Are driving courses worth it?

Compare intensive courses, crash courses and regular driving lessons

Last updated: 12 Aug 2020

Types of driving courses

Driving tuition comes in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Driving courses compress your learning into a matter weeks, and often deal with a specific subject. This could be the practical test, a set of advanced skills, or refreshing forgotten knowledge.

Intensive driving courses

What’s an intensive driving course?

When you need to learn to drive quickly, an intensive driving course is the answer. They usually have a set curriculum over a period of weeks. Some schools offer one week driving courses, and may even guarantee passing the practical at the end of it.

How many hours is an intensive driving course?

This will vary from school to school, but you can usually expect to do between 20-30 hours of tuition during an intensive driving course. This usually involves between 2-5 hours per day for 1-2 weeks.

‘Crash course’ driving courses

What’s a driving crash course?

Well, let’s just say it doesn’t involve any kind of destruction derby stunt driving. ‘Crash course’ driving courses are actually just intensive driving courses by a different, and rather apt, name. For while getting test-ready in record time might sound like a great idea, there is an obvious downside to focussing purely on test-preparedness.

Is a crash course a guaranteed pass?

Some schools will offer a guaranteed pass with their crash courses. Make sure you check any terms and conditions that come with that promise. There will be a hard limit to how far that offer extends.

Does a crash course include the theory test?

Most schools offering crash courses will have a package that includes the theory test as well. This might be a convenient option if you want someone else to handle all your organisation for you. If you’re on a budget, however, studying for and taking the theory test in your own time is going to be more cost-effective.

Are crash courses better than lessons?

This really depends on your situation, and how much driving experience you already have. Learning to drive in a few weeks won’t expose you to all the different driving situations you’re likely to encounter on the roads. This leaves you vulnerable to emerging hazards that you may not be able to distinguish from regular traffic.

Are crash course driving lessons worth it?

For some people, a crash course is going to be the perfect option for learning to drive. These people might not be able to fit lessons into their regular schedule, need their licence for a new job, or already have a lot of experience driving in another country. For everyone else, learning at a slower pace is probably going to be more efficient, and much less stressful!

Advanced driving courses

Whilst maybe not as difficult as their name suggests, advanced driving courses nonetheless cover skills you’re unlikely to need in the practical test. This might include driving on varying surfaces and in specific conditions. Pass Plus is a good example of this kind of course.

Some advanced driving courses might also teach extreme cornering and braking techniques. Skills like this can be invaluable in a dangerous situation that requires split-second defensive driving.

Driver awareness courses

If you know someone who’s lost their licence, you’ve probably heard of driver awareness courses. They are refresher courses for convicted drivers that go over the highway code with a fine-tooth comb. Think of them like a ‘series recap’ before drivers start a new season of their driving journey!

How do I find driving courses near me?

It’s quite easy! Most schools will offer driving courses in some form or another. This might be in the form of intensive driving courses designed to get you through the practical test in the shortest amount of time possible. It could also simply be an instructor with a lot of availability during a certain period of time.

If you’re looking for schools, be sure to read a few reviews before you book an intensive driving course! Reliable evaluation sites like Driving School Reviews, Trustpilot, or Google will give you all the information you need to make an informed choice.

How much does a driving course cost?

This will depend on the length of the course, the level of tuition and the amount of hours involved. A good rule of thumb though is £200 per full day or £1000 per full week. If you’re only doing a few hours per day, or a few days per week, expect this to be lower.

Intensive driving courses vs driving lessons

Intensive driving courses will generally run over a set period of time, with a daily curriculum, and a fixed instructor. This is great if the timing fits with your schedule, the curriculum suits your needs, and the instructor matches your learning style. If not, however, you might find an intensive driving course to be annoyingly rigid.

Modern life is fluid and we expect our learning methods to be as flexible as our schedules. Intensive driving courses harken back to an era when the beginning of work coincided with the blowing of a steam whistle. This means that a particular driving course may not fit exactly with your schedule, and you won’t be able to refund those unused hours.

We don’t all learn at the same speed. So the set curriculum and time-stressed nature of an intensive driving course might not be for you. Falling behind on key skills with a test looming could mean having to cut corners, or simply placing yourself under an unnecessary amount of stress.

Don’t believe the ‘guaranteed pass’ hype

It’s like walking into a martial arts school and buying a black belt. You’re buying the dream, but it’s the work that’s valuable. Black belts, driving licences, these things are inexpensive. Always look at the value of the hours you’re getting for your money.

Even if a guaranteed pass school gets you through the test in a week, you’re not going to be a great driver at the end of it. The beauty of learning to drive properly in the beginning is that you’ll carry those skills for the rest of your life. And you’ll pass the test anyway because you’re a good driver.

When to take a refresher course

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, sang Janet Jackson. Is this case, you don’t know what you’ve forgotten until someone reminds you. It’s not quite as catchy, but phrases related to driver education rarely are.

There are a number of times when taking a refresher course might be a good idea. If you’ve not driven for a long time, for example, or you never drove much to begin with. This might coincide with suddenly needing to drive because of work, or having children that need ferrying about.

On a similar note, if you have children learning to drive themselves, it might make sense to brush up on your knowledge, especially if you intend to supervise them in some private practice. Or if you’re from (or have recently been) abroad and are unused to driving on British roads, a refresher course could make you that much more comfortable.

And that’s the main reason to take a refresher course, to feel comfortable. So when you’re behind the wheel and have to make a decision in an instant, you make the right one.

Why not create your own course?

Any instructor will run you through a set amount of lessons in a certain amount of time. You just have to ask. And with Midrive you have the curriculum on your phone, so you can track your progress and make an informed choice with your instructor as to when you’re ready for the test. No pressure!

See prices near you