This online guide is broken down into the following sections:-
- What to Expect On Your Driving Lessons?
- How Many Lessons Will I Need?
- Pupil Type - Service Level
- Booking A Lesson/Driving Test & Opening Times
- Lesson Prices & Fees
- Payment Methods & Cancelling A Lesson
- When Will I Be Ready For My Driving Test?
- Mirrors Recap
- Lesson Recap
- Gear Ranges
When taking driving lessons, it is important that you understand what to expect, what is expected of you as the pupil, and how I will conduct the lesson. This is especially important if you have come to Lee's Driver Training from another driving instructor/school. My lessons are of a high quality, where we follow an approved lesson syllabus, and we set goals to constantly improve your driving skills.
If you are coming to Lee's Driver Training from another driving school, you may be unfamiliar with this. Please bear in mind that as a DVSA ADI (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency Approved Driving Instructor) I conduct my lessons in accordance with DVSA standards and guide lines. Regrettably, not all driving instructors conduct their lessons to the same professional, high quality standards. So if you you have come from another driving school, and this seems different to your previous lessons, please just be aware that the techniques I use get results, and are approved, as I follow the DVSA learning syllabus.
A standard driving lesson is made up of several components
- Last Lesson Recap – what did we do on our last lesson (if appropriate)
- Goal or Objective – Here we discuss and together agree a realistic goal for today's lesson
- A Briefing – Introduction/recap of the topic to be covered – your responsibilities, and my responsibilities
- Driving Practise – Driving practise to learn the topic or improve skills
- A Debrief and Goal Assessment – How did we do, did we achieve the goal, or do you need more practise, or slightly adjusting the goal for next lesson
As you can see, using a proper structured lesson format, we can monitor your progress and improve your skills more efficiently. This will help you to achieve your goal of learning to drive, and passing a driving test in the quickest possible time frame, according to your abilities.
What we will NOT do, is simply and aimlessly just drive around on your lessons. Having taken pupils from other driving schools, I am aware that some driving instructors simply let the pupil drive around for an hour. This is NOT how I conduct my lessons, nor is that a DVSA approved lesson format. If you are looking for a driving school that just lets you drive around for an hour, and lets you basically do as you please – then Lee's Driver Training is not the driving school for you.
As the customer, you are indeed paying for the lesson, and you are paying to benefit from my skill and professional knowledge as well as my time, to help you become a safe and confident driver, and reach driving test pass standard in the quickest possible time.
For safety, legal, and educational reasons, the lesson will remain under my control – as your instructor – at all times. You will be included in the goal setting, and your input will be sought throughout the lesson, regrettably however, you will not be allowed to just do whatever you want, we will be following a training syllabus and best practise. For more information on what is expected of a pupil, see my standard terms and conditions of business.
2. How Many Lessons Will I Need?
This is a common question, and one which is not easy to answer. The short answer is I honestly do not know. The thought provoking answer would be – what kind of driver would you like to be? A safe, confident and competent driver? Or a poor, nervous and unsafe driver?
There are many factors involved when you learn to drive, your age, your previous driving experience if any, how quickly you tend to learn new skills and master them, how committed you are to your lessons, how often do you cancel your lessons, do you focus on the task at hand on your lessons and put in your best effort, or do you spend your time on lessons talking about other things etc?
As you can see there are many factors involved. According to the DVSA (Driving & Vehicle Standards Agency – what used to be known as the DSA) on average it takes around 45 lessons for a complete beginner to reach test pass standard. Everyone is different, however, and we all learn at a different pace.
There are 20 topics in the learning syllabus, and to be able to successfully pass the driving test, you must have mastered each of these topics, and be able to carry them out correctly and without any help. All the time you need to be prompted, or reminded of how to carry out a technique, this means you have not yet mastered it. The use of the Pupil Progress Record found in your online customer account available at this website, will be used to monitor your progress and give us both an idea on your strengths and weaknesses and show you the progress you are making.
Experience tells me that it can take anywhere from 10 lessons for someone who already has a lot of car driving experience and has already mastered most of the learning syllabus, to around 50 lessons for someone who is a slow learner and is starting as a complete beginner. There are 20 topics which need to be mastered. In theory, if you pick up new skills quickly and master each topic by the end of the same hour that we introduce it, then it could take 20 hours, however, experience tells me that this rarely happens which is why the DVSA came up with the figure of 45 hours as an average.
Any figure I give you as to how long it will take and how many lessons you will need, is going to only ever be an estimate. It could take less lessons or more, depending upon you - the pupil.
