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to change driving instructor?

41 replies

Youcanringmybell · 06/06/2013 14:56

All these threads about driving today...

I am on my 7th lesson and I made great progress initially but my last lesson went terribly. My instructor is of the mind that it is best to say very little to me in the way of guidance and let me get on with it.

Surprise surprise when I get things wrong he will seem frustrated with me and laugh with his frustration. These things include:

  1. I may slow down at a roundabout too much because I do not yet have the experience to know if I have the time to pull out.

2. I may not drive to the full speed limit.
3. Occasional stalling at a junction where I have only had to stop briefly and I am not quite 'quick' enough with my feet yet.

I am getting WORSE not better because I spend most of my time panicking about what he is thinking/ saying and because he thinks I know things that I do not Sad I am not confident and I have told him this.

I am thinking of changing instructors...AIBU?? Or is he doing what he is supposed to in kind of 'forcing' me into pressure to make me deal with it.
OP posts:

Pootles2010 · 06/06/2013 15:01

The thing is, there is no right instructor for everyone. His method will work for some, but obviously not him. You have told him, he has not changed, so change instructors.

You are paying too much for this not to work for you.


FudgeyCookie · 06/06/2013 15:19

I would change, in fact I did and now I love learning. I'm not afraid to ask for him to explain it again and now I'm so much more confident!

Do it, and find the right one for you!


Musicaltheatremum · 06/06/2013 15:20

My daughter had a driving instructor like this who made her worried. We changed, (within the same company) next one was lovely and her driving improved very quickly. You are paying for this so yes change.


Youcanringmybell · 06/06/2013 16:13

I have two more lessons with him that I have paid for.
I was feeling very ill yesterday with vague pains in my chest and palpitations at the thought of driving again.
I was like this initially - got over it and began to enjoy it. Now if feel awful again. He seems to have expected it all to have 'clicked' with me and as it hasn't - he is getting frustrated with me.

I have had 6 full lessons on 1.5 hours. Is it me?
I have a lesson soon and I am pretty upset. My husband is just telling me to get on with it. He is one of those people that could just drive as soon as he started Envy

OP posts:

Vagndidit · 06/06/2013 16:29

I just had my 15 th lesson yesterday and only now are things beginning to click for me. I remember having an absolutely awful lesson around #7, involving roundabouts. I panicked, was nearly rear ended, and he went mental... Beating a dead horse for the next 10 minutes about what I shouldn't have done. I bloody well knew right away I had screwed up, thanks so his badgering just reduced me to tears by that point.

I'm still with him however too lazy to find a new one because after that horrific lesson I also had my very best which has made a world of difference to my confidence. Plus he's started to just shut up and let me get on with it.

But if you have someone else in mind, do change. I made the mistake of prepaying for 10 hours just prior to the point of my screw up, otherwise Id have looked elsewhere. I felt i had too much time and money invested to switch.


Youcanringmybell · 06/06/2013 16:35

Oh Vag Sad Sounds bloody awful! I am amazed you stayed. I can understand if it we 20 lessons down the line but he had on me on roundabouts in traffic on my third lesson. I have had enough of the pressure but I MUST learn. I have no choice anymore.

OP posts:

rubiesandpearls · 06/06/2013 16:37

I would change. You need to be 100% confident and comfortable with your instructor or you will never pass!


Pancakeflipper · 06/06/2013 16:38


You need one that suits you and how you learn. Don't put pressure on yourself about how many lessons you have. People learn a different rates and in different ways.


FobblyWoof · 06/06/2013 16:40

Just remember that if you switch you won't be back to square one. You'll still remember what he's already taught you and you ca take tha forward.

As someone said u thread his teaching method may work for some but it sounds like its not for you. As a driver you need to learn to be confident (without beng arrogant) behind the wheel, and your nervousness may continue after you pass your test, which you don't want.


angelos02 · 06/06/2013 16:42

It doesn't matter how many lessons you've had - they should adapt their teaching technique to the progress each individual is making. Especially as instructors aren't cheap. The last thing you need to be concerned about when learning is what he is thinking.


OrangeFireandGoldashes · 06/06/2013 16:48

Definitely change. As others have said, he will suit some but not others and his style of teaching clearly doesn't suit you. I first tried an instructor who I found downright creepy (sat stroking my hand after I had a wobble and had to pull in ) and changed to an older female who couldn't have been more patient and encouraging, with whom I passed - and who I'm still in touch with, 25 years later!

Do you know anyone who is currently having lessons or recently passed with another instructor, who could give some insights into their teaching style before you change?


