Taking driver's ed has changed over the years. Most of us old timers took driver's ed in a classroom, but that is no longer the preferred method of learning for most new driver's ed students. These days, the "classroom" portion of driver's ed can be done entirely online.
As a driving instructor, I'm often asked by both parents and teens whether online driver's ed is better than a classroom. Everyone has their own learning style so there isn't one blanket answer, but for the vast majority of students, I think taking an online driver's ed course is the best way to go.
But what are the BEST online driver's ed courses? There are some pretty lousy courses and some pretty darn good ones, too. So, before I get into a more detailed guide to taking online driver's ed, here is a quick list and comparison of the 10 best online driver's ed courses you can sign up for. Be sure to use our exclusive discounts offered for many of the courses!
List Of The 10 Best Online Driver's Ed Courses
Features To Expect From The Best Online Driver's Ed Courses
Did you know there are literally HUNDREDS of online driver's ed courses available? Not all online driver's ed courses are created equal, so how are you supposed to know which course to sign up for?
This is not a decision to take lightly. As a driving instructor, I see first hand how important it is for teens to sign up for a quality course. Driving habits are formed early, whether they are good habits or bad. By signing up for a high quality online driver's ed course, teens will learn the rules of the road properly, as well as good defensive driving techniques.
While I recommend you stick with one of the online driver's ed courses I listed above, I also thought it would be a good idea to list some of the things you should look for in the best online driver's ed courses:
- State certified - Make 100% sure that whatever driver's ed course you choose is certified in your state. Many online driver's ed courses are deceitful and will not warn you if it is not approved.
- Money back guarantee - Any of the best online driver's ed courses should stand behind their product with a full 100% money back guarantee. Even better, look for a course that allows you to sign up for free and only pay if you like the course.
- Mobile friendly - Believe it or not, there are still some online driver's ed courses that aren't mobile friendly! Other courses work on mobile devices, but it is slow and clunky. If you plan on taking your driver's ed course from a mobile device, be sure it works well.
- 24/7 customer support - A big advantage of taking driver's ed online is the flexibility. So, what happens if you have technical issues at 1am? Will anyone be there? Any high quality online driver's ed course should have extended customer service hours that are available when you need them to be there.
- Multiple content delivery formats - When online driver's education first became available, the courses mostly consisted of plain text with a few pictures thrown in for good measure. These days, the best online driver's ed courses will deliver content not just through text, but also through videos, graphics, animations, games, and other interactive features.
- Unlimited practice tests - Taking all the time to study, then failing your driving exam, is not an ideal situation. While not the end of the world, failing your written driving test or permit exam will mean you have to wait even longer to get a driver's license. The best online driver's ed courses will have unlimited and realistic practice exams so that you ace the real thing.
The Best Online Driver's Ed Course For You Depends On... YOU!
Since I've been involved in the online driver's education industry for so long, I am fully aware of who the good and bad online schools are. I even have my own favorite course, which is the Aceable online driver's ed program.
With that said, the best online driver's ed course for you really just depends on your specific learning style. For example, while Aceable is a great course, maybe you learn better through humor which would mean Improv Traffic School would be the best choice for you instead.
What I recommend is that you check out each of the 10 online driver's ed courses I listed above and decide for yourself which one is best for your own personal learning style. Any of the driver's ed courses I listed above are legit and high quality. Check each course that is approved in your state and you can't go wrong with any of them.
What You Should Know About Online Driver's Ed Reviews
You'll find many different places online that review online driver's ed courses. Unfortunately, reviews are easy to fake these days. Do not trust any one source when looking for reviews of online driver's ed courses. Instead, check out as many sources as possible. I'm even telling you to not trust me or this site. Go out and find reviews from many different places before you make your final decision.
So what's the problem with reviews of online driver's ed courses and why am I telling you to look for multiple sources? Well, many students are incentivised to write positive reviews, then share their "referral code" with you in which case they get a commission. Anyone who only recommends one single online driver's ed course should be looked at with a bit of suspicion. Are they really happy with the course or are they just trying to make a quick buck? For this purpose, always read online driver's ed reviews from multiple sources.
