I’ve been teaching weekly driving lessons in Birmingham since 2003.
I know, I don’t look old enough but it’s true.
Weekly lessons are great if you want to learn to drive at your own pace and don’t want to feel rushed into taking a test.
If you do want to learn faster without cutting any corners have a look at my intensive driving lessons page.
How weekly driving lessons in Birmingham work
Most learners take one or two driving lessons a week. You can choose a time that suits you like every Monday at 930am or every Thursday at 1pm.
That lesson time will be reserved for you for as long as you need it. There are times we might have to miss a week because I have a test booked in or you’re unavailable but you won’t lose your lesson time.
What will my first driving lesson be like?
Your first driving lesson with 1stDrive will be the same as all the others – awesome!
Instead of me just telling you let me show you. The video below shows me meeting Ella and doing her first lesson with me.
Ella had taken lessons before so this is an assessment of what she knows.
There are many more first lessons available for you to watch in my driving lesson videos.
You can see all of my videos on the 1stDrive YouTube channel.
How long will it take to learn to drive?
Using my methods and experience I find that most people can be at driving test standard in around 36 hours.
If you take two hour lessons (which I very much recommend, more on that later) that means you’ll be ready for your driving test in around 18 weeks or 4 to 5 months.
Remember that it is different for everyone though. If you have previous experience of driving then it’ll likely take less time. If you are a total beginner then you should expect to take at least 30 hours of lessons.
Why does learning to drive take so long?
Learning to drive isn’t easy.
I remember when I started my lessons back in 1999. I was expecting to get in the car and the instructor would say how great I was and how I was learning much faster than usual. That was both true and false!
I did learn very quickly but my instructor didn’t tell me that. Only when I had two other instructors did they tell me I was a natural driver. Which is probably why I went on to become a driving instructor.
What I’m saying here is that it’s not as simple as pushing one pedal to go, turning the wheel and stopping at red lights. In fact if you’re just stopping at red lights you’re not driving as well as you should be.
If you’re scratching your head about that last point don’t worry, many driving instructors don’t get it. I’ll show you what I mean on lessons.
Try reading my page on clutch control to see the kind of skills you’ll need to be a good driver.
The two sides of learning to drive
When you learn to drive there are two sides you must master: the physical and the mental.
The physical side is quite easy to pick up. That involves things like learning how much to press the brake pedal and how to actually move your body and the car.
The mental side is what separates good drivers from bad. Anyone can jump in a car and make it move. You only have to press the accelerator down hard to whiz up to a high speed.
Where’s the skill in that? A five year old child could do that. Ok, a five year old child with very long legs that really needs to see a doctor but you know what I mean.
Professional and good drivers spend years developing the mental side of driving. That’s what makes me different to a driving school that will just focus on showing you how to make the car move but not developing the mental thought process you need to be a safe driver.
The mental side of learning to drive
The most important thing you ever learn on lessons is something that isn’t tested at all on the driving test.
What I’m talking about is the ability to assess your own driving in an honest way, work out what went wrong and correct it.
It’s what any good driving instructor does and is known as the core competencies of driver tuition.
Imagine that after you have passed you do something wrong. You’ll just keep doing it wrong unless you’re used to using a system that gets you thinking why it’s wrong, how it can be be done better.
This is something that is mentioned in the NSDRT. Haven’t heard of it? You’re not alone – many driving instructors haven’t!
It’s the National Standard for Driver and Rider Training. In other words, what instructors should be teaching and you should be learning. Bit concerning isn’t it that most instructors would say “What’s the NSDRT?” when you ask them? Try it and see.
It’s a document that lays down the foundations of what drivers should be taught, in particular new ones. It says in that document (page 11, section c) that:
“The evidence that indicates that an active and lifelong approach to learning reduces the risk of crashes and the long term cost of driving”.
That means instructors should teach pupils to assess and fix faults after they’ve passed when the instructor isn’t there to do it.
It’s not just about passing a driving test
Sadly there are many driving schools and instructors that focus purely on getting pupils through a test. They get great reviews, make lots of money, the pupils pass…then they crash.
I have never and will never just focus on teaching people how to pass the driving test. I focus on teaching how to drive safely.
Did you know that you can pass a driving test without driving over 30 mph, driving on any large roundabouts or having to parallel park the car? It sounds crazy but it’s true!
Passing a test means you’ve ticked some boxes and passed a test. The examiner isn’t going to wave a magic wand then you pass and suddenly all the things you couldn’t do that didn’t come up on the test go away.
Learn to drive with me and I’ll take you way beyond the standard needed to pass the driving test. You’ll probably be at least half way to taking the advanced driving test.
How can I save money on lessons?
I focus on quality not being cheap but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to help people save money.
I have made a whole series of videos where you can watch me teaching someone to drive from start to finish. You can watch those videos between lessons and they really help by giving you a head start on what’s coming up next.
When you want to recap what we did on a lesson you can just watch the lesson back.
After the first lesson your head will have been filled with so much information it can be hard to remember it all. No worries – just go and watch my videos!
You’ll see the same instructor you’re learning with (me) and even the car is the same. Well, very similar because that was a different car but it’s still a Fiesta.
There is also my free driving lesson help guide for pupils. That splits the longer full length videos down into bite-size pieces and also has pages of information and driving tips written be me.
How two hour driving lessons save you money
Taking two hour lessons saves you a lot of time and money because you spend less time travelling to and from your home.
Imagine that it takes 20 minutes to drive somewhere to practise what you need to. With a one hour driving lesson that only leaves you 20 minutes to practise and 20 minutes driving back home.
On a two hour lesson you will have 20 minutes to drive there, 1 hour and 20 minutes practice and then 20 minutes driving home.
On a two hour driving lesson you pay twice as much but spend four times as long practising.
I have found that pupils taking one hour lessons take around 50 hours of tuition over 12 months to be at test standard. Pupils taking two hour lessons usually need around 36 hours over just 5 months.
Based on those figures you’d have to pay for 14 extra hours of lessons if you took one hour lessons and it takes 7 months longer!
Book your driving lessons in Birmingham with 1stDrive
If you want to take driving lessons with me then contact me today.