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Has anyone got any info on driving crash courses(intensive)
Ive heard mixed reactions and was seriously considering booking one of them.Would be interested in hearing any comments or thoughts anyone has.Are they a rip off or what?
Many people wish to pass their Driving Test as soon as possible and many driving schools advertise 'Pass Your Test in One Day/Week'. Many other people like the look of these 'learn to drive holidays'.
It looks very appealing - 'bus it' this week, drive yourself next week, but consider the following:
Experience in driving on all kinds of roads and in all kinds of conditions is essential if you wish to become a good driver.
No-one can guarantee you a pass in the Practical Test so please don't be taken in by this. Also if you go on a 'learn to drive' holiday, you will be sharing the driving with 2 other pupils and will not get the one to one attention of your instructor.
Not everyone is suited to an intensive course. Confidence is one of the biggest factors when it comes to being a good, safe driver and not everyone has that natural confidence. Building up driving experience over a number of weeks improves confidence levels enormously.
If you have a busy home or work life and/or have little or no prior experience or knowledge of driving, you will find it almost impossible to learn a new skill without a break between lessons. This gives your brain time to assimilate all the new information you will be taking in.
It is not usually possible to get an early date for the Theory and Practical Tests and you can't apply for the Practical Test until you have passed the Theory Test. This means that most people need between ten and twelve weeks as a minimum from starting to learn to drive and taking the Practical Test, and the majority of our pupils spread their own learning over a much longer period, taking one or two hours per week. By doing this you are not only more likely to pass first time, but because the pressure is off, you are more prepared and relaxed and are more likely to become a better, safer driver.
As I firmly believe that it is not possible to learn all the skills and gain the vital experience in a day or a week, I don't offer this type of intensive course. I can, however, tailor a course to suit your needs over 10 to 12 weeks and this should equip you with the skills that are essential to survive in today's road and traffic conditions.
My driving instructor told me those courses teach you how to pass your test, not how to drive. (as the course title says!)
I agree with ncrossland and saxon.
I passed my driving test in Sept 2002 after months of training (an hour or two instruction per week) then lots of 'L' plate driving in my better halfs car with her beside me (she'd had her licence over 3 yrs so that's legal).
The 'L' plate driving got me more used to the road than the instruction to be honest because I didn't have that safety barrier which was my instructor and his foot on the extra set of pedals.
I was in control and if I messed up, no one else could just slam the brakes in my place.
I was even considering the 'pass in one week' course because I was cracking on a bit in age (then 24 and all my friends passed at 17). However I made the correct decision with choosing a longer term solution.
Believe me even though I had all that instruction and extra practice besides (25hrs worth of lessons) you are still extremely nervous when it comes to the test. Your driving (unless you're really in control of your stress levels and emotions) goes a little to pot. It's not like any other lesson, you've got an examiner who may sit and look at you lots, says nothing other than commands, and writes (ticks) his little sheet.
And if you get a tick, that's bad! And you want to know... so that makes you lose concentration too.
Now I failed my first test. I stalled 3 times (which I had only ever done once in my first lesson) and I got in total of 14 minor faults (not a fail in itself) and one major (driving too slow on the park way of all things :o ).
That was in July of 2002 and I got home and rebooked my test.
I had only two more lessons with my instructor (one of which being just before my second test) but I got ample driving experience in while I waited.
I passed the second test with only 4 minor faults (which is still not great but better than test one). The reason... well more experience of the road, more comfortable with the use of the car and I know what to expect with the examiner (who incidentally was the same guy).
Prior to all this though, I made sure I passed my theory test before I took any serious amount of driving lessons. Once I had the theory out of the way, I could then concentrate on the practical.
I whole heartedly recommend a longer term instruction with some own experience in the middle. I even used my fiancees car for the second test, cos I was more used to driving that.
The examiner I used (you may know him Saxon) was a guy called Terry Goude (school of motoring) and is in the yellow pages (based in Gleadless somewhere). He charged about £2 per hour less than the other instructors (which adds up) and was very calming in his voice, very good with his instruction and really made it easy for me. If it weren't for nerves I would have passed first time. However you can't help nerves.
