FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of questions I get asked often. The list will be an ongoing one with me adding to it whenever I can.

If you pay for a block of hours up front you have 1 year from the date of the initial payment to use up those hours.

T&C's Apply

I don't have a traditional waiting list no.

The reason being is that on a waiting list you really don't have any idea how long you'll be waiting. Its mainly because of the way the lists work.

Say you are 5th on the list. And the instructor is letting 1 in 1 out. So you have to wait for a test to pass for you to drop to 4th. Now that could be this Friday, or next month. If they fail their test, you remain at 5th in the queue until someone else passes where you will drop to 4th and the whole thing starts again.

You could be a couple of weeks or a couple of months, you have no idea.

The way I do mine is that I assume my students will pass EVERY time. I will book you in for the following week to someones test. So if I have someone on test the 1st week of September, you will be booked into the diary for the 2nd week of September. That way you have a start date, you can plan things and you know when you will be getting going. You can get your theory out the way, read up, check out some videos etc etc knowing when your start date is coming up.

The next person will then be booked in the week after the next test is booked in and so on and so on. This means everyone knows their start date well in advance and there is no guess work involved or aimlessly waiting around not knowing anything.

*so what if someone fails?

Well they do from time to time for various reasons. In this case my diary gets a whole lot busier for a couple of weeks until they pass their test. And for those a little more cynical out there, its never gotten to the point where I can't get someone in the diary. Sometimes those that can't book ahead very far (McDonalds employees etc) might struggle but there will always be a space available to you if you can do it.

Well there is the question, and I know to give this answer is a bit of a cop-out. But it really does depend on the individual. Everyone is different, each person learns at their own rate and even so much as their background and exposure to the activity of driving can make a difference. Been taken karting as a kid? Had a go in Tesco car park on the weekend with Dad while Mum was shopping? (Men, although not as good, can obviously do the shopping so that role may switch) It all adds to the learning and it all helps. Had a moped before? Huge advantage for road awareness and planning. So time wise….
The national average across the UK is 45 hours with a professional and 16 hours of private practice.
My personal average seems to be around the 34 hours mark with no private practice.

I don't shout about my prices simply because not many people ask for them. Most people come to me from referrals and as such know of my reputation and the service I give. If you like the sound of what I can offer, the level of service that I give and my reputation for getting people through their test, the price should be the last thing on your mind.
I will be honest and say if you're looking for the cheapest lessons because at this present time that’s what you can afford, I am unlikely to be your first choice. I believe like many things in life, you get what you pay for.
Consider the following as an example, please note these may not be current prices. It is an example only.

  • 45 hours at £20 / hour = £900
  • 34 hours at £24 / hour = £816

So although you may pay more per hour, you ultimately end up paying less in the end.
Also the price reflects what your instructor is worth in as far as his training and vehicle are. The instructors that keep up their knowledge and constantly try to better themselves will help you more than those that don’t. Also, some instructors use 2nd hand 100,000 mile cars and some use brand new high spec cars. While at first this may seem trivial, after all who cares what car you drive as long as it does the job right? Think of how reliable cars are after 10 years of driving. And how reliable new cars are now. Less breakdowns = less cancellations.

Feedback from my students shows that its mainly 2 things. 1 - I offer a great deal of service included in the lesson prices. 2 - I can mould myself to teach to individuals and their particular ways. I do this because I stay up to date with the industry and constantly find ways to train myself. New techniques, coaching methods and pushing myself to do further training and driving tests myself. This costs money and time, but I like to think it's worth it in the end. If I'm a better driver and trainer myself, then I can produce better drivers!

The 2 tests and the pass plus. The Theory Test costs £23 and the Practical Test costs £62. The pass plus if done through the councils Pass Plus Cymru Scheme costs £20.

No. Unfortunately it doesn't. You'll normally be using my car and we do a 2 hour session at the normal rate. You get almost an hour before the test to drive to the test centre and cover anything you want if time allows. Then the hire of the car for the duration of the test, then the lift home. Some instructors insist on more hours and some insist on asking for more money due to the risks involved once you get out on test. (The examiner won't stop you ramming the curb with my wheel. If you do and snap my alloy, it's up to me to replace it) I do neither. It is all covered in the costs of your lessons.

I don't normally allow this due to the distractions that it can cause. Also, I'm not into the whole teaching 2 people for the price of 1 situation either. Towards the end of your training / leading up to the test, we can take someone in the car to gain experience of the weight, distraction and feeling of having passengers of course. And parents / interested persons are always welcome at any time.

Absolutely not. It is your time that you have paid for. You get my whole attention. There will be no piggy-backing lessons. The only time 2 people will be in the car learning at the same time will be Pass Plus where we do a full days training with the 2 together at the same time. This is prearranged and the norm is 1 person doing Pass Plus alone.

As with the case above of friends in on lessons, past experience has shown that they can cause a lot of distraction while you are learning to drive. Yes, you will have to deal with them once you pass your test, but you'll be a whole lot more experienced and practiced by that point. Please try and arrange for children to be looked after whilst you are out on lessons. Also for the child to be stuck in the back being quiet for 2 hours is probably going to be very boring for them!

At the present time no. But this may change soon. Watch this space!

Well there are a couple of things I would recommend. Firstly do Pass Plus via the Pass Plus Cymru Scheme. This will give you a lot of information over and above what you covered on your lessons. When done right, the Pass Plus can be a very effective and worthwhile 6 hours. After that then I would really recommend trying for an advanced driving test. There are 3 main ones. The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and the DIAmond Advanced Test are both based on the same structure and core principles that the driving test is. These are the easiest to transition into from what you know. However the one I have done, and always recommend to my pupils is the RoSPA Advanced Driving Test. It is based on the knowledge found in Roadcraft. It is THE system of car control used by the police. Training for this is free once you join your local RoADAR group with the test fee the only real expense at the end.