Is Taking Online Driver's Ed Really Better Than A Classroom Based Course?
Taking an online driver's ed course isn't your only option. You can still choose to take driver's ed in a traditional classroom in all 50 US states. So, is online driver's ed really better than a classroom?
For the vast majority of students, I think online driver's ed is better. In my experience as a driving instructor, students who enroll in online driver's ed tend to retain the information much better than those who attended a classroom.
The fact is, being lectured at in a classroom about driving laws and defensive driving techniques just isn't that effective. Students daze off and information isn't really retained all that well.
On the other hand, these online driver's ed courses have gotten really good. They are interactive and often require feedback or input from students making sure that they remember the most important information.
Everyone learns differently, however. Some students may do a lot better having a physical instructor present that they can ask questions to. So, if your learning style requires a more structured approach with a physical instructor and a classroom that you need to attend at certain days and times, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
For the rest of us (the vast majority), online driver's ed is cheaper, faster, more convenient, and even more effective. I recommend taking driver's ed online for most driver's ed students.
What About Taking Driver's Ed Through A Public School?
While this is becoming more rare, many public high schools still offer driver's education as a part of their curriculum. Depending on your school district, the course may be free or come with additional fees.
Overall, taking driver's ed through a public school is a great option, especially if there is not additional cost. However, most of the time it will take longer to complete the coursework than if you went through a private driving school or an online driver's ed course.
If a driver's ed course is offered for free at your school, that is probably the best option to go with. However, if you just want to get your license as fast as possible or if your school charges an additional fee, taking an online driver's ed course may be a better option for you.
Obviously, you can only learn so much online. Even the best online driver's ed courses can only teach you so much before you have to actually get behind the wheel!
The way behind the wheel driver training works depends on which state you live in. In most states, you can sign up for behind the wheel training with a local driving school at the same time you're going through your online course. In other states, you complete the entire online drivers ed course before you start your behind the wheel training.
Many online driver's ed courses, such as this one, also offer behind the wheel training with their own fleet of cars and professional driving instructors. Many online courses also work with local driving schools and offer a discount.
How To Find The Best Local Driving School For Behind The Wheel Training
In order to find a high quality behind the wheel driver training facility, you should look for the following:
- Positive student feedback: Check out online reviews, but also talk to your classmates or anyone that may have gone through the school before you. Getting positive (or negative) first hand accounts are always better than online reviews.
- Good vehicle condition: Some driver training centers will have you use your own vehicle, while others will supply the vehicle. Check out the condition of their vehicles. Do they have hundreds of thousands of miles? Are they mechanically sound? Poorly maintained vehicles is a huge red flag.
- Easy scheduling: Driver's ed schools have been slow to embrace technology. Any high quality behind the wheel driver training facility should allow easy online scheduling so that you can schedule driving sessions online and around your own schedule.
- Pick up & drop off services: If your parents have a busy schedule and you're unable to get your own transportation to a driving school, see if there are local driving schools that offer pick up and drop off services. For example, many driver's ed schools will pick students up from school and drop them off at home after the lesson has been completed.
- Ample instructor staffing - One huge problem facing many driver's ed schools is the lack of qualified instructors. During busy times (typically summer months are the busiest), it may become very difficult to schedule drive time. Make sure schools have proper staffing, especially if you are taking your driver's ed during summer break from school.
Final Thoughts On Taking The Best Online Driver's Ed Course
Online Driver's Ed courses have truly changed the way teens pass their written driving exams and how they are learning how to become safe drivers. While taking driver's ed online may seem like a strange concept to parents who learned in a classroom, as a driving instructor, I think online driver's ed is one of the best things to happen to this industry in a very long time. For most students, taking online driver's ed is the way to go.
I hope you've found this guide and list of the top 10 best online driver's ed courses helpful. This is a very exciting time in any teens life, and maybe a bit of a terrifying time for parents! Either way, it is so crucially important to sign up for the best education possible. Don't skimp out on researching the best online driver's ed courses. This will set you up for the rest of your driving life!