Intensive driving courses - do they work?

They did for singer Adele, who passed her test first time after just six days behind the wheel. But is it for you? Try our guide and see for yourself.


  • Adele passing her driving test
    Matt Joy
    By   | Motoring editor,
    Last updated: 22 October 2013, 15:09 BST

    Learning to drive is one of the most important skills you can acquire, offering freedom, enjoyment and even a wider variety of job opportunities.

    How you go about learning to drive is down to your personal circumstances and preferences, but intensive courses have become more popular as learners take into account the time and cost of lessons.

    Singer Adele recently passed her driving test first time after just six days of driving lessons with Intensive Courses. She's one of a whole host of celebrities including actor Rhys Ifans and model Pixie Geldof who have chosen this route to passing their test.

    However, even if you're not a celebrity there are benefits in learning to drive over a short time period.

    An intensive course may cost more up front than an individual lesson or block of lessons, but it usually works out cheaper compared to the number of separate lessons needed to take you up to a driving test.

    Most intensive courses are run over a five day period, though some promise to have you test-ready in just three days. Read on to find out if an intensive course is for you…



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  • A teenage boy being taught how to drive
    Matt Joy
    By   | Motoring editor,
    Last updated: 22 October 2013, 15:09 BST

    You need to be honest with yourself about your ability and driving skill.

    For someone who has never sat behind the steering wheel before, a five-day intensive course could work but it would be more beneficial if you’ve already mastered the basics of clutch, throttle, brake and steering control.

    A lot of learner drivers do this in the tried and traditional manner of driving around a private car park or road to get a feel for the controls.

    Finding the right course

    Choosing an intensive course is as easy and quick as an internet search, but it’s also good to ask friends and family for their experiences and use word of mouth recommendations.

    Make sure any course is run by an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) who is listed with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). The DSA will be able to give you the names of ADIs in your area.



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  • Girl ripping up L plates
    Matt Joy
    By   | Motoring editor,
    Last updated: 22 October 2013, 15:09 BST

    When you find a course and instructor you are happy with, and remember you will be spending a lot of hours in a car with them, you will need to set aside the time.

    You don’t need to have passed the Theory Test and hazard perception test before starting the course as any reputable course will factor these in to the time and cost.

    A good course will also book your driving test, though beware that it may not be at a local test centre and you take your test on unfamiliar roads.

    Most intensive courses will see you driving for at least five hours per day for five days a row. For some, this level of concentration can be very tiring, so if your course is a residential one away from home, make sure you’re staying in a comfortable hotel or B&B.

    You may still fail your test!

    Sitting your driving test at the end of a week’s course puts pressure on the learner to pass first time to get the best value for money. Some learners may not cope well with the pressure, so regular weekly lessons may be a better bet.

    If you fail the test at the end of the course, you will need to book a re-test at your own expense and this may be some weeks after the course. The risk here is you forget a lot of what you have learned.

    After passing the driving test as a result of an intensive course, it’s a good idea to keep driving regularly straight away to maintain your new skills and to enjoy the newfound freedom of driving.

    Don't try this a home - Recombu shares five ways to cheat on your driving test!



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