Vital Drive

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Here we have testimonals from previous drivers and reports from inspecting companies

Anna Barnard, Kiltarlity - Passed April 2012


One word really comes to mind when I think of Bill MacLelland and Vital Drive’s services; thankful!

I came to Bill as an expectant mother of my third child.  I am American and while I hold an American licence,  I needed to sit my test in order to drive legally here in Scotland.   I had never driven a manual geared car before and was daunted at the challenge in front of me.   Time was very limited and my deep hope and prayer was to pass my practical driving test before the birth of our baby. From the outset,  Bill was more than up for the challenge and very understanding of my situation and needs. 
From the very beginning, Bill was very thorough in his instruction.  He was very flexible about timings of lessons and the locations where we met.  Throughout the course of our driving lessons, he instructed me with patience and a knowledge that gave me more and more confidence as we progressed.   When the time came for me to take my test, I felt confident to drive in Inverness (including the tricky roundabouts that I never encountered the likes of in the States!).   Overall, Bill’s instruction was comprehensive, friendly, and it equipped me to achieve my goal, one that meant so much for my entire family. 
I am so pleased to say that with Bill and Vital Drive’s instruction allowed me to pass my test on the first try.  Thank you, Bill!  For me, this was of the utmost importance and I can now plan on driving three children around the city safely.


Calum Lamont - Passed April 2012


My time learning to drive with Bill has been completely ideal for me. The practical aspects of the teaching were perfect, Bill was never late, the car was always in great condition and Bill was very helpful when it came to booking lessons. At times during learning I was very limited with what times I was able to have lessons but this was never an issue with Bill and he always made sure that I was booked in and that I was driving regularly enough to keep progressing. The car may be a bit bigger than other learner cars but I found it very easy to drive and very comfortable in all situations on the road, I actually think that the larger car is easier in many respects.
The learning material of the lessons was top class, we spent very little time sitting at the road side, in fact I can't think of one moment when we were sitting other than briefly discussing a manoeuvre or practicing "show me tell me" questions quickly. Not only was every minute used constructively but the price in the first place was very good value so when considered together you are getting great value for money learning with Bill.
I think that Bills' experience of advanced driving with the police has equipped him with a very calm and thorough nature which lends itself perfectly to teaching people how to drive, whether you are very nervous or lack confidence he is very easy to get on with and his safe and thorough approach build your own confidence whilst developing your skills as a driver. One of the aspects of Bills' teaching that I found very encouraging was that it was obvious to me that Bill did not want to prolong the learning process, he always made sure that I was progressing and developing at a sensible pace and when it came time to get my theory test done and my driving test booked he made sure I didn't dilly dally about it. This meant that when I sat my test I felt completely ready to and I have Bill to thank for that.
I cannot recommend learning with Vital Drive highly enough and having just passed my test have now booked to sit pass plus with Bill, another benefit!
Thank you Bill!


Mark Comrie, Ballachulish – Passed test April 2012


I started learning with Bill in January 2012. Coming from a small village there was limited dates available for sitting my test.  However, my employer went ahead and booked a test in Inverness, where there was availability.  Bill was fantastic and gave me a lot of support and encouragement, even explaining to my employer that they were not giving me much time and that it is very different driving in a City as apposed to a small village. 

I had five lessons with Bill each lasting a few hours; he was very accommodating given the distance factor my journey involved each time.

Bill has an excellent approach to teaching driving and I feel that if it had not been for Vital Drives professional yet down to earth skills I may not have passed in the limited time scale I was given.  Mark.

From Mark's employer:  I would also like to take this oppotunity to thank you for a wonderful service.  Kind regards - Natalie


Gordon Stewart - Extended Test February 2012


After a period of not driving I had to take a extended driving test which is a longer test than normal. When I contacted Bill to enquire if he could get me through the test he was from the very beginning supportive and nothing was ever a problem. The car I found very good to take my lessons in and was a more realistic sized car to drive and it was always very clean inside and outside. Bill gave me various options on time of lessons, where pick up and where I would like dropped of at the end which was really helpfull and he was always waiting for me at the arranged time. After a number of lessons Bill told me to apply for my test (passed 1st time thanks Bill) which was good and it was clear to me he was more intrested in getting me through my test rather than taking my money for lessons I did not require. I would recommend Bill @ Vital Drive for anyone needing any type of driving instruction

