Wheel Life Driving Lessons


Have you ever had a driving lesson and ended up dreading the next time you get behind the wheel?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not here to pay out on other driving schools because I am not. I have the utmost respect for all people in my industry. It is hard work teaching someone properly when they are behind the wheel. But there has to be a line between what you pay for and what you get.

It is a fact that some people are in this industry for the wrong reasons. And that is what separates the good from the bad. What do you want to know about a driving school or a driver trainer before you hand over your cash? Have you even thought about what to ask?

Do you want to use a school based on the cars they teach in?

Are you looking for a school that is cheap so you can just get a quick fix from a professional?

Do you believe you just want to know what you’ll have to do to pass your test?

Looking for a different school after having had a bad experience with one so want to change?

Whatever your reason, you really do want to get your licence and you want to know the best way to pass first time don’t you?

So, you’ve called a driving school because they advertised lessons at $50 or maybe even $45 per lesson – what a bargain! Or is it?

Much time at the wheel may be limited to kerbside QSafe training. Avoid them. They will end up taking more of your money in the long run. S T R E T C H I N G out the number of lessons that they want you to take as they will not teach you as much in an hour as one that charges more.

You should be getting VALUE, QUALITY and RESULTS Every minute behind the wheel.

They may also finish your lesson abruptly and early. You’d like feedback about how you are going wouldn’t you? They will be in a rush to get to their next $45 or $50 lesson and they only have a certain amount of travel time allowed between lessons.

Is that the kind of teacher you want? Someone who is so tightly booked that they cannot spare a minute extra with you as they have to run on time for their next ‘lesson;.

When you call to enquire about a driving school, here are a few key points that you need to ask:

Do they have initial meetings or conversations with you to find out where you are at and make sure that the instructor that comes to you has that information and will ensure that your lesson is structured accordingly.

Ask if the instructor will pick you up from one location and let you finish at another – you’d be surprised how many won’t.

Be sure to question whether or not you will always have the same instructor. Some schools will send another instructor to you without giving you any notice and this can be hard, especially if you are nervous or anxious already. If they do need to send another instructor, will they let you know ahead of time to give you the opportunity to reschedule if you are not comfortable with this.

Call Now to have a chat about what you need. 0403 063 319

Car vs You

Where will you be expected to drive a car?

The first time behind the wheel is super scary – and it is perfectly normal to feel scared, anxious or nervous. You are after all, about to be in control of something dangerous and expensive. A car.

This question alone can be enough to stop a new driver from looking forward to their first lesson – and in some cases, cancelling the lesson. Let me put your mind at ease. I will always take your abilities into consideration first and foremost, as well as your emotional readiness.

What experience have you already had?

If you’ve already been lucky enough to have mum or dad take you to an empty carpark or a hidden away industrial area on a Sunday then you are well on your way to going a little further and I will take you around some quiet suburban streets until you feel comfortable enough to go on ‘real roads’ with traffic and traffic lights and other scary things.

If I get you for your very first drive, I will ensure that you start in quiet suburban streets straight away. You won’t be expected to ‘drive’ away from your house either as I know how embarrassing it is for a new driver to see their family watching from the windows as they ‘bunny hop’ away up the road – not that I’ve ever had any bunny hoppers as I teach how to take off smoothly right from the get go!

Baby steps until you are ready!

Every single step of your learning is considered and thought through so that I do not jump from one level to the next until you are completely ready. Why not register for your Government Funded FREE Keys2Drive Lesson and book that lesson with me! A great way to ‘try before you buy’. Plus I get to meet your parents straight away!

Call Now to Book in Your Driving Lesson! 0403 063 319

How to Pass your Driving Test


The Best Way to Pass Your Test FIRST TIME

You may have come across some driving schools that like to brag about their ‘Perfect Pass Rate’ or ‘100% pass rate’ or lately ‘99% pass rate’ for driving test. The truth is, everyone passes their driving test eventually. So if a driving student fails 2 times before passing, they have still added to the ‘pass rate’ of the driving school. You can pass first time if you remember this very important fact:

You will Pass Your Test when you are 100% ready

So what does ‘being ready’ mean?

