How many lessons do new drivers take?

I do not know how to drive and I was wondering how many lessons typically do new drivers take

Ahem.

Where are you?

The answer will probably vary quite a bit based on where you plan to get your liscense. Here in Tejas, it’s roughly 15 classroom lessons, and 4-8 half-hour sessions in the car (moving gradually from parking lot --> expressway).

[scarymusic]
I’ve been researching various driving schools for my teenager this week
[/scarymusic]

In New Zealand you aren’t (or weren’t when I did it) required to take any formal lessons at all, though they are encouraged and provide quicker progressions to a full licence.

I live in florida im 17 and just got my learners permit. My mom said I wont be ready for the road in one lesson. Is this so? How many lessons does one take to be ready for the road?

More than one, but exactly how many is hard to say - some people have a knack for driving, some don’t.

You need to have the practicalities of maneuvering the car down pretty well, you need to be pretty well at ease with the entire idea of moving around in a box, you bloody well need to know your stopping distances at different speeds, and you need to know how to park the damn thing without hitting stuff in the vicinity. It’s a Very Smart Move to learn as much as you can of this stuff before you move onto public roads and add other people and their moving cars to the equation.

Back in the day, people learned how to drive by watching and trying it, and being taught by parents, and eventually applying for a license, usually after many hours of practice - so that their confidence levels were sufficiently high to try. I suppose a case could be made for instituting driver’s ed in schools, to be sure that everyone had at least a minimum of instruction, but we now have a system in which people with only (using pullin’s stats as an average) 2-4 hours of actual practice are sent to the examining station. And I know that many parents are not constituted to do a good job of teaching their kids to drive. But imagine having an operation done by a doctor who had only read about the procedure and had only 2-4 hours of actual practice. That’s who’s on the road these days. The parents, placing their trust in the system, seem to have abdicated their roles, leaving it solely up to the schools, where PE teachers spin around the lot with the kids and then turn them loose on the public. arrrrgh. don’t get me started.

I though I’d add how it works in Denmark, just to compare.

The law demands a minimum of 50 lessons, I belive they are 45 minutes to 1 hour.

26 of those lessons are theoretical where you study for a multiple choice examination. The theoretical lessons are mixed with practical driving which concists of 4 hours on a closed training circut, learning to change gears (manual gear shifts are mandatory when getting your license), reverse, turn etc. then follows 16 lessons of driving on the normal roads with your licensed instructor and 4 hours on a closed track learning techniques like driving on slippery surfaces, recovering the car from lost traction, that was more fun that a rollercoaster ride :slight_smile: braking for obstacles both with and without ABS and other similar things.

That is just the lessons the law require, you might need more classes before your instructor will take the final practical eximination, which cosists of driving around with a police officer, specially trained for the task for 30 - 60 minutes.

All in all the cost for a license ranges from $1165 to $2000 and up if you need more than the law mandated classes.

I actually failed my first final examination, but got the license on the second try (which meant paying about $300 for a few more lessons and a new test)

// blinx - who is about to do it all over again to get a license for his motorcycle.

It sux that schools do not have drivers ed. I do not have enough money for more then one lesson so I have no idea what im going to do.

Florida doesn’t offer drivers’ ed in schools? That’s surprising - I would have thought they did. Back in the 80s when I was in HS in Georgia every high school offered it. Parents loved it 'cos you got a discount on your insurance for it. It wasn’t required but it was affordable.

If I understand it correctly, NC requires some form of driver’s ed before you get your license… I know my SO took hers through her high school. Of course, I’m new to this state and well beyond that age, so I haven’t really kept up.

IIRC, growing up in Massachusetts, drivers ed instruction was not required but taking it allowed you to get your temporary permit six months earlier - at age 16 1/2 instead of 17. There was also a significant break on you insurance.

Our high school didn’t offer classes as part of the curriculum, but arranged classes through a private instructor. I think it was about a total of 10 hours of instruction and 6 hours of driving. There was a cost involved but the insurance break usually made up for it.

I’ve driven in Florida. I believe the only requirement to be able to drive is that when seated, your hat does not exceed the height of the headrest and that you can demonstrate that you do not turn off your directional signals after a turn. Also, in Florida, slower traffic is apparently required to drive in the left hand lane.

Do you have to pay one lesson at a time where you live? In Maryland, where all new drivers are now required by law to take a formal Driver Education program, you pay one price that covers the entire course. Right now prices are in the mid to upper $300s for the whole course. A few years back Maryland adopted a formal, standardized course that consists of 10 classroom hours and 3 2-hour behind-the-wheel sessions. The MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration–Maryland’s DMV equivalent) also requires that you have a certain number of hours with someone over 21 (usually a parent or guardian) logged before you can get a driver’s license.

I worked briefly for a driving school before the new law came into effect and at that time they offered individual 90 minute lessons for new drivers over 18 (drivers under 18 were required to take formal driver’s ed) for something like $75. Depending on your level of experience/comfort with driving you may just need one lesson. It also depends on what’s required on your state or country’s driving test. In Maryland the biggest hassle was the parallel parking section…that can take up a significant portion of one lesson all on its own.

Driver Education hasn’t been offered in the schools in most Maryland counties since the mid-80s (they cut it in my county just before I was eligible to take it…grr!). My father taught driver education for many years for Baltimore County and various private schools (before they cut the program down so much there wasn’t enough work for him) and now for a driving school in Harford County. I think liability concerns and vehicle maintenance costs were what drove the program from most public schools (though I know Balto. Co. had an arrangement with a local car dealer to use new vehicles for one year at a time–they just had to install an extra brake).

Yes I have to pay per lesson. I called the driving school in my area and they said $50 dollars per 2 hr lesson.

That’s damn expensive!

In Canada I took the best school I could find (Young Drivers). Whole course was ~$700 which included 25 hours in class and 10 hours in car.

I then took motorcycle license training (mandatory) for ~$350. That included ~15 hours of in-class and 2 full days of training including my “M2” license test (basically a driver’s permit that I need to upgrade to a full license within 5 years).

My GF’s brother took a cheaper course (~$350) and although he got the standard class/car time, his instructor didn’t give him any highway experience. Our first run on the highway was a little scary.

None here. My parents would never pay for that. It was more of a “Here’s a parking lot, go nuts.” 5 minutes later: That’s enough, and I just started driving to work in a couple of weeks. Everyone I know here’s just done it with their parents.

Oh, I’m in Arkansas.