How do I choose a driving instructor?

Here are some of the questions you should ask before you decide on who will teach you to drive.

Are they qualified?

At Emerging Left Intensive Driving School, we often talk about our instructors being Graded A. This is the grade awarded by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) which says that the instructor has shown a ‘high overall standard of instruction’ (a score between 43 and 51).

Instructors are assessed on lesson planning; risk management and teaching/learning strategies. If the instructor scores between 31 and 42, their standard of instruction is deemed ‘satisfactory’ (they have demonstrated ‘sufficient competence’) and below this score their performance is deemed ‘unsatisfactory’. Of the 35,732 instructors tested by the DVSA (in December 2018), 11,184 achieved a Grade A – just over 31%. 23,218 achieved a Grade B – nearly 65%.

Essentially this means that when you ask an instructor about their credentials, they should be able to provide their form from the DVSA senior examiner to prove the grade they have been awarded. On the form, it is worth looking at the ‘notes of improvement’ (in the lower panel) and the grade itself which is shown in the top right corner.


Are they recommended?

While its vital to know that your driving instructors’ credentials are sound there is nothing like word of mouth. We are thankful that so many of our clients have rated us five star and given us their excellent recommendations on Facebook, Yell and Google to name a few:

“Remarkable patience and professionalism…head and shoulders above any other instructor” Roland Oliphant

“Couldn’t recommend them highly enough… thank you for being patient with me” George Ezra

“Showed great patience and kindness…” Michelle Rigby

 “The right instructor with good experience and the best credentials…” Nick Yeowell

 “Cannot recommend more highly” Ed Harcourt

Highly recommend for anyone serious about driving…” Hoda

The best by far…” Sharon Mullarkey


Do they have experience?

It’s important that the instructor you choose isn’t just qualified but that they are experienced as well. Our instructors have been deliberately selected due to their considerable experience, their passion and their positive attitude to teaching – we want you to pass first time! We teach both manual and automatic and also offer refresher courses and teach motorway driving skills.


Will the lessons fit in with my life?

When choosing a driving instructor, you need someone that will fit into your life and be convenient in terms of location and timings. At Emerging Left Intensive Driving School, we offer a door-to-door service and also a station-to-station pick-up/drop-off, whatever works best for you. You will learn (and take your test) in and around your local area but also gain driving experience in different road/traffic scenarios.


Will we work well together?

Of course, it’s important that you get on with your instructor as you’ll be working 1 to 1, but remember they are there to teach you a life skill, not to socialise. On the rare occasion that someone just doesn’t ‘gel’ with a particular instructor for whatever reason our head office is only a phone call away and can reallocate a different instructor to you. We want you to be 100 per cent happy with your instructor so you can become a confident driver for life.


Do they offer value?

Price is another important factor in choosing a driving instructor but don’t just jump at the cheapest – its best to need fewer hours with an experienced instructor than many lessons with the wrong instructor. At Emerging Left Intensive Driving School, our intensive courses are tailor made and you control what you feel you need – working in partnership with your instructor. Emerging Left Intensive Driving School offer a quality service that is good value; as a bonus we will book your theory and practical driving test for FREE, saving you the cost and hassle of getting this sorted. We will only book you in for your driving test when you are ready – again, saving both your time and your money. If you pass earlier then we will refund any outstanding lessons you had booked, with no hidden costs.

So, when a driving instructor claims to be the highest grade, you now know you can ask for proof. Of course, all the experienced driving instructors at Emerging Left Intensive Driving School are Graded A and their professionalism speaks for itself. We are so confident in the quality of the value for money service we offer in Hertfordshire and across London that we are happy to book you in for a ‘no commitment’ trial, so look no further and book today.

For further information please see our other articles:



“As a touring musician and living in London most of my adult life, I never actually got around to taking my driving test. It was only when my children were old enough to speak that they gradually started mocking me for not being able to drive, thus kicking my shame and parental responsibility into high gear! I cannot recommend Dennis and the team at Emerging Left more highly; their experience, patience and professionalism is 2nd to none. They ensured that by the time I took my test, I was a fully confident driver, was aware of the dangers and how to be safe on the road & was extremely knowledgeable about the rules of the road. Seems now my kids are only mocking me about everything else. Thanks guys!”

Ed Harcourt

Singer / Song Writer / Musician

“Den is truly a great instructor whom I would highly recommend for anyone who is serious about driving.  He is highly experienced, full of integrity, honest and has a knack for making you feel ‘calm, confident and in control.’

If you don’t learn how to drive with Den and Emerging Left, you simply shouldn’t be on the road!
Thank you Den and thank you Emerging Left!
All the Best,”



“I used 3 different driving instructor companies and Emerging Left was the best by far. The office team of instructor’s took time to ensure I understood the course that I required to help me pass my test. Everything was explained fully  before any payment was made.

My instructor was very patient and explained clearly what we were doing and why. I felt not just ready to pass my driving test which i did with 0 yes 0 minors but confident and safe to drive on the road with my baby girl.

I would recommend Emerging Left to anyone  who wants to learn to drive.”

Sharon Mullarkey

“Den is an exceptional driving instructor of remarkable patience and professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend him and Emerging Left to anyone wanting to get on the road. His dedication to his students puts him head and shoulders above any other instructor I encountered while learning.

Perhaps most importantly, he understands how daunting the process can be and has a knack for making you feel he is on your side. If you are someone who has failed before or finds driving tests stressful, Den and Emerging Left will get you through.”

Roland Oliphant

Reporter for the Telegraph

“I passed my driving test on the 13th of January 2017 with Emerging Left.

I had had a few lessons with somebody else previous to Emerging Left and I didn’t learn a thing with them, I was left feeling that this was a bridge to far and that i would never get my licence but as soon as I started lessons with my A grade instructor he gave me so much more encouragement and reassurance that the road became a place of confidence.
My instructor taught me to be a great driver and his knowledge and experience helped me to pass with only 1 minor fault. He made me feel comfortable while on lessons. If I made a mistake he would say ‘don’t worry let’s try again’. He was very patient with me during my lessons and gave me the confidence to pass my test. I am very happy I used Emerging Left as my driving instructor, I would recommend this company to any learner.”

Chloe, Wimbledon

“When I first started my driving lessons I felt very nervous and anxious about being behind the wheel. My instructor took all the nerves and anxiety away instantly with his calm and patient approach. He took his time to explain each and every step in a way I could understand and put into practice confidently. After each lesson I felt more and more confident and excited for the next lesson to come as each lesson was made fun. When doing my lessons I was studying in college and the office team and instructor tried their hardest to work around my classes and I believe I was provided the best customer care possible. The teaching was so effective that even now when parking I can still hear my instructors voice in my head telling me exactly what to do.”

Kelly Rice

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Areas Covered

We cover the whole of Hertfordshire and London.

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Hertfordshire  01707 818 355
London 020 3813 0566

London Office | 3 Hoveden Rd | Cricklewood | London |NW2 3XE

Hertfordshire Office | 19 Ryelands | Welwyn Garden City | Hertfordshire | AL7 4LH

London office | 75 Lyttelton Road | Leyton | London E10 5NQ