Before training with ELITE to become an instructor I had spent my whole working life in retail, working myself through the ranks to managerial position for a major retailer. I'd always had it in my mind to become a driving instructor, following in the footsteps of my dad, who was an instructor for many years right up until he retired.
When I decided to make the career change from store to car, I did so for several reasons. Firstly is my love of all things car related. I love driving, and have always enjoyed long road trips both in the UK and abroad, and pass on that passion to my pupils in their lessons, ensuring driving becomes a pleasurable experience, not a stressful one.
I'm a family man, married with two sons. We as a family are avid fans of Formula 1, and are #TeamLH, and have camped for the race weekend at the Silverstone British Grand Prix every year for many years now.
I have been able to transfer many of the skills I have gained as a father into teaching, including being a good listener, and being empathetic. I also ensure I justify anything I tell my boys, so they understand why they should or shouldn't do something. I understand how important this is when learning to drive. My skills from the retail sector have also come in useful, including colleague training roles, risk and safety management, and diary management. It's great now putting all of those skills into practice to help individuals to gain the life skill of learning to drive safely.
I love my career as a driving instructor, and aim to make each and every lesson bespoke to the needs and learning style of every different pupil I meet, whether a confident driver approaching test standard, a nervous beginner, or anywhere in between.
Maria Labelle, Crawley, West Sussex
"Passed my test at the weekend! All my lessons were with Lee. Lee is a very patient, calm and kind instructor. He was always reliable and contactable. I would especially recommend him if you are a very nervous driver like I was."
20 November 2023
Hannah Smith, Crawley, West Sussex
"Just had my first lesson with Lee, it went really well and I felt he really helped me understand everything I already knew and didn’t know a lot better, straight away felt comfortable and at ease!"
27 November 2023
Lorine Desperles, Crawley, West Sussex
"I have been having lessons with Lee since last year and today I passed my test I couldn’t be proud, all thanks to Lee. Lee is a friendly, kind, patient and inspiration instructer I always look forward for my lessons with him. He’s always early for lessons. If your someone who’s like me have anxiety and nervous Lee is your guy he will keep you calm and make you laugh. I am so happy I had a good instructer, See you on the road. Thanks a lot Lee ."
2 November 2023
Rachel H, Crawley, West Sussex
"Just had my first lesson with Lee, what a lovely patient instructor :) I Was really nervous and tend to be very shy but he was so friendly and professional that I look forward to my future lessons. Definitely recommend."
18 October 2023
Kasey Ojeda, Crawley, West Sussex
"Lee is an excellent driving instructor. He keeps his lessons fun and engaging, which eases the nerves for anyone who is new to learning how to drive or just getting there. Lee has very much boosted my confidence throughout my driving compared to how I was 10 months back. On top of that, he is a very patient person when you make mistakes for quite some time, but it allowed me to learn from it. I would highly recommend that you drive with Lee if you are learning to drive, whatever pace you may be in. I would not have done it without his help. Once again, thank you so much Lee :)."
01 November 2023
Gabriel Marian, Cralwey, West Sussex
"Lee is such a good instructor my first lesson was brilliant I recommend lee and elite driving school."
18 October 2023
Daniel Okehie, Horley, Surrey
"I started my journey with Lee after some unfortunate circumstances which delayed my start, however Lee handled the process amazingly and made me feel comfortable and in control once my lesson had started, allowing me to gain confidence and make a good amount of progress in my first lesson."
03 October 2023
Jamie F, Crawley, West Sussex
"I had my first lesson with Lee today, he’s very good instructor, very patient and eases you into doing things at your own pace as well as guiding you into feeling safe behind the wheel. Very good first lesson definitely recommend."
02 October 2023
Ravi Rahi, Crawley, West Sussex
!Just had my first lesson from instructor Lee and I got a reality check of my skills and the gaps. I must say Lee is very professional and truthful in providing feedback and guidance to improve. Looking further for the next session."
22 August 2023
Alba Gabriela, Crawley, West Sussex
"I started with ELITE with Jenna who was brilliant! Due to calendars availability, I couldn't continue with her anymore and changed instructors. Today I had my first lesson with Lee and a truly enjoyed it. I am very impressed with the way he conducted his lesson, very reflective and calm approach. Exactly what I need to continue my learning. Thank you both very much!"
