Help me choose a driving school in Vancouver
August 27, 2007 3:35 PM   Subscribe

So I've made it to 29 without learning how to drive. I'm in British Columbia, Canada, which has a multi-stage licensing process. I've got my learner's, but no car to learn/practice with before taking the road test for my "N". Help me choose a driving school!

My learner's will expire in February 2008, so if possible I'd like to take the road test before then. The thing is, since I don't know how to drive I obviously don't have a car and I don't want to pester my friends to loan me their car to learn on.

I'm hoping to find an affordable driving school that offers lots of in-car lessons and will also let me use their car for my road test. If possible, I'd also prefer not to have to sit through classroom lessons with a bunch of 16 year olds. Is this avoidable, or should I just suck it up and deal?

If I take lessons from one of the schools in this list, I qualify for a 6-month reduction in the "N" stage of my license. In B.C. you have to spend two years a new driver, or "N", before you can graduate to a full-fledged driver's license.
posted by sanitycheck to Education (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You may be able to skip classroom lessons with Young Drivers of Canada. I took a package of in-car lessons from a Toronto YD instructor with his own car in the 90s (pre-graduated licensing) and passed my exam in that same car.
posted by maudlin at 3:53 PM on August 27, 2007

(For "exam" read "road test".)
posted by maudlin at 3:53 PM on August 27, 2007

I second the YD comment. I took it when I was young (just 16) but the lessons that they taught me continue to stick with me (now 28.) They teach you defensive driving, so basically not just how to operate the vehicle, but how to interact with the other cars on the road assuming they are going to be idiots. The classroom lessons were interesting, but yes, we were all 16. Also, you can choose to learn on either a standard or automatic. If you learn on a standard but want to take your test in an automatic, they will help you with that also.
posted by ms.v. at 4:46 PM on August 27, 2007

I was in exactly the same situation: In BC, and 29 before I learned to drive.

Everyone says YD.

One warning for you: Don't be like me- I got pulled over and I'd had one glass of wine and didn't have my N on the back of the car (my friend's Audi, which I did not know how to drive.) I admitted everything, and the cop let me off VERY easily. But, a $200 fine!

They take the 'N' and the 0.0 blood alcohol level VERY seriously. You have to be so careful during the 'N' stage.

P.S. When you do your test- DON'T do it in Surrey or Grandview Hwy (the main testing centre). If you have friends on the Island, or somewhere outside the Lower Mainland, do it there. Waaay easier, and because they almost always fail you a few times ($$ grab) in the city. I did mine on the Island. Passed right away.
posted by solongxenon at 6:19 PM on August 27, 2007 [1 favorite]

I went to Hastings Driving School (which is on your list), and passed the driving test on my first try. Of course, this was back in 1998 or so, before they introduced the graduated license system, and I believe the tests were easier than they are now. Hastings had no classroom sessions, just hour-long one-on-one sessions with an instructor in one of those cars with two steering wheels. Perhaps they offer classroom sessions, I don't know, but they weren't required when I went there.

It was significantly cheaper than YD at the time, too.
posted by good in a vacuum at 7:19 PM on August 27, 2007

ditto YD.
posted by juv3nal at 8:58 PM on August 27, 2007

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