Why choose Mark Fenton's School of Motoring?

There are many excellent driving schools operating within our area and it's a difficult task to differentiate between them. As a 'one man' driving school I am only too aware of the high standards required to survive in this highly competitive field.

First and foremost I believe RELIABILITY to be a key issue with pupils that have come to me after being let down by their previous driving school. You should expect your tutor to arrive on time, every time, and that's the first promise I will make to you.

If I fail to turn up for a lesson without giving you at least 24 hours notice, then your next hour's tuition will be free of charge, and if I turn up more than ten minutes late, without giving prior notice, then the next half hour's lesson will also be free of charge.

The next promise I will make to you is that I will do everything possible to get you to 'test standard' at the lowest possible cost. I rely on recommendations for future business and no pupil will recommend a tutor that they feel has 'strung them along'. I will keep a progress record in order for the pupil to mark their improvement on a week to week basis.

Finally you will find my lesson rates very competitive, particularly compared to the larger well known driving schools such as BSM and AA.

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How many lessons will I need?

It's impossible to be exact of course, but a general 'rule of thumb' is that new pupils should budget for a minimum of forty hours tuition. For older 'new starters' you should perhaps add another ten hours.

For those pupils who have some previous experience or will also be driving with a parent, partner or friend, then you should budget between twenty and thirty hours.

The pass rate for passing a practical driving test first time is between 40% and 50%. Those pupils that pass first time are usually those that have had 30 to 40 hours tuition and have had the opportunity to drive with a parent, partner or friend.

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When and how should I book my Theory/Practical Test?

You should start studying for your theory test as soon as possible; even before you start driving lessons if possible. The more you know about the theoretical side of driving, the easier you will find the practical side.

The waiting list for theory tests is usually 3 to 4 weeks so be sure to be well prepared before booking, as test appointments can 'creep up' on you very quickly.

We can discuss the best time to book your practical test within the first couple of weeks of starting your lessons. (Remember you must pass your theory test before you can apply for your practical test.)

From a personal point of view I prefer the pupil to have a practical test date booked so that we have at least something to work towards. Test dates can always be moved back or even forwards if the pupil is not ready or is making better progress than expected.

Theory and practical tests can be booked online at www.dsa.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk or by calling 0870 0101 372. Alternatively I will happy to organise this on your behalf.

Test costs as of September 2007 are as follows:

Theory Test £28.50
Practical weekdays £48.50
Practical Weekends £58.00+

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Where can I take my tests?

There are of course many test centres across the country that you can choose from and these are listed on the DSA website. Our local test centres are St Albans and Stevenage although Barnet, Watford and Letchworth can also be used.

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Whose car do I use for the practical test?

My car will be made available for your test provided we have agreed that you have achieved the standard required for the test.

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What happens on my first lesson?

I will pick you up from your preferred location. After informal introductions I will check your driving licence to ensure it is signed and ask you to read a car number plate at a distance of approximately 21.5 Metres. I will then drive you to a safe and quiet location (usually 10 to 15 mins) that will be appropriate for a new learner.

My aim is to get the student driving as soon as possible, so briefings will be kept short and to the point. By the end of your first lesson the student will have learned how to prepare for safe driving, how to move off and stop safely, and perhaps how to change through some of the gears. The first few hours of driving will usually take place in a quiet location where there is little other traffic.

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There are so many products to assist with the theory test to choose from. Which do you recommend?

First and foremost, read the Highway Code. This is the single most important reading material for those wishing to start driving. It's best to read it 'little and often' to help ensure that you absorb all the information. After that there are many very good CD ROMs available but advice would be to buy products approved by the DSA.

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When would it be appropriate to start driving with a parent, partner or friend?

My advice would be to wait until the student can move off and stop safely in normal driving conditions. As a rule of thumb I usually recommend that you wait until the student has had 10 hours tuition however this may vary from student to student.

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