It means that you have had a lot of experience and that you can drive without worrying about your weaknesses because you’ve worked on them and they are no longer an issue. If you still feel nervous about messing something up on your driving test, you are NOT ready yet. You are better to reschedule your test and keep practising until the things that freak you out are all fixed. Simple.

What do you think would happen should you somehow pass your driving test, knowing full well that the thought of approaching a busy roundabout or entering the freeway makes you tremble, and then you are out on your own, with nobody sitting beside you, on your P’s and you have to a) handle the scary situation while putting other drivers at risk while you still ‘learn’ how to do them or b) You avoid those scary places and take an extra 15 minutes to half an hour to get anywhere because you just can’t handle it.

Either way, was it really worth taking that test before you were truly ready? What if two weeks after you have proudly put those P’s on your car (or mum and dads), you totally write the car off because you were just not ready to be driving solo. I know from experience.

I totalled my first car within half an hour of getting in it to go show my best friends mum. These things happen. It is real life. I want to help you avoid that happening to you.

Ask me for Plate Readiness Check !

(Please note that the review below was made under my previous business name)
I totalled my first car within half an hour of getting in it to go show my best friends mum. These things happen. It is real life. I want to help you avoid that happening to you.

Test Center Myths Busted


Some Test Centres Have Higher Fail Rates Because The Examiners Are Mean!

This is an urban myth that circulates around schools as teens share their driving test experiences with their friends. Learn to drive properly and you have a higher chance of passing no matter where you take your test.

It’s quite funny as I hear that EVERY test centre on the Gold Coast is ‘really bad cos everyone fails there’! I’ve even had students who had taken their test at one Transport Centre and failed and then booked another test almost an hour or more away from home just so they can ‘pass’ without failing again at a Gold Coast centre! Learn to drive properly and save MONEY!

This tells me some very interesting truths about teens going for their driving tests. Remember I mentioned before that you will pass if you are READY. To me, you are ready when it doesn’t matter where you learn to drive, you are aware of other road users, you see all signs and markings along the way and you OBEY them, and you don’t freak out when told that you’ll be driving through that hectic roundabout or asked to turn right across a dual carriageway intersection……etc

Making mistakes is a learning process. Accept them. Learn and move on.

The reality is this. If you make errors on your driving test and fail, it is better to have done those errors while someone was still with you while you learn to drive rather than for you to make those mistakes while out on your own for the first time.

If you fail due to multiple ncde’s (non critical errors) and these could range from incorrect use of indicators, forgetting to shoulder check, turning a little wide around a corner or being too far from the kerb during a manoeuvre, you might not think those things are important in the larger scheme of things – you know you can drive right – the thing is, if you were really ready to be a P Plater, all of those things would be second nature to you and you would not have lost marks on them.

If you fail for a cde (critical driving error) then you are definitely not ready for solo driving.

You may never have made the same mistakes during your practise either with a parent or an instructor, but the fact that you did while being assessed on your ability to drive safely and in accordance with the road rules – not good.

You might think it’s no biggie to roll your wheels over a stop line at a stop sign and whats the excitement about not going over those double white lines? You were speeding? Really? And using poor judgement and leaving a minuscule safety margin when that van was coming towards you on the roundabout? What were you thinking?

These are all ‘LIFE THREATENING’ errors. This is why they fail people who make these errors. These drivers are not ready to be on the road with the limited experience that they have had until now.

So, now that you know that I have your best interest at heart and I really am passionate about road safety and keeping YOUR children safe when they get their license, give me a call to book in their training. 0403 063 319

I give so much more than a ‘Driving Lesson’. Anyone can get a license. It is way too easy to learn and practise just what you need to know to pass the driving test. People come to me to Learn to Drive. That is what I focus on.

Parents that care about their child’s safety on our roads and want to be sure that they have the skills to survive want to have the best training possible.

I promise to provide the best service to ensure their safety.

CALL NOW! 0403 063 319 for an obligation free chat.

Learn at your own Pace

Driving Lessons for Beginners

That very first time behind the wheel is a little scary – for the new driver AND whoever is sitting next to them, especially with the first child in the family to get their Learners License. I know from experience that I took for granted that my daughter would know how to steer at least! I got my first grey hairs with that one haha!

