Intensive Courses

Intensive Courses – The magic bullet to a successful test pass or not?

You’ve probably been told that intensive driving courses are the quickest way to pass your driving test.

And you might be led to believe you can start learning today and pass your driving test by the end of the week.

In fact you might have even seen driving schools offer a guaranteed test pass, you can usually find them advertising somewhere online.

In truth, I’ve never met a good, reliable driving instructor yet that can manage to fit you in for an intensive course within a week of booking, and juggle a full diary of customers to do so.

And I’ve never met an instructor who has the Midas touch, where everyone of his students pass first time round.

Which is why there’s a monumental flaw with Intensive courses & guarantees:

They don’t work for everyone, because:

  • Instructors don’t take you for the driving test – a DVSA driving examiner does, so instructor’s have zero control over the outcome of your test
  • The national test pass rate is less than 50% (source DVSA), and it’s even lower for those that learn from a week intensive driving course
  • So called guaranteed test pass courses cost thousands to book, and have a plethora of terms and conditions attached to them – They work on the assumption that most will pass the test well before using their paid allowance for lessons, or they will give up trying to pass. Either way they make a huge profit on the cost of lessons.

I’ve been in the driving school business for nearly thirty years and during that time I’ve got to know an awful lot of good driving instructors who will honestly tell you that intensive courses don’t work for many people.

And I’ve spoken to plenty of people who have made the mistake of booking expensive courses that didn’t work for them. And some of those have been scammed by people pretending to be instructors.

Here are some of the takeaways from what I have learnt:

  • One week driving courses are too intense for novice drivers to realistically have a chance to become a safe driver and pass a driving test
  • The thought of sitting behind the wheel for a Five hour driving lesson is sole destroying for someone that is learning each day over five days
  • Most of the information learnt on long driving lessons doesn’t stick
  • If you’re not up to speed by the end of the course your test gets cancelled and you forfeit the £62 test fee.
  • Candidates who fail their driving test on the course are often not offered a retest with the course provider, and have to look elsewhere for a new instructor

And if that’s not enough for you to think about, the world of driving lessons is alive and kicking with hundreds of wannabees, chancers and scammers who just want your money:

Another contributing fact to booking an intensive course date is the waiting list for a driving test with the DVSA. Contrary to most peoples belief, driving schools & instructors are not able to book and reserve driving tests. They are booked on a first come first served basis.

There are a few so called driving schools advertising intensive courses online that don’t actually give driving lessons or even have driving instructors. But they are quite happy to take your cash online…


With that said intensive courses that are managed and structured correctly can be very beneficial for people that want to learn quickly.

For example novice drivers should expect their course to last between three and four weeks. The reason is because it reduces the amount of time they need to spend in the car at any one time, and allows days off for the information learnt to stick.

Whereas people that have got good previous experience of driving, may only need a handful of lessons, and will be able to successfully complete a course in a week.

If you’re planning to start learning to drive soon, it’s easier to plan your lessons or course well in advance to avoid a long disappointing wait.