Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose Clearway Driver Training?

There are lots of different driving schools to choose from and you've probably got several questions that you'd like answered before you choose who you'd like to learn with. Here are the answers to questions we often get asked, but if there's something you want to know that we haven't answered here, or you'd like to discuss anything in more detail, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Questions About Clearway Driver Training

Questions About Driving Lessons

Questions About Our Prices

Questions About Driving Licences

Questions About Driving Tests

Questions About Clearway Driver Training

Information about our driving school and our instructors

Who are Clearway Driver Training?

Clearway Driver Training is an independent family-run driving school offering quality tuition from fully qualified driving instructors throughout South Lincolnshire and the Thames Valley. We offer driving lessons, intensive courses, Pass Plus, motorway and refresher lessons in South Lincolnshire including Spalding, Bourne, The Deepings, Holbeach and East Berkshire and the surrounding areas of South Buckinghamshire, North Surrey and West Middlesex including Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead, Egham, Iver, Langley. For more information on the services we offer, please see our driving lessons page.

What hours do you open?

Our office is open between the hours of 10am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday. We are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. When the office is closed, messages can be left on our answerphone or by email and text message.

Our instructors work to a diary system with individual instructors determining their own working hours. Driving lessons can be booked both direct with your instructor or via the office, and are subject to availability.

Are you licensed and do you belong to any professional organisations?

All Clearway Driver Training instructors are licensed by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and are fully qualified Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs).

In addition, all our instructors are members of the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) and are fully checked by the Disclosure And Barring Service (DBS).

As such we abide by the rules of conduct endorsed by these bodies, including the ADI Code Of Practice. This gives you (or your parents) the reassurance that as a customer you will be taught professionally, effectively and safely.

All of our instructors are registered Pass Plus instructors and are members of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).

Will my driving instructor be fully qualified?

Clearway Driver Training is firmly committed to providing the best quality tuition to its customers.

We only use fully qualified instructors and your instructor will display a green ADI licence in the windscreen of their car at all times when giving driving tuition.

Do you use trainee instructors?

Clearway Driver Training do occasionally train instructors, but we do not allow trainees to give tuition to our customers.

Will I have the same driving instructor throughout my training?

You will be allocated a named Clearway instructor when you initially book your lessons and only in exceptional circumstances (e.g. debilitating or long-term illness) will you be asked to take lessons with another instructor. However, if it is felt that it would be of benefit to you, it may be suggested that your mock driving test is carried out with another instructor.

What type of car will I be driving?

Clearway Driver Training instructors use modern, dual controlled vehicles that are ideally suited for the needs of learner drivers.

Our cars have excellent all round visibility, making manoeuvres easier and driving safer. The cars are air-conditioned, have power steering, dual airbags and excellent safety features for your peace of mind.

You can see our current cars on the About The Cars page of the website.

Vehicles are routinely maintained and cleaned and smoking is not allowed in the cars at any time.

Can I learn to drive in an automatic car?

No. At present, we are only able to offer tuition in manual cars.

Do you do gift packs or vouchers?

Yes. Please see our Gift Vouchers page for full details.

What areas do you cover?

A full list of the areas we cover is available on the Areas Covered page of this website.

Questions About Driving Lessons

More information about our driving lessons & courses

How many driving lessons will I need?

The DVSA have stated:

On average, people who pass their driving test have had 47 hours of driving lessons with a driving instructor and 20 hours of private practice.

In reality, everyone is different and learns to drive at their own pace and the above information should only be used as a guide. Some people will need longer and some people need less!

Your driving instructor will be able to advise you how many hours tuition overall you are likely to need as your driving lessons progress.

Do you offer intensive courses?

Yes. Although not suitable for everyone, intensive courses can be an ideal way of learning to drive and getting to test standard in a short space of time. Please see the intensive courses page for details.

How long are the lessons?

As a general rule, 90 minute lessons work best for most people as they allow sufficient time for travel to and from suitable sites with plenty of time for driving practice at the site. They are less rushed than one hour lessons and prevent some of the tiredness often associated with two hour lessons, especially for beginners.

In very rural areas such as those in parts of South Lincolnshire though, longer lessons of two hours may be more beneficial due to the travelling time involved in reaching suitable training areas. Also, in order to familiarise yourself with the area around the driving test centre, it may be necessary to take even longer lessons. This will be agreed with you beforehand, if this is necessary.

Do evening & weekend driving lessons cost more?

No, our standard lesson price applies at all times.

Will there be anyone else in the car apart from me and my driving instructor?

Clearway Driver Training does not allow the practice of "piggybacking" that is employed by some driving schools. This means that you will be the only learner driver in the car at any time. Driving tuition will always be given on a one-to-one basis.

