Many people will argue that driving is one skill that everyone should have regardless of whether you own a car or not.
Driving yourself is more convenient, faster and certainly more enjoyable than taking the bus or subway.
However, before you can do any driving, you will need to know how to do it properly and for that, you will need a good driving school.
Cars have been with us for more than a century now. Of course, the kind of vehicles that are on the streets today are very different from the first car to be made in terms of comfort, technology, and speed, but they all serve the same purpose: to improve mobility.
The manner in which you interact with these very popular machines will be determined to a great extent by the driving school you choose. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you pick an establishment that you can trust to make you the kind of driver you need.
Have a look at the following considerations that you should make when choosing the driving school to use as you train to become a driver and some tips that will help you have an easy time during the process.
Why You Need a Good Driving School
There are a number of options you can use to get your driving license. You can get training from a friend or relative, then book for the test and get your license. However, driving schools are the preferred option for many people because of the benefits they bring. Here are some of these benefits:
- Professional instructors – At these institutions, you will not be instructed by a friend who happens to know how to drive. Instead, you will be working with professionals who have a full understanding of the learning process required to make good drivers.
- Structured lessons – These establishments have a curriculum that is used in training students. This means that every aspect of the skill is considered and incorporated in the lessons. This way, as a learner you will train in every aspect of driving and not only on the elements that are necessary to pass your test.
- You pass, they win – One thing that these establishments work hard to achieve is the perception that they do a good job with their learners, illustrated by the percentage of their learners who pass the driving test in the first attempt. For this reason, they work hard to ensure that you pass in the first attempt.
- Specially equipped vehicles – The vehicles at driving schools are specially equipped to make the learning process safe and more effective. For example, they have brake and clutch pedals on both sides of the cabin so that the instructor can intervene when necessary to avoid any accidents before they happen.
- Learning materials – Driving schools also have plenty of learning materials to ensure that you have a firm understanding of the process and also to better prepare you for the written test.
How to Identify a Good Driving School
Now that we know that you should go to a driving school for your driving lessons, let’s take a look at some of the things that a good institution of this type should have.
- Accreditation. Different states have different requirements for driver’s education. Find out what these requirements are from your state’s DMV office and ensure that you choose an institution that meets all these requirements. You can even start your search here by getting a few names from their list of recommended institutions. If you are taking the test for insurance benefits, find out from your insurance company what requirements the establishment should meet so that you can qualify for a lower rate.
- Check the facility. A good driving school should have a fully equipped facility with all the necessary materials for training. It should have modern vehicles and a designated area where learners can practice what they have learned in class.
- Professional instructors. You will spend a big chunk of the time with the instructors hence it is a good idea to ensure that they are up to the task. These instructors should be licensed and more importantly, dedicated to delivering an engaging learning process that will be effective in producing responsible drivers.
- Comprehensive driving lessons. Although driving is a practical skill, there is much more that goes into it than the practical aspect. You also need to have sound judgment and a proper understanding of the rules that should be followed while on the road. With this in mind, the driving lessons should touch on theory, skills training, and practical driving lessons.
- Flexible lesson times. Almost all learners have other things going on in life hence the school should be able to accommodate their different schedules. One way of doing this is by having time slots at different times of the day so that the learners can pick the time that is ideal for them.
- Reasonable pricing. Finally, the cost of the training needs to be within a reasonable range. You can get quotes from a few driving schools in your area to understand what is reasonable to ensure that you don’t end up paying more than you should be paying for the training.
Tips to Choose The Best Driving School
Consider the following useful tips for choosing the best institution:
1. Ask your friends and family
Just like anything else in life, learning from your friends’ past mistakes and successes can help you avoid making their same mistakes. For this reason, you should start by asking for suggestions and recommendations from friends and family who have used the services of establishments in your area.
2. Read online reviews
Find out what past customers have had to say about the services of the driving schools that you are considering. Their experiences will tell you exactly what to expect from the driving school so you will not be surprised to learn about a bad practice when it is too late. These reviews will also help highlight some of the things that you should look out for in these types of institutions.
3. Which are their learner to teacher ratios?
Class sizes will determine the attention that the instructors are able to give learners. You should choose a driving school with a low learner to teacher ratio. This will ensure that learners don’t have to compete for facilities or attention from the instructor hence the environment will be more conducive for learning.
4. Do they provide progress and evaluation reports?
When you enroll in a driving school, you need to see an improvement in your driving skill over time as a result of the training offered in the school. With this in mind, an institution that sends you regular progress and evaluation reports throughout the training program will help you know what is working and the elements that you need to work on.
5. Have they insured their training vehicles?
It is good to hope for the best, but it is more important to prepare for the worst. There are many things that can go wrong as you work on improving your driving skills. You need to be sure that you are protected from any liability as a result of such occurrences. This can only be achieved by an in-car insurance policy so be sure to ask if they have one for their training vehicles.
6. Work with state-approved driving schools
Most states are very specific about driver training, especially for teens. A good number of these states will not issue a driving license to a teen without first going through a training program. So make sure that you check to ensure that the institution you pick is accredited and approved by your local DMV office.
Have a number of options
Don’t just settle for the driving school closest to your home. Identify 3 or 4 establishments that meet your selection criteria and choose the best one from this list. This will help you pick the best choice for yourself or your teen because you will compare the different schools in the areas that matter the most to you.
Visit the establishment
It is one thing to boast about an amazing training environment, and another totally different thing to actually have one. Once you have narrowed down to a few institutions, plan a visit to each of them and if possible, observe the training process. In your visit, you will be able to see if indeed they have the facilities that they claim to have and if the instructors are as professional as you would want them to be. Don’t forget to take a look at their vehicles. Find out if they are safe, clean and well-maintained.
Choosing a driving school is not the easiest thing to do. However, with a little research, you will be able to identify one that will give you the best value for your money while ensuring that you end up a skilled and competent driver.