Why do you recommend 1 hour lessons?
In my experience, this seems to be the easiest and most cost-effective way to learn, especially at the beginning. If the lesson is to improve your skills, or if you're short on time, then it may be ok to do 1.5 hour.
Are lessons private?
Yes, all lessons are one on one.
Who will be my instructor?
I'm a one-person operation and I like to keep it that way; lessons are with me only. JC
How many lessons will I need?
It depends how quickly you pick it up, and what skill level you want to reach. On
average, if you've never driven a "stick shift", three or four lessons are required to cover the essentials and learn how to handle normal driving situations with reasonable competence. I recommend a few more if you really wish to master your car, or you want to "firm up" your technique (it's easy to unknowingly slip back into bad habits if you end your lessons too soon). Take it one lesson at a time and decide for yourself
when you've reached the comfort/skill level you wish to attain. If you're currently
driving standard, one "tune-up" session may be sufficient.
Do you offer any discounts or "packages"?
Sorry, I don't.
How closely spaced should the lessons be?
It's best if the lessons are spaced no more than a week or two apart; and there should be at least a day or two break in between.
Can I get picked up at home?
Generally yes; I will meet or pick you up anywhere within urban Ottawa. If necessary, I'll drive the car to a location that's suitable
to your skill level for the lesson (travel time to and fro is not counted as part of the lesson). My normal service area covers most of urban Ottawa (Orleans / Vanier / Gloucester / Old Ottawa / Nepean / Riverside South / Barrhaven / Bells Corners / Kanata); if you live outside that area, we may have to meet at a mutually suitable location.
What are your hours of operation?
My normal hours of operation are between 1pm and 8pm, Mon to Sat.
Can someone else sit in the car during my lessons?
From past experience, I've come to the conclusion that the lessons are far
more effective (and less stressful on the driver) when it's one on one, without an "observer". If a parent or spouse plans to
continue "coaching" the driver after the lessons and wants to make sure they don't pass on their own
"bad habits", I recommend that he/she take a separate "tune up" lesson themselves, or at the very least, purchase my book and use it as a teaching aid.
One exception would be if two persons need to learn manual from scratch; then it may be ok to take the first lesson together (usually we would make it a 1.5hr lesson), and take the remaining lessons individually.
Should I practice a little before my lessons to get a "head
I strongly advide against it. Aside from the very real risk of serious damage to your car, it will usually only impede your progress (and sometimes results in loss of confidence and fear of driving standard) - it doesn't
take long to develop incorrect habits that may be more difficult to change than
learning how to do it right in the first place (this is a common problem when
someone has taken some manual shift lessons with another driving school).
Is there a charge for cancellations or missed appointments?
No, there is no charge for cancellations or missed appointments, but when possible, please give me at least a day's notice. If something comes up at the last minute, send me a text message.
What if I acccidentally damage your car?
There's always a risk of damage when learning to drive standard (especially
to the clutch and transmission) - if you find it more challenging than the average,
we'll just slow down the pace a little; what matters is that you develop the
correct habits so you don't damage your own car! And keep in mind that
with a well-equipped
teaching vehicle and an experienced instructor with quick reflexes, the likelihood of serious
damage to the car during the lessons is extremely low, and not your responsibility anyway - it's a risk every manual shift instructor must be prepared to take. So relax and have a little fun with it.
Can I have lessons in my car?
Lessons are normally in my car, but as long as you have your G2 or G license, we can also use your car. If you're starting from scratch though, or you have a number of issues to resolve, it's best if you take lessons in my car first until things are going well, and then switch to your car (to make sure you "transition" properly)
Can I have my lessons in another language?
Sorry, all lessons are in English.