Should I get driving lessons?
14 Jun 2018
You may be wondering if driving lessons are for you? You may be a younger Australian looking to get your driver's licence for the first time, an overseas licence holder needing to transfer your driver's licence or even an experienced driver looking to refresh your skills or learn how to drive a manual vehicle.
There are some things you MUST do to legally drive on Australian roads, you must pass your road rules theory test and you must pass your driving test. Professional driving lessons are entirely optional.
SHOULD you get driving lessons though? Will you be a better, safer driver? Will you you save time and money? How many lessons should you get and what will they cost? Will driving lessons help you pass the driving test?
Our blog ‘the number 1 reason people fail the driving test’, highlighted that only 58% of driving tests attempted in NSW in 2017 resulted in a PASS. The pass rates for test resits are significantly worse.
How would the pass rates of learners who got driving lessons compare to the learners who didn’t? We know that learners who use an EzLicence instructor have a pass rate of about 90%, we also know that most other driving instructors claim a similar pass rate. So if the overall pass rate is just 58% and yet people who get driving lessons PASS at a much higher rate, what does this mean for the pass rates of people who don’t get driving lessons? We’d take an educated guess that it is well under 50%.
What is the role of a driving instructor?
A driving instructor's role is to teach you new skills whilst also building your overall confidence on the road. A driving instructor will aim to teach you safe driving habits that will last a lifetime. They are also very keen for you to pass your driving test first time.
The first task of your driving instructor is to assess your current experience, skills & confidence. They will then tailor driving lessons to suit you and recommend the amount of driving lessons you will likely need.
Over a series of lessons, your driving instructor can take you from your very first time sitting behind the steering wheel, right through to navigating complex traffic out on the road. Your lessons will progress in complexity at a pace that fits your confidence and skill levels. Your instructor will advise when you are ready to pass the driving test.
A driving instructor should provide a calm & safe learning environment, one that enhances your capacity to learn more quickly, safely and effectively.
What happens if I don’t get driving lessons?
You may choose to learn solely with a non-professional supervisor. In most cases a parent, family member or friend. Whilst your supervisor will play a key role in building your experience & getting your log book hours up, they are not a professional driving instructor and not well placed to teach you the correct techniques required to pass the driving test.
As we discussed earlier, of all driving tests attempted in NSW in 2017, only 58% resulted in a PASS. There is a signifcant amount of evidence to suggest that people who don’t get driving lessons fail their test at a far higher rate.
Choosing to not involve a professional driving instructor in your learning to drive journey gives you a much higher chance of failing your driving test. How will you know what the testing officer is looking for? How will you demonstrate the correct techniques? Simply being able to maneuver a vehicle is not nearly enough.
So what does failing your driving test mean to you? You will have wasted the fees to sit the test and the significant time and effort getting to the test location and sitting the test. You may have had to organise someone to come with you, their time has been wasted also. You will have to repeat the process if you fail.
Why are you getting your licence? Is it about employment or education opportunities? Perhaps your goals are more social and recreational? What is the cost to not passing the test? It’s worth remembering that a failed test builds further anxiety, and test resit failure rates are much higher than first attempts.
Will a series of driving lessons ‘cost’ you money? Or, are they actually an investment that can save a whole heap of wasted time and money, not to mention the anxiety.
How much do driving lessons cost?
The cost of driving lessons varies across Australia and even across suburbs within our cities. We have seen prices that range from $45 to $95 per hour. We’d be very wary of anyone charging $45 per hour for a driving lesson and you certainly don’t need to be spending as much as $95 per hour. We’d say the sweet spot of value for money vs quality sits in the range of $60 - $75 per hour.
To save money you should consider buying a package of lessons. You will be able to save anywhere from 5% - 20%, depending how many lessons you purchase. If you have never held a licence before you should also register for the keys2drive program, this will give you one free driving lesson for you and your supervisor.
To find out our driving lesson prices click here.
How many driving lessons should I get?
The answer to this question depends on your driving experience, aptitude & goals. Additionally, are you simply trying to pass the test or are you seeking to build confidence and life long skills?
Our research suggests that on average learners complete 7 to 10 driving lessons with an instructor. The ‘average’ includes a large portion of people who commit to 10-20 driving lessons, it also includes a large group of people that only get 1-3 driving lessons.
If you have never driven before, we suggest you commit to 10 driving lessons. For most people this is enough to get them to a confident and safe position to continue driving with their supervisor (parents, family, friends etc), and also pass their driving test. For some people, 10 lessons is not enough, your driving instructor will be able to gauge your skills and provide advice on your needs.
There are some people who only get 1-3 driving lessons. This includes people who are experienced drivers converting an international licence or people who haven’t driven for quite some time. It can also include confident younger learners who have driven extensively under supervision on their L plates who are looking to polish up for the driving test.
How to find a good driving instructor?
If you don’t already have a strong recommendation from a family member or friend, how do you find a good driving instructor?
Most people these days will search online. Unfortunately most driving school websites do not provide information about their driving instructors, in most cases you will get no say in who teaches you. They of course will make various claims about the quality of their teaching and driving test pass rates.
The world is changing fast and whilst driving schools have been slow to adapt, there are now websites that allow you to choose & book your own instructor online. The amount of information you have access to can vary greatly.
Here at EzLicence we provide access to the largest number of driving instructors in Australia. We have built our business from the ground up with the learner driver and their parents in mind. We seek to provide as much information as is possible to allow you to make an educated decision. We have also validated the credentials of all our instructors and we monitor all learner feedback.
We let you review driving instructor characteristics, including:
Bio - experience & teaching approach
Learner ratings & reviews
Languages & accreditations
Price & real time availability
Getting driving lessons is always your choice, we believe there is a strong argument that engaging a professional should not be considered a ‘cost’, more a wise investment in your independence and safety.