Gordon Stewart - Inverness


Lindsey Haddock - Passed Test February 2012


I started learning in October 2011 and in 4 months I now have my driving license and also completed Pass Plus. I honestly don't think anyone else could have got me through my test so quickly. From my first lesson with Bill I knew that if anyone could teach me to be a safe driver as well as get me through my driving test it was Bill. What a fantastic instructor!! His teaching method exceeded everything I expected and rather than sitting at the side of the road, you get lots of practical, hands on learning. He'll tell you when you've made a mistake and help you understand why it happened and equally he will praise you. Bill is calm, patient, friendly and reassuring and I always felt at ease and learning to drive was fun. The car itself, whilst slightly bigger, was great to drive and I felt safe and comfortable with it. I also feel like I got amazing value for money and that Bill actually cared about me being a safe driver rather than just making as much money as possible. I would definitely recommend Bill as an instructor and have nothing but praise for him. He has been a fantastic instructor and friend and I couldn't be more grateful! Thank you for everything. Miss you Bill ! Lindsey - Belfast


Yasmin Ross - Passed Test 30 January 2012


My time with Vital Drive has been extremely thorough and positive. As a young mum with a 5 month old baby who was only around 8 weeks old when I began my lessons it was very important that I could arrange my lessons around childcare and Bill was more than helpful with that aspect. Also as a few years previous I was a passenger in a serious car collision with a bus, which as a result I was very nervous. To begin with but as Bill who puts such an emphasis on safety and made me feel at ease knowing that I was always safe in his car and he was encouraging me whilst driving. Knowing of Bill’s career as an advanced driving instructor for the police clinched the deal for me as choosing him as my instructor I felt there was no one more qualified in Inverness to teach me how to drive. The emphasis on safety made a huge impact on me as I was needing to learn to drive so I could travel easily with my son rather than dealing with getting on a bus with a buggie, so knowing how to drive in the most safe manner was extremely important to me as my baby son will be travelling with me in the car. I also found my lessons to be really good value for money as if you had an hour lesson with Bill you would pretty much be driving for the whole lesson and not sitting by the side of the road for half an hour saving fuel. I also realised Bill would never put anyone up for their test until they were ready and felt confident about doing so, but at the same time setting them a target of when he would expect them to be ready. As this is what he did with me I did feel more than ready for my test and passed it 1st time with only 4 minors although I would only class it as 3 really as 1 minor was undue hesitation but rather safe than sorry!! All in all I found Bill to be an extremely friendly, fair and thorough instructor who you can trust to teach you how to drive as safely as possible and I would highly recommend him to anyone that was looking to start lessons. I was so impressed with Bill's teaching methods I am due to undergo my Pass Plus with him. Thanks Bill for all your help and guidance. I will never forget. "If in doubt - hold back" !!



J.B. Fyfe Passed Test 18 June 2011


My time with Vital Drive can be expressed in one word: THOROUGH! Having commenced a complete novice Bill taught me everything I could possibly need to know to drive safely in the future including me passing my test for the first time.  Bill's "no nonsense" approach certainly kept me on track (even when you take the wrong lane!) and made me realise that there was more to driving than just "getting behind the wheel."  I now realise that there were time when I personally pushed Bill's patience beyond belief, but his remarkably calm attitude and pointed approach enabled me to focus and would inspire anyone to reach the required standard for test purposes.

The car used by Vital Drive all be it a larger than the average car certainly prepared me for the future in much the same way as Bill's teaching method.  Learning to the higher standard than that being tested is certainly something I can identfy with and has made me much more competent than what I anticipated.  I would certainly recommend Vital Drive to anyone wishing to learn the required skills for driving in todays traffic conditions.  JB Fyfe.


Kirsteen Anderson Passed Test 17 June 2011


For me Bill at Vital Drive was a great choice of Instructor to teach me to drive.  His experience as an instructor and with the Police driving means that he is calm with learner drivers and I always felt I could trust his judgement whilst I was driving.

The driving lessons were always pitched at ability level, meaning that I was constantly challenged, Bill will never present you with something he doesn't believe you can do.  This method does give you a real feeling of making progress and improvement.

On the whole, I found I came away from lessons feeling more confident and always looking forward to the next lesson. Bill was always easy to get on with - hi will not let you away with mistakes when you should know better, but when you receive praise you know he is sincere with it.  The driving lessons prepared me well for the test, given a vast experience of different roads both urban and rural and I really did feel well prepared for the test. Bill incorporates many advanced concepts into driving lessons, meaning that you are prepared for driving post test.

I found the car to be great for learning and whilst practicing the manoeuvres in the larger car means that I am well prepared for driving any size of vehicle in the future.  The fact that it is a diesel means that it is much more forgiving when you are still getting the hang of the controls.

Overall, I found learning with Bill at Vital Drive to be a fantastic experience which I would highly recommend to anyone wishing to learn to drive well and not just pass a test.  Many thanks Bill.  Kirsteen



Prasanna Kumar Passed Test 14 June 2011


I am from India and from the outset I was looking for quality driving instruction with someone who could understand me and teach me the necessary driving skills according to the standards required here in the U.K.