IfNotNowThenWhen · 06/06/2013 16:49

Change. I loved my 4th(!) driving took me 3 wrong ones to get to him! He has had mental illness, to do with anxiety, which sounds bad, but it wasn't because he totally GOT my anxiety, and had strategies for dealing with it. I could also just go " I dont understaaaand!" and he would explain again, patiently, in a different way.His method was,that people learn in different ways, so he would try and tailor his teaching accordingly. But,as i say, i had tried 3 others!


Youcanringmybell · 06/06/2013 16:51

Thank you everyone. I am going out in a couple of hours for my lesson. I will then do a little research and try another instructor.

I cannot stay with this man. I cannot think how I would feel if I caused an accident because I am being forced to do things I am not yet safe doing.

I just hope I manage to get through this next lesson Shock
I feel sick.

OP posts:

SarahAndFuck · 06/06/2013 16:59

Change if you are not happy.

My first instructor only lasted a few lessons because he used to say things like "Squeeze the gears like you squeeze your boyfriend" and it scared me. I was only 18 and he gave me the creeps. He also made me circle a large but not busy roundabout while holding my wrist to keep one hand in the air. And made me reverse along a private road for one full mile, then turn around in a cul-de-sac bit at the end and reverse back along it with my eyes closed and him directing me.

The next instructor seemed to be completely disinterested in teaching me anything and just used my lessons as a chance to ferry his children about to and from various after school activities.

The third instructor was brilliant right from the start and she was the one I passed my test with.

An hour in a car with a stranger is a long time if they put you on edge for any reason.


Youcanringmybell · 06/06/2013 17:03

Bloody hell Sarah - I have it good compared to you Shock

Yes it is a loooooooooooong driving lesson. I have seized up hands and cramp from being so tense.

I hope I don't see him again after I change...he might get cross!!

OP posts:

SarahAndFuck · 06/06/2013 17:06

Do you have any friends who have recently learned to drive? Can they recommend anyone?

I don't know if it made a difference that my good instructor was a woman, but we clicked right away and feeling so relaxed made all the difference in the world to my confidence in the car.


Imnotaslimjim · 06/06/2013 17:07

i'm also learning to drive and have been very, very lucky that I have found one that I've just "clicked" with. If you don't feel its right, move on. As a pp said, you're paying too much money to be wasting it on it not working

Its a shame you've 2 lessons left from a block. I would consider explaining that you have a clash of personalities and ask for a refund so you can move on


OrangeFireandGoldashes · 06/06/2013 17:09

If he gets cross, it's just further proof that you were right to change. These people are in business. Their "product" (style of teaching) is on sale and not everyone is going to like what they're selling. A decent driving instructor will accept that a small proportion of clients will move on for one reason or another. Someone who gets cross or annoyed is clearly too arrogant to understand or acknowledge that! He could have prevented you moving by adapting his teaching style and responding to you raising your concerns over lack of confidence. He chose not to do that. You're now exercising your choice - as a paying customer - to find someone who will. He'll probably be fine about it as it's par for the course in that line of work, but if he isn't, he only has himself to blame - not you!


Youcanringmybell · 06/06/2013 17:22

I do not know anyone that has learned to drive recently Sarahfuck - I am on the wrong side of 30 Grin

I may go for a female instructor just so that I will feel less intimidated perhaps?

But you are all right, I am paying a small fortune and if he cannot see that I am out of my depth he isn't a great instructor for me.

Fingers crossed I make it through the next lesson without crying. I will speak up tonight though if I feel like a danger.

OP posts:

Sallystyle · 06/06/2013 17:24

I had my first lesson on Monday and my driving instructor is lovely. Very tasty too!!

I would change for sure.

I have a two hour lesson next week and I am nervous.


Youcanringmybell · 06/06/2013 17:34

Goodluck Samu - i hope your instructor continues to support you Smile

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OHforDUCKScake · 06/06/2013 17:35

Goodness, yes change! Mine never got frustrated or laughed, he was patient and supportive. If you happen to live in the south east then let me know!


OrangeFireandGoldashes · 06/06/2013 17:38

Maybe ask at the outset if you can spend the lesson practising manoeuvres? That means you'll spend less time on the road dealing with junctions, roundabouts and other drivers etc, but will still do something productive.


FiftyshadesofYoni · 06/06/2013 17:40

Just asked my dh, a driving instructor, and he says the golden rule is you should feel comfortable and relaxed with your instructor.

If you don't, it's not really conducive to learning.

If you're happy you'll learn, if not you'll waste your money and get nowhere.


Charlesroi · 06/06/2013 17:51

Just remember - you are paying him, not the other way around. If you don't understand something just ask him and insist on a bit of post-match analysis "what did I do wrong? How could I do it better?". You don't need or want his approval.

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