How to choose a driving school in Colchester
If you’re looking for a driving instructor in Colchester, you’ll want one who:
- Boosts your confidence
- Helps you enjoy learning
- Won’t charge a fortune!
So, when you come to choose a driving school in Colchester, make sure you do these 5 things:
1. Compare reviews
Seeing what other learners have to say is a great way of assessing what your learning experience would be like with a variety of driving schools in Colchester. Make sure that you don’t just read the reviews on their websites. Instead, take a look at independent review sites like Trustpilot, where you’ll be able to see a more balanced picture.
2. Beware of terms and conditions
There are many driving schools in Colchester that advertise introductory deals and offers. But some restrict the use of your discounted hours to specific parts of the learn-to-drive process, and have much higher prices outside of this deal. Always check the terms and conditions to make sure the deal isn’t too good to be true.
3. Make sure your instructor is qualified
If you want to learn with an experienced instructor, you’ll need to check that you’re matched with an Approved Driving Instructor, rather than a Potential Driving Instructor (a trainee). Some driving schools in Colchester may match you with someone who isn’t yet fully qualified unless you specifically request otherwise.
4. Check that you can switch instructors
Of course it’s best to learn with one driving instructor throughout the whole learn-to-drive process. But if you don’t get on with your instructor, you’re best off switching to a new one. Not all driving schools in Colchester would be able to help you switch - they may not have enough driving instructors who cover your area. So, check before you book.
5. Avoid long waiting times
Why wait longer than you need to for your first lesson? Most driving schools in Colchester don’t advertise their waiting times on their websites, so if you want to get started quickly, it’s important that you ask before booking. Some driving schools may make you wait weeks while others might be able to get you on the road in just a couple of days!
Tips for learning to drive in Colchester
Our driving instructors in Colchester say that the best way to hone your driving skills fast is to put in some private practice. The DVSA actually recommends 22 hours of private practice before taking the practical driving test! Here are some top spots to head to between your driving lessons in Colchester.
Errington Road: Errington Road and the residential roads parallel to it are good practice spots if you’re looking to hone your manoeuvres like pulling up on the right and reversing two car lengths, or parallel parking. Our driving instructors in Colchester say that they’re usually made fairly narrow by parked cars on both sides, so you can also use the opportunity to familiarise yourself with passing distances and rights of way.
Berechurch Hall Road: If you’re just getting to grips with the basics of roundabout driving, head to Berechurch Hall Road. It’s a wide, straight road with three simple roundabouts on it. Get comfortable here before heading onto our next practice spot...
The A134: If you take this urban dual carriageway south from Wickes to Aldi, you’ll encounter a grand total of five roundabouts! Not bad for just one road if you’re after some more advanced roundabout practice! Start a little further north near Colchester Hospital if you want to throw in a couple of box junctions too.
Bakers Lane: Bakers Lane is one of many rural roads surrounding Colchester. Our driving instructors in Colchester recommend narrow, winding roads like this for some practice because it can be difficult to judge the appropriate speed to drive at - especially when you also take into account changing weather conditions!
The A12: While there are many urban dual carriageways in Colchester, there aren’t many high speed dual carriageways. According to our driving instructors in Colchester, the A12 is a national speed limit dual carriageway that’s great for perfecting changing lanes and using slip roads.
Choosing your test centre
When you’re growing in confidence in your driving lessons in Colchester, your driving instructor will want to show you the routes that may come up in your practical driving test. So, you’ll need to choose a test centre. There’s only one test centre in Colchester, but another nearby in Clacton-on-Sea.
Test centre pass rates
DVSA practical car test pass rates, 2019-2020.
Colchester Test Centre | Pass rate: 40.4%
Colchester Test Centre is based on Grange Way, which is in an area made up of businesses and warehouses. So, it might be worth bringing any food or drink you need with you instead of relying on buying something nearby.
Address: Grange Way, Colchester, Essex, CO2 8HF
Clacton-on-Sea Test Centre | Pass rate: 51%
You can find the Clacton-on-Sea Test Centre along Carnarvon Road near Clacton-on-Sea’s train station. Its station can get busy so be sure to keep an eye out for any developing hazards.
Address: 103 - 105 Carnarvon Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, CO15 6PR
Check out the DVSA to find more nearby test centres.
Test tips from driving instructors in Colchester
Our driving instructors in Colchester have shared their advice for passing the driving test in the area.
1. Master the roundabouts
If you take your driving test at Colchester Test Centre, you’re sure to encounter lots of roundabouts, like those on Berechurch Hall Road. Our driving instructors in Colchester say to pay particular attention to joining the roundabout at a safe moment, and to remember your MSPSL routine!
2. Remember your passing distances
According to our driving instructors in Colchester, parts of the test could involve driving down narrow roads like Bourne Road. Make sure to keep your speed measured, focus on any oncoming traffic, and keep an eye on your passing distances.
3. Take a driving lesson beforehand
Our driving instructors in Colchester would recommend taking a driving lesson directly before your driving test. This will give you the chance to calm any nerves, get back into the swing of being in the driver’s seat, and go over any last-minute worries you may have.
Choosing between manual and automatic
You need to decide whether you want manual or automatic driving lessons in Colchester.
Because they don’t require you to change gears using a clutch pedal, automatic cars are easier to drive in urban settings where you have to stop and start often. As a historic market town, Colchester has some very narrow streets in the town centre. You might have to stop frequently to let other cars pass, so an automatic could suit you well here. The lack of a clutch also makes automatics easier to learn in, meaning they could help you pass your test quicker.
On the other hand, manual lessons tend to be cheaper, so, if saving money is your priority, they might be a better option for you. Equally, if you are going to be driving long distances regularly on Colchester’s dual carriageways like the A12 or A120, you might prefer the sense of control that a manual car can give you.
While an automatic licence only qualifies you to drive automatic cars, a manual licence means you can drive both manual and automatic cars. So, taking manual lessons would let you keep your options open if you’re not sure which type of car you’re likely to drive once you pass.
What if you could pass in 17 fewer hours?
Midrive learners pass 17 hours faster than the UK average, so that’s up to 35% you could save on driving lessons. Match that with our top-rated instructors and the progress tracking, theory practice and articles in the Midrive Learner app and you’ve got the ideal learning experience.
Our learners also:
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Where we provide driving lessons in Colchester
If you’re looking for a driving instructor in Colchester, we’ve got you covered. Some of our popular areas are:
Beacon End, Braiswick, Greenstead, Highwoods, Lexden, Mile End, Old Heath and Shrub End.
Enter your postcode to see driving lesson prices near you.