The DVSA claims that the average UK driver needs around 45 hours of lessons and 22 hours of practicing before they’re ready to pass their test.
Most learners spread these hours of practice over the course of many months. But intensive driving courses condense these hours of learning into a much shorter timeframe.
Intensive driving courses can help you save money on learning to drive, and they can also act as a fast-pass if you need to get your licence fast.
But they’re not for everyone, and most drivers should still consider learning to drive the old-fashioned way – with one or two hour-long lessons a week over a long period of time.
This is your essential guide to intensive driving courses. We’ll explore how they work, to help you decide if they’re the right choice for you.
What Is an Intensive Driving Course?
An intensive driving course will condense many, many hours of driving lessons into a relatively short period of time. You’ll probably be able to find an intensive driving course in your local area. But some offer residential courses, complete with overnight stays in accommodation.
Take an intensive course and you’ll enjoy multiple hours of one-on-one tuition with a specialist driving instructor. You’ll get the same training you’d get with ordinary lessons, just in a much shorter period of time. But some intensive driving schools will tailor their lessons to focus on the areas where you feel least comfortable.
Most intensive driving courses last a week or two, and you can expect to drive for at least five hours a day during this period.
Are Tests Included in Intensive Driving Courses?
Almost all intensive driving courses include the practical test as part of the course. Some also include the theory test, but others request that you’ve already passed your theory test before you begin.
How Much Are Intensive Driving Courses?
Prices for intensive driving courses vary. Most one-week courses cost around £1,000, and most two-week courses cost around £2,000. You can also choose individual days of intensive training for about £200 a day. But prices will vary depending on where you go.
This means that you’ll have to pay a large lump sum for an intensive driving course. But this sum often includes the price of the theory and the practical test. Plus, most learners pay around £25 for a single hour-long driving lesson. Over the course of 45 hours of lessons, along with the costs of the theory and the practical tests, intensive driving courses might end up costing less overall.
Do Intensive Driving Courses Work?
With an intensive driving course, you’ll learn everything you need to know to pass your test, and you’ll spend a lot of time behind the wheel. And once it’s time to take your test, all that driving knowledge will be fresh in your mind. But ultimately, it’s all down to you.
If you’re excessively nervous on the day of the test, or if you make one too many mistakes – or even if you just have a particularly rigorous examiner – there’s still a possibility that you won’t pass.
Do Intensive Driving Courses Guarantee You Pass?
Some intensive driving schools promise a “guaranteed pass”. This essentially means that, if you work with them, you’ll eventually pass your test – just not necessarily on the first time. But some intensive driving schools do have impressive first-time pass rates.
Just be sure to shop around. If you want to do an intensive driving course, don’t just go for the cheapest option. Read the reviews, and look at their pass rates. Also be sure to choose an approved driving instructor (ADI) who’s qualified to DVSA standards.
You can read our full guide to choosing the right driving instructor.
Is an Intensive Driving Course Right For Me?
Intensive driving courses certainly aren’t for everyone. Here’s how to decide if they’re right for you as a learner driver.
Consider an Intensive Driving Course If:
- You need your driving licence NOW. There are various personal and professional reasons why you might need to get your driving licence as soon as possible. With an intensive driving course, you could get your licence in a matter of weeks – or even days – instead of a matter of months.
- You like a challenge. They’re called intensive driving courses for a reason. Many learners feel exhausted after a single hour-long lesson. So do you think you’d be able to handle at least five hours in the car a day, for up to two weeks?
- You’ve already had a lot of driving experience. Most intensive driving schools expect you to have at least some experience behind the wheel. They’re a perfect choice for more experienced drivers who want a refresher – such as convicted and disqualified drivers who need to take their tests again.
Don’t Consider an Intensive Driving Course If:
- You’re an absolute beginner. An intensive driving course might be effective at preparing you for your driving test. But it might not be so effective at teaching you the basic fundamentals of driving. If you’ve never driven before, consider getting a few standard lessons before you think about intensive lessons.
- You’re a nervous driver. An intensive driving course is a baptism of fire – many, many hours of driving in a short amount of time. If you’re a nervous driver, this could make or break you. But it might be better to gradually build up your confidence and competence behind the wheel, with shorter lessons over a longer period.
- You can’t spare the time. If you’ve a busy work or social life, you might struggle to commit a week or fortnight of long and intensive lessons. But on the other hand, you should have no trouble fitting a single hourlong lesson into your weekly schedule.
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