Frequently Asked Questions
This page is full of answers to questions that are frequently asked either by potential pupils when they first contact us or by pupils when we are in the car.
For your convenience the page is seperated into topic related sections, some of which are getting rather lengthy, and more are being added. It is my intention to seperate the different sections into individual pages as soon as the page becomes too long but for now please bear with me.
If the answer to your question is not available then please, feel free to contact us by whichever method suits you best and we will answer your question. Who knows, I may even add it to this page!
Questions about the driving instructor's car:
What type of gearbox does your car have?
The car has a manual gearbox.
Can I have driving lessons in an automatic car?
Unfortunately I do not have a car with an automatic gearbox available at the moment.
What car do you use for driving lessons?
My tuition vehicle Is a Toyota Aygo. It is smart, regularly maintained to the highest standards and selected to provide an excellent learning experience.
Why don't you use a fancier car?
Many instructors use a 'nicer' car for either the visual draw or to benefit from the extra power when they drive out on their own time. I chose the Toyota Aygo precisely because it is of a comparative size and power to the vehicles that by far the majority of pupils will be using as their first car. I think that this is beneficial for the pupil.
How old is your car?
I buy my tuition vehicles new from the main dealer and replace them between three and four years. My car is fully serviced to the manufacturers specification by the dealer. You need have no concerns about the condition of the car.
Questions about practising in your own car:
Will you teach me to drive in my own car?
I do not teach pupils to drive in their own car because not only does your car not have dual-controls fitted but driving instructors insurance policies carry a whole load of extra public liability and personal insurance that we will not be covered by in your car. Your insurance would cover regular damage, but as I am being paid to provide a professional service I have to have, by law, public liability insurance while charging for that service. In the event that I should be injured at work instructors insurance also provides a decent payout for my family. In your car I would have to sue you for that. Hopefully you have thought twice.
What do I need to be able to practice in my own/ someone elses car?
I have prepared a page which gives some insight into the legal matters arising from practising in your own car. The availability of private practice can be a boon for trainee drivers.
Do you recommend that your pupils practice in other cars between driving lessons?
If their is a reasonable understanding between the accompanying driver and the pupil about roles and responsibility. If routes are planned to match, never exceed, the current development level of the learner, then private practice as we call it can be very beneficial.
Questions about Payment for driving lessons:
Do you offer any discounts for block bookings of driving lessons?
There are no discounts available. please read the lesson prices page for the current prices and an explanation of why they are very good value.
Can I do a block booking of driving lessons?
You certainly may. Simply pay in advance for the desired number and I will keep an accurate record of the number of lessons taken/remaining. Should you wish a refund then the outstanding amount will be refunded without question. Further details are available on the payment for service page.
If I pay in advance for lessons can I get a refund if I want to?
I will promptly refund any money that has been paid in advance for lessons that have not yet been taken. There is a list of 'Minimum Service Standards' that you may find informative on my pafe for people thinking of changing driving instructors.
Can I pay for lessons on a monthly basis?
If this is what suits you best, then yes by all means. Payment will be taken in advance.
Can I pay for my driving lessons by card?
Unfortunately not. The costs of the necessary equipment and bank charges are too high for an independent instructor such as myself.
Do you offer free trial lessons in Nuneaton?
I do not offer free driving lessons to new customers but there is a free lesson available that existing customers can take advantage of. It is a thank you for a successful recommendation. Details on the driving lesson prices page.
Questions about instructor Availability for driving lessons:
Do you offer driving lessons at the weekend?
I am not available for driving lessons at the weekend. The driving lessons availability page may be useful for you.
Are you available for driving lessons in the evenings?
I do work evenings. After work or college is a very popular time to learn so spaces are rare. Feel free to contact me using the information at the bottom of the page for up to date information.
I work different shifts weekly. Will you be able to fit me in every week?
In honesty it is unlikely that I will be able to fit you in every week. I do have a small number of pupils who cannot attend driving lessons at the same time every week because of the changeable nature of modern working practices. Sometimes it does happen that I find myself fully booked on the only day they have available that week.
I can only manage to take a lesson every couple of weeks because of shift times. Will this be a problem?
I would hesitate to take on a pupil who can only attend a lesson per fortnight. You need the regularity of lessons to make regular progress. In my view lessons this far apart would definitely not be in your best interest.
I am just outside of the area that you cover and you have been recommended by a friend. Will you teach me to drive please?
I am sorry but the areas that I have listed on the areas covered in/near Nuneaton page are as far as I can realistically cover these days. It is true that I used to travel further but as populations and therefore traffic densities have increased the amount of distance I can cover between lessons has reduced.
Questions about Driving Lessons:
What do I need to bring on my first driving lesson?
As a minimum you need to bring your UK provisional driving licence because without this we cannot legally proceed. For prospective new pupils who wish to know more about me, the car, and the legal requirements I have prepared a page which contains useful information for new pupils.
Do I have to be picked up and dropped off at the same location every time?
