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Old 1st April 2008, 19:39   #1
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Post My Car Driving Lesson Experiences

Recently I've joined a driving school in Bangalore. Below is my experience so far:

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99% of the car driving schools charge around Rs. 3000. This includes learning the driving + LL (Learner’s License) + DL (Driver’s License). You will be taught a total of 10 hours. Usually 1 hour a day for 10 days or if your time doesn’t permit everyday, 2 hrs each on Sat and Sun.

Which driving school to choose?

I enquired at Ganesh Driving School in Basavanagar, close to my home and he quoted Rs. 2800. They had a Santro and M800 to learn on. This is set up very recently and these guys looked ok. The lessons here will be on weekdays only. The problem with going w/ Ganesh is that I didn’t want to go late to my office and on my 2-wheeler (Honda Activa).

Then I enquired at Dhanush Driving School in Vignan Nagar. The ‘office’ (if you can call it that) didn’t look professional at all and he asked for Rs. 3000. I asked him to reduce the price to Rs. 2900. He agreed. I then told him that it’s 100 rupees cheaper at Ganesh and he agreed for Rs. 2700. I was not at all impressed by the way it went and left that place. One of my colleagues later told me that I did a wise thing by not going w/ them as apparently they will make you wait for hours before the learning car would turn up.

I also enquired at Maruti Driving School, Indiranagar and was told that a new batch would start on April 1st. But the timings here (morning to 6 PM) don’t suit my personal/work lifestyle. So I had to drop these guys. But otherwise, seems like this is the best option to learn driving going by the details mentioned on their site. The price is also higher (and seems justified).

I enquired for a school close to my office in Whitefield and many recommended Manasa Motor Driving School. These guys charge Rs. 3000. During the first phone enquiry, I told them that I would like to learn on a Wagon R (since that’s what I planned to buy then, now I have decided to buy an i10). They said they don’t have it and I need to settle for Santro. Upon further insisting, they agreed for 5 hrs on Santro and 5 hrs on Wagon R. Here are their contact numbers: 28518443, 32901686, 9341225047, 9341149098.

We agreed upon a time (11 AM to 12 PM). Below are my day-to-day car driving learning experiences:

Day 1: Steering Control. The car was promptly outside my place of work at 11 AM. The instructor asked me to hop into the driver’s seat and I told him that this is the very first time I will be driving a car. He assured me that there’s nothing to worry. The car has a extra set of clutch and brake pedals near his feet. All I did on the first day was to control the steering and the car was going real slow, in the first gear. It’s not easy to judge where the left side of the car is and how far/close it is to the kerb. Perhaps I felt so because of lack of a left rear view mirror. The instructor adjusted the steering and in the other times asked me to steer left/right when necessary. I didn’t place my foot on any of the pedals. I was told to ‘drive’ the car to their office. Here I filled my name and address details and paid Rs. 1000. I was told to bring the needed documents for learner’s license the next day. They also gave me a progress card and a sheet containing traffic symbols. These are 1) Address Proof - A photocopy of BSNL telephone bill along w/ the original 2) ID Proof - A photocopy of SSC certificate along w/ the original 3) 5 passport photos. I controlled the steering for an hour and finally we stopped in front of my work place. The instructor entered the start time, end time, the kilometers run and took my signature.

Day 2: Steering Control + Accelerator. The instructor made me push the accelerator a little bit now and then. I felt that compared to clutch and brake pedals, putting the foot on accelerator is less taxing. I furnished the documents needed for LL.

