Ready to go further?

I'll help get you there sooner

Thames - starts 1 August 2022
Waihi - starts 16 August 2022
Katikati - starts 28 June 2022
Find out more about our Defensive driving courses and get your licence faster!


Your driver licence is your ticket to success, now more than ever. For work, study, travel and the freedom to choose wherever, and whenever you want to go - your drivers licence gets you there. 

You get helpful, friendly driving lessons from NZTA qualified AA Driving Instructor, Gavin Buchanan.

Learn to drive in our automatic car, or your own manual car. Thames Driver Training is your local AA Driving School in the Thames, Paeroa, Waihi, Paeroa and Hauraki Plains area.

Our easy online calendar, lets you check what times are available in different places and to book your lessons online anytime.

driving lessons

Driving lessons, or a Defensive Driving course, are a great practical gift idea! 

driving courses

Learner Licence Courses

An interactive two day course to help you get your Learner Licence.

You'll learn the road rules in the New Zealand Road Code. Find out the difference between compulsory road rules, advisory actions, best practice and the reasoning behind some of New Zealand’s road rules.

Shortly after the course (usually the next day) you will do your Learners Licence test.

Find out more about our next Learner Licence course.


AA Defensive Driving Courses

This course teaches you how to drive more safely and also cuts six months off the time to get your full licence.

The course is 9 hours of learning time in total, held over four evenings in group sessions.

Hands on practical skills are taught during an individual in car tuition session in our new Suzuki Swift (or your car if you prefer). Access to e-drive online learning is included for further practice at home.

We run AA Defensive Driving courses in Thames, Waihi and Whangamata and other areas by arrangement for schools or groups.

Find out more about our next Defensive Driving Course.


senior driving coaching

For older drivers, I provide relaxed in-car refresher coaching. This helps keep you confident and safe in your driving skills. You'll also feel secure that your knowledge of the current road rules is up to date.

If you're an AA members aged over 74 this is a free AA member benefit every two years.

Find out more about Senior Driving Coaching here.


AA image

about me

Hi, I’m Gavin Buchanan, your local AA Driving Instructor.

Coming from a Testing Officer background, I offer you the best of both worlds because I will share my in-depth knowledge of what’s expected of you during your test.

I’ve spent most of my life on New Zealand roads. I’ve ridden horses, pedaled bikes, driven cars, trucks, hauled heavy trailers, been an in-house Driver Trainer, Logistics Manager and I was a Driving Testing Officer for 5 years.

I conduct AA Defensive Driving courses and also provide Defensive Driving for Fleet and Business customers.

My goal is to help you succeed to learn to drive safely and to get your driver licence.