How to Choose A Driving School
There are many factors to consider in how to choose a driving school. In some states, drivers under age 18 must complete a certain level of driver ed and driver training courses before they can get a probationary license. In California, for example, teens must complete 25 hours of classroom instruction, 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training from a professional driving school, and 50 hours of supervised driving practice that includes 10 hours of driving at night.
Whether you need to find a driving school to get your license or just want to start learning with a professional instructor, here are some tips on how to choose a driving school that is right for you:
- Make sure it’s fully accredited and licensed. Check on your state’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website under “Occupational License Status Information System” or call your state’s DMV office.
- Contact your local Better Business Bureau. Although driving schools are not required to be members, the website is a good source of information for customer complaints.
- Compare tuition costs. Find out if there are any additional fees or charges.
- Ask about the average student-to-teacher ratio. The lower it is, the better.
- Make sure the curriculum is well-rounded, personal, and thorough. Sure, you want to pass your driver’s test, but that shouldn’t be the goal of the school’s instruction. The school should help prepare you for a variety of real-life driving situations, not just how to parallel park and do a K-turn.
- Ask about parental involvement. It’s best if the instructor works with your supervising adult to help you practice the right skills and not waste time on the wrong stuff. Ask if there is an orientation that includes adults. A good school will communicate with your mom or dad when necessary, such as when to provide extra practice on certain skills. You and your parents also should feel comfortable asking for help on certain skills.
- Ask about the type of education you'll receive. Once you’ve learned how to choose a driving school, find out if you will get both classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel, on-the-road lessons.