It is important to remember that there is no contract between us that requires you to complete all the learning syllabus, and continue with your driving lessons. You can cease taking lessons with me at any time. However, please be aware that I will only take a pupil to a driving test after they can successfully pass a mock driving test, and this is only possible if the pupil has mastered the learning syllabus. See the section in this online guide – When Will I Be Ready For My Driving Test for more information.
3. Pupil Type – Service Level
Lee's Driver Training offers two different service levels. This is to provide choice and flexibility for my customers and to provide a service that suits every budget.
If you take advantage of one of my special introductory offers when you start lessons with me, you will automatically become a Regular Pupil – at least until the offer is completed. After the offer has ended, or if you did not take advantage of one of my special introductory offers, you will automatically be allocated one of the two Pupil Type designations based upon your level of commitment to your driving lessons.
Most of my pupils are of this type. A “Regular Pupil” is one who takes three (3) lessons per calendar month or more – normally one a week. This pupil benefits from totally FREE access to Theory Test Pro for as long as they continue to be a regular pupil. Ensuring you can study for your theory test and have the best system to aid in your studies. This pupil also benefits from a guaranteed reserved lesson spot. Once you start lessons and select a currently available lesson spot – that time slot will be reserved for you every week, so you don't have to worry about losing it if you cannot make a week because of being on holiday or coming down with a sickness. This type of pupil also helps to ensure you learn quicker and pass sooner because you are committed to taking regular lessons, which helps skills develop faster.
This service level suits a pupil who has a tight budget, or works shifts, or simply has a busy social life. It is for those who don't know what their availability will be one week from the next. A “Non-Regular Pupil” is one who takes two (2) lessons per calendar month. This pupil benefits from flexibility, you are not tied to one particular time slot and so can change it every week if need be. The pupil can also take advantage of Theory Test Pro online study resource. Simply pay £2.00 per calendar month to access this great tool from your pc, tablet, or smartphone, to help you pass your theory test, or obtain your own study aids to help you pass.
Not being tied to one particular lesson time slot, a time slot will not be reserved for you. This means that other pupils – current and new – could book up this slot and therefore would no longer be available to you. But having this flexibility may suit your budget or needs better. You would simply book up one lesson at a time week by week during an available slot that suits you. If you are looking for a slot that you would like to keep on a week by week basis, you should consider becoming a “Regular Pupil”.
4. Booking A Lesson/Driving Test & Opening Times
To book, amend or cancel lesson appointments please either call me on 01622 36 00 37, or you can simply text me directly on my mobile number. This is provided in your Learner Driver Booklet. Please remember that whilst giving lessons I will not be able to reply to your text message immediately, so please be patient.
It is recommended that you book up your lessons early so you can secure the time spots you prefer.
I am available for lessons and driving tests at the following times only:-
Monday 10:30am – 7:30pm
Wednesday 10:30am – 7:30pm
Thursday 10:30am – 7:30pm
Friday 10:30am – 7:30pm
Saturday 10:30am – 6:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm – 3:30pm
When booking driving tests please be aware that I don't work Tuesdays, Because we have a two hour session on a driving test, the earliest you should book a driving test for is 11:00am.
I cover the Maidstone and Medway (Gillingham) test centres only, if you wish to take your test at another test centre, then regrettably you will need to make your own travel arrangements and provide a vehicle for use with the test.
Also note that when booking driving tests, unless you intend to take the test in your own vehicle. You need to discuss this with me first, to confirm that I am free on your chosen date and time, also that we both agree you are ready for the test before confirming the test booking. Driving tests do take priority over lessons, if I already have a prior booking I will do my best to re-arrange that first.
When booking tests online you may be asked for my ADI number. Just leave this box blank, it does not apply as I am not subscribed to the diary feature on the DSA website. This feature is used to see if an instructor is busy on the day and time of your chosen test date. However, I do not subscribe to this feature, so just leave the box blank.
Please also see the section in this online guide titled “When Will I Be Ready For My Practical Driving Test”, before booking a driving test.
5. Lesson Prices & Fees
Pay in Advance payments must be paid in one lump sum payment in advance to qualify.
Please note there is a minimum lesson booking duration of 60 minutes.
- £55.00 Driving Test Appointment (2 hours)
Driving tests include pick-up, and drop-off, test advice and preparation, use of tuition vehicle for the test, and detailed end of test debrief. (Please note this fee does NOT cover the test booking fee paid to the DVSA)
Lee’s Driver Training specialises in providing high quality lessons on a weekly basis only.
Regrettably Lee’s Driver Training no longer offers Intensive or Semi-intensive courses.
FREE Online access to Theory Test Pro
For qualifying pupils of Lee's Driver Training you have FREE access to my online theory test and hazard perception test study program, allowing you to study and practise for your theory test. This can be done on your PC, Mac, and your mobile, in fact anywhere you have internet access. All I require is your email address so I can add you to the system, and so you get sent the instructions on how to access it.