However, from time to time, driving instructors are given a "standards check" by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) in order to ensure that their standard of driving tuition remains high and this will involve an examiner sitting in the back of the car on a driving lesson. The examiner would not, in any way, be assessing your performance, merely assessing the standard of instruction. If this needs to happen, you will be given plenty of warning by your instructor. Because Clearway Driver Training also occasionally trains driving instructors, it may be necessary for a trainee driving instructor to observe your lesson. Again, this would not be an assessment of your performance and your instructor will seek your agreement beforehand.

I'm very nervous about learning to drive. Can you help?

We believe that people learn more effectively if they're relaxed and don't feel under pressure. We want you to learn at your own pace and we'll try to make lessons enjoyable and fun, but at the same time effective. Everyone makes mistakes when they learn a new skill. Good instruction and plenty of practice makes perfect, worry and feeling stressed doesn't!

My last instructor shouted at me when I did things wrong. Do you do that?

An impatient, rude or unsympathetic driving instructor can very easily affect your confidence and result in you either not succeeding or taking longer than necessary to learn to drive. Clearway Driver Training believes that patience, courtesy and understanding are fundamental to the success of our customers. We will not shout, belittle you or undermine your confidence.

Will I be treated as an individual?

Yes! We think every customer is unique and you will be taught to drive in the way that suits you best. We don't rush through a syllabus by rote. Learning to drive should not only be about passing the driving test, so we aim to ensure you become a safe driver for life. We use a structured approach to tuition with clear, attainable goals set out throughout your training.

Do I have to always start and finish my driving lessons at home?

No - You can start and end your driving lessons at your home, school, work or anywhere else, so long as both locations are within the area covered by your driving instructor. We are quite happy to, for example, pick you up from college and drop you at home etc.

How will my progress be assessed?

Your progress will be monitored and recorded by your driving instructor and they will discuss your progress with you regularly.

Do you only teach learners?

We offer tuition in all aspects of driver training including complete beginners, those who have tried learning to drive previously, driving test failures, nervous drivers, foreign licence holders, refresher courses, motorway driving, parking, all-weather driving and Pass Plus. No matter what your level of ability we can help you learn and improve your driving skills.

Do you offer refresher lessons?

Yes, we can provide refresher driving lessons if you haven't driven for some time or you wish to brush up on any aspect of your driving. These lessons will cover a gentle reintroduction to driving in a quiet area before moving further afield onto busier roads and will cover a variety of road types and conditions. We can tailor refresher lessons to suit your requirements. Please see our Refresher Driving Lessons page for more details.

Do you offer Pass Plus courses?

Yes, all Clearway Driver Training driving instructors are registered Pass Plus instructors. Please see our Pass Plus page for more details.

Questions About Our Prices

Driving lesson & course prices

How much do driving lessons cost?

A full list of our current prices can be found on the Prices page of this website.

What discounts do you offer?

We offer substantial discounts if you block book a pre-paid course of lessons. Please see our prices page for full details.

Are your prices competitive?

We think we offer very competitive prices! We aren't the cheapest driving school around, nor are we the most expensive. We believe we offer excellent value for money, excellent driving tuition and excellent customer service!

Why aren't your prices as cheap as some other driving schools? / I can get lessons cheaper - why are you so expensive?

When looking for a driving school, remember that the hourly rate charged for driving lessons is only part of what you need to consider in order to get the best value. What is really important is the quality of the tuition and the service you will be receiving.

Many of the "cheap" driving schools make up their money by persuading you to take more driving lessons than you really need, or spend lots of time with the car stationary at the side of the road while the instructor talks through things rather than using up fuel by actually letting the customer drive the car. Lessons are frequently shorter too – the instructor may arrive "a little bit late" or finish the lesson "a little bit early". There is no such thing as a "free lunch" after all!

We always honour the full time you book for your driving lessons and frequently over-run the lesson time in your favour! If, on the rare occasions we do have to cut a lesson short, we'll add the time that you miss onto to your next lesson. There's no getting away from the fact that driving instructors have to spend some time parked up talking through what you're going to be learning in that lesson, recapping points or discussing things that happen while you're driving, but we try to keep this to only what is necessary as we believe that learning to drive is best achieved by doing it, rather than talking about it!

When you start learning to drive with us we will give you an honest estimation of how many driving lessons we think you as an individual will need and we carry on evaluating your progress and keeping you informed as you learn. Obviously, an estimation is just that – it's an educated guess based on your personality, experience and your progress in that first lesson. However, what we won't do is to say you are likely to need 50+ hours just to line our own pockets – if we think you can pass in 15 hours, we'll say so!