09 September 2023
Kasey Ojeda, Crawley, West Sussex
"Had my first lesson with Lee. He is an excellent instructor and very patient whilst driving on the move whilst on the drive. He arrives early before the lesson had begun and keeps his lessons engaging and fun."
07 September 2023
Shane Drayton, East Grinstead, West Sussex
"I had Lee as an instructor lee is very patient and friendly instructor I've been trying to pass my test for many years I had many instructors who where only interested in taking my money and not much else lee and elite where not like this he helped me build my confidence in myself and my driving and taught me what I needed to know when I passed my test lee gave Me some great advice about driving as a full licence holder all I cam say is a huge thank you to lee I would not hesitate to recommend elite to anyone."
24 August 2023
Molly Rose, Faygate, West Sussex
"My driving experience before meeting my instructor Lee was a negative one. After my first lesson with Lee my whole view of driving changed, he was so supportive and professional and was really encouraging. I had suffered with driving anxiety so the lessons with Lee have helped me a lot with that too. Today I have taken my first driving test and passed first time! I would have never done this without Lee! Thank you!"
24 August 2023
Matthew Wytt, Crawley, West Sussex
"I started with lee one of the elite instructors in September 2022. He was very welcoming once I joined he showed me where all the controls for the car are and is a very good instructor he will go at your pace and he will help with your theory and will get make sure that you are ready for your theory so you pass it easily. Once you pass your theory he will get you ready for your driving test as soon as possible. Whilst I was with him I had no problems with him at all I can’t thank him enough to get me sorted with my driving quickly and efficiently."
21 July 2023
May Malicdan, Redhill, Surrey
"I just had my 2nd lesson with Lee, who was recommended by a friend, today and I am more than satisfied at how I progress. He’s a flexible instructor; with a systematic way of teaching; and good at assessing his student and what the student needs to improve. He can be both reassuring and critical at the same time which I believe has made the difference. So I am looking forward to getting my formal driving license with his help. Thanks again Lee!!."
20 July 2023
Rama Ilanagai, Crawley, West Sussex
"So far my experience with elite driving is great. My instructor Lee Haydon is very patient and teaches in proper systematic manner which clearly makes you understand your progress and the things which we need to improve." "I would definitely recommend the driving school and instructor Lee."
04 July 2023
Ellie Payne, Crawley, West Sussex
"My instructor Lee was absolutely amazing! I wanted to do automatic, but was pushed to do manual by my family. Lee helped me confidence so much. He was very clear and didn’t rush me into doing things I wasn’t confident in. He was always on time to my lessons. Lee made sure I was fully confident before going out onto main roads. I passed my test yesterday, and that is all because of Lee. Thank you!"
21 June 2023
Joshua Webb, Redhill, Surrey
"I’ve been having lessons with Lee and he’s been very patient and a great help to me. Would definitely recommend."
12 June 2023
Karyn Bird, Crawley, West Sussex
"Would highly recommend. Especially my instructor Lee. His passion and dedication make him an excellent teacher for all students learning to drive."
02 July 2023
James Skeggs, Crawley, West Sussex
"Just finished my first lesson with Lee Haydon, he paced the lesson well and didn’t rush me but instead catered to any areas I wasn’t so sure on. Can’t wait for my next lesson!"
12 June 2023
Douglas Chan, Crawley, West Sussex
"I have only had one lesson, but my instructor Lee helped me learn moving off and stopping within a very short time. He was very helpful and adapted to the way I learn in no time."
10 June 2023
Sophie Kendall, Redhill. Surrey
"I managed to pass through Elite and I don’t think I could have without them. I heard about them through a neighbour who like me was very anxious while driving, they said they were good for building up confidence and they were right. My instructor Lee was patient and positive, and was never frustrated or upset by any mistakes I made. They also taught me useful techniques and procedures for driving. And were very responsible during the years of the pandemic. If you’re anxious when driving please consider giving Elite a try."
24 May 2023
Freddie, Crawley, West Sussex
"I had my first lesson today with Lee and couldn’t thank him enough he was very a patient with me and is really helpful I really do recommend Lee"
07 May 2023
William Ward, Crawley, West Sussex
"Lee is a fantastic instructor. He is very encouraging and supportive. The lessons are relaxed, enjoyable and his teaching keeps you engaged. I would recommend him to anyone who wishes to learn to drive."
