Choosing a Driving School That’s Right for You

May 03, 2011

While a scary but exciting time, having your eagerly-awaiting teenager soon to be behind the wheel is one that comes with lots of necessary preparation. When choosing a driving school for your soon-to-be driver, Better Business Bureau urges both parents and students to make smart, informed decisions.

A driver education course is designed to teach new drivers fundamental skills and basic knowledge about driving a motor vehicle. However, in the last two years, BBB has received more than 700 complaints against driving instruction with complaints ranging from no shows to customer service and sales practices.

“Consumers need to do their research before choosing a driving school,” said Nancy B. Cahalen, President and CEO of BBB of Central New England. “Parents and students alike should check with their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to learn more about all of the necessary requirements and to verify the driving school instructor’s license status.”

BBB recommends the following when choosing a driving school in your area:

Check it out. For information on driving schools in your area, start your search at for a free BBB Business Review that will help you make informed decisions.

Ask around. Call several schools to find out about the course schedules, fees and registration procedures that they offer. Neighbors and friends can be a great resource, as well. Ask for references from previous students of the school. Remember, price is not the sole factor in choosing a driving school. You must compare instructional quality, class size and behind-the-wheel lessons.

Visit the driving school. Ask to see classrooms and if you could observe part of a course. Ask to see the course book. Is the text up to date? Are there enough textbooks for all students? The ideal course integrates behind the wheel and classroom training. Do not assume that the fastest course is the way to go.

Check the details. Find out if the school has a policy on make-up classes and refunds. Know how to file a complaint against the school and check to see how the school resolves its complaints.