Are you getting ready to hit the open road? The first step is to get your license – and it all begins with completing a driver’s ed course.
With the number of schools offering driver’s education online, which one should you go with?
Two names that have become familiar in the industry are DriverEdToGo and First Time Driver. Today, we’re going to compare the two schools to determine which one is better for YOU.
We’ll be looking at the following areas as we go through our comparison:
- Course availability
- User experience
DriverEdToGo vs First Time Driver: A Side by Side Comparison
DriverEdToGo has leveraged available technology. More than just using it to improve their course content, they also used it to create a dedicated mobile app. It allows students to take their courses on the go.
Their money-back guarantee shows how confident DriverEdToGo is with their courses. And since they’ve been in the business for more than twenty years, it comes as no surprise.
Meanwhile, the American Safety Council, which specializes in providing online adult education, is First Time Driver’s parent company. It ensures that all their courses meet the requirements and standards of the different states.
Although there’s no mobile app for users, First Time Driver made sure its courses work on all devices.
Here’s a summary of our comparison between DriverEdToGo and First Time Driver:
first time driver
Approved in 6 states
(CA, CO, GA, IN, OH, VA)
Approved in 11 states
(CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, NV, OH, OK, PA, TX, VA)
Fun and engaging
Easy and quick
Ranges from $29 to $75*, depending on the state and duration
Ranges from $19 to $99*, depending on the state and duration
4.7 / 5 on Appgroves
4.7 / 5 on Shopper Approved
Extensive list of Add-Ons
Free DMV Practice Test
* Prices as of May 17, 2021
Now, let’s get into more detail.
With DriverEdToGo approved in 6 states and First Time Driver in 11, neither school's course is widely available.
It is easier to navigate First Time Driver. When you go to their site, their drop-down list only shows states where their course is approved.
The availability of their Permit Prep, which helps students get ready for the DMV test, is even more scarce. Out of the 11 states where their driver’s ed is offered, it’s only available in California, Colorado, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
When you visit DriverEdToGo, you’ll notice a difference – their drop-down list shows all states. It's because their driver’s ed course is offered in all 50 states. However, only 6 of those states are approved.
Drivers outside of those 6 states can purchase and complete DriverEdToGo’s course, but, since it isn’t approved, they first have to ask special permission from the local DMV if they will accept the course to satisfy state requirements.
Considering that most of those completing the driver’s education course are teenagers, it’s crucial to have content that piques their interest and sustains their attention. And DriverEdToGo has done just that.
Their edge is their ability to harness the power of technology. DriverEdToGo has mastered the use of multiple media, ensuring their content appeals to a variety of students.
Regardless of whether you learn visually, auditorily, or kinesthetically, DriverEdToGo has something for you.
More than using videos and graphics to get their lessons across, DriverEdToGo incorporates games into their coursework.
The games aren’t complicated, and it's a way for students to review what they’ve learned. What’s more, the games cover a wide selection of topics, such as speed limit and driving under hazardous conditions.
You can preview some of the games they use in their game corner.
Having easy-to-read content is something students of First Time Driver can look forward to. It means it may take less time to complete your driver’s education course because the material is uncomplicated.
Most of First Time Driver’s materials are less interactive compared to those from other schools. Although this makes for very straightforward lessons, it may also affect the level of engagement, especially when you’re going through a program that has 30 hours' worth of content.
In some states, there is an audio narration option that you can purchase for a fee. It gives your eyes a break without requiring you to stop studying.
First Time Driver includes videos containing practical tips and information that help you with the DMV test, but these are within the Permit Prep course. If it’s available in your state, it’s worth the additional investment.
They also give you the process of scheduling your DMV appointments, along with the documents you’ll be needing.
With First Time Driver, you don’t have to leave anything to chance.
Despite delivering their courses in different ways, there are similarities between the kind of experiences DriverEdToGo and First Time Driver offer.
Both schools ensured their content is accessible on different devices, making it more convenient for you. Your progress is also automatically saved, so you don’t need to worry about switching from one gadget to another.
All courses contain state-specific information and are divided into lessons. There are quizzes at the end of each chapter – some are graded, others aren’t – and, of course, a final exam.
