I'm a driving instructor - ask me anything!

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1stDrive
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Hi everyone, my name's Paul and I'm one of the UK's most experienced driving instructors having been in the job for 20 years.

I'm here to help with any driving lesson questions you have whether it's about taking lessons and driving tests during the Coronavirus outbreak, something you've been told that you want to check or anything really.

I'm also a qualified hypnotist and NLP coach so I know how people think and learn.

There's nothing I haven't seen when it comes to driving lessons and now I have more spare time on my hands I thought I'd do my bit by sharing my wealth of experience with you.

I hope I am allowed to be on here because I did read through the FAQ's to see if this was for students only but I couldn't see anything about that. If I'm not supposed to be here then feel free to chase me off with a big stick.

If you have any questions then please leave them for me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
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Safeerah
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Is there a recommended number of lessons that you should have before taking a theory test?
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1stDrive
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(Original post by Safeerah)
Is there a recommended number of lessons that you should have before taking a theory test?
No, I recommend taking the theory as soon as you are ready to so you can then go out and put it into practice. Remember there's a waiting time for theory tests and then another waiting time for driving tests so delaying your theory can cause problems later on. At the moment it's all delayed anyway of course.
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Bambam0102
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I haven’t driven for a year and a half (last time I drove was when I passed my test) as I was under review from the DVLA and couldn’t get insurance. I have now been approved of a medical review licence (3years) and waiting to get a car. Would I be able to have lessons despite this licence I have? Like refresher lessons.
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Alexariah
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Is it true learning to drive gets harder as you become older? (For example In 20’s rather than learning at 17)
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Sir Cumference
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If you could, what would you change about the driving test?
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1stDrive
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(Original post by Bambam0102)
I haven’t driven for a year and a half (last time I drove was when I passed my test) as I was under review from the DVLA and couldn’t get insurance. I have now been approved of a medical review licence (3years) and waiting to get a car. Would I be able to have lessons despite this licence I have? Like refresher lessons.
That's something you'd need to check directly with the DVSA. There are so many "ifs" that only they can give you a definitive answer.
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bluemuffin
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When do you know that you’re ready to take your practical test?
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1stDrive
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(Original post by Alexariah)
Is it true learning to drive gets harder as you become older? (For example In 20’s rather than learning at 17)
I have taught many people in their 30s to 50s and I've never seen any truth behind this. When I started teaching we were told to double a pupils age and that's how many hours of lessons it'd take but it's nonsense.

It's often said that younger drivers are better because they react faster but the fact you're reacting means you're doing something wrong! A good driver doesn't need to react because they see things coming much earlier and deal with them before they become something that needs reacting to.
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lovelylemon
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How many hours/lessons would be normal before taking your practical test? I'd like to take my test soon but my instructor hasn't brought it up yet so I don't know if I'm ready (and obviously nothing is happening at the moment). I've been having weekly hourly lessons since November
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1stDrive
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(Original post by Sir Cumference)
If you could, what would you change about the driving test?
There are many things I'd change but mainly I'd make it so that it covers every single thing several times.

Where I am there are test routes that you can pass without driving over 30 mph, without doing any large roundabouts and without parking in a bay. How can someone be out on the road driving without having demonstrated they can do those things?

No test route can include everything because of time restraints but they are looking at changing it hugely. Back in 2013 a minimum learning time of 120 hours before taking a test was suggested and that was being looked into again recently until the virus hit.

I think retesting every 5 years would be a good idea. How can it be right to have a driving licence in 2020 because you drove well for 20 minutes 30 years ago?

Instructors are retested every 2 to 4 years and many driving jobs involve CPD and retesting.I think that should be extended to the public.
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unknownCyberxx
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(Original post by 1stDrive)
Hi everyone, my name's Paul and I'm one of the UK's most experienced driving instructors having been in the job for 20 years.

I'm here to help with any driving lesson questions you have whether it's about taking lessons and driving tests during the Coronavirus outbreak, something you've been told that you want to check or anything really.

I'm also a qualified hypnotist and NLP coach so I know how people think and learn.

There's nothing I haven't seen when it comes to driving lessons and now I have more spare time on my hands I thought I'd do my bit by sharing my wealth of experience with you.

I hope I am allowed to be on here because I did read through the FAQ's to see if this was for students only but I couldn't see anything about that. If I'm not supposed to be here then feel free to chase me off with a big stick.

If you have any questions then please leave them for me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Hi, I just wanted to know for someone who’s trying to pass her practical doing an automatic what advise would you give me as I’ve already done 10 lessons do you think I should practice with family car that’s automatic I know the basics like driving however I struggle with parting near a curb.. I tend to end up on it however I’m good with learning quick so let me know what to do because I’m trying to go for my exam straight after it’s available for booking.
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1stDrive
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(Original post by bluemuffin)
When do you know that you’re ready to take your practical test?
You need to be able to drive for at least one whole lesson (2 hours) without your instructor saying anything. That doesn't guarantee you're ready of course because you may not have covered all types of road or your instructor could just be asleep.

A great way is to take several mock driving tests. Consider even taking them with other instructors but make it clear that you only want a mock test with feedback and that's all. That's a great way of seeing how you'll feel with someone else in the car too.
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1stDrive
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Practise with other people can be useful except it can be hard to readjust to the clutch in your instructors car. In your case that isn't an issue so it makes sense. You shouldn't be driving at the moment though, people doing driving lessons are being stopped and fined by police because it's not an essential journey.
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stereotypeasian
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common test mistakes and how to avoid them
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1stDrive
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#16
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(Original post by stereotypeasian)
common test mistakes and how to avoid them
I've made many videos about that and I'm just finishing writing a big page on my site about it. I'll let you know once it's done and the main reason people fail may surprise you.
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Helder21
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#17
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#17
What areas do you cover for driving lessons? My partner is a key worker for NHS and is due to get a reply back from DVSA soon about her practical test as she failed her last one. If she’s granted the test would you be willing to teach her?
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1stDrive
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(Original post by Helder21)
What areas do you cover for driving lessons? My partner is a key worker for NHS and is due to get a reply back from DVSA soon about her practical test as she failed her last one. If she’s granted the test would you be willing to teach her?
I'm in south Birmingham. I'm doing lessons from May with some key workers I have but it does depend on the situation which is changing so fast it's hard to make many plans.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by 1stDrive)
Hi everyone, my name's Paul and I'm one of the UK's most experienced driving instructors having been in the job for 20 years.

I'm here to help with any driving lesson questions you have whether it's about taking lessons and driving tests during the Coronavirus outbreak, something you've been told that you want to check or anything really.

I'm also a qualified hypnotist and NLP coach so I know how people think and learn.

There's nothing I haven't seen when it comes to driving lessons and now I have more spare time on my hands I thought I'd do my bit by sharing my wealth of experience with you.

I hope I am allowed to be on here because I did read through the FAQ's to see if this was for students only but I couldn't see anything about that. If I'm not supposed to be here then feel free to chase me off with a big stick.

If you have any questions then please leave them for me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Have you ever told a student that driving isn't for them?

Do you ever drive for fun? If so, which car?

What's the worst that a student has ever done to your car?

What's your opinion on how the difficulty of the driving test process has changed over that time?
Last edited by RogerOxon; 5 months ago
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Beck1998
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When will we be able to go back to driving lessons and tests ?
I had my test booked but it has been cancelled, any idea when we will be able to take it
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