How do I choose the best driving instructor

You want to learn how to drive, and you have decided to take driving lessons. You will be investing your time and money so you can pass your driving test. Choosing an experienced and properly qualified instructor will make your learning process so much smoother and quicker.

If you want to know how to choose the best driving instructor, here are some pointers:


In the UK, all driving instructors must be approved by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). The DSA licences fully qualified driving instructors as Approved Driving Instructors.

Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) should have a green badge on display in their car window. This badge will give you the assurance that they have been assessed as being able to teach at a competent standard.

The DSA also certifies Potential Driving Instructors (PDI). These are still undergoing initial training and are not fully qualified. They can be identified by a pink badge in their car window. Trainee instructors offer discounted prices, but their pass rates are substantially lower than those of Approved Driving Instructors.

Approved Driving Instructors are required to undergo a grading process every few years to ensure continuing quality in their standards of instruction.


As well has having the right qualifications, a good driving instructor should demonstrate the right qualities.

There are stories of driving instructors blaring loud rock music during lessons, or using lessons as an opportunity to do their grocery shopping. Luckily these examples are rare.

A good instructor should always be on time and turn up in in a car which is clean and well maintained. The instructor should have a plan drawn up from the DSA syllabus prepared for each lesson. During your lesson the instructor should be attentive and aware at all times. The instructor should be polite and respectful and should never shout or get angry with you.


Some instructors use flashy cars to attract students, but they are certainly not required, and may actually be a distraction from learning. Also, extremely large cars like people carriers and 4×4’s are hard to manoeuvre and are not suitable for learner drivers. A good instructor should be able to teach in any standard car.

Your instructor should be expected to have dual-controls their car with an extra set of pedals for the instructor to operate from the passenger seat. This will enable the instructor to safely take over the controls should you get into difficulty.

Pass rates

Some instructors may use pass rates to try and attract students. Do not take notice of these. Pass rates are easy to fake and impossible to verify. Pass rates do not reflect the varying abilities of students. An instructor who specialises in first time or nervous drivers is going to have lower pass rates than an instructor who takes pupils with previous driving experience.

Call us today

Lanes School of Driving has over 100 years experience in teaching the public to drive. Today we are one of the largest independent driving schools in the UK. All of our instructors are DSA registered Approved Driving Instructors and they give lessons on a one to one basis. You can choose a male or female driving instructor. Our fleet of cars include automatic and manual drive.

If you are looking for a driving instructor, give us a call today and our experienced staff will be happy to advise you further.