UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

When to Change Driving Instructors // My Bad Experience

Finding a good driving instructor is a daunting task, even with all the recommendation from friends and family who's to say you'll get along? Personalities clash and sometimes years have flown by since others used them. A good instructor should make you feel at ease from your first lesson, always explain things clearly and for the learner to be able to let them know if they haven't grasped it. No instructor should ever shout, swear or continually make you feel awful. Shouting and constant put downs will make the learner more stressed than needed, preventing any progress. If you're someone who feels a little uncomfortable about having a male instructor there are gradually more and more female instructors. Since my last two posts have been pretty successful I thought I'd follow on by sharing my own bad experiences for those who may be experiencing similar. 
My Experience | 
When I decided to finally take the plunge and learn to drive I decided on the most popular family run driving school in town. I ended up with one of the sons and a white DS3 - I thought it was fate as I used to adore White DS3's. Oh how wrong could I have been. The school also provides instructor training and sell packages to other instructors to boost their business - something they should probably consider for themselves if others receive the experience I did.

From lesson one it's all been down hill, I didn't feel comfortable but put it down to my anxiety. Second lesson? He cancels 90 minutes before my lesson due to sickness - pure bad luck? When the second lesson did come around it was a repeat of the first, the third was leaving the industrial estate and going onto housing estates. From this lesson he'd continue to tell me at the start of every lesson and majority of me messing up that my hours were adding up. So were the hours he was missing? More cancellations and always late cancellations, if I cancelled as late as he did I'd lose all my money. Wednesday mornings were spent wondering if he'd be turning up. Occasionally he'd find me a slot. The first week in the test town is always going to be stressful, he added to the stress by shouting and laying into me that I just didn't know what I was doing - despite getting there in one piece and experiencing roundabouts and dual carriageways for the first time. The worst lesson being 'What are you going to do on your driving test!?! Sit there and do nothing?! on repeat when I'd asked for help. Another few I'd be told I was destined for automatic rather rudely. The weeks after those? That my driving is almost as smooth as his. There seemed to be a pattern for mood swings. Towards the end I'd tell him that he had annoyed me but this didn't change the way he'd be. With lessons turning into me just driving around without any progress and putting up with abuse + more cancellations flying in I decided to FINALLY try someone else - the guy clearly hates me despite always trying my best, always being on time and never cancelling. Even with my grandma in ITU with less  than 30% chance of coming through, he still expected me to give him 48 hours to cancel my lesson. after I'd warned him. Err I think someone missed the point? Fast forward & I finally gave him the chop after having more sarcastic comments and moods thrown at me + cancellations.

How did it go with the other guy? I jumped in the drivers seat and was returned early from my original trial because I drove so well. I was taken to the test town and surrounding towns to switch it up and avoid constant road works, so I could build up the confidence the other shredded. I receive no put downs, one liners, eye rolling, huffing or feeling terrified to mess up. I just worried about the lessons being 30 minutes shorter and it being a different car to get used to. The teaching methods and driving styles also differ - so helpful and complimentary. My test is booked, whether it stays or I move it, who knows I've had a lot to deal with currently but I'm much happier. I no longer feel sick before a lesson, I no longer feel on edge, in fact I'm going to guess I'll feel better going on my test than how I felt going on a lesson with my old instructor.
NOTE // 12/11/15 I passed first time with two minors, the difference a lovely instructor makes hey?

10 comments

  1. Can't believe what awful service you received! :( That's hideous and definitely not what you needed. I'm glad you found someone better though!!

    My driving instructor was lovely. He had a 99% pass rate and had been recommended so I went with him. He was really patient and kind and had a similar sense of humour to me as well which always helps... He kept pushing my to do my theory and then book my test but when I said I felt I wasnt ready, he understood! :) xx

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    1. I passed my theory right at the start of my lessons, took it on the sly because I'd been using an app at home whenever he cancelled 🙈. Your instructor sounds lovely, mines very similar!

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  2. I can't believe your old instructor behaved that way, not only is it really unprofessional, but it is also really rude! Surely they should realise, that learning to try is also a confidence thing! I hope you find better luck with your new instructor and good luck with your test xx

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    1. Thanks Faye, it's crazy how much calmer I am before lessons & during. I apparently come home much happier too. x

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  3. Oh my, that's disgusting behaviour! It's stressful enough without having that to deal with. Well done for having the confidence to try another instructor.

    I really need to learn to drive. I've only had one lesson before and the instructor was really bad as well as cancelling so I didn't bother going back to him and then just forgot about it because I lived so close to the centre of town I didn't really need to drive.

    Think I'll start in the new year and hopefully get someone lovely! xx

    www.suzyheartsbeauty.co.uk/

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    1. Good luck starting your lessons in the New Year, I wish I'd started a long time ago now I have the right instructor. x

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  4. I just changed my instructor, the first one was terrible he'd be so rude and sarcastic which made me more nervous than I already was after he suggested a 3 week break from my lessons I found someone else

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    1. I hope you're much more settled now. I don't know why they bother teaching!?

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  5. Such a shame to hear of your bad experiences! I luckily had a brilliant instructor and we ended up having two hour chats as opposed to lessons. I felt so at ease with him and I thought he was a brill teacher. When I passed and he was driving me home I actually nearly cried because I wouldn't get to see him any more! I'm glad you found a better teacher and that you're more settled now x

    Christina Marie - xtinagsays.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Your instructor sounds lovely, I'm much more chatty with my new one & don't feel bad when I mess up. I think the most annoying factor of all this is we didn't even get a 'sorry you feel this way, good luck with your driving' The guy ignored me and the Mum in the office just 'oh' oblivious to hers son behaviour and poor attendance. Any other job and he'd be fired. x

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