All of our driving instructors are fully qualified, highly experienced, friendly, patient and reliable. We are a small company because we believe in offering a quality product and a quality service. We don't let "just anyone" work with us, we literally hand-pick instructors who we feel best follow our company "ethos" and it's because of this, that we have an excellent reputation and many satisfied customers!

If you believe you get what you pay for, think being a good safe driver is important, and want to have the best chance of passing your test after a realistic number of driving lessons, then come to us. If you're looking for dirt cheap driving lessons, then remember the saying "If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys..."!

Please see our prices page for full details of the cost of our lessons and discounts for block bookings.

How can I pay for my driving lessons?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, we have needed to amend the methods of payment we can accept. Wherever possible, we would appreciate it if payments can be made by BACS or Faster Payments to our office at least 24 hours in advance of your lesson. We are also able to accept contactless credit or debit card payments for amounts up to £45 in the car at the time of your lesson. We can also take contactless payments via Apple Pay or Google Pay without this limit. While we are able to take non-contactless card payments or cash in the South Lincolnshire area, regrettably we are unable to offer this facility in the Thames Valley area. Any cash payments made must be for the exact amount as no change can be given. Any excess amount will be held in credit towards subsequent lessons. Please note we are unable to take card payments over the telephone.

Questions About Driving Licences

Information about driving licences

Is there anything I need before I start having driving lessons?

Everyone who wants to learn to drive on the public road needs to have a suitable licence. Unless you are a visitor to GB driving using a valid licence issued in another country, you will need a provisional driving licence.

Details of how to apply for a provisional driving licence can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Can I learn to drive on an international licence or a licence issued in another country?

If you already hold a driving licence issued in another country, there are some quite complex rules as to whether you are able to drive in the UK. For full details on these rules, please see the GOV.UK website.

Questions About Driving Tests

Information about the theory & practical tests

Do you have a good driving test pass rate?

Driving test pass rates are a very contentious subject amongst driving instructors. Some will claim to have a 90%+ pass rate, while others will be quoting figures nearer to 40%. The reason for this is because statistics can be manipulated to mean what you want them to mean. Some instructors will quote their "First Time" pass rate – i.e. the percentage of their passes that pass first time. This is very misleading because it excludes people taking their test many times and those that go elsewhere before passing.

Some instructors have even been known to quote a 100% pass rate because "everyone passes their test eventually"!

As Benjamin Disraeli once said, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics"

The only true measure of pass rate can be the percentage of driving tests taken by an instructor's pupils that are passed – no manipulation can be made to these figures. The current national average pass rate for learner drivers at all attempts is around 46.5% and our pass rate is consistently above this level.

Can you guarantee that I will pass my practical test?

Quite simply, NO-ONE can "guarantee" that someone will pass their driving test. The only way a test pass could ever be "guaranteed" is by some kind of pre-fixed and illegal means!

It's YOU that takes the test, not a driving instructor and therefore it's only your actions that can influence the outcome of your test. Most claims for "guaranteed driving test pass" simply involve the school or instructor supplying extra training or paying for a re-test for you until such time as you do pass (and in reality there's always a limit to how much will be provided). So it's not really a "guarantee" of passing at all.

We don't make extravagant promises such as "Guaranteed Pass". We will not promise that you will pass your driving test first time – after all it depends on how well you drive on the day of your test and even the most competent drivers can suffer badly from test day nerves.

What we CAN guarantee is that you will be trained to a high enough standard to have the best possible chance of passing your driving test.

Can I use your car to take my practical test?

In the case of customers who have taken a course of driving lessons with us, we reserve your instructor's car exclusively for your use as soon as your Practical Test is booked. The use of Clearway Driver Training vehicles is reserved for those who have learned to drive with us and we do not hire out our cars purely for the purposes of a driving test. If your instructor is unable to take you to test on the date you have it booked, it would be sensible to rearrange your test for a time that is mutually convenient for both you and your instructor rather than attempt to find someone who will hire you their car. Apart from anything else, changing the vehicle you drive at the last minute is not likely to improve your chances of passing.

Do I have to pay extra to use your car for my practical test?

We don't charge you any more than your normal hourly lesson rate to use your instructor's car for your driving test. On the day of your test you will usually have a 2, 2½ or 3 hour driving test lesson depending upon your location and which driving test centre your test is arranged for. This lesson time incorporates a driving lesson before your test, time spent travelling to and from the test centre and the time taken for the practical test itself. We charge our normal individual lesson rates and nothing extra. Some schools like to charge you an extra fee for using the car – we don't.