Everybody has their own views on driving lessons.
Here are a few of my thoughts.

The AVERAGE number of lessons used to be 1.5 hours for ever year of your life so Nicky aged 18 can expect to take at least 18 x 1.5 = 27. Some people learn quicker than others and practice helps but a good instructor can normally give a rough guide and tend to say more so that if it takes a bit longer you don't start saying "but you said I would only need 3 hours".

You also stand a far better chance of passing your test if you are way above standard so if you make mistakes and your standard falls it is still above test standard.

"Shame the driving bug doesn't last long after you pass"

I've been driving 23 years and still can't get enough, one reason I stopped instructing was because I wanted to drive rather than be driven.

"2 hour lessons are hard work, I didn't enjoy them! You find yourself making silly mistakes after the first hour."

When I was teaching I found the people needed less total hours worth of lessons if they were doing 2 hours each time, however I always stopped half way through so they could have a break, a smoke or whatever. You also learn quicker if you have lessons more than once a week.

Apart from that driving instructors tend to fill you in for so many lessons when you don't need it cause they're greedy.

Not if they are any good, the good ones struggle to find time to give their pupils all the lessons they want!

"He's with "such and such" driving school, a well known company down here."

Large driving schools are normally a franchise, if you are unhappy with the instructor speak to their head office.

When looking for an instructor ask around, follow recommendations. Don't just look at the price, if the instructor is good why is he so cheap. You may save a few ús now but a driving licence is for life.

"But did any of you guys go out with family or friends in your own time???"

Yes. Highly recommended but only to practice, not to learn, unless you are making mistakes they should keep quiet. It is also a good idea for them to come and watch a lesson sat in the back to get an idea of how the instructor teachers. Ask the instructor, if they so no get a new instructor, you are paying them, they are working for you.

"Lets just say me and my dad argued A LOT I walked home a few times too refusing to get back in the car!!!"

That is why "dad" is not teaching you, just there for practice.

"My first instructor was sacked as he wasn't fully trained, and hadn't passed all his instructor exams."

Trainee Instructors have to pass a theory test and a very tough driving test and spend at least 40 hours learning to teach before they are allowed to teach real pupils, they still need to be supervised by a qualified instructor for at 20% of the time, they have 6 months and 3 chances to pass the teaching exam, if they fail the third they can't teach until they have taken the first 2 exams and done the 40 hours training again.

Trainee instructors have pink teaching licences, qualified have green, if they don't have one at all they may be illegal, ask them where it is.

Even once qualified instructors are regularly checked by government inspectors and can be banned from teaching if they are no good - ask the instructor what grade they got on their last check test. the grades are - 6 is brilliant, 5 is good, 4 is ok, 3 is crap, 2 needs retraining, 1 means they should not be teaching.

The main reason I stopped teaching was I wasn't making enough money for my ex wife to sit on her arse and keep have babies cos she couldn't cope with the thought of getting a job.

BTW I took 17 hours over 4 months and failed, practice with my parents, re booked the test but the instructor was fully booked so took it in my dads beaten up old learner car of a Lada and past, I took a week intensive course (sharing the driving with another learner) to do my HGV and passed, then did the artic and failed, retook that with just an hours drive before hand and passed. I wouldn't recommend doing an intensive course for a car though, pass rate after that is only about 20% and most of those are people with experience.