Are you learning to drive? Are you a parent of a new learner driver? Would you like your friend or loved one to start off with driving lessons? You may be saying to yourself, “How do I find a good driving instructor near me?” This is a great question and an important one.

When looking for a good driving instructor, many people just google, “driving instructor near me” or “best driving school in Sydney” but be careful. Although this may seem a great way to start, you still need to do your homework beforehand.

Firstly, you are putting trust in someone you may not even know. Secondly, you may also be investing a lot of money in driving lessons and you want your loved one to feel safe and comfortable. Remember, for many learner drivers, learning to drive can be a scary experience. Particularly when you’re first starting off. It’s common for parents to arrange driving lessons with an awesome driving school in the early stages for several reasons. 

Many driving schools in Sydney for instance may rate themselves as the best driving school in Sydney but this might not be the case. You need to check reviews and see what people are saying about the driving school you have found. And, although you may have found a driving instructor after you googled “driving instructor near me”, you must ensure that they’re qualified and experienced driving instructors.

There are driving instructors out there that rate themselves as the best driving instructor in Sydney and they may not even be qualified. Unfortunately, there are many unqualified people advertising cheap prices on various platforms. Gumtree is probably the biggest issue.

This should raise a huge concern for anyone thinking of doing this. Not only is it illegal to receive financial gain for offering a commercial service, it is also unsafe. Do they have a current Working with Children Check (WWCC)? Do they have a criminal record? Are they insured? If you paid some random person for driving lessons and you were involved in a serious crash, if you sustained serious injuries, you would not be covered. 

3 Things to Consider When Finding Driving Instructor Near Me

  1. Are they qualified to carry out the service?

When searching for a driving instructor, make sure they hold the following accreditations:

  • Certificate IV Road Transport and Logistics (Driving Instruction – Car)
  • Current Driving Instructors Licence
  • Current Working With Children Check (WWCC)
  • Full comprehensive vehicle insurance that covers learner drivers and;
  • Public liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance

2. Is the driving instructor a reputed one or are they from a reputable driving school?

Although this may appear obvious, as I mentioned before, there are many unqualified people advertising on various websites for cheap driving lessons. Check their reviews. Do they have good reviews, or have you received good feedback from a friend or loved one? If you’re female and reside in Sydney, you may prefer a female driving instructor in Sydney to make you feel more at ease when taking driving lessons. Another thing you need to look out for are booking agents who have websites that appear to be a driving school but aren’t. They’re not even driving instructors! They are advertising driving lessons for driving instructors they know nothing about. They’re just receiving a monthly or annual fee to promote them.

3. Get what you pay for
Driving lessons can be expensive and driving instructors get paid well. Lessons can cost anywhere from $50 to $85 an hour so you should be getting your instructors undivided attention for the entirety of your driving lesson. No driving instructor should be answering phones or taking care of other personal matters during a lesson that YOU paid for. Unfortunately, there are driving instructors out there that answer phones to take other bookings for driving lessons during your lesson. If this happens to you, simply remind your instructor that it’s your time that you’re paying for.

Don’t be talked into paying out hundreds of dollars for driving lesson packages you may not even need. There are some bigger driving schools who like to get their instructors to “upsell” their students into buying the driving schools book or driving lesson packages. Just pay for a couple of lessons to see if you like the instructor or the way they teach. As far as the books concerned, there is plenty of FREE information available on the internet!

pretty lady driving with fear

Is Learning to Drive Hard?

Learning to drive for the first time is nerve-racking and you may feel a combination of excitement and fear. Excitement because you’re reaching another milestone in your life but fear of making a mistake or crashing. Like many things in life that you try for the first time, they appear difficult until you practice and learn how to do it well. The same goes for driving. Driving is not hard per se but it is challenging when you first start out because you need to use a variety of skills all at once. If you’re learning in a manual, consider taking some manual driving lessons with an awesome driving school like Learn Drive Survive to help get you started.

Not only are you trying to become familiar with the vehicle and its controls, but you are also trying to watch where you are going, trying to maintain the correct position on the road and listening to instructions from your parent or driving instructor. Everything happens at once and you need to feel comfortable behind the wheel.

Yes, you will be nervous. Yes, you may be scared. But you have to start somewhere, right? That’s why it’s important to find a quiet location such as an industrial estate during the late afternoon when people have finished work. Remember, everyone is made up differently and everyone learns differently. Some people may find riding a bike easy but find learning to drive difficult and vice versa. Some people are natural at learning to drive whereas others aren’t. But that doesn’t these people are any less competent.

Learning to drive can become frustrating. Especially when you see your friends progressing quicker than you. Throughout your learning and once you have gained at least 50 hours of actual driving, you may consider completing the NSW Safer Drivers Course. The Safe Drivers Course is a defensive driving course that provides learner drivers under the age of 25, with the knowledge and skills on how to become safer drivers.

manual gear shift

Should I Learn to Drive in An Auto or a Manual?