Not quite. There are over 40 routes that I have come across so far that each take approx 35 minutes to complete. That is a lot of driving around and not much else. I will take you over some of the more complicated areas and junctions that you are likely to find. Briton Ferry roundabout for example is a unique roundabout and requires a little explaining. But ultimately driving is driving and wherever you go on your test, you won't care at that point. It's just a road in-front of you. Drive it.

You do at least 1 manoeuvre in reverse on test. Either Turn In the Road, Left Reverse, Parallel Park or Bay Park. Usually you only do the 1 though.

It lasts about 40 minutes. You get the following for definite;

  • 1 Reverse Manoeuvre
  • Uphill start
  • Angled start
  • 10 minutes independent driving
  • And possibly get if time allows, the Controlled Stop.

Quite a bit actually. A lot of it though is renamed to make it more up to date. For example;

  • Turn in the Road - was - 3 Point turn
  • Angled start - pulling away from behind another vehicle
  • Independent driving - Following a set of directions or a number of signs for a period of at least 10 minutes
  • Bay Park - reversing into a space in a car park
  • Left Reverse - reversing around a corner on the left hand side of the road
  • Show me Tell me - At the beginning of your test you will be asked 2 questions from a list of 19 regarding basic maintenance of the car and keeping it legal and safe on the road. (Failing these 2 questions CANNOT lead to a test failure)

With a little planning you can get on the road fairly cheaply. First of all, consider buying New, or Nearly New cars. You can spread the costs over a number of years then. They also come with no, or very little TAX. Newer cars are also cheaper to insure! Secondly stick to something with a small engine size for the first couple of years. Try to go no higher than a 1.4. Forget street-cred and go for a 5 door. And consider having a black box fitted to monitor your driving. It’s the cheapest way for most people and it shows that you're committed to driving with care. Very few have curfews so unless you intend on driving like a loon, get one fitted and save a couple hundred quid at least!

All my students are given a progress record that is filled in after each lesson with the level that you have achieved in each area. With this you can see the areas that you still need to work on. On the reverse is also an Appointment Card so you can keep an eye on what lessons you have booked.

If I have the space and you have the money, you can book as many sessions as you like. Either follow me on Twitter or Like me on Facebook to keep an eye on any cancellations I have. If I get any, I will put them up on those 2 places and its first come first have.

As long as you give 48 hours notice no, you won't. Within 48 hours but over 24 then its £10/hour cancellation fee. (A 2 hour lesson cancelled 40 hours before the start time will incur a £20 fee) And if its within 24 hours then its pay the full price of the lesson you cancelled. EVERY case is different and cancellations due to ill health cannot be helped and so obviously won't be charged.

It certainly feels like it sometimes but no. I work Monday to Friday 0900 - 2000. And Saturday 0800 - 1230. Sundays are a day off sorry!

 Ah, one of the more common ones all instructors get. Quite a bit has changed in the time since they did their test. 2 more gears at least for you to think about! But the changes are quite broad and long, a little too long to go into here. But some of the stand out differences are:

  • Modern Gearboxes - Change around gears at will, no more sequential gear changing
  • Make use of observations - Do you need to signal? Is there anybody you should be informing that you're swapping lanes?
  • Much better brake technology - No more engine compression braking unless going downhill
  • Understanding the new technology on modern cars - Stop/Start, Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, ABS, TCS, ESC, TPMS, Run Flat tyres to name just a few
  • The highway code has more than doubled in size over the years to include new things - new signs, new road markings, new laws - The Theory Test can only do so much
  • All instructors are meant to produce a driver than can safely take to the streets by themselves and not worry about you killing yourself at the first corner - For many years instructors were just about scraping people through tests with the minimal amount of teaching possible to get test pass results. Unfortunately the statistics speak for themselves for road fatalities over the past 20 years. With modern technology and teaching up to a much better standard, the stats for deaths and serious injuries have shown a constant drop year on year.

Reviews are always welcome. God or bad, people need reviews to enable them to make up their mind about me. The 2 places I would appreciate you leaving a review are

  • Facebook

And / or

  • Yell.com

Yes I do. Please get in touch and let me know what you want. The gift certificates can be anything from 1 Hour up. Please note that Gift Certificates are sent out in envelopes to the person paying for them. Unfortunately there is currently no option for me to wrap it up and make it look fancy for you. The certificates are small enough to fit inside a Birthday / Christmas Card etc

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The car is the All-New Mazda 2. It’s a 1.5 Diesel Sport.

  • Details here - New Mazda 2 Diesel Sport

But you can get on the road in the new Mazda 2 a bit easier than that if you go for the 1.5 Petrol instead!

  • Details here - New Mazda 2 Petrol 1.5

This is a common one again. Many people believe that the test centre has their own cars for doing the tests in. Don't panic. You use my car. They dont have any.

Unfortunately I don't speak Welsh sorry. (Mae'n ddrwg gennyf , fi peidiwch â siarad Cymraeg) - Google Translation so please correct if its wrong.

Honest answer? I don't know. I wipe down the car every day and I hoover once a week. But I couldn't guarantee that traces of something may be left in the seat fabric from one person to the next. The most common being pet hair of course. I have had someone with severe nut allergy and he was fine. If you're worried, bring any medication with you to lessons just in case. So far to date I have had no issues with anyone who has allergies.