Tips for Choosing a Driving School

Choosing a Driving SchoolWe've mentioned in several places on this site that taking a defensive driving class is one way to save money on car insurance, and is highly recommended for teen drivers, even if they've been through school-provided driver education. But how does one choose the right driving school? There are a couple of things to consider.

What is the Reputation and Accreditation of the School?

You wouldn't hire a babysitter or a mechanic without checking their background, so why would you choose a driving school without doing some research. You'll want to know if there have been any complaints filed against the school, of course, but you should also find out if it's affiliated with any professional organizations, and if it has been accredited by the government, since some insurers won't give you a discount if the driving school isn't accredited.

What is the Course Content?

The perfect defensive driving course should entail a combination of classroom instruction, practice on driving simulators, and actual driving in the field, on a closed course or in town. In addition, basic vehicle maintenance and up-to-date instruction local traffic laws should be included in the course work. Good schools have driving tracks where students can not only practice, but can also experience different driving conditions like rain and dust. Online driving courses are great if your goal is to erase a ticket, but if you actually want to be a better driver, you need hands-on training.

Bang for Your Buck

You should also consider whether the cheapest school is always the best choice. With driving schools the old adage that "you get what you pay for," is generally true. Cheap driving schools may have instructors who aren't as well-trained as those who work for more expensive driving schools, and the materials are likely to be out of date.

The bottom line is this: a defensive driving course isn't just a way to save money on car insurance, it's also an investment in your safety, and that of everyone on the road with you, and that's something you cannot put a price on.

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