Driving lessons can be expensive but there are a number of ways you can save money!
Book 5 driving lessons or more to get a discount, this offer is very popular everywhere among driving schools, Ballymena included, you can pay for driving lessons in advance to get discounts.
The downside of block booking is that if you are not happy with your driving instructor, you might get stuck with them until you have taken all the hours.
The solution is to take the 1st one or two driving lessons at the pay as you go rate, when you are sure that you are happy with your driving instructor block book the next 5 driving lessons and get a discount, your driving instructor will be more than happy to do this.
Many driving schools are offering free driving lessons nowadays, usually the first driving lesson, or two for one offers.
Always ask how long the driving lesson lasts as the free driving lessons may only last 45 minutes and not the standard one hour.
If you do not know what to expect on your first driving lesson you may wish to consider the following.
If you have never driven a car before, it is very important that you are properly introduced to necessary safety precautions and how to set the car up correctly for you to drive, you also need to be introduced to the main controls of the car, what they do, how to use them correctly and what instructions your driving instructor will use to communicate with you throughout the course of your driving lessons.
It may also be necessary to introduce you to some of the ancillary controls, depending on the conditions, for example - if it is raining, you will need to know how to operate the windscreen wipers!
It is not always necessary to cover every single ancillary control as they can be introduced at a later date more effectively, as and when they are needed.
All of the above can usually be satisfactorily covered in well under one hour, including time for some practise.
If you have driven a car before and are confident that you can locate, identify and operate each of the cars main controls you should not have to go over every detail again, it should just be a matter of your driving instructor asking a few questions to test your knowledge, and correcting any misunderstandings.
At the early stages of the learning to drive process it may be necessary for your driving instructor to drive a short distance to a suitable location before allowing you to get behind the wheel.The distance will depend on where you are picked up, and if there is a suitable location nearby.
The short drive should be used as a demonstration drive.When learning to drive demonstration drives can be very beneficial but when this is overdone it can also be a waste of time and money, your time and money!
You can only learn so much from the passenger seat.You are paying for a driving lesson! You should be driving as much as possible!
Your driving instructor should not be doing most of the driving and should normally not have to drive for miles to find a suitable location.
Almost every driving school in Ballymena offers a free local pick up service.You may want to consider the best place to get picked up.
If you live 15 minutes outside Ballymena and your driving lessons are at the stage where you need experience in town driving, the time spent travelling (30 minutes) is not going to be much benefit.
The best value solution might be to get picked up from work or school, or you may sometimes have other reasons to be in Ballymena. Why not make arrangements with your driving instructor to get picked up in town?
When you study for the theory test it is important to use the most up to date materials including the latest edition of The Official Highway Code for Northern Ireland.
Not all driving schools offer this free service, those who do can save you time and money by suppling all the relevant study materials to prepare you for the theory/hazard perception test.Books, discs, official highway code and questionnaires are free to take home as long as they are returned in good condition when you pass the theory test.
Remember to discuss any difficulties you may be having with your driving instructor each time you meet. The benefits of using this free service are,that you can be sure the materials you are using are latest editions to prepare you fully to pass the theory test first time.
Be sure to take the preparation for the theory test seriously, it is an important part of becoming a safe and confident road user.
Read the highway code thoroughly to understand the rules and explanations.Aim to pass first time as failure results in the expense of another test fee and the time spent waiting for another test date.
Driving schools love referrals! it is the most effective way to gain customers.
If you have friends who also want to learn to drive, ask your driving instructor about referral rewards.
When you recommend a friend to your driving instructor, you and your friend each receive a discount.
The more friends you can recommend, the more money you save on your driving lessons!
A standard driving lesson lasts for one hour but this does not always have to be the case.
Many driving schools will offer discounts for longer driving lessons, if you pay as you go for your driving lessons, ask your driving instructor about longer driving lessons and what discounts are available.
Private practise can be a massive benefit as long as every outing is treated as a driving lesson.
Family or friends who are at least 21 years old and have held a full driving licence for three years or more can supervise you while you practise.The car you use must be road legal, taxed and insured for you to drive.
Care needs to be taken in case bad driving habits are being developed, any misunderstandings should be discussed with your driving instructor.
Try not to be tempted to take the practical driving test or theory test until you are sure you are fully prepared, your driving instructor is aware of the standard needed to pass, and should guide you in relation to areas that are not up to the required standard.
It is better to take an extra driving lesson to deal with an area you may be weak in, than chance that weakness being exposed on test resulting in failure. Re-tests cost more money!
Safe driving should be considered a skill for life and not just to pass a test, aquiring a full driving licence can be expensive, but it also opens a wide range of opportunities and places the licence holder in a position of responsibility to other road users and also the law.
Learning to drive should be enjoyable, who you choose to take you through this experience will not only effect how much money it is going to cost, but also how enjoyable and how successful your experience will be in the end, this is why it is important to choose a driving instructor that is right for you!