Ask yourself this. If this was my driving school, what would I suggest to parents for their child learning to drive. Manual driving lessons or auto driving lessons? This is always a topic of difference with most parents. The old, “I want my son or daughter to learn in a manual in case of an emergency” or If they go to a party, they may get stranded”. If there’s an emergency, you should contact ‘000’. Someone stuck for a lift at a party is not an emergency.

Once upon a pre-mobile phones and Ubers day, being stuck somewhere without a phone may have been a problem. But these days, everybody has a mobile phone. Communication through social media platforms especially, lets everyone know where you are. Learning to drive in an auto transmission or a manual transmission come with different pros and cons and there are several things to consider. If you decide that you want to learn in a manual, make sure that there is a manual vehicle available for you to practice in. Otherwise, you will have to pay a lot of money on manual driving lessons.

If you have been having automatic driving lessons and sit your driving test in an automatic vehicle, you can only drive an automatic vehicle. If you pass your driving test in a manual vehicle, you can drive both. However, if you get your drivers licence in an automatic vehicle, you are allowed to drive a manual vehicle after twelve (12) months. It just depends on your preference and possibly employment requirements such as tradies needing to drive company vehicles that are manual.

Learning to drive and having lessons in an automatic vehicle is much easier than manual driving lessons. At first, learning to drive a manual vehicle can seem complicated in co-ordinating the clutch and accelerator together. But with continual practice, you will eventually get the hang of it.

a man is holding a mobile phone

How Do Driving Lessons Cost In Sydney?

Driving lessons in Sydney can cost you anywhere from $50 to $85 an hour. So, when looking for the best driving school in Sydney, this is what you could expect to pay. Prices vary and are similar for driving schools on the Central Coast, Newcastle, Mid North Coast or even the Northern Rivers. There are many professional driving instructors that charge the lower end of the scale and deliver good driving lessons. Don’t think that by paying more you get a better-quality driving instructor.

As mentioned earlier, there are driving instructors that rate themselves as the best driving instructor in Sydney, but you still need to do a little research to see who is recommended and who’s not. After reaching 50 actual driving hours, you can do a defensive driving course such as the safer drivers course which costs $140.

traffic jam in the road

What is the Best Time to Practice Driving?

During the week, statistics show that most car accidents occur between 8am and 9am and increase again from 3pm through to 6pm. This coincides with school traffic and people finishing work. Crash data also shows that 13.3% of all car crashes occur on Saturdays, while 10.5% of all car crashes occur on Sundays. Of all crashes that occur on weekends, most happen between 10am and 1pm.

13.3% of all car crashes occur on Saturdays, while 10.5% of all car crashes occur on Sundays. Of all crashes that occur on weekends, most occur between 10pm and 1pm.

Saturdays

  • Most car crashes happen between 10am and 1pm (4.1%)
  • Nearly half (47%) of all car crashes on Saturdays happen between 10am and 3pm

Sundays

  • It seems that Sundays are the safest days to drive with only 10.5% of all crashes.

Generally, when the time is right to take part in a defensive driving course, you’re at a point where your skills have improved and your ability to operate a vehicle becomes more natural. But it depends on where you’re up to with your learning, how many logbook hours you have acquired and places you have already driven. It also depends on what skill you want to build on. For example, you may have reached a level where you want to gain some experience in heavier traffic.

So, driving during peak hour periods in the morning and afternoons is more suitable. But if you were taking manual driving lessons and trying to master the clutch and gears, driving in peak traffic is not the best idea. If you are just starting out, getting a supervising driver to take you to a quiet area such as an industrial estate during the late afternoon on the weekend is more favourable. Learning to drive in a quiet location will allow you to feel more comfortable and get the feel of driving a vehicle on a public street.

Once you have gained enough hours in varying situations and you feel comfortable, driving at any time of the day or not will only benefit your ability to improve in many other areas. You should be exposing yourself to as much supervised driving as possible and in all weather conditions to ensure that you’re a safe, confident and competent driver. Because once you have completed the Safe Drivers Course, the Hazard Perception Test (HPT) and passed your driving test, you’re on your own.

pretty lady driving with fear

8 Key Steps to Help You Get Over the Fear of Driving

The basis of all anxiety is just an exaggeration of danger coupled with an underestimation of your ability. To anyone who understands and can relate to the fear driving anxiety causes, this is for you. You would be happy to know that millions of people around the world overcome their driving fear every year and so can you. But let’s be honest, there’s no quick fix to driving anxiety or any anxiety for that matter. Even the best driving school in Sydney can’t provide you with an instant fix. Some people probably say, “my driving school instructors are really patient” but there’s more to it. To best manage your anxiety, you have to find the recovery technique that best works for you.

Learning to drive can be a big problem for some learners. On one hand, driving can be fun and liberating but on the other, for some getting behind the wheel can be a nightmare. But becoming too nervous can create unwanted stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, when you are overcome by nerves and/or fear, your ability to focus and think clearly can be compromised. Some parents think that putting their child through a defensive driving course, will fix the problem.

For those who have never had one, having a panic attack while driving a vehicle would be one of the scariest moments anyone could experience. Panic attacks can overwhelm many people, because unfortunately, they encompass your entire body and mind, making it hard to focus on anything. When a panic attack occurs, it may feel like there’s no escape. And this only makes things worse if you happen to be driving.

