Researching driving schools for yourself or your teen? It’s a big decision, putting your kid behind the wheel for the first time. It’s likely inevitable, but how do you find the right company? You want your kid to be safe — not only as they learn how to drive, which is a given — but safe with the adults who are teaching them.
Are all driving schools the same? Or are some better than others?
Here are a few things to consider when you’re researching the plethora of driving schools out there.
What to Look for in a Driving School
1. Are they licensed, bonded and insured?
We’re not sure if there are driving schools out there operating without a license, but if so, do NOT go to them, or else your driver’s education will be for nothing. The state of California will only accept courses and results from DMV-licensed schools. Choose a school that is licensed by the California DMV, has liability insurance, and maintains complete records for DMV inspection.
Safety 1st is licensed, bonded, and insured.
2. Are the cars new(ish) and safe?
California law requires that vehicles used for instructional purposes be inspected annually. As a parent (or student), you want peace of mind that your teen is learning to drive on a later model car that will be safe, reliable, and more likely to closely resemble the cars they’ll be driving on a daily basis.
Safety 1st uses top safety rated Fiats for our driving lessons.
3. Are the instructors trained and experienced?
Sadly, the #1 cause of preventable death among teens and young adults is car accidents. If a driving school is aware of the statistics and devoted to changing them, they’ll place safety as their top priority. That means teaching students the rules of the road, how to safely operate a motor vehicle, and practical defensive driving techniques in a number of different conditions: on side streets, freeways, day and night, in traffic, in weather, and so on.
Also, CA law requires that driver’s ed instructors pass a written and driving exam every three years to keep their license current.
We follow all California laws for certification of instructors, PLUS put them through our own rigorous training program.
4. Are the instructors background-checked?
These are not only people who are teaching your teen how to operate a motor vehicle (a potentially lethal machine), but they’re potentially spending time alone with students. You need the peace of mind that they’re in it for the right reasons and will not abuse their position or betray your trust.
Make sure the instructors have all passed a background check and have no criminal records. Then follow your gut. Do you feel comfortable with them? Do they communicate well? Do they seem friendly, warm, kind, positive, patient? It’s not uncommon for first-time drivers to feel nervous, so these are all qualities you’ll appreciate once you’re behind the wheel.
All our instructors are background checked and treat each student with respect and care, as if they were our own family.
5. What’s the cost?
For most people, budget will be a factor — and as with most things, you get what you pay for. Driver’s ed shouldn’t cost an exorbitant amount of money, though. Online courses will be less expensive than classroom courses, and behind-the-wheel training will vary based on the school and how many hours you require.
We offer competitive prices and special offers. Check out our Pricing here.
6. What do other people say about the school?
Ask other people for their experiences, and research online through Google reviews, Yelp, and other review sites.
We are proud to have very high reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp!