I'm taking some mandatory motorcycle lessons (required before you can legally ride on the road).

I've paid around $600 for these to the school the runs the course. The course (whose structure, contents and length are defined by the government) is supposed to be 18 hours (of class / riding time) and runs over a weekend.

Due to slow progress over the weekend - the instructor wants to take me for 4-5 hours of further lessons at a cost of about $40 an hour.

I don't disagree with this assessment and would very much like more practice.

However, over the weekend - we arrived at 8am and left at 5pm both days with an hour for lunch. This means that I'm owed 2 hours of work.

The instructor is going to contact me to arrange the extra hours - how do I make a point about the missing hours without ruining the relationship we currently have?

I genuinely enjoyed the lessons over the weekend, the instructor was very nice and I have no doubt that he does want to prepare me for the road.

The issues I see are:

  • If I were to say this to the school directly - The instructor could possibly get in trouble for cutting the weekend sessions short
  • I'm worried if I say it to the instructor - he might take it badly, wrecking our relationship and go on the defensive.
  • He could simply say that he hasn't seen sufficient progress in our extra 4/5 hours and demand more lessons before he will sign me off

What is a diplomatic approach to doing the extra hours with the instructor while getting the two hours I'm owed?

  • 5
    Have you confirmed with the contract/Terms of Services of the school that those hours of lunch are excluded from those 18 hours?
    – JAD
    Sep 17, 2018 at 11:38
  • Good question - the school advertises that they complete the course over a weekend. The structure and contents of the course are defined by the government which explicitly states that it's an 18 hour course. If they were to argue that their version of the course isn't 18 hours long - I imagine they would lose their teaching license, or they would be guilty of false advertising.
    – user21741
    Sep 17, 2018 at 11:49
  • What does the Irish law says about the course? and the 18 hours? How can they be done? All at once like you mention it? Do you have to have breaks inbetween hours? (like: 2 hours learning = 1 hour break before you can drive again?)
    – OldPadawan
    Sep 17, 2018 at 12:22
  • The details are here: rsa.ie/en/RSA/Learner-Drivers/Motorcyclists/… rsa.ie/RSA/Learner-Drivers/Motorcyclists/… Completing IBT for the first time on a larger motorcycle in category 'A2' or 'A' is an 18 hr course and involves completing three modules 1,3 and 5. These modules are a mixture of theory and practical riding skills. Module 1 at least three hours to complete. Module 3 at least two hours to complete. Module 5 will need 13 hours to complete.
    – user21741
    Sep 17, 2018 at 16:06

2 Answers 2


This applies to most situations in which you are uncertain of what the correct answer is -- just ask. He does not have to feel defensive if you phrase it in a curious way, such as: "Hey! I think this is going great, but I am wondering how the time is counted. Shouldn't I have like two hours left of training?"

As an instructor he should definitely have been asked this question a hundred times already.

Depending on how pleased you are with his answer, you can also call the school just to ask how they calculate the time; or even call a nearby competing school and ask how they do it. Often they will have the same planning.

  • 1
    Didn't go well unfortunately. He got very defensive and started grabbing at random things about how "He's not going to pause the clock every time somebody goes to the toilet", "We can't work 9 hours without a break" and "I thought you were doing well". He called me back after 5 minutes and said he would give four hours for the price of three and asked me to pay then and there over the phone - when I realised he was writing my credit card info down - I said I would call the school to pay. He then said he would get the school to ring me. A random mobile number rang me which I didn't answer.
    – user21741
    Sep 19, 2018 at 15:12
  • 1
    I then rang the school myself, and a guy answered and said he tried to call me (no mention of him not using the school phone). I told him that I was making a 4 hour booking and that I was owed 2 hours, the guy asked why - I explained and said that I rang the government agency who agreed that lunch / breaks aren't included in the course. He instantly agreed with me and charged me for 2 hours. It would seem the instructor and his colleague were trying charge me without there being any record of it on the schools phone.
    – user21741
    Sep 19, 2018 at 15:15

It seems clear that the instructor was depending on making the money. There is nothing wrong about this at all. We grow accustomed to what we do for a living making us the money we need. You surprised him and shook his cage when you asked your simple question. This can be seen from his reaction and reliance on somebody else to follow up. You have no need to apologize but would do well to do so anyway. You can chalk up your question to a higher authority, the wife/husband who needed this explanation.

Since the instructor is taking too much time he must have thought you were happy to spend time hanging with him. Instead you have a set purpose and budget and limited time to spend. If you (both) proceed with a clear business like attitude you can get to the end of your transaction.

  • I didn't disagree that I needed more lessons - after the weekend, we hadn't been out on the road - the law says the course must have x amount of hours on the road. The issue is that he's asking me to pay for the extra hours we need to do - which is fine. The issue I have is that over the weekend, we did ~16 hours of coursework but I paid for a course that should have 18 hours of coursework.
    – user21741
    Sep 20, 2018 at 9:00

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