How to choose a driving school

There’s a lot to think about when choosing a driving school, but there’s three universal measures of excellence: service rating, price, and teaching quality. Our driving school scores consider these three metrics, generating a score out of 100. To help ensure that all of our reviews are from genuine learners, we verify by asking users to log in with Facebook or Twitter.

How to choose a driving school

The three signs of a great school

We put reviews first on our list because while great teaching and low prices indicate good value for money, ultimately customer feedback is what matters most.

1. Customer Reviews (80 points)

Consistency is key. It's impossible to please everyone, but a good school will have many happy learners who comment on the effectiveness, professionalism, and service of their instructor or their school.

Instructors who have Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) status from the DVSA will have comparable levels of technical knowledge, but where it usually breaks down (see what we did there) is customer service.

Many schools and instructors have long waiting lists, and unfortunately for learners that means they are not always as patient, organised, and communicative as they could be. Watch out for reviews that highlight how helpful or easy a school was with arranging lessons. Also look for schools with good refund policies. Learning to drive is expensive and if something goes wrong, you don't want to get caught out.

We encourage customers to share their experiences with their driving school by submitting a service rating of between one and five stars with their comments. All reviews, good or bad, are published within 24 hours, following moderation for offensive language.

2. Teaching Quality (10 points)

Did you know that many of the big brand schools make a lot of their money from training new driving instructors? This means you could end up with an instructor who is learning from you instead of the other way around! Having an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) who knows what DVLA examiners are looking for and has practised their teaching methods makes a big difference.

If you're going with a Potential Driving Instructor (PDI), make sure you negotiate a discount.

We’ve created our own scoring system for teaching quality. Our scoring system has three levels:

Level 1 - Driving schools using both PDIs and ADIs (0 points)

Level 2 - Driving schools using ADIs with assured quality (5 points)

Level 3 - Driving schools using ADIs with assured quality and lesson reports (10 points)

Top-tip: Look out for a Green ADI badge and confirm with a prospective instructor if they are fully qualified. 

3. Price (10 points)

Price is usually what most learners focus on, but we recommend you consider this last. Paying more for a recommended instructor and a school with good customer service will benefit you in the long run.

As a recommendation on price, we’ve highlighted schools’ fees against the UK average.

Prices ratings are based on user feedback about each driving school. The price rating represents the average of user ratings received.

How the overall score is calculated

We use a weighted average of the three rating metrics above to calculate an overall score for each school. An 80% weighting is given to the service review score, 10% to the price rating, and 10% to the teaching quality rating.

For example, a school that on average scores 4 out of 5 for service, 3 out of 5 for price and Level 3 for teaching quality would receive an overall score of 80%. Here’s the calculation:

(4 ÷ 5) * 80 points + (3 ÷ 5) * 10 points + 10 points

= 80% overall score

Until a school has received at least five reviews, an average score of three out of five for customer reviews and price will be assumed.

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