28 April 2023
Isabella Williams, Crawley, West Sussex
"First lesson with Lee, he explained everything really well and calmed my nerves. Looking forward to more lessons!"
26 April 2023
Milton P, Crawley, West Sussex
"Great lesson done with Lee, looking forward to more."
27 March 2023
Sakib Hassan, Crawley, West Sussex
"I enjoyed my time with #LeeHaydon. Pass my driving test first time with lee. One of the best man in the business around. I was very comfortable with lee. Even in bad days we would have great time behind the wheel. He really understands how everyone learns in different ways and he helped me overcome my bad habits and focus on my strengths. Definitely recommend him for everyone. You will find him very patient with your weaknesses and will help you to push your limits to succeed."
20 February 2023
Estrella Fe, Horley, Surrey
"Just had my first lesson with Lee Haydon and I can’t complain. Everything was well explained and looking forward to more lessons with him."
20 February 2023
Lewis Bulmer, Redhill, Surrey
"I had Lee as an instructor he is one of the best instructors he’s very patient with you and made me feel confident behind the wheel wouldn’t have passed without him. I would recommend Lee highly wouldn’t of done it without him."
28 Decemebr 2022
Chantelle Getkate, Horley, Surrey
"My instructor Lee was absolutely fantastic! He was very calm and patient with me through my learning process. He helped to build up my confidence and was very reassuring when it came to test day. He really went above and beyond when it came to having my lessons and making sure I was test ready. Thank you Lee and Elite."
18 Novemebr 2022
Max Evans, Crawley, West Sussex
"I passed my driving test with lots of help from Lee, who is a great driving instructor. Very flexible and I would definitely recommend to new learners as he gives confidence during the lessons and for the driving test."
10 October 2022
"Lee is a great driving instructor who made me feel confident in my ability to drive. Lee is calm, patient and I thoroughly enjoyed my lessons. I highly recommend Elite driving school as they provide online support for both practical and theory tests."
06 September 2022
Emma Broom, Reigate, Surrey
"So happy my son passed his test with Lee from Elite! Kind, patient and full of knowledge! Thanks Emma and Charlie."
26 September 2022
Millie Perrin, Horley, Surrey
"Lee has been an absolutely brilliant instructor! I started learning to drive with him last year and am absolutely thrilled to have passed my test last weekend. I was very nervous when I first started to learn to drive, but he put me at ease very quickly and throughout our lessons he was nothing but supportive, patient, friendly, kind and very encouraging. Lee has a clear passion for supporting all of his pupils to achieve their very best. He always made our lessons fun, whilst remaining very productive and fresh, and each time I would build on what I learnt from the previous lesson whilst constantly learning new skills and coming away from each lesson feeling more confident in my ability to drive. Throughout my time learning, my lessons were always very clear, focused and thorough, and he’d always give opportunities to ask questions (regardless of how silly they may have been) and was always making sure I was 100% happy and confident with what we were doing (be it a manoeuvre or tackling a tricky roundabout!). Lee’s kind and friendly approach to teaching made my entire experience of learning to drive very enjoyable and I’m very grateful - I couldn’t have asked for a better, more approachable and patient instructor! Thanks to Lee, I passed with a brilliant result and I couldn’t be happier or more pleased with the outcome and overall experience with Elite. I would 100% recommend Lee, and Elite to anyone!"
05 September 2022
Brook Cairdd, Crawley, West Sussex
"Had Lee as my driving instructor very relaxing professional guy very easy to learn with always felt relaxed I passed my test today and owe a lot of that to him"
15 July 2022
Adrian Groome, Horley, Surrey
"I can highly recommend Elite Driving School." "I had Lee Hayden as my instructor. He was brilliant. Really friendly and made me feel at ease during my lessons. Lee really went out of his way on my test day. My test was cancelled which we only found out once we arrived at the test centre. They had booked it for the following day which was Lee’s day off. Lee on his day off still took me to the centre for my test and supported me." "Lee Hayden I can’t thank you enough. Truly amazing Instrutor who really does go out of his way to help you." "Thank again."
