Myths about Intensive Driving Courses

The first question we get asked time and time again is, “am I guaranteed to pass at the end of the course?” Many people believe that simply taking an intensive driving course is enough to get them a driving licence. In fact some people believe that at the end of an intensive driving course you simply receive a certificate to say you’ve taken the course, here’s your driving licence!

The truth, of course, is that ALL driving tests are conducted in accordance with the DVSA and by a highly qualified DVSA approved examiner. No driving school can conduct a driving test, naturally if they did every candidate would pass regardless of their ability and there would be a lot of dangerous drivers on the roads today! With this in mind then, absolutely no driving school can guarantee a pass at the end of an intensive driving course. You need to demonstrate to the DVSA examiner that you are worthy of a licence and only then will you pass. Moreover, the driving test is exactly the same as any other driving test taken by any other candidate and so you will not be treated differently just because you have worked intensively.

Another myth surrounding intensive driving courses is that you will be at test standard in a fewer amount of lessons. In some cases, candidates believe that by simply doing a 20 hour intensive driving course they will be at test standard. An intensive driving course does NOT reduce the amount of hours’ tuition you will need, it simply reduces the length of time of the learning process. The DVSA state that on average pupils who are at test standard have received 45 hours worth of professional tuition coupled with 22 hours worth of private practice. In other words candidates require on average between 45 and 60 hours worth of tuition to be ready for test. If you merely took one hour’s tuition a week it would take you over a year to reach test standard, but by doing an intensive driving course it is possible to reach test standard within a few weeks.

Working intensively is hard going and you need to be prepared for some stressful moments. Factor in to your intensive driving course hiccups along the way - be realistic in your goals. Ideally we recommend taking no more than 25 hours in any one week, so if you are a beginner don’t expect to reach test standard by the end of week 1. Give yourself time, take the worst case scenario, imagine you are going to take 60 hours even if you only intend to take 30. It means that should you need more tuition you have the option to do so. Don’t give yourself additional pressure you don’t need, you will be tired as it is come test day.

Don’t leave things until the last minute to organise. Some candidates are left with no option but to do everything in a week due to their theory or licence expiring. Many of these candidates resort to taking residential courses, where a test is promised at the end of the week’s training. Sounds perfect yes? Until you get there and find that, not only are you sharing your training time with another candidate in the car, meaning you only get half the training time you’ve paid for, but at the end of the week your test is actually in a different location altogether. What is the problem with taking your test in a different location, after all if you can drive you can drive anywhere right? To give yourself the best chance of passing your test it makes more sense to take your driving test around the area of where you have been taking your lessons, complex junctions will be more familiar and you will have practised your manoeuvres around actual test routes. No two towns / cities are the same, for example Sheffield and Manchester have tram routes, when you did your training in a small town or seaside town did they teach you how to deal with trams? Unlikely. Find out more information before you commit to taking such a course.

A further myth centres round booking the driving test. Some candidates believe that driving schools can leapfrog the booking system and get driving tests quicker than the average person. This is sadly not true. The DVSA takes data protection very seriously and has a fair booking system, where only one test per person can be held at any one time. This means that driving schools cannot hold driving tests on behalf of candidates in the anticipation of them taking a test, and it can only be assumed that any driving school who states they have a guaranteed test for you within a week is either booking tests under other candidates names and changing details, which is bad, or they are not guaranteeing that your test will be in your local area. Taking a test in an area that is unfamiliar to you is more likely to result in a fail as you do not possess local knowledge of the area.

What we do

At Ignition Driving School, we are honest and will tell you throughout your intensive driving course the best way forward for you. We work closely with the DVSA and have a high reputation at each of the local test centres we serve, and because we want to keep our reputation we will review your course at regular intervals so that you can alter your plans if necessary. Remember your driving instructor is on your side and any feedback they give you is to ensure you succeed, so please listen to them and work with them. Even after you have completed your intensive driving course our instructors are under no obligation to take you to test if they feel that your driving is of a dangerous nature.

We will also be realistic about test dates and courses. We can book a driving test for you but to do this you will need to be forthcoming with information. The driving test will be booked in your name and so you need to ensure that details you give to us are accurate. These details will only be passed to the DVSA. Most importantly please tell us at the time of booking any dates / times you are unable to take your test on. You can only move your test date three times in total and so the right test needs to be booked.

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To find out more about our data protection policy, please visit our data protection page.

A Past Pupil