much more closely the next time!

If your boyfriend is sitting with you for private practise then there is every reason to include him in what happened within a lesson, either by you telling him or, with your permission, the instructor talking to him.  Even invite him to sit in on a lesson.

Is this what you should expect from lessons?  If you stay with this instructor, then yes.  If you change instructor then hopefully no.

Ask around, neighbors, friends from work/college/uni.  Ask your boyfriend to ask.  Find someone who is prepared to recommend an instructor and then try this person. 

At the end of the day, if you enjoy the lessons then you will take more in and learn quicker.

Nigel


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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#6 14-06-09 12:26:48

FRANKS
Verified Member
From: WALES
Registered: 05-06-06
Posts: 530

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

dump this insructor, you're the customer, if you're not happy change.

most instructor are nothing like this, in fact they give us a bad name.

you say you've found this driving school on the net, big mistake, use recommendations from friends, use an indendant driving school as they normally give better value for money. Big schools just out to make money out of you.

Never block book lessons.

If your instructors got bad time keeping dump them


Try always to be honest in everthing you do.
Be an 'HONEST BUSINESS PERSON'
Gain respect in ever thing you do

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#7 14-06-09 12:32:04

moerketid
Member
Registered: 13-06-09
Posts: 4

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Unfortunately I have not lived here long, and I do not know anyone local really.  Especially not who has taken driving lessons...so I cannot really find an instructor from recommendation. sad

Is there another way to find a good instructor?

Also in response to the question, yes this instructor had a green badge in the window...he said he'd been qualified for 6 years or something. He said that his pride was in getting you test ready as fast as possible.  neutral

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#8 14-06-09 13:22:44

keefidee
Verified Member
From: south east wales
Registered: 25-11-06
Posts: 510
Website

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

If you post your location on this forum or use the 'Find Instructor' link, you may find that one of the members are in your area.

Keith

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#9 14-06-09 13:24:54

moerketid
Member
Registered: 13-06-09
Posts: 4

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Thanks, my location is Hertfordshire. smile

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#10 14-06-09 13:26:00

keefidee
Verified Member
From: south east wales
Registered: 25-11-06
Posts: 510
Website

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Come on guys, anyone in this area?

Keith

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#11 14-06-09 15:53:06

ExAdiNigel
Member
From: Plymouth, Devon
Registered: 13-12-04
Posts: 4,739

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Try Mervyn Walker at www.drivingpartners.net he is based in Hoddesdon or

Corrie http://www.corriesdrivingschool.com/ she is based in Hatfield / Welwyn Garden City.

I have worked with both of them and am happy to recommend them both.

Good Luck

Nigel


National Standards Cycling Instructor, Ex Adi

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#12 14-06-09 16:01:09

Loopy Lou
Verified Member
From: Berkshire
Registered: 03-11-07
Posts: 554

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

you say you've found this driving school on the net, big mistake, use recommendations from friends, use an indendant driving school as they normally give better value for money. Big schools just out to make money out of you.

Never block book lessons.

Wow...talk about making generalisations  yikes yikes yikes yikes

While I agree that personal recommendation is a good way of finding a reliable driving instructor, if, like moerketid, you don't know anyone who has recently learned to drive, you have to start looking somewhere.

Using the internet to find things is the tool of choice for the majority of people nowadays.

It's foolish in the extreme to give advice such as "you've found this driving school on the net, big mistake..." when I would guess that most driving instructors have some kind of a web presence and that there is a growing trend in this industry not to use paper directories and other more "traditional" forms of advertising.

In fact, a website can go a long way to giving an extremely good "feel" for the character and ethos of an individual driving instructor or driving school.

In my own case, I don't advertise anywhere other than the internet and I generate enough work for a small team of driving instructors by means of the internet and personal recommendations alone.

Also how on earth can you justify your statement "Big schools just out to make money out of you"?

You seem to be infering that anyone other than a "one man band" independent driving instructor is out to rip their customers off and as the owner of a small multi-instructor driving school, I find that inference grossly insulting and very stupid indeed.

Solo independent driving instructors are not all saints, are not all wonderful human beings and are certainly not all perfect, in the same way that not all driving schools are the Spawn of Beelzebub.

Also why say "Never block book lessons" - why not? Block booking usually means a discount for the customer. If you mean, don't block book until you're happy with your instructor then fine, but making a sweeping statement such as "Never block book lessons" is absolutely ridicuous.

@ moerkitid, my advice is to follow what everyone else on this thread has said as it's good advice, but to ignore what "FRANKS" has said apart from the bit about finding another instructor...


It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful...

