How many lessons will I need?
This is most commonly asked question.
Learning to drive is like any new skill to learn, we are told 'practice makes perfect' and that is certainly true when learning to drive!
It is important to start with a good foundation.
Starting with a qualified driving instructor is a great help as we teach what is called "the system of car control". This system teaches you to use your mirrors, indicators, clutch, brakes and gears in a safe manner.
Once you are confident doing this your parent/caregiver, grandparent, family friend etc (your supervisor) will feel safer in the car with you and will not be hovering over the handbrake or holding the door handles! Then you can go off and practice.
Remember though, everyone is an individual, so everyone progresses at a different rate. Also every car has a different feel to brakes, clutch etc so it may take 20 minutes to get used to a different car.
The Restricted Test is now based on 120 hours of driving - so this is a huge leap in skill level. This equates to over 4 hours of driving a week for six months. Not just driving to the dairy, getting takeaways, sports, college etc it will take much more effort from you and your supervisor!
There is no log book required for the completion of 120 hours of driving. This is just a guideline. When you sit the restricted test our Testing Officer will know immediately if you have the required skill level to pass the test.
What is the advantage of coming to a qualified driving instructor?
I have the safety of dual-controlled cars. Mistakes will happen when you are learning, so you will be less exposed to harm. I will teach you the 'system of car control'. I will teach you to drive safely. I can also review and evaluate your progress.
Do I need to bring my licence with me for a lesson?
Yes you do! Otherwise we will have to re-book the lesson as you have to carry your driver licence by law, when driving.
Do others feel as nervous about driving as I do?
Yes! Nervous people or people lacking a bit of confidence are especially welcome! I understand and will put you at ease - I promise! My instruction motto is 'No stress!' and I will take things at your pace so you feel comfortable.
Do I learn in an manual or automatic car?
The choice is yours! I offer both manual and automatic, modern, dual controlled cars.
Automatics are very good to learn in and most families have autos. You can get comfortable with road rules, cornering, slowing down etc. Once you have mastered the basics, it is easier to pick up manual skills.
Parents/caregivers are much more in favour learning manual but most families only have automatics so that's where I come in!
Benefits of manual vehicles
- You are more involved in the driving of the vehicle, listening to the engine etc
- You can still drive a automatic vehicle once you have passed your restricted stage,
- It may help with work opportunites in the future
- Manual vehicles can be easier to control in an emergency situation
- You have engine braking when slowing down
Benefits of an automatic vehicle
- Is easier to learn the basics of driving
- Quicker to gain licence as no stalling or gear changes
- Most family cars are now automatics, so car to practice in
- You get confidence quicker
- Easier to drive in town when stopping and starting at intersections etc
The only drawback is that you cannot drive a manual by yourself if you pass your restricted test in an auto.
Remember that if you pass both your restricted licence test and full licence test in an automatic, once you are on a full NZ licence you can drive an automatic or a manual car as there are no restrictions.
It is your choice, but whichever vehicle you decide to learn in I will teach you to drive safely and responsibly.
Can I learn in my own/my parents car?
Yes that's fine! It must have current WOF and registration and preferably be insured with at least third party. You do have to sign a form to say that I am not liable for any damage to the vehicle while I'm teaching in it! Learning in your car can be helpful especially if you are struggling with your clutch.
Will you pick me up from home? Will you drop me off somewhere else?
Absolutely! But if you need to be taken from Blenheim to Picton after the lesson - it will be another 30 min charge
How do I pay?
EFTPOS or cash is easiest for me please. (Internet banking by arrangement only)
Pensioner refresher sessions? How much do they cost?
Yes. If you have a current licence I am happy to give you a coaching session. This happens particularly with the over 80 age group who may have been ill or in hospital and have not driven for a while and need a boost of confidence. These are usually 40 minutes as people in this age group tire easily. These cost $25.
Do I have to book for the practical driving tests?
Yes. If you want to use my car, I will have to book it with you just to make sure my car is available.
Do you do Gift Vouchers?
Yes indeed! I sell alot of gift vouchers - great gift to give a teenager - maybe a couple of lessons in with their other presents for Christmas or Birthday.
Can I smoke in your car or in mine while on a lesson?
Answer is no! OSH rules say that the car, on a lesson, is a workplace - so you cannot smoke in a workplace.