His only fault I would say is that he's a Wednesdayite and proudly sports an owl chain... however I didn't hold it against him :P
Good luck with it and keep us posted.
The examiner I used (you may know him Saxon) was a guy called Terry Goude
You mean 'instructor', DaB!
Originally posted by Saxon
You mean 'instructor', DaB!
Damnit... yes that's correct! DOH :blush:
I'm currently a learner driver myself :wave: and I just thought I'd advise you against these intensive courses for the reasons mentioned by Saxon and DaBouncer... I'm getting to the stage where I should be putting in for my test, but with the experience I have (I've been learning since the end of November, an hour a week) I still find a few situations hard to judge, or make mistakes... With an intensive course, you don't have time to go back to those mistakes and learn from them, which is a very important aspect of driving and life also...
An intensive course isn't going to get you a full drivers license any quicker than the rest of us learners... There's a 17 week wait at the Handsworth test centre and correct me if I'm wrong, but people on the fast track courses don't get to jump the queue surely? So technically, you won't be "on the bus one week, driving the next" and so you could be mislead by some of these claims of quick passes etc.
Just take it easy is what I would reccommend.... You don't want to pass your test, take your car out and have an accident straight away through not having the experience to judge a situation properly... Experience may be costly, as these driving lessons don't come cheap, but I'd strongly reccommend you take your time and the skill will come to you.
I'm pleased that the responses to date seem to back up my own (professional) feelings.
You are right, Caprice, about these intensive course people not being able to jump the queue. What happens is that they pass the Theory Test, book a test and then don't start learning until two or three weeks before the test, cramming up to 40 hours into a week or two. Then if things don't improve as quickly as they would like, they're faced with either cancelling the test (or having it cancelled by the instructor) and re-booking it (at the end of the queue I might add) or wasting the £39 by taking the test and failing it, possibly combined with the embarrassment of having the examiner stop the test halfway through because he/she feels that the candidate is a danger to the public.
However, is there anyone out there who has benefitted from an intensive course?
Agree fully with all the above comments, I too considered one of these 'intensive' courses but after viewing several driving instructor websites they all more or less said the same ' Driving is a skill or life..'
Now agree or disagree with me, you can't learn life skills in a week and adapt them to everyday life, learning takes time and patience in whatever you do..
I used one of Saxon's ADI's and found him to be very professional, patient and would explain anything to me that didn't understand, also, any driving advice he had he would tell me pull over, get the book out and advise me, and then practice the manouver again and again until it was right, doubt you'd get that on an intensive course..
I started learning in August and passed first time in November (was lucky as I got a cancellation).. Don't rush it!
Don't know how good they are but you could try:
35 Stone Croft Road
0797 466 9671 or 0114 236 1980
I hear so many negative points about intensive courses and sadly I would agree that most of these are true BUT only if you deal with a bad company!
We offer quality training not for locals but on a residential basis where our customers can rest fully before the next days training. There is no shared tuition so our customers get our FULL ATTENTION.
We do not 'cut corners' in only teaching you to pass the test as we agree we are teaching a lifetime skill that is why we recommend a 40 hour course for complete beginners.
You should also bear in mind that a 40 hour intensive is equivalent to around 45 to 50 hours of one hour lessons which should be plenty of time to get experience on all types of roads.
Our pass rate reflects that this method works as we have around 70% pass rate for hourly lessons (yes we still do some of these) and around 85% on our intensive courses over 5 or more days! They receive less minor marks too!
Is there a downside? Yes, it is not ideal for all as a very small percentage of our customerís find they miss home too much!
We hear the stories of other companies with their bad instructors, untaxed vehicles, and even tests not booked but to date in our 5 years of offering these courses we have yet to receive one complaint.
We are not allowed to give our website details here but you are welcome to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details then you can make up your own mind as to what is best for you.