Deciding how you want to learn the skill of being behind a wheel is a big decision; there’s a lot of factors involved. One of these is considering driving lessons vs intensive crash courses.
Need a thorough overview of your driving options? We’re here to help you make the right choices for your driving career.
One of the most important things is to work out what kind of learner you’ll be and how much experience you’ve had up to this point. Making the decision on how you want to learn depends on what goals you have for passing your test. Here are some important things to think about in your choice:
6 Key Factors to Consider on Driving Lessons Vs Intensive Crash Courses
Crash courses are most often chosen by learner drivers who want to pass their course as quickly as possible. These kinds of courses allow you to maintain focus on the end goal over a short period of time. The intensity of the focus also means that you don’t lose time catching up from the last lesson. However, there are ways of getting around this for regular driving lessons. The DVSA recommends it takes an average of 45 hours of driving lessons to pass your test. This could take up to a year taking one lesson per week and if you’d like to pass and be driving independently faster than this, it’s worth discussing your goals with your instructor before you begin driving- there’s always a solution to be found to help you with your goals.
Crash courses can involve 4-6 hours of driving per day so you also have to think about your availability. Would you be able to give 1-2 weeks to intensive driving or are your other commitments unavoidable? If not, you might want to think about driving lessons instead.
If you can’t prioritise learning to drive for that length of time but you’d still like to pass your test within a certain time-frame, there are other options, including having several lessons a week and driving experience with responsible friends and family as supervisors- this can greatly improve your confidence and experience in a safe manner.
Experience and preparation
You don’t need to have had any experience in the driving seat to take an intensive driving course.
It’s always worth thinking about what would be best for you depending on what experience you’ve had so far. The more basic control you have at the start of a course, the better your chances of passing are. If you have no experience with driving, are you going to be nervous or find it too intense to start with? Maybe a longer course would be ideal for you in that case, or maybe even lessons. This is especially true when it comes to your theory test, it can be taken at any time but the DVSA recommends you have some driving experience before you do so think about what would work best for you. With lessons, you could take your theory test part way through your learner experience.
Top-up lessons can be perfect for those with previous driving experience who haven’t driven for a while but would like to pass their test quickly. If you have a good level of experience, we can get you up to the standard very quickly.
Make sure you’re prepared if you do take a course or any top-up lessons. You want to be up-to-date with your driving theory, make sure you’ve passed and have refreshed your knowledge. If you have a driving log from previous lessons, look at this as well; being aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a driver will help you pinpoint where the focus needs to be on getting your skills polished to a high level.
Intensive driving does have a different financial impact to weekly lessons. Firstly, it is a cost to pay out at once for the course and the test which can be more difficult than a weekly lesson to pay for. Cost can be a factor in thinking about driving lessons Vs intensive crash courses.
You may end up having less one-to-one instruction with an intensive course which cuts down the overall cost of learning to drive. This is partly because you don’t waste time between lessons and the goal of the test at the end of the week increases your focus. But it also means you don’t get the chance to drive in lots of different moods with many other distractions going on in your life. Due to the nature of the time pressure, your instructor will also be keen to give you only as much experience with the many manoeuvres and situations as you need to pass, and not necessarily enough to master that skill in a calm and confident manner.
Even though many instructors will state this as a benefit, we don’t advise considering cost. This is because experience on the road with an instructor is invaluable and the many different situations you will come across will prepare you with more confidence and a better skill set for a lifetime of driving. You have to think about the value of the time spent learning to drive and not just the cost of it.
You as a learner
The type of learner that you are is vital in working out whether an intensive course is for you or not. Intensive driving comes with a great difficulty and it requires a calm, focused attitude. Working under pressure requires you have to great communication with your instructor- you’ve got to be able to handle the criticism and correct where you can! Can you thrive under pressure? Do you work really well with another person on a one-to-one basis? Even if you do, you might want to consider the benefits of developing a longer relationship with a driving instructor. There may be many small tips, habits and perspectives you can gain from your qualified instructor that would not be possible over a shorter period.
On the other hand, not everybody works well under pressure at all. If you like to work in short bursts and then like to reflect and come back to something with a different approach, you might find the crash courses frustrating or stressful. Intensive driving courses are not a quick fix for getting a license. They involve just as much focus and maneuvering/road skills work as regular lessons. Reducing this work into a small period of time can be very difficult, especially for some learners and you should be prepared for this. Nervous or stressed drivers will not cope well with this demand!
We also use slightly different teaching methods (tailored to each student) on our driving lessons Vs intensive crash courses. On a smaller time-frame, our instructors must explain and tell you what to do more often than allowing you to find out the answer yourself using questioning and trial and error. Some students find they prefer one method or another. Do you like to be instructed on what to do or guided to build a skill?
If you’re not sure on what kind of learner you are, get in touch today for some advice from our instructors.
Experience on the roads
You won’t get the chance to experience as many different weather conditions in just one week. This isn’t an issue if you’re happy to gain confidence with these conditions as a new, independent driver. If you are nervous, however, about driving alone in unfamiliar conditions, driving lessons spread over a longer period of time might be better for you. driving lessons Vs intensive crash courses can come down to how much-varied experience you want before you pass.
You’ll also have less opportunity to experience driving with the supervision of friends or family. This reduces the number of hours on the road you will have as a provisional driver. It doesn’t affect your ability to pass your test but it does mean that you’ll have to build confidence driving with different people after the crash course. If you’re happy with this, the intensive driving course could be an excellent opportunity for you.
Pass rate and the test
Pass rates for intensive courses tend to be slightly lower than those who’ve had longer on the roads. Our excellent pass rate of 77% shows how succesful our lesson plans are. The driving lessons leading up to the test help to make sure that you peak just at the right point and help build your confidence leading up to the test. A failed test is not the end of the road either; we will work with you to add in some extra lessons (if needed) and get your skills polished to take the test a second time (where 75% of our students the pass.)
At Awards Driving School, we’re committed to getting the best learner experience for you. Get in touch to plan your route to success today!