You are ready to get behind the wheel but need some professional help. Most students these days will search for an instructor online or through recommendations. And whilst it can be easy to sign up for any driving school that pops up, it makes sense to do your homework if you want to find a suitable and local driving instructor in Melbourne.
Steps to choose a driving instructor
1. Determine if you want to learn to drive manual or automatic
This may not be as simple as you might think. If you only have automatic cars at home, there’s no point learning a manual car from the beginning. The gears are irrelevant from the outset and can be learned quite easily once you techniques and driving habits are proficient in an automatic vehicle. Remember you learning should be staged, so don’t try to do too much too early.
2. Find a driving instructor that is adaptable to your needs
There are many instructors out there. Some come from private schools, and others may be owned by a large corporation. But it’s important you find an instructor that meets your needs and can teach you safe driving at the level you are at.
Consider if they are willing to tailor lessons to your level of experience and hone in on subtle nuances that you require. A quality driving instructor in Melbourne should adapt to any situation. They’ll observe you and may ask a few questions before you start the car. They must also be patient, calm and personable in their demeanour. If the instructor, do the opposite this should raise alarm bells. Further, the driving school teacher should stay focused and keep their mind on the job. Believe it or not, I’ve heard stories of instructors who are too busy checking their phone during a lesson. This is unsafe and unprofessional.
3. Confirm whether you want a female or male instructor
Be careful when considering your options. It may be good to think about your personality and perhaps book a few lessons in first to work out what suits you best. Some people find that they may be better with a particular sex, and then learn to discover after meeting with a driving instructor that understands them, that the other sex is okay too.
As they say, don’t limit your learning opportunities. Explore all options and see what suits you best. It is common people find their first or even second driving instructor is not for them.
4. Look at the driving school or teacher’s reputation
Like you would check reviews for a place you are about to dine at, it makes sense to also check out the reputation of your driving teacher. Look at things like social media and see whether they have a presence. If they do, see if they engage in a constructive way, what they post and whether they have any reviews. You can also visit their website to get a better feel for their service.
In the event the driving teacher has no website or social media, it’s a good idea to Google their name and reviews e.g. “Driving instructor X reviews” will usually come up with a few results or by searching their business name. And if that fails, talk to a few others to see if anyone has heard about them and then decide whether you want to go ahead or not. Above all, make sure your driving instructor is fully qualified and insured.
5. Plan out your lessons
Driving a car is like putting together a really long jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is a process that you learn and get better at gradually.
When getting behind the wheel to learn to drive, it would be good to plan out your lessons in advance. Check whether you want a professional driving teacher to help you for all your required hours or if you think they are best at the start or just before you take the test to freshen up your skills.
“My preferred process for each student at X Factor Driving School is to have 5 lessons at the beginning of their driving journey. This is to ensure they have a good grasp on the fundamental skills they require for driving safely. Then they can go off and practice implementing and refining their knowledge” says Darren Smillie, founder of X Factor’s driver education program.
Students should also be encouraged to engage with an instructor after 30-40 hours of practice. This is so you can get an independent review and learn some additional proactive driving skills.
A driving instructor should not just be there to help you pass one test. They are there to provide techniques and make a difference to your driving that lasts beyond one limited test.
6. Find out what value your instructor provides
A driving instructor should not just be there to get you through the VicRoads driving test. They must provide you with a wide learning experience. The more practice the better. You as a new driver should be able to understand traffic flow and know how to read traffic inside and out.
Look at your driving instructor as a coach. They are there to be available to you, support and challenge you along the way. They are not just a teacher, but a mentor in many respects.
“Each student I have is treated as an individual. They get exactly what they need at each point along the way” shared Darren. An example of this is to think about driving as a way you might play individual sport in a team environment. You as a player must learn to adapt to the environment, understand where weakness in others will come from and be on top of your game. To do this, you’ll need a great mentor along the way.
7. Know what you want to achieve
Begin with the end in mind. Ask yourself, what am I trying to achieve? Are you looking to just pass another test or are you proactively seeking a driving instructor that can teach you all the nuances and intricacies involved with driving? As a professional Melbourne driving instructor Darren says “if you want someone to teach you how to pass a test, don’t call me. I’m not here for that. If you want to learn to drive in a proactive manner so you can drive for life safely on the roads, then call me”. X Factor Driving School prides itself on first rate driver education. It does this through its unique Drive for Life program which can be tailored to suit student needs.
If staying alive on the roads is important to you, contact us today.