Your teenager has turned 16 and wants to learn how to drive. Learning to drive and getting their driving license is a symbol of freedom and a rite of passage for teens and driving a car gives them a feeling of independence.
You can let your teen run your errands and more once you’re confident that your teen has the self-confidence and the skills to drive a vehicle. But first, it’s a good idea to make him/her join a driving school, which can teach them everything there’s to learn about driving a vehicle.
A driving school provides a blend of a certain number of hours of driving, along with classroom lessons on road safety. A driving school ensures that your teen gets plenty of supervised practice. They have age limits of when a teen can/cannot drive, which means that your teen’s driving experience grows along with their driving skills.
However, to join a driving school to learn to drive, the cost of driving school can be a concern. Typically, the cost of driving school varies according to the state and city you live in and also depends on the cost of gas. You can expect to pay around $50 to $180 for each driving lesson you take. Most driving schools offer all-inclusive packages that can cost between $200 and $1,800. In addition to this, you will have to pay a fee of $50 to $150 per test for the road test.
So, if you want a driving school for your teen or even one to improve your driving skills to get more familiar with the driving rules and regulations in the U.S., then here are some tips that can help you choose an affordable driving school, which can meet your requirements.
How You Can Get the Best Deal on a Driving School
Joining a driving school is a good idea for any person who is looking to acquire the skills required to pass the driving test of your state. Driving schools essentially focus on both the written, as well as the road exam components of the state driving test. And, it is important to find a good driving school, which provides this at a good price.
Compare Driving Schools
There are plenty of driving schools, which vary in the instruction they provide and their cost. It is a good idea to check with the different driving schools in your area and compare the costs of various driving schools vis-à-vis their instruction method. Check regarding the services the driving schools provide, their success rates and reviews from past students.
Compare the Costs
Comparing the services and costs of the various driving schools in your area can provide a good idea of which driving school offers the best bargain. Fix your budget of what you’re willing to spend and what you can expect while looking for a driving school.
Check with the driving school if they have a money-back policy. Also, check if the school provides the option of repeating the course at no cost if you don’t pass the driving test. This type of guarantee can make the driving school costing more worth the price.
What Is the Per Hour Driving Lesson Cost?
The cost of your driving lessons can be around $80/hour; however, it can be cheaper in some states. Typically, the average cost per lesson with a driving instructor is around $50 to $55, which includes picking up and dropping you off at home or any other location.
Usually driving schools recommend that you take around 6 hours of driving lessons because this is the minimum time required by several states that a person with a learner’s permit must complete before he/she can take a road test at the DMV.
Some instructors charge per hour, while others may charge per lesson. For example, the school may charge $80 per lesson, but you must attend the lesson for two hours at least. The school may also provide access to online course materials at discounted rates that can help you in your state driving exam.
You could also check on package deals offered by driving schools in your area. For example, you may pay $100 for 2 hours of lessons and up to $275 for 6 hours of lessons. And, if you require 8 to 10 hours of lessons, you can pay up to $450. Some driving schools also offer road test practice, so that you’re prepared for the road test. Usually, the cost of the road test practice is around $125.
Consider a Driving School Having a Vehicle
Some driving schools use their vehicles for you to learn driving and also for the road test, while others may prefer that you use your own car. Driving classes that offer their vehicle along with the lessons are ideal for teens learning to drive for the first time.
Typically, the cost for 5 lessons along with door-to-door pickup and drop is around $275, while the cost for 5 lessons with the car that you can also use for the road test can cost around $375.
For a package of 5 lessons with door-to-door pickup and drop, a pre-licensing class and a car that you can use for your driving test, you will pay around $530. And, if you’re looking for long-term lessons for your teen and you, a package of 20 lessons can cost around $1,000.
How Many Driving Lessons Do You Need?
The number of driving lessons you require depends mainly on your skill and comfort level while driving and how much experience you have operating a vehicle. If you simply want to improve your defensive driving and hone your driving skills, then 2-3 lessons are fine. This will allow you to adjust your driving speed according to the road and weather conditions and help you in moving quickly in order to avoid accidents.
