This blog is mostly written for parents of soon-to-be teen drivers but it could really be for anyone of any age who is searching for a good teen driver training school. This is a very important decision! Not only do you want to get great value for your money, but you want to be sure that your teen is learning safe driving skills for the rest of his or her life.
My firm has a long relationship with The Driver Training Academy, located in Colorado Springs. Owned by Dave Tolbert, this company provides the gold-standard of what we should all expect from a driver training school. I recently asked their Senior Trainer, Chuck Shaw, what we should expect from a driver training school and this is what he told me:
- Are they certified with the State of Colorado? There are many, many driving schools out there, but you should select one that is certified by the state to provide driver training and to authorize permits and licenses to passing students.
- How full-service are they? A full-service driving school provides the classroom training, online training, behind-the-wheel training and even the Department of Motor Vehicle tests! If you get the right school, you only have to go down to the DMV to get your actual license.
- What kind of coaches do they have? How old are the coaches? How long have they been training drivers? Are there women and men trainers? Why are they training drivers? (Chuck, who is also a safety officer at a Colorado Springs elementary school, told me, “Most of us who work at the Academy also have full-time positions elsewhere involving safety for our community. Many of us are active duty or retired military. Working at the Academy is a vocation for us. We want to keep the community safe.”
- How accessible are they? Are their hours conducive to training your teenager? Will they pick your teen up at school or home for their behind-the-wheel training?
- What kind of vehicles do they have? Ask to see their driver training cars. Make sure there are brakes on the passenger side and that the cars are in good shape and are relatively new makes/models.
- Get involved. Ask if you can hang out in the classroom while your child is taking instruction. That should be no problem. (The Driver Training Academy even has a digital camera in their classroom so that parents can log in and make sure their kid is participating!)
- Ask about rapport with parents. Your child’s instructor should be willing and eager to include you in the process, such as chats after driving experiences on the road.
- Cost: The Driver Training Academy charges $60 for the classroom learning process and $300 for the behind-the-wheel driving portion, or $350 for both. There are other companies in the area that charge upwards of $800 for the same thing. And some of them aren’t even certified with the state.
- Check their Better Business Bureau ratings for any red flags.
This is a big decision, so shop around for the right driver training school and the right coach!