Next Day: Learner’s License. I arrived at 9 AM to Madhu Manasa Driving School’s office near Kundanahalli with the traffic symbols sheet. I went through it few times and memorized all the signs. The sheet also mentions the steps one needs to take after an accident and the list of documents to be carried all the time w/ you while driving: T - Tax card, R - R. C. Book, I - Insurance Certificate, E - Emission Certificate, D - Driving License.
Another instructor told us the 6 hand signs:
  1. Moving - right arm stretched completely with palm down)
  2. Stopping - right arm half stretch, hand up
  3. Turning Right - right arm stretched completely with the front of palm facing ahead
  4. Turning left - right arm stretched completely and drawing a counter clockwise circle (right to left)
  5. Slowing down - right arm stretched and waving up and down
  6. Giving way (letting pass) - right arms stretched and waving back to front.
The ‘moving’ and ‘turning right’ signs were tricky and the instructor made me practice these multiple times. I was given a neatly prepared file containing the filled application form. Then we (there were 3 others like me) headed to KR Puram RTO. I thought that the driving school guys will take us there in a car. But that was not the case to be. I went there on my Honda Activa along w/ a helper guy from the driving school as my pillion rider. It was quite far away (perhaps 20 KM). After reaching the RTO, I stood in the queue for half an hour. One officer verified the photocopies (against the originals). Then I took them to another officer for entry into their system. I was told to sit and wait for my turn to appear for a verbal test by a police officer. I noticed that there were few who were waiting in another room for a written test. My theory is that if you go via a driving school, there won’t be any written test. The officer asked me to show the hand signs for turning right, stopping and asked me to identify 4 to 5 symbols. I did w/o any problem. He told me that I am good to go.

There was no driving session today.

Day 3: I learned how to move the vehicle from stationary position. It involves releasing the clutch up to half point and keeping it pressed there. The car will move slowly forward without the having to press the accelerator. I think is called the ‘half clutch’ method. When on a up-slope, the break has to be held down and when the clutch is released up to half point, the car will start to vibrate slowly…at that time, the break has to be released and the car will neither go down nor up. Then release the clutch a little further and it will go forward. Now acceleration can be given. I practiced stopping and moving forward many times. 3 out of 10 times, the car stopped abruptly and the engine got switched off because I was leaving the clutch too fast.

Day 4: The instructor showed me the usage of gears. He told me to ensure that I pass the gear stick through the neutral when shifting gears. For example, when changing from 1st to 2nd, don’t just pull the gear back. But, move it in L shape to hit the neutral, then move it to left and down to engage the 2nd gear. The clutch can be released fairly quickly when shifting from 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th (I was also told not to press the accelerator until the clutch is fully released in these cases).

Day 5: Instead of Santro, it was Esteem today. Even though the car is bigger, I didn’t find any difference. In fact, I found that gear changing is smoother in Esteem. I drove the car 90% of the time myself today w/o the instructor’s intervention. Practiced stopping and moving many times. I engaged the reverse gear for the first time and did a 3-point turn on an empty road. One question that’s lingering in my mind is: I am taking some time to move the car from stopped position when using the half clutch method. But in the Bangalore stop-and-go traffic, if I take this much time, people in the vehicles behind will get impatient and start honking. I need to ask the instructor if it’s ok for me to move the car using accelerator when the road is plain (and not having an up-slope).

I received my LL today. The instructor told me to make several photocopies of it and return the original to him the next day. Apparently, the LL will be converted into DL.
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Old 1st April 2008, 21:02   #2
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Wow! That's the first driving learning experience I read and it's great, very well written.
Am still waiting, when will I turn 18?When?
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Old 1st April 2008, 22:30   #3
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umm brother, minus the gyan, just teaching costs about 1100 in alto in delhi, 900 in m800 (7 hours over 14 days). Is rest convenience money for smoothening passage in test?
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Old 1st April 2008, 22:39   #4
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LLR in two days?? I had to wait for one month from applying date to take the test

Verbal test? Since when did they started this system?
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Old 1st April 2008, 22:49   #5
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phamilyman: Unfortunately that's the price of living in Bangalore. Autowalas demand extra money over the meter because we are s/w guys. We pay the highest tax in country, God knows for what reason. Driving school fellows charge about Rs. 3000 because well, according to them, we are all s/w people and hence have loads of money to spend. From what I understand, there's not much these guys help w.r.t the actual DL test.

praveen_v: yea. Can't one go to RTO, apply and give the test on the same day and get LL within couple of days?
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Old 2nd April 2008, 09:49   #6
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Srikat, Keep the original LL with you and if the instructor asks, give them a copy of it. I don't think they need it.