Some beginner drivers are a natural behind the wheel, others not so good. Let a professional be the first person to sit beside a learner driver if you are prone to anxiety yourself, or the thought of not having control makes you ill.

A “Fully Comprehensive, all you need to know” course turning the absolute beginner into a confident driver ready to go with a parent/ supervisor for driving lessons to fill up your logbook.

(Please note that the review below was done under my former business name)

Driving Lessons for Partly Trained Learner Drivers

Already had driving lessons before? Maybe a bit of experience with mum and dad? No need to start from the beginning! I’ll pick up your where you left off. I’ll have a little char with you to find out what you know and what you would like to do next. No time wasting at all. This saves heaps of money that you can put towards your first car!

(please note that the review below was done under my former business name)

Driving Test Rescue

Failed your test when you went in on your own or with another Driving School? Perhaps it was not entirely your own fault. You just may not have been 100% ready to have your P’s. Let me evaluate you and see if together we can get your licence this time around. You may not need too many driving lessons, just a little confidence boosting!

(Please note that the review below was done under my former business name)

Confidence Building

Do you want to feel comfortable and in control? Perhaps you have been driving for a while but are nervous about heavy traffic or high speed motorways and freeways. My program of flexible driving lessons will help you love driving again.

(Please note that the review below was done under my former business name)

Next Steps…

Contact me for an obligation free chat to find out more about all of these great programs – and the added extras I include with my driving lessons that other schools don’t.

Call 0403 063 319
Email: sonia@learntodrivewithsonia.com.au

5 Safety Tips for Older Drivers


Safety Tips for Older Drivers

Senior drivers are regularly subjected to scrutiny from other road users due to a perceived inability to be able to drive safely.
Many senior drivers are cautious and safe drivers but some do leave themselves open to a higher risk of being involved in a crash. This is due to a few key elements that may need addressing.

a). They lack confidence in their driving

b). They are not up to date with current road rules

c). They are not paying full attention to their surroundings – they are on auto pilot as they go about their daily routines.

I am sure many drivers would have witnessed a ‘senior moment’.

Stopping for a green light (but the turning arrow was red), turning the wrong way down a one way road, stopping in the middle of roundabouts to give way to traffic entering, illegal U turns, travelling 10 -20kph under the speed limits and many more! (feel free to post in comments below if you have witnessed other hazardous driving behaviours!)

Some seniors may have experienced excessive tailgating, abusive hand signals and horns blasted at them as other drivers try to get around these perceived ‘hazards on the road’.

So what can you do, as a senior driver, to ensure that you are still safe in your car as you go about your business each day

  1. When was the last time that you updated your road rule knowledge? Did you get your licence in the state that you are now driving in? Check out the latest updates to QLD road rules HERE
  2. Do you regularly have younger passengers who gasp at your driving? Do they shout out when they see a hazard that you haven’t? Perhaps a professional assessment would assist in boosting your confidence!\
  3. If you can, avoid heavy traffic situations as you go to various appointments, shopping and visiting. The same route you have been taking for years may now be much more hazardous so look for alternate roads that are less busy.
  4. Avoid Distractions! You need to have your full attention on the task at hand – driving! Avoid even using your phone on hands free as a conversation will take your attention from the road. Ensure that your mirrors, radio and air conditioning are set before you begin driving – keeping both hands on the wheel will give you better control for the unexpected!
  5. Share the road – but drive defensively. Be looking up and ahead, be aware of cyclists and other road users by checking your mirrors and over your shoulders at those ‘blind spots’ before moving lanes or turning into roads. If you cannot drive to the higher speed limits, perhaps use service roads instead so that you are not a hazard in a high speed situation – or, get some professional training to build your confidence in this area as well.

You are never too old to improve your driving skills.

If your doctor is ok with you driving but you are feeling intimidated by other road users, look at getting some professional lessons/ refreshers to make your driving as enjoyable as it once was.

**Note: this article has been written due to enquiries from older drivers who have had their licence for a long time but do not have the confidence to travel in heavy traffic or use the motorways. Some have even spoken to me about being ‘bullied’ on the roads when they are doing the speed limit.

Why Learners and their parents choose me


Selecting a Driving Instructor is an important process. You want Learning to Drive to be fun, interesting and of course, Educational.

