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Choosing your driving instructor
In Ireland, only Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) can give instruction for payment. It is illegal for anyone else to charge you for driving lessons.

To work as a driving instructor in Ireland, an instructor must be on the RSA’s Register of Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) and display an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) permit. To become registered and get an ADI full permit, each instructor is assessed by the RSA to ensure they have the necessary:

  • Knowledge of rules of the road and road safety
  • Driving ability
  • Ability to teach a learner driver

For your protection, ADIs also undergo Garda vetting.

What this means for you, as a learner driver, is better, more consistent standards and therefore better instruction.

Learning to drive can be an expensive business, so it makes sense to choose your driving instructor carefully. Below are some questions you may wish to consider. Always shop around and compare at least two or three instructors in your area.

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Questions to consider
  • Is the instructor a fully-qualified Approved Driver Instructor (ADI)? Check to see that they are listed on Road Safely Authority website.
  • What is the instructor's pass rate for learners sitting the practical test for the first time?
  • Can you have a free or reduced-price initial lesson to see how you get on with the instructor?
  • How long has the instructor been teaching learner drivers?
  • How long, and how much, are lessons?
  • Will you get a discount for booking a block of lessons in advance?
  • What happens if you need to cancel a pre-arranged lesson?
  • If you plan to drive cars only with an automatic gearbox, can the instructor provide a suitable tuition vehicle?
  • What model of car is used as the tuition vehicle?
  • Does the tuition vehicle have dual controls?
  • How old is the tuition vehicle?
  • Can the driver's seat and steering column of the tuition vehicle be adjusted to suit your height and build? This is particularly important if you are either very tall, or very short.
  • Does the tuition vehicle have safety features such as air bags and side impact protection?
  • Will you get any extras, such as software or study aids to help prepare for the theory test?
  • Will the instructor pick you up and drop you off at your home address, or other location that is convenient to you?
  • Will the instructor be giving you undivided attention, or will you be expected to either pick up the next pupil or drop off the previous one during the time allocated to your lesson?
  • Insist that the driving instructor does not take phone calls on their mobile during the lesson
  • Is the instructor recommended by a relative or close friend?
  • Does the instructor smoke in the tuition vehicle? This could be important to you if you are a non-smoker.
  • Does the instructor speak in a clear and easily understandable way? This may be particularly relevant if English is not your first language.
 
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