26 April 2022
Isaac Mahoney, Crawley, West Sussex
"Very helpful, communicative instructors and elite itself provides a lot of helpful resources."
20 April 2022
Vignesh, Crawley, West Sussex
"I would thank my driving instructors Lee. He is very calm and professional. I passed my driving test on my first attempt. I passed my exam all is due to my driving instructor Lee. He helps me build my confidants on the road. Thanks, Elite Driving school allocated me Lee as instructors on the challenging situations when other driving schools did not allow me to take the driving test."
08 February 2022
Allie McKay, Crawley, West Sussex
"Elite driving school has bee a wonderful experience! I started with Lee, who I have found to be patient and encouraging! I came to the UK with 40+ years driving experience in another country, and found myself making the same mistakes over and over again. I'd previously started with another driving school, and my previous instructor made me feel awful and scared and foolish. However, Lee was encouraging, was completely straight forward about my plusses and minuses, and really made me feel confident to go forward. He has a patient demeanor, and is very kind. He is thorough and tells you exactly what you want to know, and adapts to your style. In my case, I am more academic so I want to know everything before I go. He did just that. Sadly, due to health reasons, I had to switch to automatic lessons, but again, Lee was incredibly kind and understanding about it and even helped communications with the school in order to assist with the change. I was disappointed that Lee didn't also teach automatic!"
"If you want a manual instructor that adapts to your needs and understands what your goals are, who keeps you on target in the kindest possible way, I highly recommend Lee as your instructor!"
01 March 2022
Oscar Castillo, Horley, Surrey
"I picked Elite Driving School during the lockdowns based on reviews, and it didn’t disappoint. Lee Haydon was my driving instructor, and from the get-go I could tell he was passionate about driving and teaching pupils to drive. To drive, yes, but to drive safely and with respect to all road users. Lee was always on time; at the beginning of each lesson, we would agree on the areas I needed to work on and plan the lessons according to my needs. Roundabouts were my worst nightmare, but with Lee’s help and advice I became more and more confident. Lee is very calm and patient, takes time to explain and has lots of tips to make your driving comfortable and uncomplicated. His feedback was fair and constructive. I’d definitely recommend Lee if you want to become a confident and responsible driver and, obviously, pass the test. Needless to say, I passed the test in Crawley first time with only three minor faults! It was a pleasure learning to drive with Lee, thank you!"
21 February 2022
Tom Wheeler, Crawley, West Sussex
"Crawley area Strong customer service, great experience. Elite were one of the 3 or 4 driving schools that I contacted April last year but the only one to respond the same day. I won't mention names, but one of the others only managed to call me 6 months later, so it's good I didn't wait for them! Eloise, from the Elite office, told me my instructor would be Lee Haydon and he only had one space left which would Monday the 19th of April, which was only in 4 days’ time! I was pleasantly surprised that not only did Elite come back to me straight away but at the ability to fit me in at such short notice. I was also told that Lee would personally call me and discuss the lesson in further detail. He called me on the 17th, and we spoke for just over 20 minutes in what was a highly informative call and Lee answered all of my questions that I had at the time and for any I thought of later, he said I was welcome to text him. I could tell over the phone during this conversation that he was the right teacher for me. By that I mean his personality and enthusiasm for teaching others to drive instantly made me feel that I wasn't just money and that not only would I learn but I would enjoy my lessons and be able to physically relax around him enough to learn in the first place. After all, you are going to need to be able to trust your instructor if you are learning to drive and it's always better to be taught by someone who you can get along with. During our lessons we would talk about what we were going to do in advance, so I was always aware of what was going to happen throughout. I felt like I was in safe and experienced hands and Lee never tried to make me do more than I was comfortable but would encourage me to re-do things that I needed to improve on if there was time and a safe opportunity to do so. Our early lessons were all about getting control of the car in a quiet residential street. We only integrated gear changes or roads with traffic etc. When I was comfortable and competent in controlling the car. I feel we went over everything I could think of asking and Lee would always explain in a way that wasn't over complicated or misleading. As lessons progressed, we began to share responsibilities inside the car and we began to tackle more advanced scenarios such as roundabouts and dual carriageways, the attitude and lesson plan was the same as