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 normal driving lessons, with the key 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 too, 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 week 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, but there are no set amount of hours that are recommended as this varies from provider to provider and pupil to pupil based on their availability.
Does an intensive driving course guarantee a pass?
The reality is, no they can’t. No driving instructor, even one conducting an intensive course, is able to 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 and while some courses providers do offer you continued attempts at your practical test for an extra fee, nobody can truly guarantee a pass.
What is the price of an intensive driving course?
Depending on the intensive driving course that 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 will therefore 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, but with such a relatively small number of automatic instructors compared to manual, and with such huge demand for lessons, finding an automatic instructor with a full 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 normal lessons (and hopefully pass faster!)
- 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 leaners
- Difficult to experience a wide range of driving scenarios (e.g. different weather conditions)
Does Bill Plant Driving School offer/recommend intensive driving courses?
Bill Plant Driving School offers a hybrid approach to intensive courses, which aims to alleviate some of the pain points described above. Many driving schools and instructors will tell you that an intensive course can be very mentally draining and it becomes difficult to retain and absorb vital information after a period of 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, meaning they end up stuck chasing refunds which they may not be able to receive.
Bill Plant Driving School, therefore, recommends 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 a local 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 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 are able to confirm an exact schedule, the best thing to do is complete a 2-hour assessment lesson, which allows your driver 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 are able to commit to a block 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 amount of lessons, you’ll be in the car with them for a while, so you should try your best to ensure that you are fully comfortable with your instructor, before paying out a large amount of money.
To see whether an intensive course might be the right approach for you and to book your initial 2-hour assessment, visit www.billplant.co.uk/learn-to-drive/