Learning to drive can be both a lengthy and expensive process, with the majority of learners needing between 40 and 45 hours before they are able to pass their practical test (you can read more about how many driving lessons you might need here). However, some drivers prefer to get things done as quickly as possible and look to be on the road straight away. Luckily a number of courses are available that can fast-track a driver to their test in just a week. Let us talk you through intensive courses, and how they differ from the more traditional weekly lessons.
What are intensive/crash course driving lessons?
An intensive (or the rather unnervingly named ‘crash’) course is a series of lessons back-to-back with the aim of getting you past your test in a much quicker time than the average learner. For most intensive courses you will have to already have passed your theory test and have at least a basic knowledge of what to do behind the wheel. Training can take place in your local area, while some courses offer accommodation, allowing you to focus solely on passing your test.
Are crash course driving lessons good?
Whether a crash course is good for you or not will be an entirely subjective question and will depend on what style of learning you are looking for. If you are looking for the opportunity to get on the road as soon as possible, for instance you may be looking to get your licence sorted before you head off to university, or lessons may disrupt your work pattern so you’ve booked a week off in order to get it all sorted with minimal fuss, then chances are an intensive course will suit you.
However, with a reduced amount of time on the roads, the chances of you being able to experience all possible road conditions drops significantly. If you’re taking your course in the summer then chances are (although all bets are off when it comes to British weather) you won’t experience a wet road until you are out on your own, and the last thing you want to do is write your car off the first time you drive in the rain.
How much are intensive driving lessons?
Many people are drawn to the idea of intensive driving lessons due to the potential financial benefits of doing so. A single-day course is likely to cost in the region of £200, although this is only for someone nearing the test stage and is confident they’ll be ready to pass after a full day of learning. Week-long courses can be around £1,000, while a two week course is often less value costing over £2,000. While on the face of it that sounds expensive, if you were to take 45 lessons at £25 each, then you would be looking at a final bill of £1,125, so you could save money by paying one lump sum for a week’s worth of lessons. However, it’s worth remembering that if you fail your test, you will need to pay again to retake it, so it’s important to be certain that you’ll be able to pass once you’ve completed the course.
What’s the difference between regular and intensive driving lessons?
For most learner drivers taking regular lessons, their professional lessons will be once a week, meaning in some cases it could be up to seven days before they drive again, whereas learners taking an intensive course are likely to be getting in the driving seat at least once a day, meaning there’s a reduced chance of things being forgotten between each lesson.
You can also look at it from a point of view that taking an intensive course is teaching you to pass your test, while regular lessons are teaching you how to drive. While of course you need to be able to drive to pass your test, there’s a chance you could be receiving your full driver’s licence having never driven a car in the rain or at night. In fact, some road safety organisations urge drivers to be cautious when booking intensive courses, claiming they don’t produce well-rounded drivers.
The future of intensive driving courses does seem to be a little tentative in a pandemic-affected climate. With a huge backlog of driving tests as a result of Covid-19, a decline in instructor numbers and a baby boom in the mid-2000s, a survey taken by FirstCar suggests that less than 5% of its readers would consider booking an intensive course until driving tests become readily available again. With insurance company Marmalade predicting this backlog won’t be cleared until January 2024, the future of intensive courses seems quite precarious.
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