Your number one resource when preparing for the practical driving test is your driving instructor. Although most of your required supervised experience will be gained with family or friends, the knowledge and experience professional driving instructors provide is invaluable to your progress.
Driving lessons with a trained professional make you a safer, more competent driver. On top of this, they better prepare you for the practical driving test. This could save you time and money by dramatically increasing your chances of passing on your first attempt. Driving instructors know what testing officers are looking for and, being local, they know the routes the RMS takes when testing learner drivers. A few well-timed lessons with a professional will give you the upper-hand on test day.
How do I choose an instructor?
You should look for a local driving instructor who knows the local test routes. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable with your driving instructor. You should use the first couple of lessons to test the waters and see if you get along well. You’ll be spending a fair bit of time (and money) with this person, so make sure you get along well before committing to more lessons.
You can find local instructors in a few different ways:
- Google search instructors in your area
- Ask friends who they’ve used
- Use a site like drivinglessonguide.com.au
There are many benefits to using drivinglessonguide.com.au. They present all of the relevant information and you can choose based on your preference.
Instead of combing search result to find an instructor, you can simply search for instructors in your area and compare them based on gender, vehicle type and hourly rate.
You can read reviews provided by learners who have used them in the past, so you’re less likely to encounter someone you won’t get along with and can focus on learning to drive. They also have a 3-strike policy to prevent instructors who repeatedly receive complaints from listing on their site. This means you’ll only see the best driving instructors in your area and be able to quickly and effectively compare their offerings.
When to take lessons?
Driving Test NSW recommends you take lessons at specific stages of your learner period.
When you first get your learner licence you should organise a few lessons so you can learn good driving habits from the get go. Although a great resource, family and friends who supervise you may have bad habits gained over years of driving experience. They may accidentally pass these poor behaviours on to you and this could affect you down the line when you need to get rid of them to pass the test. A few lessons when you first get your Ls can set you on a path to success.
When you’re just about to finish your hours and take your test you should start taking lessons again. You should be just about ready to pass the test and drive independently should you pass. At this point, a driving instructor will simply be putting the finishing touches on your skills so you’re 100% ready to sit and pass the test. They will also be able to show you the local RMS test routes and test you on the manoeuvres in the places you’ll likely be asked to complete them in the test.
It’s also a good idea to have a final driving lesson the day before or before the test on the day of. This lesson should consist of your instructor acting as a testing officer (just giving directions). This will give you a feel for the test conditions and the instructor can provide constructive feedback so it’s fresh in your mind for when you sit the test.
Regardless of when you take the hours, you should definitely have at least 10 hours of lessons to take full advantage of the bonus hours allowed under the RMS rules.