How to choose a driving instructor in Greenwich
When it comes to driving instructors in Greenwich, you need someone who:
- Builds your confidence
- Helps you enjoy learning
- Won’t empty your pockets!
So before you pick a driving school in Greenwich, make sure you do these 4 things:
1. Compare reviews
There are plenty of reviews for driving schools in Greenwich for you to browse. Just be aware that most of these driving schools will only include their best reviews on their websites.
2. Beware of terms and conditions
You want to know everything about a driving school before you book your driving lessons in Greenwich - the good and the bad! So, make sure that you read through the terms and conditions carefully, so that you know whether or not that fantastic deal you found really is too good to be true.
3. Check that you can switch instructors
Your relationship with your instructor is an important one, and you want to make sure you’re being taught by the right person for you. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you can switch instructors. This isn’t straightforward with some driving schools in Greenwich, so find out whether it’s possible before committing to a school.
4. Avoid long waiting times
Some driving schools in Greenwich won’t give you any idea of their waiting times until you’re already part way through booking your lessons. Make sure you find out when you’d be able to get started before committing to a school, as you don’t want to wait longer than you need to.
Choosing between manual and automatic
So you’ve decided to learn how to drive. But now you have another big decision to make - are you going to take manual or automatic driving lessons in Greenwich? A manual licence qualifies you to drive both manual and automatic cars, but an automatic licence only qualifies you to drive automatics. That said, it’s generally easier to learn automatic. So, it’s not an easy decision.
When it comes to driving in Greenwich, you might prefer to drive an automatic because they tend to be easier in heavy traffic. They effectively change gears for you and there’s no clutch to deal with, so they’re much more relaxing to drive when you’re stopping and starting every few metres - which is fairly likely in Greenwich!
However, if you’re going to be driving outside of London frequently, you might prefer to take manual lessons. A manual car gives you an added sense of control which can be welcome when you’re driving longer distances. Plus, manual cars are easier to hire in Europe, so a manual licence gives you that extra bit of flexibility.
If you’re stuck between the two choices, it might help to know that manual lessons are generally cheaper in Greenwich because there are more manual instructors around. Then again, you might pass faster if you’re learning automatic. It’s a close shout!
Tips for learning to drive in Greenwich
The biggest piece of advice we can give you when it comes to learning to drive in Greenwich is practise! By putting in some extra time between lessons, you can hone the skills your instructor teaches you and become test-ready much quicker. In fact, the DVSA recommends 22 hours of private practice before taking your practical driving test.
There are plenty of great practice spots in Greenwich. Here are a few of our favourites:
The Avenue: Looking for a great spot to practise your hill starts? Try heading up The Avenue in Greenwich Park, towards Blackheath Avenue. Pick a weekday so that you can stop and start, trying a few hill starts out away from the tourists!
The A102: Every new driver needs to get comfortable driving on dual carriageways. Our driving instructors in Greenwich recommend having trying the A102 south from the Blackwall Tunnel. Here, you can get valuable experience changing lanes and using slip roads.
Roundabouts! No matter what your stage in the learn-to-drive journey, you’ll need to keep practising your roundabouts. If you’re just starting out, the roundabout where Prince Charles Road meets Shooters Hill Road (also known as the A2) would be a good one to try. And when you’re more confident, there’s the bustling Sun in the Sands Roundabout to have a go on.
Ashburnham Place: Ashburnham Place and the other residential streets south of Greenwich station are great places to perfect your passing distances and giving way to other drivers. With cars lining both sides of these roads, they’re also great for honing your parallel parking.
Town centre: Greenwich town centre is a tricky maze of narrow streets crowded with pedestrians, particularly on summer weekends! Head here to put your hazard perception skills to the test.
Choosing your test centre
When the time is right, your driving instructor in Greenwich will help you to pick a nearby test centre and start introducing you to the routes that could come up in your practical driving test.
Test Centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019.
Barking (Tanner Street) | Pass rate: 34.2%
Barking Test Centre is located in a busy urban area with lots of junctions and traffic lights. It doesn’t have any allocated parking, so make sure you arrive early so that you can find a parking space nearby.
Address: 84 Tanner Street, Barking, Essex, Greater London, IG11 8QF
Belvedere | Pass rate: 34%
You’ll find Belvedere Test Centre on a quiet part of Woolwich Road, between two busier urban streets. There are quite a few one-way streets around the test centre, so keep your eyes peeled for road signs and make sure you respond to them!
Address: 33 Woolwich Road, Belvedere, Kent, DA17 5EE
Hither Green | Pass rate: 49%
Our driving instructors in Greenwich would definitely recommend Hither Green Test Centre. Its pass rate is not only one of the best in London, but far above the national average of 45.8%! Plus it’s the closest test centre to Greenwich.
Address: 42-44 Ennersdale Road, Hither Green, Greater London, SE13 6JD
Enter your postcode on the DVSA website to find your closest test centre.
Test tips from driving instructors in Greenwich
Driving instructors in Greenwich give us some insight into how to pass the driving test in the area.
1. Check out the parking situation
Driving instructors in Greenwich have warned that some of the nearby driving test centres don’t have allocated parking for test candidates. It can be difficult to find a space near the test centre, so it’s wise to leave yourself plenty of time (and get confident with your parallel parking!).
2. If you make a wrong turn, keep going
Some of the test routes near Greenwich can involve some difficult lane changes ahead of roundabouts and traffic lights, particularly when the roads are busy. If your driving examiner tells you to go in one direction but you realise you’re in the wrong lane, don’t panic! Just go in the direction that your lane points you in, as you won’t fail your test for getting the directions wrong (but you will if you try to correct yourself unsafely!).
3. Drive defensively
A top tip from driving instructors in Greenwich is to expect the unexpected from other road users when taking your test in the area. South East London is full of aggressive drivers, and some of the road systems can confuse drivers who aren’t familiar with the area. So, keep an eye out for any unexpected behaviour on the road, and be ready to tailor your driving accordingly.
Where we provide driving lessons in Greenwich
Some of the most popular areas in and around Greenwich are:
Blackheath, Charlton, Cutty Sark, Deptford, Maze Hill, North Greenwich and Westcombe Park.
Enter your postcode to see driving lessons prices in your area!