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The Benefits of Taking an Intensive Driving Course

Intensive Driving Crash Courses: all work and no play?

  • Are intensive driving courses right for you?
  • How much does it cost to take crash course driving lessons?

Intensive driving courses, sometimes known as crash course driving lessons are for the ambitious and impatient people of the driving world. That doesn’t mean they’re a bad thing – in fact, many of the best attributes of crash courses are the ones that make them so appealing.

Intensive courses are the equivalent time and effort, of standard driving lessons: they’re simply condensed into a 1-week or 2-week period, rather than over the course of several months. Your practical exam is included in the course time, and will usually take place on your last afternoon.

The techniques used by intensive driving course instructors are the same as those of other, normal instructors, and the topics covered are also identical, so don’t worry about a reduced quality of teaching on a crash course – it doesn’t happen.

The short time frame for crash course driving lessons does make for a very action-packed week or fortnight, though. A standard intense course will have you behind the wheel for an average of 8 hours a day, so you really do pick up skills on the run, as it were. Do think carefully whether you'll be able to handle extensive periods of time behind the wheel.

There are benefits to this, namely that, given how quickly these lessons are taught and then reinforced, you’re unlikely to have forgotten them by the time you take your test. This means they’re usually very popular with people who have a short attention memory span.

Other benefits include the fact that, given their truncated nature, they’re ideal for working people who need to learn quickly but can’t afford to take too much time off work. Similarly, if you work odd shifts which make booking standard lessons tricky, a crash driving course could be a solution.

What’s more, many intensive driving courses offer overnight accommodation as part of their course package, meaning that you can still make the most of this opportunity even if the company offering it isn’t all that close to you.

Intensive prices? We think not.

The pricing works out in your favour, too: the average driving lesson costs around £22 now, and you’re expected to have a minimum of 40 before you take your test. Even if we anticipate your incredibly fast learning rate, and a healthy dose of impatience which means you only take 30 lessons, you’re still looking at a minimum of £660 (with £880 being the cost for the full 40 hours). Add on another £100 for the cost of your test and appropriate lessons, and it’s getting to be a fairly expensive endeavour.

Intensive courses, however, average at around £600 for the week, including the cost of your practical, pre-test driving lesson and use of your instructor’s car for the test itself. If you opt for the overnight accommodation, the price will reflect the cost of your hotel for 6 nights, and usually bumps the overall cost up to around about £1000 – but that’s still not much more expensive than the 40 hours a normal instructor would give you.

The other side of the penny…

In the interests of being fair, we should probably point out the occasional pitfalls of crash course driving lessons.

Firstly, they by no means guarantee you’ll pass your practical. The fact that you learn everything very quickly can make the final exam easier, but only if you can pick up skills quickly. If you’re one of those people who likes to build up their confidence (and competence) over a longer period of time, then intensive courses aren’t for you.

Another potential issue to bear in mind is that, despite giving you the same instruction as a standard driving lesson course would, you do essentially learn to drive a 1-ton car in a week. That means you’ll pass your test and hit the open road with very little actual experience – and just because you can tick boxes on an examiner’s sheet doesn’t make you a good driver. It simply makes you a good box-ticker.

Of course, people who take 1 lesson a week and don’t do any driving outside of that won’t have any more experience than you on an intensive driving course would… but the DSA does advise new drivers to clock up 20 extra hours of road experience on top of their 40 lesson hours. And if the DSA suggest it, you can be sure it’s worth bearing in mind.


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