What is a driving school?
Why choose a driving school in preference to an individual driving instructor?
How to choose a Driving school.
What is a Driving School?
Driving Schools are training organisations that provide training for various classes of driving.
The largest and most common are those that serve the learner car market, providing training to drive trucks and buses. Some driving schools also offer fleet training for company employees.
In this article, I am going to focus on the learner car market.
A Driving School is usually a training organisation with several individual driving instructors that perform the driving lessons. They can differ enormously in size from just one instructor to over a hundred instructors.
Their primary function is to provide driving lessons to learner drivers that are preparing for the UK practical driving test. The Driving School will usually provide the advertising and marketing to attract those seeking driving lessons via websites, social media, driving lesson directories and various offline platforms such as leaflets and printed publications.
Most of the medium to large driving schools will have a call centre and customer services department to take calls from people who wish to make inquiries relating to their driving tuition.
Customer services should offer far more than a lesson booking service and be prepared to listen carefully to your requirements and offer suitable advice. You may be a complete beginner to driving, you may have taken several lessons and have some experience or you may be looking for an instructor to cover your practical driving test.
Many Driving schools will also offer refresher lessons for those that have not driven for a while due to illness or loss of confidence and those who are just looking for an update on modern driving.
Another service offered will often be familiarisation lessons for foreign nationals that have moved to the UK. Although many foreign nationals will hold full licences in their home country, suddenly faced with the prospect of driving on the left side of the road can be a little daunting.
Once customer services have been able to establish your exact needs and requirements, they will then be able to allocate a fully qualified driving instructor (ADI) that is best suited to provide the tuition and advice required.
A convenient day and time will be agreed and then the booking will be confirmed in the diary. Some schools provide lessons on a pre-pay basis and others operate pay on the day.
Most schools offer over the phone payments during normal working hours and BACS bank transfers and online website e-commerce 24/7 for your convenience.
Your allocated driving instructor will be passed your booking details including the pick-up location. Virtually all schools offer a pick-up service from home, your workplace or college free of charge.
National or Local Driving School?
Let’s explore the difference between a national and local driving school.
The national schools tend to be more recognisable names and they spend millions on branding to become household names. They are normally run from a central location and have individual driving instructors based in towns and cities across the UK or their area of operation.
They tend to be towards the higher end when it comes to lesson fees to cover the cost of the considerable admin and marketing.
Local Driving Schools
Local schools will be based close to your home and they will almost be certainly locally run.
They will still utilise individual instructors as do the national schools.
Why choose a driving school in preference to an individual driving instructor?
Your driving lessons will be conducted by an individual instructor whether you choose a driving school or an independent driving instructor.
Choosing a driving school has many benefits.
They are likely to have many instructors to match your requirements.
Schools will vary of course but you could expect most medium to large schools to offer a choice of both male and female instructors along with automatic and manual tuition vehicles.
With several instructors to choose from, it’s far more likely that you will be able to have the day and time of your choosing and the opportunity to change instructors if you wish.
Driving Schools tend to have call centres and customer services that operate during working hours and they are far more likely to be able to take your call and discuss your requirements, whereas independent instructors will often be teaching and have to call you back when free.
They are also more likely to take payment over the phone and have e-commerce for your convenience.
Many driving schools have in-house training for their instructors to keep them up to date with changes in driving legislation and practical test criteria. They also have a uniform operational policy so the tuition offered is standard across all their instructors.
How to Choose a Driving School
So how do you choose a Driving School when so many seem to offer similar services?
You could select on the price of their Driving lessons but that can often be a recipe for disaster, especially if you choose the cheapest. The question to ask is, why are they the cheapest?
It could be they lack a good local reputation, it could be they experience a low practical test pass rate or maybe they utilise trainee or inexperienced instructors.
You could choose the most expensive school as their lesson fees might suggest they are the best. This might also be a costly decision as they may be far better at marketing their driving lessons than actually delivering them!
Authentic Driving Lesson Reviews
I would suggest finding a driving school that provides authentic Driving Lesson reviews and taking time to read a selection to find what aspects are most important to you.
We have an extensive article on Driving Lesson Reviews and why you should make use of them. During the last few years, we have become a customer review society following the success of the online review giants Amazon and Trip Advisor, it’s with the help of these type of sites that we can take the risk from many of the purchases we now make.
Many driving school websites and social media platforms like Facebook will show customer comments but they tend to lack any real substance and explain exactly why the customer chose them and why.
Https://drivinglessonsreviews.co.uk/ is a dedicated review site for driving lessons.
The directory is quite different as all driving schools listed must adhere to strict compliance criteria. All reviews submitted must be certified as “authentic,” this means that a customer’s full name, their location and photograph must be included.
Unfortunately, some online customer reviews are fabricated and without photographs and full names, they can be made up.
I hope this article has in some way explained what a Driving School is and how it would function.
CEO, Kelvin White Driving School Limited.
CEO, ADI Business Success Limited.
Kelvin White qualified as an approved driving instructor in 1999 and became a franchise with a large national driving school until 2001. He then left the franchise to become an independent instructor and built a solid local reputation for providing quality tuition in his hometown of Bridgwater in Somerset.
During 2010, Kelvin made the transition from independent instructor to business owner and launched Kelvin White Driving School. The School quickly expanded and by the end of 2012 was operating with over 30 franchised instructors.
A major part of the School’s success was down to the use of innovative marketing techniques in combination with many hours of research and business seminars. This success was documented and made available to driving instructors throughout the UK in the form of the membership site: http://adireviewsystem.co.uk/, this has helped 598 UK Instructors and Driving School owners to be more business savvy so far.