Frequently Asked Questions
How long are your driving lessons?
Our lessons are charged by the hour and in practice, a one and half hour lesson is ideal for most pupils. A two hour lesson can be quite tiring and can mean that the concentration will diminish towards the end of the session.
What's the Chequers pass rate?
Sorry, but that's an impossible question to answer as it fluctuates on a daily basis. What we can say is that our instructors will do everything they can to teach you to drive to the required standard and to pass your test, first time. And if you do pass, the rate for you is 100%! No cast-iron promises though.
What are the instructors like?
What can we say is that as well as being qualified Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) they are friendly, honest, approachable and professional. They will teach you to drive, safely, confidently and considerately to a standard that will enable you to pass your test.
Can I choose day and time for my lessons?
As much as we will try to fit your lessons into your own schedule, we will also look to vary the times to give you the opportunity to experience different road conditions - rush hour traffic, driving in the dark etc. We won't put you under such pressures until we believe you are ready!
Why do driving schools charge different prices for driving lessons?
It's quite simple; if a driving school charges a lower hourly rate, you may find that more lessons will be required before you the instructor advises that you are ready to take your test. The total learn to drive cost may in fact turn out to be higher than a school with higher prices. We believe that you get what you pay for with driving lessons and the main consideration is the quality of the tuition and not the cheapest price. We truly believe that our terms and pre-paid packages are both competitive and offer very good value for money.
How many lessons will I need?
It all depends on your ability and any previous experience and currently the national average is 47 hours training and 20 hours private practice. We have to meet certain teaching criteria but there are no set no time limits and the more effort you put in the quicker you will learn. We also actively encourage practice in between lessons with family members if that's possible.
What about practicing between lessons?
If you have fully insured access to your own/parents' car, it's certainly a good idea to take every opportunity to get behind the wheel - with an experienced, qualified driver alongside you. Be sure to use the methods and routines that your instructor has taught you in preference to passenger input (especially if they took their test a long time ago!) Remember also, that you will not have benefit of dual controls so take extra special care and it may be best to avoid heavy traffic conditions at least in the early days.
Do you offer an intensive lesson programme?
Yes we do, although not the format of starting to learn on a Monday and taking your test on the Friday. However, we would certainly be happy to discuss an intensive lesson programme with you to conclude with taking your test after a set period. To begin with, we strongly advise that you have at least one or two lessons to cover the basics. We will then be in a position to tailor an intensive programme to suit you and you will understand more about your own capabilities. Although there are times when an intensive programme is appropriate, our experience is that most pupils prefer to avoid a pressured approach to passing the test.
Would I be at a disadvantage by learning in an automatic car?
You may find it occasionally restrictive in only being able to drive an automatic, for example; car hire. However, we reckon that's a minor issue compared with the ease and simplicity of driving an automatic car. Going down the automatic route is surely much better than not learning to drive at all.
Can I start driving lessons with an instructor before passing my theory test?
We recommend you take practical lessons while preparing for your theory test. The combination of practical experience with theoretical learning should help you perform better in the test.
What if I have a non-UK driving licence?
Regrettably, there are many complications about us teaching pupils with non-UK driving licences and the terms of our insurance insist that pupils have the minimum of a valid UK provisional licence. Please contact us if you have any questions about driving with a non-UK licence and we will do our best to help.
What if my driving licence doesn't show my current address?
If for example, you are a student we accept that you will be living away from home (the address showing on your licence) and it will be ok to proceed with lessons. If you have moved on a permanent basis, then you must change your driving licence accordingly and we will advise you during your first lesson. Strictly speaking, it is an offence to have the wrong address on your driving licence.
I am looking to switch driving schools, will Chequers take me on?
Yes. It is not uncommon for pupils to come to us after they have begun learning with another school. Sometimes things don't work out for all sorts of reasons - it may be a personality issue or perhaps you don't feel as though you are making the right progress. Talk to us about your own situation and we will do our best to help.
Can I take my theory test before my 17th birthday?
You can only take your theory test once your provisional car licence becomes valid - i.e. no earlier than your 17th birthday. You can, however book your theory test before your 17th birthday. If you have a disability and are in receipt of the Disability Mobility Allowance at the higher rate, you may take your theory test after your 16th birthday as long as you hold a valid provisional licence.
I have a disability, will you teach me to drive?
If you hold a valid provisional licence, with or without vehicle restrictions and or requiring special controls, then in principle, yes of course we will teach you. Please contact us with more details of your particular needs and we will advise from there.
Do you do mock driving tests?
Yes we do. Closely following the actual driving test format, mock tests are an important part of the learning process and will be built into your lessons at the appropriate time.
When should I book my test?
You are free to book your test at any time but our recommendation is to wait until your instructor advises you that are almost ready. Booking your test will be your responsibility and you will be guided by your instructor as to their availability and you will need use the school car. Your instructor will also be fully aware of the current waiting times at the local test centres.
What car will I use for my practical test?
You will use the car you trained to drive in with us. We normally pick you up an hour before your test time, to give plenty of time beforehand and to practice a couple of manoeuvres to help settle any nerves. The cost of using the car is priced as a two-hour lesson in addition to the driving test fee (currently £62.00)
Can I use an automatic car for the driving test?
You will use the car you trained to drive in with us. We normally pick you up an hour before your test time, to give plenty of time beforehand and to practice a couple of manoeuvres to help settle any nerves. The cost of using the car is priced as a two-hour lesson in addition to the driving test fee (currently £62.00).
Do the examiners fail a certain number of pupils each month?
No, there are no limits to pass rates. If you meet the required standard there will be no reasons outside of your control why you would fail.
Will I drive home after my test?
Whether you pass or fail your test, your instructor will drive you back afterwards. This is standard practice and either way you can relax and reflect on the test as a passenger.
What is Pass Plus?
Pass Plus is a training course (no test to take, just continuous assessment) specifically aimed at new drivers, designed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) with the help of insurers and the driving instructor profession. Pass Plus builds upon your existing skills and knowledge, teaches you how to anticipate, plan for and deal with all kinds of hazards and can help you to become a more confident driver. Modular-based it covers; driving in town, all weathers, rural roads, dual carriageways and motorways and night driving.
The Pass Plus course costs £150 for the minimum of six hours tuition. If more sessions are needed to complete the course, the cost may increase. From a value point of view, before you embark on a Pass Plus course, we advise you check with your insurance company to see how much discount they will apply to your premium when you pass.
What's your advice if I don't do the Pass Plus course?
When you pass your test, you will appreciate that your driving experience has just started and the learning process never stop from that point. Every journey has the potential to reveal hazards and situations that you may not have seen before. We hope that our teaching, and your hard work will have prepared you to handle new situations confidently and safely. Having passed your test we certainly recommend that you progressively build up your confidence by driving in all types of road, traffic and weather conditions.