Learning to drive is one of those valuable life skills that can open up many opportunities in life.
Hi I’m Claire! – Qualifying as a Driving Instructor in 2009, I hold a green licence badge issued by the Driving Standards Agency. That means I am fully qualified and regularly checked to make sure I meet the standards required of a professional driving instructor.
The name Clarabell comes from a family nickname relating to a favoured childhood toy.
I am a member of the ADI Federation, this means I am kept up to date weekly on any new developments within the driver training industry and DVSA.
They are also a good support network for me if any problem arises but I’m glad to say, up to now I haven’t needed them yet!
Why Choose Me?
The advantages of choosing an independent instructor like myself are:
- You know who is going to turn up on your doorstep before your first lesson
- I offer a more personal service because you’ll always get to talk to me, your instructor directly, not a call centre.
- I offer a lower price as I don’t have administration costs or car rental fees that gets added to your lesson price.
- The larger driving schools hire instructors as part of a franchise agreement, they are self-employed just like myself and have passed the same tests, but have to pay the driving school and so pass on the charge to you.
I believe in offering to you
- A safe, enjoyable and friendly learning environment
- No shouting allowed
- No car sharing
- A full one hour lesson, if I am late I will make up the time at the end of the lesson or the next
- Honesty about your current skills
Lesson Prices (from May 2019)
1 hr Lesson – £28.00
10 x 1 hr Lessons – £270 (Equivalent to £27 per hour)
20 x 1 hr lessons – £530 (Equivalent to £26.50 per hour)
The theory test price is currently set at £23 and the practical test is £62.
These can be booked online through the official gov.uk website. Be aware that there are other companies that will charge you more, be careful not to get caught out, use the official website to book.
I accept payment in cash or online banking
If you cancel a lesson giving less than 24 hours notice you may still be charged for the full amount.
As I am an independent instructor I cannot answer the phone while out on lessons but will aim to reply to your messages within three hours during a normal working hours day.
Lesson plans include all the skills you will need to pass your driving test.
Lesson plans include the following subjects:
Controls of the car
Moving off and stopping
Turn in the road (three point turn)
Reversing left and right
Emergency stop and use of mirrors
Pedestrian crossings & signals
Meet, cross the path of other traffic, overtaking, clearance and anticipation
Progress, hesitancy and position
Parallel parking and reverse bay parking
Motorway driving is now allowed with a dual controlled car and instructor present but not part of the test
Independent Driving Practice
Your practical driving test will include 20 minutes of either SATNAV directions or independently following road signs
It’s not a test of your orientation and navigation skills.
How the test works
During your test you’ll have to drive independently by either following:
- traffic signs
- a series of verbal directions
- a combination of both
To help you understand where you’re going when following verbal directions, the examiner can show you a diagram.
You can’t use sat nav because the independent driving section tests how you make your own decisions.
Forgetting the directions
It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way.
Driving independently means making your own decisions – this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going.
The examiner will confirm the directions to you if you ask for a reminder of them.
Going off the independent driving route
Your test result won’t be affected if you go off the independent driving route, unless you make a driving fault.
The examiner will help you get back on the route if you go off it or take a wrong turning. You can then continue with the independent driving.
Poor traffic signs
The examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign if there are poor or obscured traffic signs. You won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.
‘What is defensive driving?
This is driving in a way that you are prepared for the unexpected, that is driving in an appropriate way to react to any incident that might happen.
For example, if you are approaching a bend in the road and the distance you can see infront of you reduces, it’s usually a good idea to check your mirrors and reduce your speed.
Ask yourself these questions, what if there was a pedestrian, horse, or queuing traffic around that bend that I can’t see yet?
How would I react to that?
Am I going too fast to be able to stop in time?
Or how about this scenario, you are approaching a zebra crossing outside a school, the children are just starting to leave school for home time, pedestrians do sometimes step out onto crossings without looking to see if it is safe.
What would you do to prevent an accident happening?
What do you need to be prepared for?
Defensive driving is being hazard aware, always being on your guard for potential situations that might crop up, driving in a manner that is suitable for the type of road that you are on.
Expecting the unexpected before it happens.
That way you will always be able to avoid potential accidents because you are ready for anything. Expect that other road users might not always follow the rules correctly and when this happens it’s important to remain patient and calm and allow for others mistakes.
We can’t all be perfect drivers all of the time and it’s very easy to criticise others before analysing our own actions.’