If you do not qualify for free Theory Test Pro access due to the number of lessons you are currently taking each month, speak to me, you can also pay £2.00 a month directly to me to receive access. - See my terms and conditions of business for more details.
6. Payment Methods & Cancelling A Lesson
You can pay for your lessons in advance, or at the beginning of each individual lesson, using any of the three methods below:-
Credit or Debit card in car at the start of the lesson using my in car card payment terminal.
Bitcoin – speak to me in person should you wish to pay by this method.
Regrettably I do not accept cheques
Cancelling A Lesson Appointment.
Hopefully you will never have the need to cancel a lesson appointment. However, should the need arise, please provide a minimum of 24 hours notice to me by telephone or text message.
Pupils Taking Weekly Lessons
Lesson Cancellation Policy:-
£10 charge – If cancelled with less than 60 minutes notice before the start of your lesson.
£10 charge - If cancelled on the day of your lesson, but with more than 60 minutes to go before the start of your lesson, and this is the second or more “late notice cancellation” this current calendar month.
No charge – If cancelled on the day of your lesson, but with more than 60 minutes to go before the start of your lesson, and this is the FIRST “late notice cancellation” this current calendar month.
No charge – if 24 hours or more notice is given.
(see terms and conditions of business for full details)
7. When Will I Be Ready For My Driving Test?
It is a given that you all want to take and pass your practical driving test as soon as possible. As an instructor it is my job to prepare you for the driving test, but more importantly, equip you with the ability to drive not just on the test, but safely, in a wide variety of conditions for the rest of your life. It is no good if you can only deal with simple quiet roads, but not busy congested town traffic, you must be able to deal with ALL conditions.
The UK practical driving test is of a high standard, and the only way to pass it is to be able to drive consistently to a high standard. The number one reason for failing the driving test, is taking it too early when you are just not ready for it. Not only does this then knock your confidence, but it is also a costly affair. With the driving test currently priced at £62 for a weekday test, and the hire of my vehicle for two hours for use with the test at £55, that is £117. Do you really want to gamble that much money on the hope you may be ready?
The use of the Pupil Progress Record, as well as the Topic Achievement Record will give you an idea of when you are reaching that standard. When you are consistently achieving a score of 5 (independent level) on each of the areas, and each topic has been “signed off” by me, we both know that you are ready for the test.
When we are approaching that standard, I will conduct a role play mock test with you using the same criteria as the DVSA's own test. If you can achieve a score of 10 minor driving faults or less, with no serious or dangerous faults recorded, you are ready to take the test. Regrettably, for safety, legal, and professional competency reasons, I wont present pupils for test, or allow them to use my car for the test, until we can achieve the score mentioned above.
The reason for this is on a test you are expected to drive without instruction, or any prompting whatsoever. This means it is up to you, the pupil, to assess dangerous situations and use the skills you have learnt and been practising, to drive safely and with confidence on a variety of roads without endangering other road users, yourself, or damaging my vehicle. It is only when you can achieve the above mentioned score on a mock test, that we can both feel comfortable and confident that you will be able to perform to this level on a real driving test.
On a driving test you are allowed 15 minor driving faults and still pass the test. If you reach 16 minor faults, or receive one serious, or one dangerous fault, you will fail.
If you would like a statement of test readiness for yourself, or for your parents or guardian, I can provide you with a written report detailing your current state of test readiness.
IMPORTANT - PLEASE DO NOT BOOK A PRACTICAL DRIVING TEST, OR ASK TO USE MY VEHICLE FOR A TEST, UNLESS WE HAVE CONDUCTED A MOCK TEST, AND YOU HAVE REACHED THE STANDARD OUTLINED ABOVE. IF A PUPIL BOOKS A DRIVING TEST AGAINST MY ADVICE, OR WISHES TO TAKE A DRIVING TEST BEFORE A MOCK TEST HAS BEEN CONDUCTED AND PASSED WITH A SATISFACTORY SCORE, THEN THE USE OF MY VEHICLE WILL BE REFUSED!
If you have your own vehicle or access to another vehicle, you are welcome to take your test in that vehicle at any time, even if you have not reached the above standard, however, for safety reasons, I would strongly recommend waiting until you have reached the above standard.
8. Mirrors Recap
Why are the mirrors so important? We use the mirrors to help us make decisions about how and when to make changes to our position on the road. If we do not check the mirrors we could cause an accident, or worse yet, be involved in one!
The mirrors form part of the MSPSL routine. (Mirrors, Signal, Position, Speed, Look) it is therefore important that we know how to use them, knowing which mirrors to check, and when to check.
