Before you start learning to drive, you need to research your local driving schools.
Not all driving instructors are the same!
If you want a reliable, friendly and patient driving instructor, (and one who is going to help you pass your driving test in the shortest time possible), ask friends and family for recommendations. If you can't do that, check out online reviews. Google 'driving lessons reviews' and you'll find some.
This research is time well spent. If you end up changing instructors part way through your training (like many learner drivers do) it's going to cost you money. While you won't have to start at the beginning again your new instructor will almost certainly want to change some of the skills you thought you'd already learned!
Don't waste time looking for the cheapest driving lessons you can find. There is usually a reason why some driving schools charge very low prices. You will get what you pay for and opting for very cheap driving lessons almost certainly will mean you spend more in the long run.
Once you've found a driving instructor, (or driving school), ask for a trial lesson. You're going to be sat next to your driving instructor for maybe thirty or forty hours, (or longer), often in new and challenging situations. You need to make sure that you're going to get on with him or her before you commit to a course of lessons. Any good driving instructor will happily agree to your request. If they don't, find another one.
Assuming your first lesson goes well and you're happy with your choice of instructor you need to think about how long you want your lessons to be. This is where you can definitely save some money!
Short lessons may cost you less in the short term but they will cost you more in the end. The reason is simple. Learning the skills involved in driving a car takes a lot of repetition, especially in the early stages. If you have one hour lessons you're not going to get a lot of practice. If you have ninety minute lessons you'll learn a lot faster, retain more in-between lessons and ultimately spend less getting your driving licence. If you have even longer lessons the benefits will be even greater.
You should also ask about bulk booking discounts or discounts for students. Some instructors also offer discounts for certain professions such as NHS staff. It's worth asking and the discounts can be considerable. Make sure you get free theory test training too.
Once you've started having driving lessons it's important to stick to a regular weekly schedule. If you miss weeks, you'll forget things and take longer - and spend more - getting your driving licence.
So if your instructor turns out to be unreliable and cancels your lessons regularly, it's time to find another one.
You should also look for another driving instructor if you feel that you're not learning new skills, you feel like you're not progressing or you're not getting the full lesson length that you're paid for. If you pay for a ninety minute lesson you should get the full ninety minutes. If your instructor turns up late or finishes lessons early, find another one, fast.
If you follow the advice above you'll enjoy your driving lessons, pass your driving test quickly and save money.