September 11, 2017

Careful, patient, and thorough training is needed to help non-drivers become good drivers. During that training, the new driver develops habits which will serve them well as they develop the ability to navigate traffic and road conditions safely and smartly.

Selecting a driving school for yourself or your teenager may feel daunting. Keeping several key considerations in mind will make the process easier, however, as you look for driving schools in Brampton, Ontario.

The Formalities

Any driving school should be approved by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO). This approval may allow you to take your G1 road test earlier than with non-approved schools. Attending an approved school may also lower your insurance premiums.

The Ministry of Transportation maintains a list of approved schools, and Five Rivers Academy is one of them. Approved driving schools must offer the following:

  • At least 20 hours of classroom instruction.
  • Each class has no more than 40 students.
  • Every student receives a copy of the official Handbook and course textbook.
  • Attendance policies which ensure attendance at all lessons.
  • At least 10 hours of in-vehicle instruction provided by a qualified instructor.
  • Limits each instructor to two students per vehicle while driving.
  • Keeps in-vehicle instruction to 2 hours per day.
  • At least 10 hours of flexible instruction time, allowing additional in-vehicle, classroom, simulator, or computer-based instruction.

Check the Schools Out

Feel free to stop by and ask questions. The schools want your business and should make all information readily available to you. Find out the following:

  • Class size—classes may not be larger than 40. Ideally, they will contain between 18-24 to provide optimal interaction between the instructor and students.
  • Behind the wheel—if the school has 1 to 1 student to instructor ratio in the car, you may have struck gold.
  • Credentials—ask for the instructor’s credentials. Instructors should have a MTO Provincial Instructor License. Good instructors should be willing to provide progress and evaluation reports during the course.
  • Insurance—examine the training vehicles. They should be properly insurance, and the Instructor License should be on display.
  • Affordability—Price shop for your training investment. Some schools may allow installment plans for payment, and can work with you. Five Rivers Academy offers several levels of instruction, and installment plans may be available.

Other Things to Look For

Many driving schools offer some or all of these features. As you consider which driving school is best for you, consider the following things.

  • Reputation—Ask around; friends, business associates, and acquaintances may have experiences with local schools.
  • Convenience—Finding a place close to home will help traveling to and from lessons, but some schools will do pick-ups/drop-offs, and other factors may make one school a better experience than others.
  • Experience—Check not only the age of the school but the experience of the instructors. A brand-new school may be excellent because of the quality and experience of the instructors.
  • Reviews—Look to see if the school is reviewed online, and read the reviews, both positive and negative. See how the school responded to negative reviews, and look at the age of the reviews. You should certain ask about points raised in negative reviews.
  • The Better Business Bureau—Complaints may have also been filed with the BBB.
  • References—Don’t be afraid to ask the school itself for references from former clients.

Should I Use a Driving School?

Some parents may wonder if they should use a school or teach driving themselves. Many parents, after all, were taught by their own parents, and—assuming you’re a good driver—you know the habits you want to inculcate in your children. You may think you know your way around Brampton and Toronto.

Being able to do something well does not necessarily mean that you can teach it well. Your good habits may be so ingrained that you are not thinking of them consciously. It’s also possible that you may overreact in some way when you’re teaching your own child. Some parents may also have received driver training in school as well as at home. Since schools have largely abandoned this role, the formal training provided by driver training schools is important.

Five Rivers Driving Academy works with parents and teens to ensure a quality experience for everyone. We may be able to pick you up and drop you off in and around Brampton, Mississauga, and Toronto.

Adult Driving Instruction

Some people don’t learn to drive until their adult years. Others may want or need further instruction. Five Rivers Driving Academy in Brampton provides adult instruction, separately from the teens, which will fit your needs.

  • Mandated lessons—sometimes people have been ordered by a court to receive driving lessons. Whether stemming from accidents, traffic violations, or other causes, instruction may reduce the points on your license or even help you get your license back.
  • Insurance benefits—some policies provide discounts for driving instruction. We can both give you that instruction and provide the right documentation to the insurance company.
  • Senior citizens—Even the most experienced drivers may be asked to be retested for knowledge or behind-the-wheel skills. We will work with you sensitively and respectfully, and help you remain independent and safe.

Driving schools are important parts of 21st century life, as they ensure that the highways and roads remain safe for all. As you shop around, keep these factors in mind.

Happy Driving!