The mirrors should be adjusted and set during the Cockpit drill whenever we get in the car BEFORE we move off and begin to drive.
The middle/interior mirror is the most important mirror as it is made of flat glass and so provides us with a true image of what is going on behind the vehicle. The two door mirrors are made of convex glass to provide a wider angle of vision around the sides of the car, but thus make things look smaller and further away. It is therefore important that we ALWAYS check the middle/interior mirror first before all others, so we can get an accurate picture of what is going on around us. NEVER make a decision based on information from the door mirrors alone.
Moving away from the kerb (parked position)/After an Emergency Stop
6 – point mirrors and blind-spot checks, all mirrors.
New Road/New Lane
All three mirrors, starting with middle mirror
Turning Left/Changing Lanes to the Left/Going round a left hand bend/Stopping on the Left
Middle and left mirrors
Turning Right/Changing Lanes to the Right/Going round a right hand bend
Middle and Right mirrors
Changing Gears/Speeding up/Slowing down
Exiting The Vehicle
Left or Right door mirror, depending on whether you are the driver or a passenger
Moving Out Around A Parked Vehicle
Middle and right mirrors
Moving Back in After Passing A Parked Vehicle
Middle and left mirrors
Approaching a Pedestrian Crossing/Set of Traffic Lights/Railway Crossing
All three mirrors, starting with the middle mirror
9. Lesson Recaps
Whenever we get into the car we need to carry out the cockpit drill before we drive away or start the engine.
DOOR – Make sure all doors are fully closed, especially if you are carrying passengers.
HANDBRAKE – Make sure the hand brake (sometimes called the parking brake) is fully applied – give it a tug.
SEAT – Make sure your seat is fully adjusted for the most comfortable and convenient position for yourself, don't forget to set and adjust the head restraint.
MIRRORS - Make sure you have set and adjusted all mirrors correctly for your use.
GEARS – Make sure you check that the gear stick is in the neutral position.
SEATBELT – Make sure you put on your seat belt, and ensure that anyone under the age of 14 in the car with you is wearing theirs, this is the last thing to do before starting the engine.
M – Mirrors, check all necessary mirrors/and or blind spots to see what is happening.
S – Signal, give a signal by applying your left or right indicator if it is necessary.
P – Position, move the car to the new position that is required.
S – Speed, adjust your speed by either speeding up, or braking and slowing down, and change gears if necessary for what you are about to do.
L – Look, look ahead of you, or out the back window if you are reversing to double check it is ok to do whatever you are about to do.
Steering – Use the “pull -push” technique to feed the wheel around shuffling from one hand to the other, from 12 O'clock, to 6 O'clock. Do NOT cross your hands.
Pedals – From right to left we have A B C Accelerator/gas, Brake, Clutch.
Right foot for brake pedal and gas pedal. Left foot on the clutch pedal. Pivot your right foot from the brake to the gas pedal. Try to keep your heel on the floor when we use the pedals, pivoting your whole foot by your heel.
10. Gear Ranges
Every car is different, depending upon your engine size, but each car has a gear ratio, which is the ideal speed for each gear. There is some overlap between the ratios on most cars, but throughout our lessons will we be using my vehicle, so it is important that we know and understand which gear is suitable for use at certain speeds.
1st gear – This is the most powerful gear and is used to get the car moving from a stationary position. The speed range for 1st gear is 0 – 10 mph.
2nd gear - is a power building gear used to increase our speed, and we should aim to get to 2nd gear as quickly as possible, remembering that 1st gear is JUST to get the car moving. The speed range for 2nd gear is 10 – 20mph.
3rd gear - is a power building gear used to increase our speed, and we should aim to get to 3rd gear as quickly as possible. The speed range for 3rd gear is 20 – 30mph.
4th gear – Is our cruise gear, and is the optimal gear, and the one we should try to get to most often when we have reached cruising speed. This is what we call “Eco driving” Economical – saves us fuel and thus money.
Ecological – gives us the best performance from our engine so the engine lasts longer and wont need as many repairs, as the engine is operating at is optimal performance in 4th gear, we are not putting out as much gasses and polluting as much.
The speed range for 4th gear is 27 – 45mph.
5th gear – is our high speed cruise gear, and is designed for motorway use or when we are on dual carriageways, or on roads with a speed limit of 50mph or more.
The speed range for 5th gear is 45mph and above.
Reverse – and finally reverse gear is for reversing the car backwards, when in reverse we should stay at 10mph or less.
11. Visual Aids
|Stopping On The Right|
|Stopping On The Left|
|Emerging From T-Junctions|
|Crossroads - Emerging - Drivers Door To Drivers Door|
|Crossroads - Emerging - Passenger Door To Passenger Door|