Are you anxious to improve your driving skills but aren’t sure how to choose from all the available advanced driving schools? To get started, assess your circumstances and what you want to achieve from an advanced driving course. This will help you decide on the best one to select for your individual needs. On top of this, there are also several basic but critical facts that you’ll want to know about the potential schools before enrolling.
To begin with, ask yourself why you want to attend an advanced driving school. Sure, you want to improve your driving skills, but dig a little deeper and you might find a few more details to help you make the right decision. Questions you might ask yourself include:
- Do I need to improve my skills driving in unsafe weather conditions?
- Do I want to learn how to drive off-road properly or just improve my skills?
- Do I want to improve my driving habits and lower my auto insurance cost as an extra benefit?
- Am I prompted to take an advanced driving course to lessen my chances of becoming a hijack victim?
Once you’re clear about your motivation and what you expect to achieve, it becomes much easier to choose the right driving course – one that will address your main objectives and concerns.
The School’s Reputation
Major car manufacturers like Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, and VW offer a range of excellent driver training and have been going for an impressively long time. There are also much smaller, privately owned schools which you might choose for their convenient location as well.
Whichever school you decide to go for, we suggest reading reviews on social media platforms or Google for comments from former students. You’ll get a better idea of the overall sentiment about the company, the instructors, and the lessons themselves. Reviews also do a good job of letting you be better prepared for what to expect.
Equality and inclusivity
Social media comments will also give you an idea of the school’s principles and values. Do they treat all different types of people fairly and make everyone feel equally welcome regardless of their race, gender, or culture?
If you have unique needs in order to drive, such as a specially configured driver’s seat, gearshift, pedals, or other equipment to operate a vehicle safely, ensure that the school can meet those needs and that you’ll be comfortable with how they can accommodate you.
Many courses that take place over a full day include refreshments and a light lunch. If you have any specific dietary needs, notify the school when booking.
Some courses have their dates and times published on their website months in advance. The major schools make it easy to book via a live event calendar – you start by selecting the course you want, selecting one of the available dates, and filling in your details.
Actual practice time
When reading a school’s description of its course, be sure to check the actual practice time. For example, a course may say that the curriculum includes three hours in the classroom and one hour on the track. At first glance, an hour of practice time may sound reasonable. However, it’s worth your time and money to contact the school and ask it to clarify. Does the hour of practice mean that each participant gets one hour behind the wheel? Or does it mean that the entire class receives collectively one hour?
Though it’s unlikely the case, you won’t want the latter. Besides not allowing a reasonable amount of practice time for you to get a firm grasp on a new skill, it’s not a fair return on your investment of money and time.
Use of vehicle
Some schools require you to use a personal car during practice sessions. Other schools insist that you use one of their vehicles. And still, others will let you use either. Does it make a difference? Yes, it does.
Most advanced driving schools specially equip their cars to handle better than the average vehicle. This can make it easier to learn the basics of a new skill, but you could find that you have trouble making those same those manoeuvres once you’re behind the wheel of your own car. This is why some schools require that you practice driving using your own vehicle.
Bear in mind that practicing advanced driving skills may place a fair amount of stress and strain on your car causing some wear and tear.
If there is no mandatory requirement regarding who’s vehicle to use, the school would typically charge a fee should you choose to use theirs.
If you’re struggling to make a choice, speak to the school about the pros and cons – ultimately the best choice is unique to each driver.
Spectators and co-drivers
Is there someone you can’t leave alone at home? Some advanced driving classes, such as the VW High Performance Driving Course, have ample space for spectators. The additional cost usually covers meals and refreshments, but not be allowed to sit in on the lectures or accompany you in the vehicle. Some 4x4 driving courses, however, do allow for a co-driver at an additional fee.
Regardless of which advanced driving school you choose, congratulations on making the decision to improve your driving! You’re contributing towards a commitment to safer roads in South Africa, as are we. Before you book your driving course, visit a convenient Supa Quick branch near you and get a free Vehicle Safety Check.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.