Believe it or not, it’s not just learners who have a fear of driving, many older people with an open licence become nervous or anxious before or whilst driving. It’s more common than people may think. You must remember that fear and anxiety can affect many people in many ways. Anxiety can occur as a response to dangerous experiences or perceived dangerous experiences. It may be because they’re worried about crashing. They may have been in a crash or know someone who was involved in a crash. If you’re scared of crashing, perhaps learning how to become a safer driver may help you manage your fear of driving. Doing something like the Safer Drivers Course can certainly teach you low-risk driving techniques.

 

Here are 8 Key Steps to Help you Get Over the Fear of Driving.

  1. You’re Not Alone
    Some level of fear will always exist for many people when driving. The severity is different from person to person but doesn’t think you’re alone. The main thing is to understand what causes it and the ways to manage it.
  1. Get Professional Driving Lessons
    Having a driving instructor sitting beside you with dual control brakes can make you feel a little more comfortable knowing that they can slow or stop you at any time. A good driving instructor won’t just sit there and say nothing. They will verbally talk you through what you are doing, what is happening and what you need to do as you drive. Knowing there is another set of eyes looking out for you, maybe a calmer experience. This will allow you to fully concentrate on driving whilst ‘taking in’ what the instructor is telling you. Just by googling, “driving instructor near me” will help you find a professional and patient driving instructor.
  1. Face Your Fear
    You’ve probably heard or been told to face your fear. For many people, this may not be as easy as it sounds. You have been avoiding having to drive for fear that you’ll have a panic attack. Say what you’re driving fear is. Don’t hold back and be as specific as you can. It could be any of the following.
  • Did you have a bad driving experience?
  • Were you or someone else involved in a crash?
  • Do you have a fear of crashing?
  • Do you fear being outside of your comfort zone?
  • Does driving at certain speed care you?

Whatever it may be, exposure therapy is one of the most effective ways to get over any phobia? Over time, you can make the fear worse and can even instigate other phobias by simply avoiding your phobia of driving. As mentioned above, go in the vehicle with a patient driving instructor or supervising driver. To overcome your fear, you must face it. Just take small steps and slowly progress.

  1. Don’t Let Mistakes Make You Anxious
    Don’t let your mistakes cause you to become anxious. Remember, you’re learning to drive so you should expect to make mistakes. If you realise that you’re making simple mistakes, identify what they are and just focus on perfecting them until you feel confident to move on.
  1. Take One Step at a Time
    As a new driver, one of the worst things any parent can do is to get their learner straight into driving in busy environments such as main roads and large intersections. This is the best way for them to hate driving. Instead, take gradual steps and start off in quiet local areas such as industrial estates or large empty car parks after hours. Start off with the least feared problem then as you feel more confident, gradually expose yourself by expanding your driving radius to some local streets until you no longer feel anxious and are confident enough to tackle more challenges. Once you’ve mastered each challenge, just move on. There’s no hurry so don’t feel as though you have to rush things. The more driving you do, the more monotonous it becomes, decreasing your anxiety even further.
  1. Do a Defensive Driving Course or the Safer Drivers Course
    A Safer Drivers Course teach learners how to be a safer driver on the road. Students complete part of the training in class and part of the training in vehicles. This allows students to get some experience and practice safe driving techniques with a professional instructor supervising. Upon completion of the course, you will find that some of the fears you once had are no longer, because you have learnt defensive driving techniques to keep you safe and deal with different situations on the road.
  1. Drive During the Day
    If you are a new driver, anxious driver or both, driving at night isn’t the best way to start if you can avoid it. Although the roads may be quieter (depending on where you live), seeing other vehicles may be difficult and your observation, awareness and judgment skills have not yet developed. It is best to drive during the daylight hours until you gain more experience and feel more comfortable behind the wheel.
  1. Listen to Music
    Many parents or instructors have probably told you that music is a distraction when driving or learning to drive. This has some truth but is not exactly true. Certainly, music can be a distraction if you have the volume turned right up to the point that you can’t think clearly. Listening to easy going or calming music at a low volume, can help to keep you calm while driving. If driving scares you, you may just have to chip away and take dolly steps. Everyone is different and for some people, they may just need more practice behind the wheel. For others, well it may not be so easy depending on past experiences and severity. It could be the case that even an awesome driving school is unable to keep you calm and make you feel safe and comfortable. Seeking the services of a mental health professional to help you, may be your only option.

Driving should not be something to fear. It should be something that you enjoy. Trying any of the key tips should help you overcome or manage your fear of driving. If you pay for driving lessons, your driving instructor should be able to offer you additional tips to help you overcome your fear of driving.

If you meet the Safer Driver Course requirements, and want to gain an additional 20 bonus logbook hours, click here to book online or call our friendly team on 1800 898 969 and they will be happy to assist you.

If you want to book a driving lesson with Learn Drive Survive, click here to book online or call our friendly team on 1300 898 969 today!

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