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What is a Private Driving Instructor?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2016
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The term private driving instructor may be interpreted in more than one way. It could be a sole proprietor who offers private lessons, or alternately, it may mean any person, usually in association with a driving school, who offers private lessons to beginning drivers. The latter term is used more often, and is typically what people look for when they want to take instruction alone, instead of sharing instruction time with others.

A private driving instructor should always be licensed by the state to conduct lessons. This is important because the state or region frequently exacts high standards about the instructor’s past, driving record, and ability to care for students in an emergency.

In many regions, obtaining a license may require a certain amount of behind the wheel instruction with a licensed instructor. Verifying status of this license through agencies like a Department of Motor Vehicles mean that people won’t throw their money away on training that doesn’t apply.

Behind the wheel instruction doesn’t necessarily have to be private, though people should verify this with a Department of Motor Vehicles or other licensing agency. Yet, many people do end up working with a private driving instructor. For example, nervous drivers may feel extremely uncomfortable driving in front of strangers in a group lesson, or being passengers in a car with new drivers. If this is the case, working privately may provide a more comfortable learning environment.

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Some people have learning styles that are better adapted to one-on-one teaching, and group lessons won’t be as effective. Finding a private driving instructor could be a better alternative.

The disadvantage of private lessons is that they are usually more expensive, though the difference between group and private lessons might not be that significant. It’s suggested that people do some price checking in their area, and compare prices from people who operate a driving instruction business privately and those who are employed at a driver school.

It should be noted that not all drivers have to take private driving lessons. This requirement may be limited to teen drivers in certain regions. In some regions, those over the age of 18 can simply take lessons from anyone who will teach them, after getting a learning permit. In many areas, all aspects of driver training used to be taught in high school, but a number of regions have limited or disbanded this practice due to expense. Since then private schools have flourished and it’s not hard to find a private driving instructor.

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