How to choose a driving school in Stratford
You deserve a driving instructor in Stratford who:
- Makes you feel supported
- Helps you enjoy learning
- Won’t cost the earth!
That’s why we’d recommend doing these things when looking for a driving school in Stratford:
1. Compare reviews
You might think that reading reviews for driving schools in Stratford is a given. But make sure that you do so on independent review sites like Trustpilot or Google Reviews. Most driving schools will only show their best reviews on their websites.
2. Beware of terms and conditions
It might seem boring, but it’s important to read the small print before you book your driving lessons in Stratford. Some driving schools don’t refund unused hours. Others require you to use up all your lessons within a certain time frame. Don’t get caught by surprise!
3. Check that you can switch instructors
Nobody wants to sit in the car for hours with someone they don’t get on with, least of all when that person’s teaching them to drive! Not all driving schools in Stratford will allow you to switch instructors if you don’t get on with yours, so make sure to enquire about this before you book.
4. Avoid long waiting times
Many driving schools in Stratford won’t give you their waiting times until you’re in the process of making a booking, or sometimes even until after you’ve booked! Make sure that you find out what waiting times a school has before committing yourself, to avoid waiting longer than you have to for your first lesson.
Tips for learning to drive in Stratford
If you want to pass your driving test faster, it’s worth putting in some practice between lessons to hone your driving skills. In fact, the DVSA recommends 22 hours of private practice before taking the practical driving test.
Well, luckily for you, driving instructors in Stratford say that the area is a great one to practise in. We’ve listed a few of their top practice spots.
Trowbridge Road: The residential closes just off Trowbridge Road are bursting with options to try out your parallel parking, bay parking and other manoeuvres. This area is west of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, just round the corner from Hackney Wick tube station.
Warton Road: There’s a tiny roundabout at the top of Warton Road which is almost always quiet. According to driving instructors in Stratford, it’s the ideal spot to learn how to drive around a roundabout without pressure from other road users!
Montfichet Road: This is a great place to perfect your dual carriageway driving at fairly low speeds. Take the time to practise changing lanes and responding to road markings.
Westfield Avenue: Right outside Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, there’s a huge box junction where Westfield Avenue meets International Way. If you’re in need of some practice on box junctions, there’s no better place!
Great Eastern Road: Great Eastern Road runs directly between Stratford Shopping Centre and Stratford Station. So, it’s teaming with pedestrians trying to cross the road! Head here to polish your hazard perception skills.
Choosing your test centre
Once you’re progressing through your driving lessons in Stratford, your driving instructor will suggest you choose a driving test centre. They’ll then help you to prepare for your practical driving test by introducing you to the routes around your chosen test centre.
Test centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2018-2019.
Barking (Tanner Street) Test Centre | Pass rate: 34.3%
Barking test centre has a pass rate far below the UK average of 45.8%! There’s no car park available for test candidates, so make sure you arrive early so that you’re able to find a parking space nearby.
Address: 84 Tanner Street, Barking, Essex, Greater London, IG11 8QF
Goodmayes Test Centre | Pass rate: 38.5%
You’ll find Goodmayes Test Centre on Goodmayes Road, where you’ll also find a number of box junctions. It’s a busy road, so you should also expect to encounter a fair bit of traffic if you take your test here.
Address: 98 Goodmayes Road, Ilford, Greater London, IG3 9UZ
Wanstead Test Centre | Pass rate: 35.6%
You’ll come across a mix of narrow residential streets and busy urban roads on a test here. Bear in mind that there aren’t any toilets available at this test centre, so make sure you take a loo trip beforehand!
Address: 2 Devon House, Hermon Hill, Wanstead, Greater London, E11 2AW
Enter your postcode on the DVSA test centre finder to see a full list of driving test centres near you.
Test tips from driving instructors in Stratford
Driving instructors in Stratford have shared with us their tips on passing the driving test in the area. Enjoy!
1. Hone your hazard perception
The test centres near Stratford are all located in busy urban areas, full of pedestrians, buses and parked cars. Make sure you really practise spotting hazards so that you can demonstrate to the examiner that you’re a safe driver. The hazard perception test should help!
2. Drive defensively
London drivers are known for being the most aggressive in the UK, so (unfortunately!) you shouldn’t expect them all to follow the rules. Driving instructors in Stratford advise you to drive defensively, always expecting the unexpected from other drivers and adapting your own driving accordingly.
3. Practise your box junctions
Box junctions tend to catch people out often, so it’s important that you do as much practise on them as possible - there are a fair few on the test routes near Stratford. This is particularly the case if you choose to take your test at Goodmayes Test Centre, as driving instructors have warned that there are box junctions on the same road as the test centre!
Choosing between manual and automatic
If you haven’t yet chosen between manual and automatic driving lessons, you’ll need to do so before you book. We don’t envy you the choice!
Manual lessons are the most popular of the two. Lessons tend to be cheaper and manual driving instructors are easier to find. On top of that, a manual car gives you an added sense of control, as it requires you to manually change gears in order to adapt your speed. Many drivers find this more fun, particularly if they take longer journeys. So, if you’re going to be cruising down the A12 out of London on a regular basis, you might prefer to learn in a manual.
On the other hand, automatic driving lessons are growing in popularity, particularly in cities. Automatic cars are easier to drive in stop-start traffic as they don’t have a clutch pedal and they effectively change gears for youl. So, given Stratford’s heavy traffic and large number of pedestrians, you might find automatic driving lessons more relaxing. You’re also likely to need fewer driving lessons before taking your test.
Before you choose between the two, it’s worth thinking about the difference between manual and automatic driving licences. A manual licence qualifies you to drive both manual and automatic cars, whereas an automatic licence only qualifies you to drive automatics. So, think carefully before choosing to take automatic driving lessons.
Where can I take driving lessons in Stratford
Driving lessons can be taken throughout Stratford and right across London. Some of the popular locations include:
Barking, Brixton, Bromley, Clapham, Croydon, Dagenham, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Harrow, Hayes, Hendon, Hounslow, Islington, Kingston upon Thames, Putney, Romford, Southall, Sutton, Tottenham, Twickenham, Uxbridge, Walthamstow, Wandsworth, Watford, Wembley and Wimbledon.
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