In a world where driving lessons have seen significant delays, we look to see if the popular intensive driving course options are worth the money.
What is an intensive driving course?
An intensive driving course, which is frequently known as a “crash course”, – is similar to standard driving lessons, with the critical difference being the sessions are completed in a much shorter time frame. Some intensive courses that you purchase may include your theory test and practical tests fees, whilst others will need you to have passed your theory test before applying.
What do I need to do in an intensive driving course?
Just like your standard driving lessons, you will need to be at least 17 years old and hold a valid provisional UK driving license. Depending on the course that you sign up for, some may require you to have had at least a handful of lessons beforehand, while others may need you to have passed your theory test too.
How long is an intensive driving course?
The average intensive driving course can range from between one to two weeks, all the way through to one month to fully complete. They typically range from 4 hours to 10 hours of daily tuition. Still, there are no set amount of recommended hours as this varies from provider to provider and pupil to pupil based on their availability.
How long does it take to pass an intensive driving course?
As intensive driving courses are designed to help you pass your driving test quicker, you will be able to pass in a lot less time compared to those taking lessons over a longer period of time. For example, if you choose a one to two-week Intensive course, you could be passed shortly afterwards once you’ve booked your test.
Am I guaranteed to pass an intensive driving course?
The reality is, no, you aren’t.. No driving instructor, even one conducting an intensive course, can guarantee you a pass. While some companies may promote deals that include “your money back if you don’t pass” style promotions, getting your money back is often muddied in specific terms and conditions, which make things much harder than you’d hope for.
Remember, when you finish your intensive driving course, you’ll still have to do the same practical test as you would for regular driving lessons. While some course providers offer you continued attempts at your practical test for an extra fee, nobody can truly guarantee a pass.
How much is an intensive driving course?
Depending on the intensive driving course you enrol in, prices can range from between £1,000-£2000. Some learners may not be able to fork out that amount of money in one sitting, so they will benefit from taking their lessons over a more spread out but regular period, such as 2 hours per week.
While these numbers may sound expensive, depending on your level of experience and learning ability, this may work out cheaper in the long run in terms of the price you pay for lessons and the speed taken to pass your test. The average learner takes 40-45 hours of tuition before passing their driving test, but this can vary significantly based on numerous factors, including your age, quality of driving instructor and level of private practice.
Can I do an automatic intensive driving course?
Intensive driving courses are available in both manual and automatic transmissions. However, there is a relatively small number of automatic instructors compared to manual instructors, and there is such massive demand for lessons. Trying to find an automatic instructor with a whole week or more worth of availability may prove a tricky proposition!
Are intensive driving courses worth it?
There are numerous pros and cons to opting for an intensive course. We’ve listed a few of them here, alongside our thoughts on why you should take a hybrid approach if your goal is to pass as fast as possible to gain your independence. Here are a few of the main pros and cons of intensive driving courses so you can see if it is the right option for you:
- Ability to complete your driving lessons faster than standard lessons (and hopefully pass more quickly!)
- Potential to save money in the long run
- Focused schedule with high commitment from both the learner and the instructor
- High upfront cost in one single payment
- Long daily sessions can affect concentration and learning intake – an intensive course, as the name suggests, is very intense and is not suited to all learners.
- Difficult to experience a wide range of driving scenarios (e.g. different weather conditions)
Where can I take an intensive driving course?
Bill Plant Driving School offers a hybrid approach to intensive courses, aiming to alleviate some of the pain points described above. We recommend taking a more tailored approach to driving lessons based on your individual requirements.
The first thing to do would be to book a provisional driving 2-hour assessment lesson with your local Bill Plant Driving School driving instructor, but on your initial booking, explain to them your need to pass as soon as possible / before a specific date and ask them for their honest feedback on what they can provide in terms of intensive courses.
A professional, DVSA registered driving instructor who has had driving instructor training should be able to tell you whether they have enough space in their diary to fit in an intensive course or whether they have too many other students on their list to make it work. Before they can confirm an exact schedule, the best thing to do is complete a 2-hour assessment lesson, which allows your driving instructor to provide you guidance on how many lessons you’ll need to pass, what they recommend in terms of a potential structure for an intensive course and whether they can commit to a block of lessons that fits in your schedule.
Moreover, this hybrid approach (of initial 2-hour assessment followed by a tailored training plan) also ensures that you only commit to the plan if you are happy working with them for the foreseeable. Remember, if you are completing a large number of lessons, you’ll be in the car with them for a while, so you should try your best to ensure that you are entirely comfortable with the same driving instructor before paying out a large amount of money.
Is an intensive driving course right for you?
Many driving schools and instructors will tell you that an intensive course can be very mentally draining. It becomes challenging to retain and absorb vital information after some time if you don’t remain focused throughout. Some learners may naturally feel exhausted after just a few hours of driving and then realise this type of course structure just doesn’t work for them.
You need to consider whether you are happy to put so much intensive energy into an activity at one time. If this feels right for you, or you simply just want to get your driving test passed as quickly as possible, an intensive driving course is right for you.