On reading the Vital Drive website, I found Bill to have a vast experience and I chose to arrange my lessons with Vital Drive.  I found Bill to be an excellent instructor who is incredibly patient, friendly and down to earth with a very practical approach.

From the beginning, Bill was so encouraging and very quickly increased my confidence regarding driving.  He always explained everything a a simple way which I was able to understand and could remember for my next lesson.

I really liked Bill's approach to the required manouvres, steering e.t.c. which enabled me to realise how many bad habits I had from my experience driving in India.  I thoroughly enjoyed my driving lessons and with Bill's in-depth teaching methods and associated skills, this left me assured and a reasonable level of confidence that I could approach my test positively and pass on my first attempt.

Bill was always punctual and I really enjoyed driving the Vital Drive car which has prepared me and given me a level of confidence to go on and drive bigger cars in the future.  I would recommend Vital Drive to everyone who is looking to learn in an efficient, methodical and enjoyable manner.  Prasanna


Elidh MacKenzie - Passed Test 12 June 2011


I've had some experience with another driving school and it just seemed that I was going nowhere.  Having decided to change driving schools, my aunt recomended Vital Drive to me.  On my first lesson, I remember being a bit nervous about driving the bigger car, but after a few lessons, I found the car fairly easy to drive and actually felt very secure within it whilst driving.  The car was always clean and tidy and Bill always there on time as arranged.  I found Bill extremely good, a real stickler for detail, but alwasy polite and patient, friendly and always explaining aspects about driving situations we encountered during lessons.  What I also found with Bill whilst he takes time to explain things, we were not spending much time stationery by the roadside and it was always very much "hand on" experience in almost every situation one could encounter on busy roads, quieter roads urband and rural.

I did not pass my test the first time, but this was entirely my own fault due to my attitude and carlessness.  I passed on my second attempt and you can imagine my delight when the examiner informed me that I had a "clean sheet" yes zero faults and that was on a route which required me to negotiate the Haudigan roundabout (voted the worst roundabout in Eutope) on two occasions.

In my opinion Bill MacLelland taught me skills that I will require for the future and beyond with many extras relating to his vast experience of being an advanced Police instructor.  There is no question from what I experienced with my initial lessons and from what I have heard from friends the level of teaching I was given is of the highest quality and always a challenge which helped me learn many driving skills.  Elidh



Collin Murray - June 2011


At the age of 42 plus years I never thought that I would have the confidence to take up driving.  However Bill very quickly had me feeling more comfortable behind the wheel and his teaching regarding awareness and safety enabled me gain confidence with each lesson I took enabling me deal with varying situations as and when they arose.  During my earlier lessons, Bill would speak me through tighter situations and would then discuss with me as to how I handled it and made use of the experience as to how I approach such situations in future.  I always found Bill to be calm, patient giving clear and concise instruction and directions where necessary and he always took the opportunity to address mistakes I made always affording me encouragement.  I always found Bill an excellent instructor and he anabled me to learn all aspects of driving in a reasonably short period of time.  Bill was always on good time, had a very clean car and lessons with Vital Drive are very much "hands on" with clear and precise debriefs at the end.  Thanks Bill for a challenging but enjoyable time learning with Vital Drive.  Vital Drive provides an excellent service and good value for money.  Collin


Rebecca - 21st April 2011


Bill MacLelland has everything you need in a quality driving instructor.  I was very nervous for my first lesson, however Bill being the calm and reassuring person he is made me feel relaxed and I had an extremely enjoyable first lesson.  From there things only went up until I had the self confidence, skills and backing of Bill to take my practical test.  The size of the car threw me when I first saw it, however once inside I felt very safe and I felt learning in that size of car that was highly beneficial as It prepared me for various sizes of cars in the future.  Bill is extremely patient, friendly and competent and nobody should have any doubts about learning with the exceedingly high standard that is Vital Drive. FANTASTIC!!


Emily Bamford - Test - 8 April 2011

Having failed my test in London, I contacted Bill to see whether he would be willing to take me on for two weeks of intensive lessons while I was staying with relatives in Aberdeen. Since my test was booked for the end of the fortnight, and I was going home the day after, I wasn't leaving much margin for error, so it was important to me to find a really excellent driving instructor. From Bill's initial reply to my enquiry e-mail at the end of 2010, I felt confident that I had chosen the right person, and this assurance increased with each lesson.
Bill is highly competent and extremely patient. He gave and asked for feedback throughout the lessons so that his instruction was pitched perfectly to my level. In addition to teaching what was necessary to pass the test, Bill gave me advice that I feel will help me be a safer and better driver now that I'm on my own on the road.
Bill was always very punctual and ensured that we spent the whole lesson actually driving; furthermore, he often gave me more than my allotted 90 minutes, rather than always keeping an eye on the clock, which is an experience I had not experienced with other instructors. For these reasons I felt that Bill's lessons offered excellent value for money. I also enjoyed learning in a slightly larger car; to my surprise, I found it just as easy to handle and maneuver as a hatchback, but it felt safer and has helped to prepare me for driving bigger vehicles.
Despite the short time frame in which I took lessons with Bill, and being a complete stranger to Aberdeen roads, I felt extremely well prepared for my test - he was fastidious about ensuring that I was fully confident with each of the maneuvers as well as being familiar with the various roads which could be experienced on possible test routes. Though I had spent very little time in Aberdeen before the course, I knew almost every road that we covered during the test, including where the tight corners and awkward meeting situations might be.
I've had a total of 6 driving instructors over the years and I can honestly say Bill was the best by far. I would recommend him to anyone.
Emily Bamford - Author/Writer - France.  Test -  8 April 2011