There’s a $10 difference between the average price of DriverEdToGo’s course as compared to First Time Driver.
Depending on the state, the prices of DriverEdToGo’s driver’s education program range from a little under $30 to above $70. It averages at $51.
In comparison, First Time Driver’s course cost, on average, is $61. It’s most affordable in Florida – at under $20 – and most expensive in Pennsylvania, priced at almost $100.
Given the profile of their students, it is no surprise that a lot of them have opted to download DriverEdToGo’s mobile app. It’s become an incredibly convenient way for them to access their course material and complete the program.
They received a lot of positive reviews about their overall experience and the quality of the content. Complaints revolved around technical errors encountered while taking the course and the (lack of) service they got.
Here are some reviews from Appsgrove:
“Informative and convenient Got the certificate mailed and passed the written test at the DMV Only criticism would be to make the tests a little more challenging, but you could just as easily find practice tests online for free.”
“I already payed the initial amount to do my lessons when I am now 74% done it tells me my free trial is up when I was never using that now I have to wait to try and get my permit this is such a struggle for me you you guys are making it 10x harder for me.” – Huntee F.
The words “fast”, “quick”, and “easy” are often seen in positive reviews written about First Time Driver. It’s curious, though, that several comments refer to the shopping experience rather than the actual course.
On the other hand, users are unhappy because they’re required to create different usernames for each product they purchase, making the overall experience less convenient.
Here are some reviews from Shopper Approved:
“Easy to navigate. Great experience so far. I only had a bit of difficulty getting a Username that wasn't already in use, but other than that, easy.” – Bethany B.
“Haven't really done enough on the site to warrant a survey. Asking me for all of this is probably a little too early.”
“Customer service is not a priority. Still waiting in call pool over 1 hour and nothing. Still on hold. Live chat is over 40 minutes. Bad service.” – Terence J.
More than their actual driver’s education course, DriverEdToGo also offers a long list of possible add-ons. Although certain states have more available to them, the ones available in most states are:
Practice tests for your state’s DMV test. To avoid failing the written exam, these practice tests simulate it, using actual DMV questions. It helps you understand which topics you’re familiar with and where areas are more challenging. By the time you have to take the real exam, you’ll be more than ready.
A DriverEdToGo instructional DVD. You’ll need to go through in-car instruction after you’ve completed the online driver’s ed course. It reinforces safety rules and shares tips to help prepare you for driving a car.
Have peace of mind with Autobrain.com. Most parents would want to know where their teens are once they’re capable of taking the car, and the Autobrain GPS Tracker makes that happen. This add-on comes with a free month data plan, a tracking device, a monitoring system, and roadside assistance.
With First Time Driver, on the other hand, you can go through a short simulation of the DMV test for free from their website. The partial exam has 20 multiple-choice items.
You’ll immediately know whether you’ve got an answer correctly or not – it doesn’t wait for you to finish. A short explanation is given for each number, helping you understand the concepts better.
If you’re looking for more options, here are a couple you can consider.
DriversEd’s online course gives you everything you need to prepare you for in-car instruction. With over thirty years of being in the industry, they offer an effective program using an interactive approach.
Their driver’s education course consists of 3D animated videos that show driving maneuvers, as well as reader-friendly slides designed to keep students interested and engaged. At the end of each lesson, there are multiple-choice quizzes that serve as a review.
With a mobile app, you can complete your coursework anywhere, anytime.
iDriveSafely’s online driver’s ed course uses various methods that accommodate all types of learners. Lessons are delivered through high-quality slideshows, audio clips, and animated videos.
Their program is divided into chapters, which have short multiple-choice quizzes at the end. You also get a free 50-item practice test to help you prepare for the DMV exam.
iDriveSafely also offers a free month of Allstate Roadside Service, which can assist you with various challenges you can encounter while driving. Once the free month is up, you’ll have to pay $5 per month to maintain their services, but you can choose to discontinue it at any time.
What appeals to other drivers doesn’t always appeal to you. So when choosing an online school for driver’s ed, make sure you consider your preferences. Some prefer the linear approach that First Time Driver offers. Others like the level of participation DriverEdToGo elicits.
In the end, the closer the school offers matches your preference, the better off you’ll be.