Terms and Conditions.

1. It is expected that pupils will have regular lessons, normally at least one a week.

2. In the event of a pupil having to cancel, postpone or otherwise alter a lesson time, two clear days notice must be given; otherwise the lesson fee will be forfeited. (The two days does not include a Sunday, or Public Holiday). Driving test bookings take precedence over normal lesson appointments.

3. The Instructor reserves the right to withdraw the use of the Instructor’s car for the driving test, if the pupil is clearly below test standard. Sufficient time will be given to postpone the test without loss of test fee.

4. If a pupil joins with a test already booked, the use of the Instructor’s car for the test will be at the discretion of the Instructor. At least seven lessons must be taken prior to a driving test.

5. Before the first lesson is taken, the pupil must produce, and show the Instructor, a valid provisional or other appropriate driving licence.

6. When booking lessons the pupil declares that they are not precluded from driving due to any court judgement.

7. When booking lessons, pupils must disclose any physical disability which affects their driving and demonstrate they can read a standard car number plate at a distance of 20.5 metres, (67 feet).

8. The agreed lesson price is subject to change, but at least 4 weeks notice will be given of any price increase.

Frequently asked questions.

 

If you have any questions, do email us and we will add your question to this list.

Why are driving lessons so expensive?

·         The simple answer to that question is, ‘they are not’, but to quote a famous trial in the 1960s, “He would say that wouldn’t he”. ·         

·         You need to consider it seriously though. Any form of one to one tuition costs money. Group lessons such as swimming lessons, orchestra lessons even private school fees are cheaper per hour as the cost is shared. But take a quick look at private music lessons, horse riding lessons, sport lessons, subject specific tutoring for GCSEs or A levels. You will struggle to find any of these, with a good quality tutor, cheaper than driving lessons, and yet good quality driver training has a direct effect on your future safety. The others are luxuries. Even an hour long taxi ride will cost you more.    

·         Taking up driving should not be done lightly. After ownership of a house, owing a car is often considered the second biggest expense. Prepare yourself for the insurance. Always shop around, but to insure a newly qualified 17 year old currently averages out at about £2000, and if you don’t remain crash free, it is likely to go up.

·         When you look deeper, you find out that the ‘lessons bit’ is actually comparatively cheaper than it has ever been. Hour long driving lessons used to cost about the same as the 40 minute driving test, which currently stands at £62 and it has not increased in price for several years.

·         Before the driving test existed, (1935), car owners taught themselves, and the crash rate was horrific. There are still some who feel they can teach themselves as they feel that learning to drive is simply about operating the car. There is still an old cliché going around, “you pass your test then learn to drive”. That approach is one of a number of reasons that there are still approximately 6 people killed and 63 seriously injured on British roads every day. The standard of driving out there is mediocre at best, with many boasting that they passed with only a few lessons. If they have remained safe since then, that is excellent news, but potentially down to some luck. It is therefore surprising when some parents want their children to hurry and take the test, and therefore subject them to the dangers whilst relying on that same ‘luck’. Modern driver training goes way beyond the simple operation of the machine. It is about giving new drivers tools to remain safe.

·         One, non injury crash, is likely to cost several hundred pounds at very least. That could pay for quite a few extra hours of training that could have helped to prevent the crash from ever happening.

·         If you don’t feel you have a good quality instructor, change, but do not scrimp on lessons.

 

·         Do I need a licence?

·         If you wish to drive on the public highway, yes, it is a legal requirement to have a licence. See ‘Getting Started’ in order to apply for this. Whilst learning, this will be a Provisional Licence, and when you have passed your driving test, this will be changed to a Full Licence. As you can see on this website, however, we run a number of courses that are off the public highway, at Dunsfold Aerodrome, and for these courses, no licence is required. They are usually aimed at the under 17s, but can easily be tailored to suit the over 17s if necessary.

 

·         How long are the lessons?

·         Lessons are normally 1 hour long. Some schools recommend 2 hour lessons, but we believe that 2 hours is too long for a new driver. Studies have shown that the human brain works best for about 45 minutes when learning a new skill, so that would suggest the second hour would be less effective. If, however, the lesson was travelling some distance, (e.g. home to college), extra time may be needed for this. As a student nears the required standard for taking the Driving Test, 1 or 2 double lessons will be recommended to help improve the length of concentration, and to carry out mock tests with time for feedback.

 

·         Does it matter that I have never driven before? 

·         To be honest, it is easier for us if you have never driven before. An actor on the TV show ‘Casualty’, once asked a real doctor, ‘having played a doctor for several years, do you think I now know enough to be a real doctor?’ The doctor replied, ‘No. You now know enough to be really dangerous.’    

·         If you come to us with some experience, of course that is fine. We can look at your driving, congratulate you on what is working, and help you to identify and improve what isn’t.     

·         If you come to us with no experience, we can start at the beginning and work at your pace.

 

·         Does it matter that I am nervous?

