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Is it worth teens doing an intensive driving course?

(21 Posts)
KatyMac Sat 25-Oct-14 19:13:25

DD is 17 soon & lives away from home, she will be back home at the end of May

I thought about letting her do a week long driving course (using her earnings/birthday & Christmas as it's very expensive) early in the summer, so if she passes she can drive herself around for the rest of the time

But are they an effective way of learning- I did the 5 years of odd lessons here & there, my parents teaching me & passing on the 3rd time

DD is quite co-ordinated

What do people think?

cheerupandhaveaglassofwine Sat 25-Oct-14 19:15:45

Usually intensive courses are very good as you have everything fresh in your mind from one day to the next so don't forget it by the next week or however long between lessons

TeenAndTween Sat 25-Oct-14 19:18:02

DD is quite co-ordinated !! Understatement of the year??

Hope your DD is getting on well.

No idea about intensive courses. One thing is she won't have had practice driving in a variety of weather conditions. The insurance also might be astronomical for a 17 year old. otoh Even if she doesn't then drive herself around, good to get the skill under her belt as she can't learn / practice weekly if she's away from home.

FishWithABicycle Sat 25-Oct-14 19:20:26

I really wouldn't. She may well pass but being on the road with only a week's driving experience, however intensive, doesn't sound safe to me. It's much better to learn over a longer period, with plenty of practice in between to ingrain good driving habits.

If you want her to learn quickly over the summer I'd suggest lessons twice a week and practice with you for at least an hour a day over 6 weeks. That would probably cost about the same as an intensive course and would result in her being a much safer and more confident driver.

KatyMac Sat 25-Oct-14 19:21:53

She is LOVING it! she was totally designed for this course (apparently the tutors love her & the other students can't hate her for it as she is the sort of mascot!)

Chances are she won't be able to learn until after the end of her next course which could be 4 years away

I just thought getting it sorted now, with 3 months to practise afterwards?

We have no chance of affording a car or insurance for her & she will probably end up working in London; but driving might be a skill she needs for jobs (if touring)

KatyMac Sat 25-Oct-14 19:22:40

That's a good point Fish - I will chat about that with her

TheFairyCaravan Sat 25-Oct-14 19:31:20

When our DSes learnt to drive their driving instructor, who was excellent and has an over 80% first time pass rate, advised against intensive courses. You only get a week or two of driving, not all of it is on the roads, so you don't experience what you would if you learnt in the more conventional way.

DS1 learnt in 10 weeks, DS2 was slightly longer. We insured them on our VW Polo so they could get more experience and practice because that is what they need.

offtoseethewizard64 Sat 25-Oct-14 19:51:40

DS passed his test a couple of months ago having had 20 + lessons over a number of months with an instructor and practise by driving our car in between. Once he had passed, i realised how little driving experience he actually had. We live in a rural area and although he was fine driving in our locality, where he had done his lessons and test, as soon as he went further afield and encountered large multi lane roundabouts and traffic lights, he was completely out of his depth. Fortunately, he was not in a rush to go anywhere far afield, so we have made a point of letting him drive whenever we go anywhere, so he is slowly building up his experience. He has now driven some quite long distances (with one of us to advise him) and on motorways too whilst visiting Universities for Open Days and he (and we) are no much more confident in his driving ability than we would have been with his limited experience before. That said, he is probably far better at driving on rural country roads that people who learn in town and cities - and rural roads are where the highest percentage of accidents are.
So what I am saying OP, is I wouldn't recommend it as the sole way of learning to drive. It is fine as a starter, but needs to be followed up with lots of driving experience before taking the test. Your 2nd post says she has 3 mths to practice - if that's the case then I would say it is fine if she has an occasional lesson with an instructor during that time and takes her test at the end of the 3 months, but not to just do the one week course and take her test.

Goldenlab Wed 29-Oct-14 19:34:28

Foster daughter did an intensive course - it took a week start to finish and she took her test at the end of it and passed. The only criticism I would have of this is that she took it during a very dry hot week, so had never driven in rain or in the dark.

Coconutty Wed 29-Oct-14 19:38:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

secretsquirrels Thu 30-Oct-14 10:46:19

KatyMac I really don't think intensive courses are a good idea if they take the test at the end, which is what many do.
On the other hand if she did the course and then had lots of practise followed by a few more lessons before the test then it would give her a flying start.
A week is not long enough to gain any kind of experience. I think it's important to make sure they have lessons at all times of day, in the dark and most importantly in ice and fog.
Having said all that if she is likely to end up living in London I wonder whether she really needs it now? We live out in the sticks and there is nowhere you can go without a car. Driving is essential for all teenagers here but if we lived in a city I think I would put it off until after uni.

KatyMac Thu 30-Oct-14 11:06:54

She will be home for a month at Christmas & a good while (2/3 weeks) at Easter too so maybe she can do some then

Does she have to pass the theory before she starts practising?

secretsquirrels Thu 30-Oct-14 12:10:07

No you can practise as soon as you have a license. The theory (which is very easy) has to be passed before you can take the practical test.

KatyMac Thu 30-Oct-14 12:24:00

Oh no she can't neither mine or my husbands insurance companies will insure provisional or under 25 drivers

So I need to change my insurance company - bugger!

Coconutty Thu 30-Oct-14 13:02:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

secretsquirrels Thu 30-Oct-14 13:46:32

I changed mine when DS1 was learning. Direct Line quoted me £££££ less than anyone else and no problem leaving him on when he passed his test, they also allow him to accrue NCD while a named driver on my car.
Lots of insurers believe you are fronting when you want to add a teenage driver but I genuinely only wanted to add DS so he could borrow the car. Next year I hope to do the same for DS2 when he is 17.

crazykat Thu 30-Oct-14 14:18:29

Both of my cousins did a week long course and passed first time. Neither had ever been behind the wheel before.

I'm very very slowly saving to do mine which will take five years at this rate. I have had lessons at 17 but ran out of money before I was anywhere near ready to take my test.

IMO the intensive courses are better because everything is still fresh from the last lesson and you can consolidate it quicker. I started out with one hour lessons but I'd just be getting the hang of something and the hour was up and it would be a week before I could get behind the wheel again. Two hour blocks were better but too expensive to keep up for long.

crazykat Thu 30-Oct-14 14:22:26

She could always do pass plus after getting her licence which would take her on the motorway with an instructor. It can also lower insurance premiums with some insurers.

The insurance will be expensive for the first year but drop considerably with just one year no claims, at least it did when I was looking into it a few years ago.

KatyMac Thu 30-Oct-14 14:40:00

She is saving all her birthday & Christmas money plus she is putting up 50% of next summers earnings as her contribution

I just found Marmalade - which looks useful at least initially as she will only be around in Dec & at Easter

I think she will do a bit of practise - do the course - then continue to practise with DH in the car & maybe look at Pass plus

Annunziata Fri 31-Oct-14 14:31:50

Mine did Pass Plus but none of the insurance companies seemed to take anything off! Direct Line were the cheapest also.

Watch for the ones with tracker boxes- you need to pay upfront for some of the boxes, one we looked at for DD1 was nearly £300! I don't like the idea of a curfew either, what if there was a real reason for them to be out? Even if there wasn't an emergency, doing a late night or early morning run to the airport is a good way to practice motorway driving.

I would avoid the intensive course, really. It's not about passing the test for me, it's learning to drive properly and safely. They won't have enough experience.

Have had 5 dc pass their tests/ take driving lessons so far!

MollyAir Fri 31-Oct-14 14:38:26

I'm partly marking my place, but would add that YouTube have lots of good videos which are like the theory test. smile

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