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Published on February 10th, 2011 | by Seán Ward


Learner Drivers Being Taught By ‘Trainees’

An AA investigation revealed this week that one in ten learner drivers are being taught by ‘trainees’ who are learning on the job.

The report says that only 2% of learners believed that their instructors weren’t qualified, however, 754, 000 pupils have in fact been unwittingly taught by instructors who were trainees.

Also, according to the Driving Standards Agency, trainee instructors account for 14% of all instructors.

“With 750, 000 people learning to drive this year, up to 75, 000 of them will have instructors who are learning in the car as well” said AA President Edmund King.

“Incredibly, driving schools are not obliged to give you a transparent choice,” added Mr King. “So many charge as if it’s a fully qualified instructor but give you a trainee. There’s a canyon between what learners think they are paying for and what they get.

The official pink badge that trainees are required to display is clearly leaving learners none the wiser. Driving schools must be forced to come clean before more young learners are literally taken for a ride.”

The AA has written to Road Safety Minister Mike Pinning to ask for an immediate change to the law so that learners can be sure who they are learning with and how long they have been instructing for.

Learner Tips:

  • Ask how long your instructor has been teaching for; don’t worry, you’re allowed to ask!
  • Check to see if there is an official ‘Trainee’ badge on the car.
  • If you suspect something, ask more questions or get lessons from elsewhere.

Published on July 22nd 2010 at

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