An intensive driving course: is it the right option for me?

An intensive driving course or ‘crash course’ is a series of driving lessons taken over a short period, typically a week or two. A driving school can’t guarantee a pass, but some may offer free lessons and a re-test if you fail. You’ll need a provisional driving licence, and you may need to have passed the theory test too. Costs vary, but budget on around £1000-£1200.

What is an intensive driving course?

What is a crash course like? Well, an intensive driving course is typically a week of very full-on driving lessons, normally around 8 hours a day. So, instead of having a lesson or two each week spread over several months, it’s possible to cram the whole learning process into a short period.

While these intensive courses allow you to get everything out of the way quickly, experience counts for a lot when learning to drive – and there’s only so much of that you can gain in a week.

Am I guaranteed to pass?

Unfortunately, no. Some companies may tell you that you are guaranteed to pass the first time, but quite simply this is not the case.

The best schools will give you an assessment session before you book, to gauge your ability. Research shows that, on average, those who pass their driving test have had 47 hours of lessons and 20 hours of private practice.

To be as safe a driver as possible you really need to drive in a variety of conditions. So if you do take the intensive driving course route, make sure you properly weigh up the pros and cons of this type of driving course. You may pass more quickly, but you may be short of experience.

What do I need before I start my intensive driving course?

Before you start your intensive driving course, you’ll need to check you’ve got your provisional licence. Chances are you’ll also need to have passed your theory and hazard perception tests before booking. Some companies may offer to book this for you for an additional fee, but most will need you to have this before booking your course. You’ll also need to check the driving school has definitely booked a practical driving test for you. Some schools will just hope a cancellation comes up.

How much will an intensive driving course cost?

An intensive driving course can cost anywhere between £1000 and £1200, with your test fee included.

Intensive courses are called so for a reason, so make sure you’re really sure this is the best option for you before booking!

What do young drivers think of an intensive driving course?

“I had lots of driving lessons away from the public road before I was 17, so I was pretty confident I knew how to control a car. Because I wanted to learn quickly so I could drive myself to college, an intensive course made sense to me. You know what, I passed the first time!”

Samantha, Sheffield

“Patience isn’t my strong point! I wanted to get the whole learning process over and done quickly. But driving for so many hours a day was very intensive and tiring. I made a mess of the test and didn’t pass. I’m now having regular lessons and learning at my own pace.”

Hassan, Liverpool

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