If you are a beginner and are practicing for your permit or license, then it is a good idea to take 5 lessons at least before your theory and driving test. Usually, most driving schools offer packages for beginner drivers that consist of 5 lessons per week. You can either choose to drive all days of the week or 4 days of the week and 1 day of the weekend.
However, after the 5 lessons, if you’re not still comfortable on the road, you can sign up for additional lessons. Usually, your driving instructor will assess you after your lessons and inform you about which driving techniques you must work on so you know what to practice before the next session.
Having a consistent driving schedule can help you become familiar with the traffic in your neighborhood and city. When you are starting, you may be more comfortable driving on roads and in areas that are not too busy.
Once you are more accustomed to driving and build your self-confidence, you could drive on narrow streets, high traffic areas, highways and also increase your speed. Your instructor may also ask you to drive through obstacles in an open area or a parking lot so that you can practice taking sharp turns.
Driving Lesson Packages
Some driving schools offer packages with up to 10 lessons and you have the option of spacing out the lessons as per your requirement. However, if you want to get more familiar with how to operate the vehicle, then it is recommended that you take around 2 lessons per week. If you’re practicing to get your license or permit, you can even take 3-4 lessons per week.
You will also learn parking skills such as parallel parking, parking in tight spaces, parking in the street and reverse parking. Also, pay attention to the timeframes and rules for parking in particular areas. You should have the knowledge of these rules and regulations to avoid fines and also keep your driving privileges once you get your permit/license.
Do You Need a Theory Test Before Your Driving Lessons?
Before you get a driver’s permit, you will need to take a theory test in the U.S. When you pass the theory test and also take a driving test you can practice your driving and then go back to the DMV to get your driving license. Having a driving permit allows you to drive your car only when there is a licensed driver with you. In some states, you need to have your driving permit for 6 months at least before you can apply for a driving license.
You must be at least 15 years old to get a driver’s permit. Also, you must take the theory exam to ensure that you understand the road rules and the meaning of road signs. If you’re below 18 years, then you must be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian to the DMV to verify that you’re eligible for a driver’s permit. You must take the driver education courses and pass the tests in order to get your permit. You must pay a fee to the DMV to take the theory tests, which usually cost less than $100 in most states.
Finding the Driving School That’s the Best Fit for You
Typically, driving schools offer classes suitable for different ages and purposes. They have classes for teens and adults, and also offer traffic violation lessons and defensive driving classes. By taking these courses, drivers can learn driving, road rules and also practice driving under professional supervision with instructors who have been trained to teach students of all ages.
Don’t Consider Only the Price
Usually, price is the main thing that most people consider when looking for a driving school; however, this should not be the only criteria. Some schools may be less expensive and this may be because their curriculum is not intensive or they employ instructors who are unqualified.
Visit the Website and Driving School
Check the websites of the driving schools you are considering. Verify that the school is licensed by the state, which shows that the school conforms to the state’s regulations and laws. Make sure that you get answers to all your questions and rate the customer service. Visit the driving school and check it out personally. The objective is that you must feel comfortable both with the driving school, as well as the staff.
Make sure to speak to the instructor and inquire about the schedule and see if it suits you. Several driving schools provide morning, noon or evening classes and some even offer classes on weekends. So, you should be able to find classes that fit your schedule.
Check the Vehicles Used
Some driving schools provide vehicles that you can use for lessons, as well as the driving exams, while others let you use your own vehicle. If the school provides the vehicles, ensure that the vehicle you’re learning to drive in is similar to the one that you plan to drive normally. Check if the school provides only cars or other vehicles such as trucks and SUVs? Check if they have manual vehicles or automatic ones. Look at the instructors’ experience as well as the course along with the price when selecting a driving school. So, now that you have all the information about what to look for in a driving school, you can select one confidently for your teen or you.