before. It was about being comfortable and not forcing too much or dropping all of the responsibility on to me until I was ready. Lee always gave direction instructions with good amount of time so that I wasn't lost or under unfair pressure. We always took time to stop and talk over any issues or mistakes that came up during the lesson and at the end we would evaluate and name what went well and what areas need more work. Lee was always honest with my performance, but it was always constructive. During bad lessons I would tend to over think and allow that to affect my concentration, Lee's structured approach and feedback really helped me to break that pattern and move on and come out the other side feeling that the lesson was still valuable learning experience for me. As we got closer to the test date, I feel working with Lee I was able to clean up my driving and make less repetitive mistakes. I was able to choose what we focused on based on areas I felt needed more attention. We started having mock tests and these were very insightful to cleaning up my driving. Even though I have passed I know I can still improve, as can we all, but Lee varied between fair and more critical during these tests which helped to drive home (pun intended) one of his mantras, which is "don't over think; just drive the car". What he means by this is that I won't know the kind of person the examiner will be or how they assess me, and they won't know me; so just drive with the knowledge, experience and confidence I have gained in the months of lessons. I passed the test first time and it felt less daunting than I feel it might have been if I wasn’t so prepared – but that is another thing that was great about the experience with Lee. He won’t let you go for a test until both parties agree you are ready. It's safe to say that I fully recommend Lee and Elite for anyone wishing to learn to drive. You won't regret it."
26 January 2022
Jamie Fagan, Redhill, Surrey
"I found elite back in lockdown and was nervous to start driving, booked my first lesson and from then on I was improving lesson by lesson. Lee was a great instructor, makes sure you are comfortable with everything that you do, always on time and has never been late to a lesson, if you don’t understand anything he will assist you with anything you struggle with and takes you on various test routes which I found really helpful. Recommended him to my friend as I know he will do a great job with him. Thanks to elite and especially Lee."
06 January 2022
Rutendo Kamupira, Horley, Surrey
"I passed my driving test with Lee Haydon. He is such an amazing instructor who is very, very, very patient and understanding. He is a brilliant teacher who helps you to build your confidence and skills to be a safe driver. He believed in me when I found it difficult to believe in myself. I am grateful for his consistent motivation, encouragement and positivity. I would highly, highly recommend him. Thank so much Lee!"
31 December 2021
Anastasia, Redhill, Surrey
"I found ELITE via the Internet and was lucky to be taught by Lee Haydon."
"I started from no experience in driving and it was a pleasure to work with him. He is an incredibly professional, polite and patient instructor who made parallel parking and reverse bay parking up a hill (special pains of mine) simple exercises. I was always given helpful and useful feedback. I have learnt not be afraid of driving, but enjoy it. And I am immensely grateful for this experience."
"One can be sure if Lee says they are ready for a test, they will pass it."
28 December 2021
Emily Perrin, Horley, Surrey
"I’ve just had my first driving lesson with Lee and I already feel more confident and comfortable with driving! He’s very patient and thorough. Really looking forward to the rest of my lessons. Highly recommend!"
07 December 2021
Olly Rawlinson, Horley, Surrey
"I passed my test and Lee my instructor was amazing he taught me brilliantly"
01 November 2021
Judy Rawlinson, Horley, Surrey
"Thanks to Lee at Elite Driving School, my 17 year old son passed his test first time. Lee is a fantastic instructor, so friendly,genuine, trustworthy and patient. We would recommend him to everyone, 100%."
30 October 2021
Jessica Brewer, Reigate, Surrey
"Lee was a brilliant instructor - patient and very thorough. We covered everything there is to make sure I felt like a competent and safe driver in any scenario - all road types, weather types etc. I also passed first time :) Thank you!"
06 October 2021
Alex Criss, Crawley West Sussex
"My instructor was Lee Haydon. And he was very punctual, very professional ,very passionate about his job and very patient!! I would recommend him and Elite Driving School to anyone ! He has been really supportive all the way through and I am so grateful that I had him as my driving instructor! Thank you for your diligence!"
11 June 2021
Jazmine Cant, Redhill, Surrey
"I'd highly recommend Elite driving school and my fantastic driving instructor Lee Haydon! He gave me the confidence I needed and I couldn't have asked for a better driving instructor! Lee tailors each lesson to your individual needs, is calm and incredibly patient. Communication was excellent even through multiple lockdowns and he always arrived promptly. Thank you, Lee!"
