Driving School is a matter of life and death

The AAUI President says that the choosing a driving school is a matter of life & death. Most driving instructors work as self-employed proprietors of single or twin-car schools.

By T.K. Malhotra | on February 3, 2018 Follow us on Autox Google News

The AAUI President says that the choosing a driving school is a matter of life & death.

Most driving instructors work as self-employed proprietors of single or twin-car schools. Many of these initially take the plunge from the relative safety of a secure job into the business world with little knowledge of business affairs and merely with common sense, which alone doesn’t provide the authority required to immerse yourself in a business that involves human safety.

The fundamental question is this – is there a difference in driving schools? Yes, there is! As with everything else, there is a great deal of difference in driving schools. As you learn to drive or ride only once in your lifetime, you owe it to yourself to be aware of these differences. 

There are plenty of driving schools in India. Many are reputable, while others leave much to be desired – and, unfortunately, a few are downright unethical. How can you tell the difference? More specifically, what makes one school fair, another good, and yet another excellent? Certainly, it’s not only the theoretical learning process, because all schools are supposed to follow the same syllabus as per the Central Motor Vehicles Act. Here are some guidelines that may be useful to you:

Does the school have a bonafide office?

In some areas, driving schools are allowed to operate from homes and are not necessarily “professional.” Many-a-time the owner has other interests besides the driving school. An office devoted exclusively to the operation of a school tends to indicate that the school is well established in the community as a legitimate business enterprise and not as a part of time method for the owner to supplement his or her income. Also, check how long the school has been in business.

The longer a school has been in business, the more assured you can be that they provide quality lessons. 

What are the fee charged?

“Bargain rates” at a driving school should be looked upon with suspicion. All school have about the same basic operating expenses, if managed in accordance with the governing rules. They all are supposed to pay the same for cars, tyres, maintenance, petrol, insurance and other necessities. The only place where a driving school can cut costs and thus make more profit is by not providing elementary training on simulators.

The schools can also cut costs by engaging unqualified or less qualified instructors on lower salaries. Good professional instructors command a good wage. Clearly a driving school is no better than the calibre of instructors employed. The price you pay for lesson is your first clue to the qualifications of the instructor who will be training you. While all driving instructors have more or less the ability to facilitate the learning process, a particularly well qualified and trained “professional instructor” can impart more knowledge in an hour than the average instructor can in two hours or more. The difference between the two can be amazing! A professional instructor makes learning to drive an enjoyable experience and the students actually welcome each lesson.

Instructor Training

Does the school have a formal training program for their instructors? This is a very important requirement that you should take into consideration. Why? Well, there are tests to take regarding the vehicle code, basic teaching principles, and mechanics of a car – all of which comes before practical driving lessons. In Germany, for example, a person wanting to become an instructor is required to attend 40 hours a week for a six-month period and then pass a very hard test. They truly become “professional” in this length of time. There are similar requirements in other countries throughout the world.

What type of training equipment is used?

Virtual training on Driver Simulators is most essential nowadays to learn and upgrade driving skills under risk free conditions. Unless you’ve had first-hand experience with a driving school duly equipped with this kind of state-of-the-art infrastructure, it’s difficult to tell the difference between schools. The physical cars, meanwhile, should be in good mechanical condition and be models that are currently in production. In addition, dual controls are a must. 

It’s my hope that you find a good driving school wherever you are. But, even if you don’t, follow the tips that I’ve shared to find the most reputed school in your neighbourhood. As I said before, you learn to ride and drive only once – so you deserve the best!   

T.K. Malhotra is the President of the Automobile Association of Upper India (AAUI).

Tags: Expert Auto Opinion

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