OK, so you’ve been successful in getting your provisional driving licence from the DVLA and you’re ready to find a driving school and get motoring. What next? Do you take regular lessons with a successful driving school or do you go for an intensive driving course provided by a Driving Standards Agency (DSA) Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). Before we start driving school website can I just say that as an ADI I’m not too keen on the term “driving crash course” I much prefer the term “intensive driving course”. If someone says “crash course” to me I have visions of them wanting to drive my car around Northwich on 2 wheels at breakneck speeds! Not the measure of a successful driving school at all!
In this article we’re going to deal with intensive driver training in its various guises. If you put a successful search into Google for “driving school crash courses”, “fast pass driving courses” or “intensive driving lessons” you will be presented with a plethora of choices these range from intensive courses in your local area to residential courses, from courses where you can go from no experience to a test pass, or having had plenty of previous experience.
First of all let’s break it down into residential and non-residential intensive driving courses.
Residential fast pass courses are provided by driving schools usually in an area with plenty of hotels, a good example of this is Blackpool. Blackpool has turned into a bit of a Mecca for intensive driving courses and has several schools offering driving lessons and accommodation at very reasonable rates. A lot of people from London and the South East take this option as it’s a very cost effective way of gaining a driving licence (driving lessons in London are far more expensive than those further north). Another advantage is that the traffic volumes, particularly in the off season, are considerably lower in the north west.
You don’t need to have had any previous driver training to take an intensive driving crash course, in fact you don’t need to have passed your theory test to commence learning to drive, however a little experience and knowledge goes a long way. It really is a big ask to come from having no experience of driving to pass your driving test in a 5 day intensive driving course.
The courses can operate in different ways but usually the first day of a week’s intensive driving course is spent studying theory and the second day of the course is taking the theory test, if successful the driving school can then book a practical driving test with the DSA.
This is sometimes an issue with this type of driving course, the driving test is booked where there is a driving test available. This means that, although you will be taking your driving lessons in one area – e.g. Blackpool, you may be taking your test in a completely different area – e.g. Northwich. The disadvantage here is that you will not be able to gain any local knowledge of an area and identify ‘hot-spots’ where it is easy to be caught out on the driving test.
The next option is to go for a local successful driving school and have the intensive driving lessons and test in your own area (providing the DSA haven’t shut down your driving test centre yet!). The way I conduct intensive courses (and I have had many successes this way) is to meet the learner driver after they have passed their driving theory test, we then go online to the Driving Standards Agency website and book a driving test for the near future. The intensive driving course is booked backwards from the date of the test, so for example:
1. The driving test is booked for Friday 13th March at 14.30h
2. The last driving lesson is booked to start on the morning