27 July 2021
Kayleigh Sweet, Crawley, West Sussex
"I learnt with Lee as a first time driver, I had no experience what so ever and managed to pass first time with only 3 minors! He is such a lovely, funny man, and was patient with me throughout. I really recommend!"
09 July 2021
Patricia Kiy, Redhill, Surrey
"A massive thank you to my driving instructor Lee Haydon from Elite Driving School. I just passed my driving test in Crawley first time, with no minors! Lee is a fantastic driving instructor, he's very calm and tailors each lesson to what you need, teaching at the pace that suits you to make driving an enjoyable experience. On top of that he is very organised, always on time to lessons and communicating with you which was really helpful, especially through multiple lockdowns! I definitely recommend Elite lessons if you're looking to pass your test and feel confident on the roads. Thank you again!"
02 July 2021
Daisy Mills, Reigate, Surrey
"I had my driving lessons with Lee Haydon and he was very professional, patient and a brilliant support. I would highly recommend lessons with elite due to there amazing services. Thank you!!"
21 June 2021
Alex Brandiu, Redhill, Surrey
"My instructor was Lee Haydon. And he was very punctual, very professional , very passionate about his job and very patient!! I would recommend him and Elite Driving School to anyone ! He has been really supportive all the way through and I am so grateful that I had him as my driving instructor! Thank you for your diligence!"
12 June 2021
Connor Killard, Crawley, West Sussex
"I did my driving lessons with Elite Driving School. My instructor was Lee Haydon. The lessons I had and the whole experience with Lee was great. Even with the troubles of COVID-19 over the last year Lee kept me up to date with what was going on the whole time. Coming up to the time of my practical test he gave me priority for lessons to ensure I was test ready. I was able to pass 1st time and would definitely recommend Elite Driving School to others looking for lessons."
27 May 2021
Lucy Bayo, Horley, Surrey
"I took my lessons with Lee, he was amazing, he managed to build up my confidence very quickly and he always took time to explain things properly and go over certain things that needed more work, he was also extremely punctual to lessons so I would definitely recommend him to anyone :)."
07 December 2020
Thomas Aveling, Reigate, Surrey
"I had my lessons with Lee and can assure you I felt very confident during lessons due to the quality of explaining, patience shown during driving sessions and down to earth personality. Was so kind throughout even about being unsuccessful in my first test he softened the blow. Lessons definitely worth the time and money."
19 October 2020
Kerry Hemsley, Crawley, West Sussex
"Lee at Elite is an amazing instructor, he helped with my confidence and was so patient with me. Always on time and flexible with lessons. Couldn't of passed without him!"
18 September 2020
Charlie Rexstrew, Redhill, Surrey
"Definitely the best driving school I’ve come across! Lee was very patient and was always very encouraging throughout. Much better to have an instructor who is more relaxed with you as you’re learning."
"Big thank you to Lee and Elite!"
28 April 2020
Libby, Crawley, West Sussex
"I recently passed my test with Lee, I would recommend him to anyone. He was a brilliant teacher, always patient and encouraging. If I didn’t understand something or couldn’t do it we would practise until I was happy with it. Overall amazing experience!"
05 February 2020
Sarah McAdams. Horley, Surrey
"Passed first time with zero faults after learning with Lee! Positive and professional at all times. Lee takes the time to make sure you’re confident and comfortable and allows you to develop at your pace. Didn’t take long to become test ready. Would definitely recommend to all. Thanks, Lee!"
12 March 2020
Louisa Bedford, Horley, Surrey
"Great experience learning with Lee, he's easy to get on with, fitted me in around my work shifts, and made the lessons really enjoyable. I passed first time, and feel really comfortable driving on my own. Thanks Lee!"
25 September 2019
Andy Rose, Crawley, West Sussex
"I can't thank my instructor Lee enough for all of the patients and support throughout my lessons. He was so calm, and explained everything really clearly, but in an easy to understand way. I passed firth time, and will definitely be recommending him to anyone I know that is looking to learn to drive."
01 August 2019
Nicolau Rodrigues, Redhill, Surrey
"Thank to Lee ! He was very friendly, calm, and patient. He was always on time, helped me in giving tips to finally get behind the wheel and finally passed!"