Let's start this off with a little story. One of the journos in the office recently went for his driver's license. He used a local school because it was close to work. The guy was dedicated to getting his license on the first try and booked ten lessons with the aforementioned school. Long story short, it turned out that the driving instructor left out 3/4 of the K53 syllabus. Fortunately, he went for additional lessons with another driving school, which saved him from failing his driver's license.
The first lesson of the story is to ensure that the school you are going with is registered with the South African Institute of Driving Instructors (SAIDI). If you are going to fork out a lot of money for someone to teach you, then make sure they are above board. Before even getting into a car with the instructor, ask to see their instructor license. This may seem like a hassle, but rather be safe than sorry. Sadly, there are a bunch of invalid instructors out there who don't mind taking your cash and wasting your time.
A very important thing is that you get along with the instructor. There have been horror stories of instructors mistreating students - especially those who have just started to learn how to drive. Make sure that you suss out the instructor and see if he or she has the ability to teach, and teach well at that. Similarly, schools that don’t assign one teacher to a student may be a problem, since the teacher will need to be able to assess your progress and assist in working on areas in which you may need more refining.
Make sure that the driving school you are deciding to go with knows the grounds where you will be tested. For instance, if you are taking your final exam in Krugersdorp, make sure that the instructor will be able to show you the route which you will be taking for your road exam - this will set your mind at ease, as you'd know where you will be going once you leave the yard.
By Shawn Greyling
Have you had any decent or bad experiences with driving schools? Let us know in the comments section below. Sharing is caring, so show this to your buddy who's about to take that big test.