Why my first driving lesson with an instructor was such a bad experience and how it has affected my first lesson with a new student.

When I was about to be 17 I could not wait to learn to drive. I had been thinking about little else and counting down the days until I could begin. I was very lucky as my mum and dad were also very enthusiastic and supportive and I had had the chance to practise a bit on private farm land previously. On my 17th birthday I went out with my dad in the evening and got to drive around a very quiet housing estate. Of course I had the occasional stall and bit of strange steering but by the end I was getting the hang of it. The next day I got to go out with my mum and drove through a selection of housing estates. On the third day at night time I got to drive into Edinburgh and back which was incredible!

I had my first lesson with a professional instructor booked with a national company which was four days after my 17th birthday (that was the earliest date they could do at the time). I had booked a 2 hour lesson and was ready to progress even further. I remember when my driving instructor arrived walking out to greet him and standing in the driveway beside my mum’s car which had ‘L’ plates on it. I got into his car in the passenger side and as we left my house he said “so have you been driving that car?”, not trying to come across as a know-it-all I told him that I had driven into Edinburgh and back the night before.

He took me into the housing estate just up the road which was a great place to begin. He said we would have a chat before driving and then get underway shortly. He then proceeded to pull out a large lever arch binder full of pictures of cars, junctions, traffic lights etc. After one and three quarter hours I got to drive back to my house – a journey of 5 minutes and that was it!

I was incredibly disappointed as he knew I had driven before yet totally ignored the fact. That was the end of driving lessons with that company.