James Camilleri 2 April 2011


My experience of Vital Drive has been nothing but positive. The calm, professional and thorough nature of Bill MacLelland’s tuition is exactly what a learner needs to acclimatise to the sometimes unpredictable nature of driving on UK roads. His step-by-step approach to the complexities of driving makes him ideal for anybody who wants to learn and others who believe they can’t.  James Camilleri ~ Aberdeen

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Lorena - April 2011


My name is Lorena, I am from Argentina and I had a great experience learning with Bill. I had my driving licence from Argentina, but it is completely different when you try to drive on the other side of the road! I was quite scared at the beginning but Bill was very patient with me, not only when he was giving me the driving instructions but also with my English, that it is not my first language. Bill was always very punctual and flexible when scheduling the time and dates of the lessons. It was a huge challenge for me and I am very proud of my achievement!


Amanze from Nigeria


I felt very pleased and excited after passing my driving test. One thing about my instructor is that he is thorough and he believes in the pupil getting it right. Towards my test period, I found out that the manoeuvres that appear to be difficult were quite easy to me. Bill will not only prepare you for your test but he will ensure that the student develops to be a good and safe driver.
Bill is friendly, firm and very fair. Even when I was making mistakes during my lesson, He corrected and encouraged me. I would definitely recommend him to people that wish to be good and safe drivers.

Amanze ~ March 2011


Lee Duduid


Vital Drive is an exellent driving school, Bill teaches you how to drive safely and confidently.
I passed my test with two minors and my driving was complimented by the examiner.
I would recommend Vital Drive to anyone wishing to learn.  November 2010


Eva Moariakw


My Instructor, Bill was EXCELLENT! He was very patient with me, assertive yes, but his teaching manner was great. I was pretty nervous learning at first, but the lessons were very comprehensive, and challenged me to face my fears, and made me find confidence driving on themain road.
Bill was very reliable, always on time, and he took me to lots of different areas of potential test routes. Bill is really nice, and has a friendly approach. He really knows how to teach and understand learner drivers.   Overall I consider Vital Drive to provide very good value for money, great driving school, excellent instructor, highly recommended from my experience!  Eva 26 September 2010


Lindsey Thompson - Learner Driver, Pass Plus and skid training


Lindsey ThomsonChanging instructor was for me quite a big step. Not only was I going to be driving a bigger car, but I was also going to be learning in the City of Aberdeen. Originally I wasn’t being taught key elements of driving such as how to use mirrors and how to position a car on the road. Having a bigger car was beneficial as it increased my confidence when doing manoeuvres and made me concentrate more as I was very aware of my vehicle’s size. I would recommend learning in a bigger car to anyone as it gives you the confidence of jumping into any other vehicle without any reservations. Getting used to the additional power of a bigger car was also very beneficial and made me more aware of my speed particularly in the built up area.

When I began learning with Bill, he explained everything clearly so I knew why certain actions were carried out and why. He built up my confidence quickly and made me feel good about my driving. Even though my concentration would let me down at times he still believed I had the ability to pass and was very encouraging. The way in which I was taught was very thorough. I understood what I had to do to pass the test, but more importantly how to drive. Rather than just deal with elements of the driving test, he taught me how to deal with difficult situations and therefore expanded my knowledge of how to drive a car. I passed first time and this was undoubtedly down to the way in which I was taught.

During my lessons, Bill often spoke about skid training and Pass Plus. I felt by doing them, the additional driving experiences would benefit me in the future and Bill was very enthusiastic about both.

I did Pass Plus and skid training as soon as I could, and as the skid training was in Elgin, driving there was an experience in itself as it was the longest distance I had driven since passing my test. The skid training lasted for over an hour, and I was taught how to recognise a skid,


Scott Fyfe - Learner Driver


"It had been over a year since I had last driving lesson with another instructor. I was initially nervous to get started again, but Bill quickly had me driving and building up my confidence behind the wheel.
I found Bill much more thorough than my previous instructor,  concentrating more on all aspects of driving, not just what I needed to pass the test.


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