Finding out through your friends is one great way to find an instructor as you will have had feedback about them from your friends. Your parents may even put you in touch with who taught them! Yes, there are some older instructors out there who have taught two and maybe three generations from the one family. That is just how committed we are once we get going!

Another way to find an awesome instructor is to read reviews on social media. It is important to also take into account that some reviews may have been pre written by the Driving Instructor for copying and pasting by their students. Not an entirely honest practise but if the student agrees, then either they couldn’t think of what to write themselves, or perhaps they received some sort of compensation to do so.

Every review on my social pages has been written by either my students or their parents. None were ‘paid for’.

You can see what others have written about me HERE

The nicest feedback that I get is often from parents who don’t always put it in writing for me – and it’s when they state what a difference that they have noticed in their Childs’ driving after a lesson with me.

CONFIDENCE – a professional lesson boosts a new drivers confidence as they are in a calm, relaxed environment. Parents are fantastic supervisors, but conflicts can sometimes arise when a parent/ supervisor may over react to a situation, shout out or grab the wheel (or handbrake! I used to as a parent!)

It is the role of a professional to prepare a new Learner Driver for driving supervised with their parents! Not the other way around. A few professional lessons could put you both at ease.

SAFETY – Having your first few lessons in a car with dual controls and a professional who knows how to handle any situation on the road is a lot safer for a beginner driver.

Gentle, step by step coaching on when to check mirrors, shoulder checking, moving at speed relevant to the conditions and much more. There are layers of learning that are better retained if done in order rather than expecting a learner driver to know it all as soon as they get behind the wheel.
Here is what some parents and students have to say about their experience:
I passed my test first try yesterday and can honestly say a large part of my success was because of Sonia and her help. Before Sonia, I was using another driving school who were cheaper, but incredibly unreliable. They were constantly late, or would cancel my lesson without warning, or just didn’t show up. Trust me when I say you’re better off investing in Sonia. She has never once let me down or changed a lesson without plenty of notice. She’s completely worth the money. She’s incredibly friendly, patient, and calm. Perfect for anxious learners. She explains mistakes clearly, then helps you to correct them. Could not recommend her enough!
Sonia was an absolute pleasure to learn all the necessities of driving with. She was not only super helpful and knowledgeable but she was also extremely kind, reassuring and you can tell how much of a passion Sonia has for safe driving and teaching learners to be the best they can be. I am so grateful to have had Sonia help me and give me very useful tips which I wouldn’t of passed without! Thank you Sonia
As a parent i couldn’t recommend Sonia highly enough as a Driving Instructor for your learner child. She is so very knowledgeable & understanding of both the very nervous parent & the learner driver. And is by your side every step of the way. Her passion shines through her very successful results. My son passed his test first go, and he was a driver who was so very nervous to even get behind the wheel at all in the beginning. Thank you so much Sonia. You are awesome!!!
Absolute super star! Sonia was an amazing instructor who made it easy to learn and was incredibly knowledgable! I would 100% recommend her to any/everyone!!!!!! Her passion shines through her very successful results. My son passed his test first go, and he was a driver who was so very nervous to even get behind the wheel at all in the beginning. Thank you so much Sonia. You are awesome!!!
Sonia is so encouraging and supportive. She never push for buying her class and support individual goal. She wrote me two email listing my weakness and strategy to overcome them. She sent me google image for tricky Canadian roundabout and strategy to go through the roundabout. I give Sonia full credit for my driving license. Her driving school is highly recommended and I consider myself lucky to get a a driving teacher like her.
Sonia is calm, friendly and professional, putting your child at ease as they learn how to drive. The feedback given to us at the completion of each lesson has helped us to know what level he is travelling at which we have found to be extremely helpful. We would highly recommend Sonia.

If you reside on the Gold Coast between Pimpama and Currumbin, Please get in touch to see if I can help with any ‘Learner’ related problems you may be facing. It costs nothing for a chat – and you may even be eligible for the Government Funded FREE Keys2Drive Lesson so that we can meet and go for our first drive together!

