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A question i see appear on driving school forums a lot is - Should I take an Intensive Driving Course? The first thing that strikes me is that people are asking others for their opinions about their learning when they have never met the person before. It's no different to me asking a group of strangers where I should go on holiday. I'm going to get different opinions unrelated to what I have experienced and learnt so far in life. Much of learning comes down to learning styles. Does your learning style suit an intensive driving course? What is an Intensive Driving Course? These courses are structured to allow for a maximum amount of lessons to be taken within a short space of time. It may mean spending a whole day or half day in the tuition vehicle for 1-2 weeks. Generally speaking anything longer than this is called a Semi-Intensive Driving Course. What are the benefits to taking an Intensive Driving Course? The key benefit is being able to condense a number of training hours into a short space of time. This means that you may be prepared for safe driving much quicker than taking weekly lessons. There is a lot of repetition in your training and this may help some to recall the information. What are the disadvantages? It may not suit your learning style and could have a negative affect on your training. Long hours in the vehicle could become very stressful if you are struggling with a certain aspect of your driving. You may need to share the vehicle with others. What are the pitfalls to Intensive Driving Courses? When booking driving lessons, there is a difference between a driving school and a student generating site. There are many sites that are designed to generate students who are then passed onto Instructors in their area. Theses sites are under no control and are not regulated in any way by the DVSA. You will often pay a higher premium for your driving lessons as they company will need to make a profit before they pass the student to the instructor. Many courses fall short of what's required to become a safe driver. One particular school that charges close to £1000 only actually provides 20 hours in car training. There are no other courses available, its a fixed amount. There is no guarantee you are ready for safe driving at the end of the course and its very unlikely you would be. You may not be driving for the whole period you have set aside for your driving course. Its possible depending on the structure of the course if it includes a driving test at the end you may not be taking the driving test in the same area you practiced. This is not to say Intensive Courses do not work, but because you may be dealing with other parties they can be open to abuse. There is more risk for the client as there is more money to be lost with paying for a course in advance. How do I know if a course is right for me? Intensive Courses work well for someone who has already taken driving lessons, or even someone who has failed a driving test and just wants some extra practice. They are ideal for people who pick up learning to drive quickly. You may not know this until you take an assessment drive. Intensive courses are ideal if you have the time to spend in the vehicle. They can work well for anyone who really wants a challenge but at the same time is willing to be flexible and realise their limitations. They can be used to boost your training and do not always need to lead to a driving test at the end of the course.

What is the best way to learn?

By far the best way to learn is 'Little but Often'. I would suggest if possible to take around 2 driving sessions per week. This could be 2 x 2 hour or 2 x1.5 hours training. You may not need to do this all the time and can reduce or increase the training as time goes on. With the average learning driver requiring around 47 hours of lessons along with Private Practice this could mean the average learning period would be between 12-16 weeks. If you plan to take your theory test early in your training and book a driving test in advanced this would be the best way to learn to drive by far.


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