Intensive driving courses – are they worth it?

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When I first started learning to drive I was desperate to pass as soon as possible, just like any other young person learning to drive.

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Learning to drive can be a long process, and requires a lot of time and money.

Typically, new drivers undertake between 40 and 50 hours of driving before they pass their practical test. This has resulted in the emergence of a different form of driving lesson, as people opt to learn to drive in shorter and more rigorous periods. These are known as intensive driving courses.

What is an intensive driving course?

Essentially, intensive driving courses teach learners in a shorter time frame than usual. While they usually include submissions for both the theory and practical test, there are also semi-intensive courses available which allow you to take time out while you pass your theory test. However, the aim of all intensive courses is to get learners passed in the quickest and safest way possible. 

The truth is that every driving school will do it differently, and so it’s best to see exactly what the options are locally to you. Intensive driving courses are usually offered in one or two-week periods, and each day of driving could entail up to six hours on the road.

What is the difference between an intensive and advanced driving course?

Don’t get these two mixed up – they’re very different. Advanced driving courses are an optional extra that you can take once you’ve passed your practical test. They’re not essential, but can help to refine your road skills, making you a safer and more competent driver. For more information, check out our advanced driving guide

What are the benefits of taking an intensive driving course?

The biggest benefit of an intensive driving course is the time period. Often, people who undertake a course will have a week booked off work, or will be close to returning to school or university. Instead of learning over a period of six to eight months, some prefer to squeeze driving into a smaller timeframe, meaning that everything can be done and dusted in less than a fortnight. 

Another major advantage is the price. Intensive courses differ in cost depending on the driving school, however, they are often cheaper than conventional lessons if you’re able to pay a lump sum. For more information, check out our guide on the costs of learning to drive. 

At the beginning, learning to drive can be overwhelming. Intensive courses tackle this head-on, gradually increasing your confidence on the road as every day passes.

What are the problems with taking an intensive driving course?

For all the positives, intensive driving courses can present problems.

While all driving schools will endeavour to introduce pupils to every type of road, the unreliable Great British weather can mean that intensive courses don’t allow a learner to experience all possible road conditions. Arguably, long-term learners learn how to tackle windy and rainy weather, and if you take an intensive course during a particular dry, sunny week, this may not be something you’re accustomed to when it comes to everyday driving.

Putting pressure on yourself to learn during an intensive period can cause increased bouts of nerves. The practical test is scary at the best of times, and if you fail after a week of learning, you may feel like you’ve wasted your money. Remember that you'll also need to pass your theory test before you start an intensive course. 

Should you take an intensive driving course?

Everyone works differently. Some people thrive off the pressure and wish to pass as soon as possible. Other people have learnt to drive in the past and want a quick re-cap and weeks’ worth of driving to get them back up to speed. 

However, if you’ve got the time available, conventional lessons will allow you to experience a wide variety of weather and road conditions throughout your time as a learner. If there’s no rush, take your time!

What insurance do I need to take out when doing an intensive driving course?

The cost of driving lessons will include insurance, so when you’re driving in your instructor’s car you’ll be covered. However, if you want to practice your new-found driving skills in-between lessons, take a look at Veygo by Admiral’s Learner Driver Insurance. This is a short-term, flexible insurance plan which can you to get insured on a friend or family member’s car from two hours to 90 days - perfect for intensive driving courses.

Once you’ve passed, if you’re using someone else’s car, you can move onto Veygo by Admiral's Car Sharing Insurance. However, if you decide to buy your own vehicle, Admiral have lots of car insurance options available.

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