Please send a text message to 0403 063 319 with your name and phone number along with best time to call and I will call you back!
Alternatively, send me an email : sonia@learntodrivewithsonia.com.au

I look forward to helping your family ensure that your teenagers will be safer drivers once on their P’s.


Logbook Hours

Getting 100 Hours Driving Experience

It may come as no surprise to you, but many Learner Drivers are logging every minute that they are behind the wheel in an effort to reach the 100 hours goal.

However, it might surprise you to know that many young drivers are getting those minutes driving to and from school or extra curricular activities. Same roads, same times of the day, same speeds, same traffic conditions.

Ask yourself, how would that type of driving be of benefit to a young driver when, after completing 100 hours doing those driving activities, books their driving test and BAM! They do not pass because they were guided through situations that were unfamiliar to them.

Admittedly, a lot of Learner Drivers do have the benefit of either a very involved parent or have had professional lessons -but even then, still have not covered every possible situation that might arise during their Driving Assessment to get their P’s. There are no ‘set routes’ for driving tests in Queensland.

Driving Lessons should be viewed as an essential part of your child’s education. Many people question why instructors ‘charge so much’, yet do not question the cost of other educational programs, books and courses.
What good driving instructors teach is how to be a safer driver. The possible cost of not having a good education with regards to safe car handling, obeying road rules and being assertive but not reckless would potentially be a lot higher.
Look at the bigger picture. Most instructors/ schools have many expenses to cover for them to be able to take a Learner Driver out on the road. Here is a list of some of those expenses:
  • Driving Licence plus Drivers Authority Licence (the extra licence that allow instructors to teach). This is only available annually and costs in excess of $315 – like everything, it increases each year.
  • A fully comprehensively insured, dual controlled and fully maintained and serviced vehicle. Many instructors have their cars under finance and so have the repayments to cover on top of expenses listed. A regular 4 cylinder car might cost less than $50 per month to insure. I pay 3 times that for my driving school car.
  • Fuel – now the price is rising drastically. Due to the fact that I do not just spend an hour with a driving student in streets close to their home doing manoeuvres, plus I pick up my Learner Drivers and allow them to finish anywhere that they need to be, my fuel costs are huge each week. I believe in holistic learning where I guide Learner Drivers around a variety of roads and situations each and every lesson. Also allowing time for driving between locations and the additional fuel for that also.
I’ll just interject a little comment here about pricing. 12 Years ago, my eldest daughters driving lessons were $50 per hour. The price of fuel back then was around $1.20. Registration, licensing and insurance has also all increased in price. The cost of living has increased. So when I charge $80 per hour, a $30 increase over 14 years is about $2.14 per year. Not bad when you think of it that way. Back to expenses:
  • Administration costs – website, advertising, google listing, photocopying assessment forms, phone bills, time allocated to returning messages and calls, internet and electricity to keep things modern and running.
  • Business Insurance, Liability Insurance, Fees for ‘Working with Children Blue Card’, business registration, Accountant fees.
  • Car detailing, new tyres and repairs along the way so that a professional appearance is maintained.
Then once all of the expenses are covered, our humble wages come in to just cover our own personal expenses and allow us to put a little away for a holiday or an event, time with family
For those that do not wish to spend the money on lessons for their Learner Drivers – or simply cannot afford to, I have written a comprehensive guide to assist Parent/ Supervisors to still give their Learners a quality – and hopefully life saving driver education.

Another vital part of Learning to Drive is the Government Funded ‘Keys2Drive‘ Lesson – it is totally free of charge! 1 only per Learner.

You could be missing some key elements while supervising your Learner Driver, this lesson will help you get and stay on track to assist your Learner Driver to become a safer driver once they get their P’s.
Click HERE to read what others have to say about Driving Lessons with me

I am an accredited Keys2Drive Instructor and find this lesson helps every parent and Learner Driver understand the risks of P Plate driving.

Book your session once your Learner has had at least 10 hours of experience – although those that have never been behind the wheel might find it of benefit to assist those who are nervous or anxious about taking that first step!

To receive the e-book ‘100 Hours Done’, simply fill in the enquiry form below for a no obligation copy of this informative guide to helping your Learner Driver. It is a ‘Gold Coast, QLD’ edition, however there are many tips for drivers Australia wide.

Enquire Here

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