Not at all. It is easier if you can let me know as soon as you are aware that you need to change a location but I will accommodate any reasonable requests. It does sometimes happen that I cannot do as requested so it is also better for you to know in advance.
How far will you travel to pick up a pupil?
The full area of places that I will travel to is listed on the areas covered page. I am sorry if you fall outside of this area and were recommended to me by a previous pupil but because of traffic density I have had to reduce slightly the areas to which I travel.
How long are your driving lessons?
Lessons are either one or two hours long and you will receive the full time.
Can you tell me something about how you teach?
You would be well advised to read about the flexibility of teaching methods that I use. You are an individual and the best educators recognise that you must be taught according to your strengths.
Will there be anyone else in the car?
Definitely not! Training is provided on a one-to-one basis.
Do you keep a record of progress each lesson?
The short answer is yes. Here is a more in depth explanation of the recording framework that I have developed.
Do you offer motorway lessons?
I most certainly do. I offer motorway driving lessons to my pupils either while they are learning or once they have passed. The choice is yours. Motorway lessons are the ideal confidence booster for inexperienced drivers who wish to undertake longer distance journeys. Details of the motorway driving lessons and the current price of the lesson are available on the relevent linked pages.
How many lessons will I need?
There is no precise way to answer this question. We are all individuals and part of this is that we take in, retain and assimilate information at different rates. Add to this the spectre of nerves and any calculation is out of the window. I promise all of my pupils that they will not receive any more lessons than they need. This is genuinely the most honest answer.
Will you teach me about eco driving?
Eco driving, defined as: ecologically and environmentally sensite driving, is a core principle around which driving lessons are based.
Questions about the Practical Driving Test (UK)
Will I take my test in your car?
Almost all of my pupils take their practical driving test in my car. Occasionally I teach someone who has their own vehicle available and they manage to get enough private practice that they feel more comfortable in their own car.
Do you have any practical driving test tips?
I have many practical driving test tips for the UK. You will find them on the test preparation page.
Which driving test centres do you use?
Because all of my work falls within easy reach of the Nuneaton driving test centre it is the only test centre that I use.
I am not a pupil of yours. Will you let me take my driving test in your car if I have a lesson or two with you first?
My professional duty of care extends to the driving test examiners. I cannot in all good faith take a pupil for test that I have not spent enough time with to see that they can consistently demonstrate the required traits of a good driver.
What are driving test examiners like?
A very common and understandable question from pupils who are progressing in their development. I wrote a blog piece on the very question, What are driving test examiners like?
If I stall on my practical driving test will I fail?
The short and honest answer is 'maybe'. Though this is the correct answer a longer one is not suitable for this page so for a further explanation please read my blog post entitled If I stall on my practical driving test will I fail?
Questions about driving after the driving test:
Do you have any tips for first drive on my own?
I have prepared a few tips for new drivers who are about to undertake their first drive.
I have not driven for a long time. Can you provide refresher lessons in Nuneaton?
What type of car insurance do you recommend?
I would always have fully comprehensive car insurance. Other types are available at slightly lower cost but in my opinion I would not bother with them.
Can you recommend a car insurance company for a new driver?
Due to the nature of their trade being so competitive the terms, conditions and certainly the price of car insurance changes so frequently that even a professional insurance broker will have to refer to a database to find the best deal on the day.
Would you source car insurance from a comparison website?
I would see what is available on the comparison website but do not believe that they are free. They are free to search but if you purchase through their link then their commission is part of the price that you pay. In addition to this I would enquire with companies that do not list themselves on comparison websites.
Is there anything that I should carry in my car?
There are no legal requirements for equipment to carry in a car but some things are just common sense. I have always carried a spare supply of screenwash because sometimes on a journey it is incredible the amount you can use. I have also always carried a tyre pump. If you have a slow puncture (the most common kind) you can easily, and safely, get to a tyre centre without totally ruining a tyre and quite possibly a wheel with it.
Would you buy second hand or part worn tyres?
Never! This trade is legal which in my mind it shouldn't be. The manner in which the driver of the car that those tyres were on drove has a large impact upon the remaining strength in the tyre. It is not just the tread which should be taken into consideration. The other factors however cannot be physically measured.
Would you buy remoulded tyres?
Never! Remoulded tyres are second hand by definition and not as robust as new tyres. I would simply never allow second hand tyres onto my own car.
How do I know what type of fuel to put into my car?
Most cars will have a sticker or obvious symbol of some kind inside the fuel refiller cap. Every car comes with an owners manual and the information will be in there. Do not put any quantity of fuel into your car until you are certain that it is of the correct type else you will cause a lot of damage to your engine.
Do you recommend motorway tuition for drivers who have recently passed their practical driving test.?
The confidence of the particular person is the issue here. Motorway lessons are available for people in the Nuneaton area and may be particularly useful to those who find the idea of driving on the motorway for the first time a little daunting. I have shared a motorway driving experience of my own that you may find useful.