The short answer is yes, you can learn to drive without the help of a professional instructor, but it may not be the smartest option.
Sure, your best friend, uncle, brother, or grandpa can offer you terrific driving lessons.
But if that was the best option for learning to drive, then we couldn’t be having the best driving schools in Brooklyn, right?
The truth is while we all have various options for learning to drive, the benefits of learning to drive from a professional driving school far outweigh other alternatives you might know of.
Let’s dig into each of these options:
I. DIY Driving (Via YouTube Driving Videos)
In this era of Do It Yourself (DIY) frenzy, people watch YouTube videos to learn how to do things on their own. You may be tempted to go that route with driving, to prove to the world what a committed DIY adherent you are. It goes to show what a sharp, confident person you are.
- It’s convenient, as you can watch lessons from home
- You save money on driving lessons
- Most videos teach a lot within a short time, which can save the time needed to learn how to drive in the classroom
- No practical aspect, which makes it all theoretical
- No opportunity to ask the instructor questions or get their feedback
This option is good, but it won’t bring the best driver in you because there’s no practical lesson from a qualified professional. Even if you try to implement what you watched, the vehicle type and road situation in your case may be completely different from what you watched, making it risky for you. However, you can use YouTube to improve your driving skills after learning to drive in a professional driving school.
II. Learning to Drive from Parents (or Other Relatives)
Your parents, or grandparents, uncles, brothers, guardians, etc., for that matter, can teach you how to drive. It could be more convenient because you are free to schedule when to go each day, even late evening.
If you are comfortable being taught driving by the parents, it is okay. Just ensure you are comfortable learning from your parents how to drive.
For your parents to teach you how to drive, ensure they are good drivers with experience and, even more crucial, ensure they can teach. It is one thing to know and totally another thing to coherently explain what you know.
- You can easily learn from someone you’re familiar with
- Saves time and money
- You can access practical lessons as well
- Busy parents may not be available to teach you to drive consistently
- While most parents are terrific drivers, not all know how teach the skill well enough to someone interested in driving.
- Some parents may have acquired bad driving habits with time and may pass the same to you.
- Parents may not be conversant with up-to-date traffic laws in your state and may give you incorrect pieces of information.
- The driving test might be completely different right now compared to when your parents learned to drive. For example, roads are busier these days and this can make driving a challenge.
- A parent might not know the total number of lessons you need to be a qualified driver. Thus, they might rush you through the lessons, making you a less experienced driver.
Parents are the best teachers when it comes to several things, but if you’d like to be a great driver, start by taking a defensive driving course from an experienced instructor.
III. Learning from a Professional Driving Instructor
So why should you learn driving under an instructor if you can learn it under your friends, relatives or from YouTube videos? Why do other people still opt to learn from instructors even if they have parents and friends who can teach them to drive?
Here are the top reasons to consider taking driving lessons from a professional instructor:
1. Get Accurate, Up-to-Date Information on Driving
It boils down to the need to get the most accurate information about driving. Over time, things change and instructors know the latest driving laws, making it safe to learn under them.
“You can always get away with this one, though it is an offense,” a parent may explain to you, downplaying the gravity of a particular traffic offense. Perhaps he has been breaking the law for decades, and it has not yet put him into trouble. An approved driving instructor will never encourage you to disregard specific rules, such as texting while driving.
2. Lower Insurance Premiums
You only need to learn the defensive driving course and present the certificate of completion to your car insurance company. The rate reduction is mandatory and lasts you for the next 3 years.
3. Practical Driving Lessons
Driving instructors have the curriculum under their belts, which consists of both theory and practical lessons. You can learn different driving tactics firsthand, ask questions for clarifications and get corrected when you make mistakes.
The learning experience will make you the best driver in no time, as you’re learning from the best!
4. Saves You Thousands of Dollars
Traffic tickets suck, but drivers who’ve gone through a professional driving school are less likely to get these tickets.
Most importantly, through, taking professional driving lessons will help you become an experienced and safer driver, reducing the possibilities of road accidents. Not only will this save your life, but it’ll also save you thousands of dollars in car repairs and hospital expenses.
5. Expert Guidance
Do not forget that you are also learning under an expert. This thought that you learned from an expert can boost your confidence when you take the test. You increase your chances of passing the driving test by engaging a qualified instructor.
Taking defensive driving lessons from the best driving instructor is the most effective way to master driving and pass a driving test.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Learn Driving By Myself?
Yes, you can learn from driving videos and books, but it won’t be effective enough to make you an experienced driver or even pass a road test. You’ll need to learn from a professional driving instructor.
Can Your Parents Teach You How To Drive Instead Of Instructor?
Yes, you can learn from your parents on driving, but first, consider learning from a trained instructor then get additional lessons from parents later on (if necessary) to gain more experience.
Should You Learn Driving Under an Approved Driving Instructor?
Absolutely! Learning under an approved driving instructor increases your confidence, saves you money, helps lower auto insurance premiums, and makes you the safest and most experienced driver.
Is it Expensive to Learn Driving Under an Instructor?
Yes, it is expensive, compared to the other alternatives, but it remains the best way to learn driving. Learning how to drive will still cost you something whichever way you go. Whoever is teaching you — parent or guardian — will have to sacrifice his time to be with you. Time is money. So they have to schedule when to guide you.
You also need a car, which in turn needs fuel, insurance, maintenance, among others. All these cost money. But a driving instructor caters for all these, so it is not like the fee you pay goes straight into his pocket.
How Many Driving Lessons Do You Need To Have Before You Can Take Your Test?
This is one area where experts contradict one another, so be careful about what you hear or read, or who you ask. Chances are, the feedback could be off the track. Some may tell you that they passed their test after taking only a couple of lessons.
For other people, they took all the lessons and went ahead to fail the test. The bottom line is that everyone is different. There are fast learners and slow learners.
Again, some people come to learn when they already know one or two things about driving; hence they don’t need to learn everything. Other people come with no background knowledge about driving, so they need to know all that is available to learn before taking the test.
Back to the question. There are no official minimum lessons you should have before proceeding to take the test, but you should aim for at least 47 hours of classes before the test. Take as many lessons as possible if all you want is to be a confident and safe driver.
The reasons you take the lessons is to learn not just how to drive but also the traffic rules. Some drivers pass the test with flying colors but end up in prison after a year because they disregarded a traffic rule, causing a severe road accident.
The best way to learn driving is through an instructor while also learning tips from other sources on how to pass your driving test. The short cut may seem convenient, but it could be expensive in the long run.
In the Brooklyn area of New York City, Pierre Paul Driving School is a leading driving school you can contact for the most up to date driving lessons under highly qualified instructors.