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Driving lessons - instructor taking the rise?

(85 Posts)
PinkCakes Fri 09-Jul-21 01:19:17

For my son's 40th birthday, I paid for 10 driving lessons, with AA school of motoring, at a cost of £285. He's been having 2 hours, once a week, and has now taken all 10 lessons.

He tells me that he's only done straight driving, so no reversing, parallel parking, etc.

I think the instructor is taking the whatsit. What do you think?

midgey Fri 09-Jul-21 01:46:09

Depends on your son’s progress, perhaps he is taking time to learn.

CanadianGran Fri 09-Jul-21 04:45:29

I would say they should cover everything in 20 hours instruction. I just looked up a driving school, and the beginner course was 20 hours which included 17 hours instruction and 2.5 hours test practice.

Did you check on the driver instruction course beforehand?

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 09-Jul-21 05:04:35

I think that your son should be able to see his driving ‘log book’ so that he can see his progress, he needs to chat with his Instructor and find out why he hasn’t done these things yet.

Does his Instructor think he isn’t ready ? Maybe a 40yr old takes more lessons than a teenager?

I only ask this as I had a long chat with someone who is training to be a Driving Instructor yesterday and she was telling me how different the lessons are today, but that there is more transparency regarding the progress that the pupil is making.

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 09-Jul-21 05:06:48

BTW her charges are around £35 per hour.

Calendargirl Fri 09-Jul-21 07:24:14

It’s a long time since my children were learning to drive, but I imagine the AA School of Motoring would be more expensive than an independent instructor?

Plus, with not working through Covid, I expect driving lessons have rocketed in price, with pent up demand for lessons and tests.

Calendargirl Fri 09-Jul-21 07:29:07

Just as a PS, my own children learned to drive at 17, back in 1991 and 1993.

They were each given £250 for their 17th birthdays, for lessons, and they both managed to pass first time, the money was enough for all lessons and test.

Of course, no theory test back then, and they knew that when the cash ran out, they would be paying the rest themselves out of their Saturday job wages.

Hope that spurred them on.

And yes, I realise I am talking about a long time ago.

M0nica Fri 09-Jul-21 07:47:00

I doubt a driving instructor would try to 'take a rise' out of you. His business is based on recommendation and if he was suspected of doing anything like that, he would soon lose business and apart from the 'why not?' answer, why should he pick on your son?

Some people take more time to learn than others. My instructor, who ended up teaching almost everyone in the road I lived in, said the more intelligent the person, the more difficult they were to teach because they kept asking questions and needed to understand why they were doing things before they could do them

Millie22 Fri 09-Jul-21 08:15:39

I'm sure the guide used to be you needed a lesson for your age so age 40 would be 40 lessons but at 2 hours per lesson that should be less if you know what I mean!

NotAGran55 Fri 09-Jul-21 08:19:30

That sounds about right OP.

My sons , 24 and 26 both had driving lessons as presents for their 17th birthdays . They had 20 and 22 lessons respectively and both passed first time . I think the lessons were £30 .

M0nica Fri 09-Jul-21 08:32:39

How much practise is your son getting between lessons? The more driving you do on top of lessons, usually the better progress you make.

When I was learning, DH suggested I drove whenever we went on family journeys and there was nothing to beat a 2 hour drive to visit parents and PiL to develop road skills as well as driving performance.

MerylStreep Fri 09-Jul-21 08:35:17

Here’s another feel good story for the fun sponges.
Read and weep.

NotSpaghetti Fri 09-Jul-21 08:49:15

Driving instructors come with different skill levels (you can ask them what level/grade they are). I called several when looking for lessons for my "children" and booked an introductory lesson with the most experienced one available.

Before I knew about grades, my son went for a lesson with one instructor and said "I'll never learn with her!". He changed teacher and passed with only 12 hours in the end (with someone else). But, one of my girls had 22 hours and gave up - living in London it wasn't essential and she just wasn't a natural driver...

It sounds like your son has only had 10 hours. £28 an hour is not a lot these days. He maybe should try a different instructor or should ask how many more this one thinks he needs.

NotSpaghetti Fri 09-Jul-21 08:57:31

Just looked on the AA website - they state (proudly):

75% of pupils passed with 40 hours of lessons or fewer

Blossoming Fri 09-Jul-21 09:31:25

Not sure what that has to do with PinkCakes DS driving lessons MerylStreep. Have I missed something?

MerylStreep Fri 09-Jul-21 09:38:32

I thought I’d followed up with a whoops post, but obviously not ?

JaneJudge Fri 09-Jul-21 09:38:34

Can't he pay for some more lessons himself?

10 hours isn't a lot. My son recently (as in the last 5 years) learnt to drive and he had lessons once or twice a week from February to June, passed in the June. The lessons were 2 hourly and £60 a pop! I also took him out too, it was terrifying. A lot of instructors seemed really against intensive driving courses and rushing the learning because of safety. He did his test in your daughter's town Monica smile

JaneJudge Fri 09-Jul-21 09:39:35

It took me ages btw. I think I had about 50 lessons! blush

gillgran Fri 09-Jul-21 09:53:09

My DGD recently passed her driving test. We lost count of how many professional lessons she had, (plus practice in a little "run-about car with her parents).
Paying £300. every 5 weeks, (2 hours at a time x 5 = 10 hours)
The price actually went up during this time, but the (independent) instructor kept hers at the same rate.

This was between September 2019 & June2021.
Of coarse with CV & the lockdowns there were several gaps!
Her theory test was passed (1st time) late December 2019.
The practical was booked-cancelled-re-booked several times due to the pandemic.
I'm guessing the cost ran well into thousands.... paid for by parents, us, plus money earned by the DGD herself, all whilst studying for her A levels.

Well worth it in the end, we live in a rural district & really need to be mobile.

Good luck to your DS ( &all others learning to drive)

annodomini Fri 09-Jul-21 10:39:20

I took my 18-year-old GD out for a few sessions. She already was a motor-bike rider and knew about road-craft, but I also made her reverse round a corner and do quite an awkward hill start. Straight driving is all very well, but a learner should be encouraged to take on a few challenges as well. She's still waiting for a test.

Pinkarolina Fri 09-Jul-21 10:51:59

Annodomini, reversing round a corner isn’t a safe manoeuvre and is no longer part of the driving test. It would have been better for you to have allowed her to practice parking.

NotSpaghetti Fri 09-Jul-21 10:52:04

I suppose, annodomini we don't know how good the OP's son is at driving forward and handling the gears, lanes, indicators etc, yet.

PinkCakes Fri 09-Jul-21 11:20:56

Thanks for all your replies. I am obviously expecting too much. He's not able to practice in my car, as when I tried to get him put on my insurance, the company (Saga) said it would be £250 and that my no-claims bonus of many years would go down to one year.

NotSpaghetti Fri 09-Jul-21 12:59:47

PinkCakes - just wondering if you son is happy with his instructor?
If so, I'd suggest he just finds out how many lessons he (realistically) thinks he'd need to pass. It would at least give you an idea about time frames and cost.

grannyactivist Fri 09-Jul-21 13:12:39

Sounds about right to me I’m afraid, both the number of lessons and the charge per hour.

I was nearly 40 when I had driving lessons and my instructor told me he could teach me to pass the test (fewer lessons), or he could teach me to drive. I chose the latter and until the day I stopped driving I heard his voice in my ear whenever I came across a tricky situation on the road.