AA Driving School - worth the money? | Driving School Reviews

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3. AA

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Well known brand

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Discount offers on block bookings

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Why learn with the AA?

The AA is one of the leading driving school brands in the UK. It delivered over 1.35 million driving lessons in 2017, so if you’re looking for a well-known brand that’s tried and tested by previous learners, the AA is one to consider.

The AA will provide complete one-to-one tuition, with an adaptable teaching style to match the needs and pace of each learner. It only uses fully qualified instructors rather than trainees and has some of the newest vehicles in the industry.

In their reviews, learners consistently mention the patience of their AA instructor: “He is patient, calm, competent and understanding.” (Ptarmigan2). Professionalism is another trait that reviewers have often remarked upon, whether in relation to their instructor or the school itself: “I'm pleased by the professionalism and the overall service I got from the AA in general” (Sasaby).

Stats according to the AA

75% of pupils passed with 40 hours of lessons or fewer, and 98% of the AA’s recently passed pupils would recommend it. These stats are taken from a survey of AA Driving School customers who passed their test in 2017.

AA driving school locations

Offering lessons across the whole of the UK, the AA has some of the widest instructor coverage in the country - from London to Birmingham to Northern Ireland.

Waiting times

The soonest you can be booked in for a lesson is three days after purchasing, but wait times can vary depending on where you’re looking to take lessons.

Vehicle types

All driving lessons are taught in a new Ford Focus or Ford Fiesta. Both models have a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Along with lots of leg and headroom, features include:

  • Dual controls

  • Air conditioning

  • Pollen filter

  • Power steering

  • Electric adjustable, heated door mirrors

  • Heated front and rear windscreens

  • Electronic stability system (ESP)

The AA offers both automatic and manual lessons, although there are fewer automatic instructors.

AA driving instructors

All of the AA’s driving instructors are fully qualified and use the same curriculum. They will track your progress and give you feedback using an AA Driver Development Card. Thanks to a strict code of conduct, the AA’s instructors will not smoke, use a mobile phone or carry other passengers during driving lessons.

The AA also offers one of the most popular and all-inclusive instructor training courses. This means that you could be matched with an instructor who has been through this rigorous training. Either way, the AA only uses ADIs (Approved Driving Instructors) rather than PDIs (Potential Driving Instructors). This is beneficial because it means that the driving instructor you are matched with will be fully qualified rather than a trainee.

Many learners want to learn with a female driving instructor, so they’re often in high demand. If you book driving lessons via the AA’s website you won’t be given the option to state your preference, but if you phone the AA they will be happy to check whether there are female instructors available in your area.

Packages

The AA offers two, five, 10 and 20-hour packages. Supplementary lessons can be purchased after this and start from £25 an hour, dependant on your location and your instructor’s hourly rate.

Driving courses

The AA doesn’t offer an intensive course, but it can offer condensed courses. These are typically six to eight hours a week over a number of weeks, but it would be a tailored course dependant on the availability of both the learner and instructor. To find out more, call the AA on 0800 587 0087.

Offers and promos

Members of the AA get a £6 an hour discount on their first block booking of six hours. Other new pupils can save £40 on their first 10 lessons, providing they’re matched with a participating instructor.

Cancellations and refunds

Both learners and instructors need to give 48 hours’ notice in order to cancel a lesson. Instructors who don’t give the required notice period will have to rearrange the lesson. Learners who fail to give the required notice period will be charged for the lesson in full. As long as you give at least 48 hours’ notice, you can cancel any lessons you haven’t yet taken at any time, and receive a full refund for them. 

If you’re not happy with your instructor, the AA will arrange a new one for you subject to availability.

Customer support

If you call the AA’s phone line, you’ll be greeted by an automated phone system asking you to pick from two options. Once you make your choice you’ll be put through to a human almost immediately. You can book lessons and check availability over the phone, as well as buy more lessons if you’re already an AA learner. It’s worth noting that the call centre doesn’t have much interaction with instructors. They are unlikely to be able to give you general advice and will need a postcode to look into in order to be able to help you. 

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