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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:49 am 
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Another "rite of passage" question for those who have been down it recently and might have a few pointers!

We want to book a lesson package for DD1 in anticipation of her 17th birthday, and are wondering whether it's better to go for one of the larger companies that offer a discount on block bookings or find a local independent instructor through word of mouth. Any suggestions? Which option is likely to cost less in the long run? :? (In terms of both cash and nerves! :wink: )

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:59 am 
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Erm, good times coming, :lol:

My son had a couple of block bookings from one of the bigger companies and passed first time, thankfully, bit he probably had nearly 40 lessons in all which did cost a lot, but were spread over Christmas/ birthday presents, so not too bad, really. My daughter on the other hand, well its quite a different story. We have done roughly the same two lots of 20 lessons which have now ended, she has passed the theory but is a bit afraid of booking the actual test, as she doesn't seem to be able to go backwards/reverse round corners etc. She is great at going in a straight line but parking seems to be a problem :shock: Anyway, I think that we will wait till the exams are over now, and get her out practising with dad (I'm too stressy, apparently) as often as possible to clear up these, hopefully fine tuning issues :lol: and then maybe have another 6 lessons to include the test. It is a very expensive process, and even once they have passed, I am in a constant state of anxiety when they are out driving. Marylou, I guarantee you will have no nerves left by the time they've passed :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 11:35 am 
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Thanks for those pointers, LFH - in view of impending strain on nerves is as well we are currently "in between" 11+/secondary transfer years! :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Marylou wrote:
Thanks for those pointers, LFH - in view of impending strain on nerves is as well we are currently "in between" 11+/secondary transfer years! :lol:


Good luck :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Looking for help wrote:
she doesn't seem to be able to go backwards/reverse round corners etc. She is great at going in a straight line but parking seems to be a problem :shock:

BLESS!!
If it's any consolation, I failed first time on the hideous reverse round a corner thing but am now, says modestly, THE best parker on the planet. Honest. I remember being pregnant, very pregnant and getting into a space with an inch each end, a skip one end, a van the other. While I was fiddling, once parked, with sunglasses and bag and so on, the van driver came up and knocked on my window. "Want a hand getting out of there, love?" he said, "I can move my van." His face when I said that I had just got in there was a picture. One of the peaks of my life I'm sad enough to admit.
Anyway, back OT, I learnt first of all with the biggest firm. Failed. But ... learned in London and you don't do the test route as it's in Croydon and too far away. Finished off in Bristol with a local firm and waltzed it. All diff now but don't discount local groups; it's still a teacher in a car and fewer bells and whistles to pay for. Word of mouth every time!


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:26 pm 
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Was very surprised to hear from friend whose DC is currently going through this that the average number of lessons now needed is between 42 and 48. I am quite sure it didn't take me that long - and I was not especially gifted behind the wheel.

Pretty lucrative stuff at around £25 a lesson. Wonder if there's a gap in the market round here...


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Particularly lucrative if you have me as a pupil. Can't drive and unlikely to. :( I just get so nervous! It doesn't help when OH and friends are impatient with other learner drivers. People are so intolerant these days! We have a bet on at the moment to see if DS can beat me to getting license first. He's 11, so not that long to go now...


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:39 pm 
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It was said that you should have a driving lesson for every year of your life - with most people failing first time (through nerves/unfamiliarity) but passing second time.

I too failed first time round on my reversing, but am now the best reverser over short distances, in history of the world - ever!! I didn't learn through a formal driving school, but using my own car and an army driving instructor - money was tight in those days!

My son learnt through a driving school and we bought his a driving lesson package - but that was a few years ago now too :cry:

40 odd lessons for a youngster sounds excessive to me, no matter how much the test has changed ........................ unless the person in question is of an extremely nervous disposition and can't get the hang of it?

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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 6:55 am 
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According to the driving schools - its 40 hours practice - you may find it fine to DIY, but I found it way too scarey, best left to the professionals :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 7:50 am 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
We've found (twice) the best combination to be regular lessons (local one-man operation after a recommendation, would pick them up from school/college once a week, knows the local test routes, best corners to practice reversing round, good busy roundabouts etc) plus (once they've got past stalling at every junction) as much practice as possible, from short trips to the local shops to longer treks on country A roads to the depths of Wales. One memorable trip saw my DS1 on single track roads with passing places in the Brecon Beacons - it was amazing the effect L plates had on oncoming vehicles, which would reverse for miles to the next gateway!

DD (still 16) has had a couple of the lessons on private land (NEC car park!) which can now be arranged, and is looking forward to being 17. I'm not especially, as even with all the practice etc taking my sons out has been (particularly the first few times) seriously nerve-racking. Almost as bad as the first time they go out alone after passing the test, their first motorway trip, their first trip in the dark, their first cross-country drive with friends, their first "taking the girlfriend home" trip, their "loading the car to go back to university, can you come down by train & pick the car up tomorrow" trips..... AAAARRRGGGHHH!!! A real rite of passage (for the parents!)

Friends with better nerves/ more patience have taught their DDs with minimal private lessons, although their DD3 is proving more of a challenge. Also her 6th form is within walking distance so less scope for regular practice trips.

The more hours on the road in varied conditions before taking the test the better, for your own peace of mind if nothing else!


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