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#13 14-06-09 19:03:30

mazmw
Member
Registered: 07-04-09
Posts: 24

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

I have been learning to drive with my boyfriend for the past couple of months and so far had done about 20 hours driving with him.  At this point I will state that my boyfriend is Dutch but has lived in the UK for 5 years and has had his license for about 8 years.

As I am now quite confident driving on all different kinds of roads, I drive us around quite a bit to the shops and all that, but have not yet learned to parallel park or reverse park.  I have passed the theory test too.  I decided I'd start "official" lessons to get to test standard.  I booked my first with a driving school I found online and who seemed quite good (not a major school but a large one in the county).  I was really looking forward to this but my first driving lesson has left me somewhat put off for these reasons.

1.  This I guess is going to be the case for every instructor.  But I was pulled to the side of the road after 5 mins and told I was an unsafe driver and he wasn't happy being in the car with me because I used hand over hand steering.  I know (now) the UK standard is to shuffle, but on the Dutch test you *fail* for using that method, it is considered unsafe, so I was taught to steer to the Dutch standard.  I just found it upsetting to be told so harshly that I was an accident waiting to happen for this.

2.  The instructor showed up 20 mins late but the lesson ended at the normal time and I was charged full price. I do not have a lot of cash and this was disappointing.

3.  He informed me that I was "so nervous" that I misheard all his instructions and would often drive left instead of right.  I am SO sure that didn't happen.  I was very very careful to follow his instructions correctly.  And I was not that nervous, just slightly awkward after his calling me an unsafe driver.

4.  He told me I hadn't looked in my mirrors at one point but I know I did.  I told him this and he said I was imagining it, it's a psychological thing.  If that was the case, why did I know there was a black car behind me right then? But he said I was imagining it. O_o

5.  The instructor asked me when we were approaching the house if my boyfriend, who has been teaching me to drive and is my supervising driver on practice, would come out to talk.  I said of course he would, thinking he wanted to discuss a plan to help me.  He told me that he didn't want him to hear what he had to say and not to tell him what we'd discussed on the lesson? This seemed really really off.

6.  I originally asked for a course of 10 lessons and he told me I was far too unsafe for this.  He said I MIGHT get through with 20 lessons but if I booked another 2 lessons he might change his mind and give me the 10 lesson course anyway.

7.  We only drove for about 20 mins of the lesson (40 mins) and I drove all the time.  Rest was stopped and parked.  We only drove in a housing estate that was about a mile from my house.


Regardless all this has really put me off.  Is this what I should expect from any lessons I'd take? I'd really like to get some lessons to help me refine my driving but this was unhelpful and just lowered my confidence.  The driving instructor was ok...I didn't dislike him personally or anything...but I certainly didn't find it a good way to learn or at all worth the money.

Change your instructor, i did and it has done me the world of good. But don't give up though

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#14 25-06-09 08:44:36

razzie
Member
Registered: 30-07-07
Posts: 25

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

I would strongly recommend Shire Driving School - I learnt to drive with one of their instructors and he was fantastic with me (as I was a very nervous driver). If you want my instructors number then private message me.



Just sent you a message with the details - good luck

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#15 25-06-09 21:33:27

tobyphotos
Verified Member
From: North london/ Herts
Registered: 14-04-06
Posts: 163
Website

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Having just read this post i am just dumb struck!

I cover a part of herts ie: Barnet and Potters bar area.

Good luck with your search for an instructor you can work with.


Taking a Positive approach to learning to Drive
www.positivetuition.co.uk
+447828724510

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#16 08-07-09 08:42:36

sarah_9
Guest

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Hello,


Your instructor need more patience, it is very obvious to get nervous on your first day, instead of discouraging you he should motivate you, keep trying my friend, you will make it.



Regards,
sarah_9

Approved Traffic School

#17 11-10-09 00:06:03

mouldy
Member
Registered: 10-09-09
Posts: 29

Re: My First Lesson - Is This Normal?

Hi,

Just had my first lesson myself on thursday and found mine to be quite the opposite.

My instructor was calm, understanding but most of all humourous. His method of teaching kept me relaxed and well informed on what I was meant to do. His humour made the expierence fun and seem a lot less daunting then I thought it was going to be.

He was understanding in that he knew I was kinda new to it. He accepted that I was not going to be great to start off with and told me afterwards I had massively over acheived to what he usually gets with a newcomer.

He wasn't critical or harsh he was just laid back and explained what I needed to improve on. I found him great to be in a car with for a first time on a public road with other traffic around me.

I think you really should make a complaint after 2 hours expierence with a driving teacher that sounds dreadful and I think you really should look elsewhere.

Good Luck,


Sam

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