You will get used to the half-clucth method if you go to Marathalli Bridge some time. And as long as you have a "L" sticker on your Wagon R, I dont think anyone will loose their patience in BLR, atleast thats what I observed
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Old 2nd April 2008, 10:13   #7
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very nicely written.

moving the car from standstill: Also learn doing it with a hand brake. Adopt the method you are comfortable with, either handbrake or half-clutch method.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 10:18   #8
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srikat: This is the best investment of your life. Enjoy it.
Not sure about your day 4 information though. You do not have to move into neutral everytime you downshift or upshift gears. Just cross check with your instructor as to whether this is what he intended to convey.

If he says yes beat him up for misinformation
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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:14   #9
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Very well put, srikat. You took me down memory lane to the early 80s when I was in a similar situation. Don't worry, you seem to be doing pretty good.
Even Hyd charges around the same fare for learning driving. So I taught my son myself, and he took just 3 days to pick up, having keenly observed my driving for a week before his lessons began. He was also a scooter driver, so distance judgement was not an issue for him.
I put him through an acid test on the 3rd day--I suggest you try it yourself too. Put the car on a steep incline (as on the beginning of a fly over), come to a complete stop, then start moving without rolling back an inch.This will save you in real traffic situations, and you will master the art of synching hand brake release with clutch release.
Good luck to you.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:18   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vnabhi View Post
Put the car on a steep incline (as on the beginning of a fly over), come to a complete stop, then start moving without rolling back an inch.

Keep a matchbox just behind a rear tyre.
It should not get crushed.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 11:39   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Keep a matchbox just behind a rear tyre.
It should not get crushed.

I would prefer to keep his/her favorite item behind the rear tyre and ask to move forward. IF backed even an mm, the item shall be crushed . Sinister designs isnt it
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Old 2nd April 2008, 13:53   #12
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esteemer: You'll get your turn too one fine day.

lambuhere1: I asked the instructor again clearly if I can keep the original LL. He said to give it to them and that a photocopy will suffice for me.

sukiwa: The instructor has not covered so far about the hand brake. I'll ask him tomorrow.

sanjayatarizona: I asked him yesterday that I was able to shift to second from first w/o passing through neutral. He replied that even though it is possible, it's not recommended. He was talking about some internal car components getting damaged in the long run by doing so.

I hope some auto experts can tell us about this.

vnabhi: I practiced this today few times. will do tomorrow as well.

---

Day 6
: Back to Santro again. The focus of the day was driving in reverse. The instructor told me not to simply turn the head back, but instead to move to my right in the seat, turn my body along w/ head while reversing. I practiced reversing on a road that’s shaped as in the figure below many times.

He told me that during DL test, I’ll be asked to demonstrate a portion of this (go back straight, turn and reverse along the left side of the road shown by the first two arrows). He told me that he will grunt and I need to turn the steering wheel completely, keep going, and when he grunts again, I need to straighten the steering wheel (turn it 2 full rounds).

One thing I learned is that during reverse, the clutch will be twice as fast, meaning you release the clutch up to half point and hold it there and the car will go twice faster than how it will be when going forward.

He also made me climb a slightly steep up-slope a couple of times and asked me to stop the car and move it forward w/o letting it slide back. Even after 6 days, am not getting the half-clutch method to work 100%.
I lost concentration suddenly at one point and pressed the accelerator instead of brake!! Luckily, no vehicle was in-front, but something I need to watch out for in the future.

I gave the LL to instructor and retained photocopies w/ me.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 14:43   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srikat View Post
He told me that he will grunt and I need to turn the steering wheel completely, keep going, and when he grunts again, I need to straighten the steering wheel (turn it 2 full rounds).
I believe that all the instructions do the same thing. They do the same during ur DL test at KR Puram RTO. If you take ur own vehicle , that another story. By the way, is it Madhu whose teaching you, just wondering !!!
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Old 2nd April 2008, 15:52   #14
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Nope. The instructor's name is Munaraj. I don't think Madhu will do the teaching part. He is more like a manager.
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Old 2nd April 2008, 19:31   #15
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Srikat - madhu does teach, when noone else is available, and is better than some of the other morons they have as driving instructors. When my wife was learning, it was a no show on Madhus part for many days, until I called and gave him a piece of my mind. I think Manasa is just another run of the mill driving school, it is the Maruti ones that one should go to. I am not at all impressed at the way Manasa has taught my wife.

Last edited by kuttapan : 2nd April 2008 at 19:33.
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