·         Not at all. We never shout, and we will go at your pace. Look at our motto.

 

·         Do I need insurance?

·         The simple answer is ‘yes’. Make sure that whoever is driving the vehicle is insured to drive it. It would be utterly foolish to drive without insurance, even if it were not a legal requirement, which of course it is. If you are driving with us, of course, the vehicles are fully comprehensively insured for any driver, with up to £20 million of public liability.

 

·         Does your car have dual controls?     

·         Yes. In the early stages, there is no way we would teach without them. Dual controls consist of brake and clutch. We can therefore easily take control of the car in case of danger. The only thing we can’t do is make the car go faster.

 

·         When should I take my test? 

·         Not a simple answer at this stage. The English Driving test holds almost mythical status. There are so many stories amongst the general public about what you can and can’t do; what you should or shouldn’t do on your test. So many people think they know, when in fact, their own experience was either a brief 30 to 40 minute drive several years ago with someone holding a clipboard, or if they failed, a second or third, slightly bitter drive with someone holding a clipboard. They still feel qualified, however, to offer advice and talk about ‘bad habits’ without really knowing what they even mean by the term and yet a very common sentence said by qualified drivers is, “oh I couldn’t pass my driving test now.”

 

·         The existence of this 83 year old ritual is due to government intervention with regard to a frightening statistic that was rapidly growing. In 1934, (the year before the test was introduced), well over 7000 road related fatalities were recorded, with only about 2 million cars on the road. That was approximately 20 a day. Today there are roughly 15 times as many cars on the road, but thankfully, there are not 15 times as many fatalities (partly due to the introduction of this test of competence to drive). That would be around 105,000 per year, or 280 per day. 

·         So perhaps its good news that the figure is only about 5 per day, (using 2016 figures). Well good news unless of course you or a loved one, or a friend, are one of those 5. There are also 23,000 serious injuries though. Every one of those fatalities and serious injuries is preventable. They are almost all caused by poor driving. Just think for a second how dreadful it is therefore, that a person in charge of a machine that kills more people in this country than guns, might say, “oh I couldn’t pass my driving test now.”

·         The test is nothing special. It is simply the basic minimum requirement.

·         With that in mind, no driver should EVER present themselves for a test, unless they are ready. You might hear people say things like, “I’ll just do it for the experience”, “Most people fail first time”, “I don’t mind if I fail first time”, “I might get lucky”, “Hopefully the examiner will be nice and ‘pass’ me”. To be honest, examiners do not ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ candidates. They simply mark what the candidate shows them. If a good standard is shown, then a pass certificate is issued. If it is not, then no certificate is issued. It is not a slot machine. You can’t just keep pulling the handle until it comes up a ‘pass’. You are not hoping that you will do it right, you are demonstrating that you do.

·         The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, (the DVSA), constantly reviews the advice they give, the teaching of driving, and the quality of the test. The current, English driving test is one of the best in the world. It is as real as possible, in real road conditions with a very real general public, and whilst it is the best we have, in today’s England it is really not fit for purpose. The 63 people seriously injured per day would agree with that. The least we can do as drivers it to strive to be the best we can.

·         As the law stands, your driving Instructor can only advise you. He or she cannot prevent you taking a test. If you have a suitable vehicle, you can present yourself. If your instructor feels you are not ready however, they should tell you, and you will not be able to use their car. At the very least they are trying to save you money, but more significantly, the concern is for the safety of the examiner, the public and you the driver. There is also the reputation of the instructor presenting you. If an instructor presents a candidate, he is saying, “I feel this person is ready to drive unaccompanied”. If they are not ready, but they, “get lucky”, have an uneventful test and pass, they are then at a statistically high risk of a crash involving injury within the first 6 months, so in reality they are not ‘lucky’ at all.

·         An 18-year-old driver is more than three times as likely to be involved in a crash as a 48 year-old

·         One in five new drivers has a crash within six months of passing their test

Please give this a lot of thought.

 

 

What are the 'Show and Tell' Questions?


1.    When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?

2.    When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?

3.    When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?

4.    When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?

5.    When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?

6.    When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?

7.    When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?

1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

2. Tell me where you’d find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.

Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

3. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain how you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights). Using Hazard warning lights is easiest.

8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.

Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.

9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made.

Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

11. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.

Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

12. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.

13. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.

Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

14. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.

 


 

What is PASS PLUS?

Pass Plus is a 6 hour course designed to give newly qualified drivers a head start on a safe driving career. The subjects covered are:

·         Town Driving

·         Out of town Driving

·         All weather driving

·         Night Driving

·         Dual Carriageways

·         Motorways

In many cases, the driver who has just passed his or her test finds it very difficult to see the benefit of further tuition, so it is worth considering 2 things.

The likelihood of a new driver having a crash in the first 500 miles of their driving career is statistically very high, so Pass Plus aims to address this and explore the reasons why.

Some insurance companies offer a reduction in the premium which can more than pay for the cost of the tuition itself.