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Jade O'Donoghue

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Types of driving courses

First published date June 25 2013 Amended date August 28 2015

Learning to drive is one of life’s most liberating experiences – you, the wheel, the open road and endless possibilities of places you can visit. With an estimated forty million cars in the UK, we’re a country that loves to drive and despite the fact that we might spend a lot of our lives stuck in traffic jams (apparently three days a year for each driver!) every year millions of 17 year olds slap on the L plates to start lessons.


There’s more to driving than just passing your test though. In fact, there are several different types of driving course you can take, depending on your reasons for learning (work? leisure?) and the type of vehicle you’re using. It’s incredibly important that you make the right choice when it comes to these courses as well – you don’t want to be tasked with manoeuvring a HGV if you’ve only just got your provisional!


Standard driving lessons

These are probably the most well known of all the types of driving courses out there since most drivers will have taken them at some point. Generally, people who take normal driving lessons will not have driven before their first bit of teaching and will be starting from scratch. You’ll learn all the basics and will typically continue studying until you pass your test.

Most people take standard driving lessons over several weeks and they will be customised to suit you, with your instructor coming to your home to pick you up whenever is convenient. There are also driving courses you can do that compress these lessons into a short period of time, like a week. These types of driving courses are often referred to as intensive or fast track.


Driving theory courses

These are the only types of driving courses that don’t involve actually getting into a vehicle. The point of driving theory courses though is more to get you prepared for your theory test and to compliment your practical driving lessons.

There’s often a lot of talk when people start taking driving lessons about how easy the theory test is. While it’s true that many people do pass it first time, there are a lot of different parts to it – including a hazard perception test – and it’s not as straight forward as it might seem.


Training to be a driving instructor

If you can already drive and want to teach others how for a living, this type of course is the one you’re probably after. Driving instructor courses are designed to train students in all aspects of driving as well as the most effective ways to teach others. You’ll mainly focus on the driving test and how to ensure your students pass. This will mean training to teach new drivers anything from reverse bay parking, to roundabout etiquette.


Industry-related driving courses

Certain driving courses you might take purely for work purposes. It might be that you are working as a lorry driver, transporting heavy loads – in which case you might be after a HGV (heavy goods vehicle) driving course – or maybe you have to lift things and take them from place to place using a forklift so you need a driving course to teach you how to use this machinery.

These courses will zone in on a particular vehicle and ensure you know it inside and out. There will be a test at the end where you will be expected to drive while being watched. There’s a big emphasis on health and safety in these tests because the vehicles are often very large and powerful.


What now?

Hopefully we've given you lots to consider about different types of driving courses and you now know roughtly what to expect of each one. If you need help deciding on the best one for you, find us on Facebook where we'll be happy to answer any questions, or, if you know you want to learn to drive but aren't quite ready to take your lessons,have a look at the driving vouchers we offer that can be redeemed at a time to suit you.

Jade O'Donoghue

Jade will talk your ear off about rowing if you let her. She studied an MA and NCTJ diploma in Journalism at Brunel but her course-taking didn't stop there, having tried a number of different subjects since working here, even magic. Whether you're an expert who wants to share their knowledge, a student who's had a great experience or you just want to say hi, she'd love you to get in touch through our social media pages.