There Are Questions You Need To Ask About Your Driver’s Education
You NEED to KNOW more about the driving school you choose for your student
Like many other things…All Driving Schools are NOT created equal. Do your homework, it is necessary to compare…we invite comparison. We want you to be comfortable with your choice in choosing us and know that you are getting the best the industry has to offer in every facet of your student’s program.
Here is what you need to know about us:
- We are a Florida State Licensed and Approved driving school [click here to see active licenses]. This means we have the license with the state to provide driver training
- ALL of our Student Driver Cars and Manual Shift Training cars are registered AS Commercial Driving School Cars. Every car is individually registered with FDHSMV as a Student Driver Car
- ALL of our Student Driver Cars are insured with the industry leading insurance company for Driving Schools. Our insurance coverage protects you and your student from damage and liability
- We are Florida State Contracted and an Authorized Third Party Administrator for driver’s license testing at ALL of our locations. We are the largest provider of in-person driver’s license testing and we have put $400,000 in bonds with the State of Florida to offer this service.
- ALL of our team are triple background checked to ensure you not only get the best instructors but that you and your family are safe. We hire a private investigative firm to background check every new candidate prior to employment then each new instructor/examiner has two more background checks which ensure the highest level of quality in our team.
- Our Leadership team is comprised of Leading Education Professionals with backgrounds in Law Enforcement, Performance Driving and Training, Commercial Driver Training, Vehicle Dynamics and State DHSMV enforcement, training and compliance in Driver Training. Our Proprietary training curriculum is designed to prepare teens and young adults for today’s hostile driving environment with a mix of real-world experience and adherence to the Florida State Statutes.
- Our Programs, Staff and Curriculums are all approved and endorsed by AAA and are offered to all of our customers. You get a Florida State Drivers Education Certificate with most of our programs which is also endorsed by AAA, the nation’s leading expert on driving safety.
Here are the things to look out for when choosing a Driving School for yourself or your family:
- Make sure you can confirm that the school’s Florida State License is current and covers the correct name of the school. [Click here to see an example].
There are many cases of schools that are registered as a business but are not registered as a commercial driving school in Florida. You can click here to see a list from the FLHSMV website.
- Check the individual instructor’s license to be a commercial driving school instructor. [click here to see an example] There should be no alteration or correction.
It MUST be the original and not a copy and have the correct picture unaltered.
It MUST be registered to that school and ONLY that school or it is not valid
There are a lot of schools with part-time Uber Drivers, for example, driving around with your student.
- Confirm the Driving Schools Commercial Insurance. Many schools get a small policy to get approved by the state but limit some of the coverages and try to cover with personal car insurance or go without.
Confirm that they have at least $1,000,000/$2,000,000 liability coverage.
Confirm they have reasonable deductibles on the cars since the student is usually responsible for deductibles along with coverage over the value
Make sure they have proper coverage that keeps you and /or the student free from liability in the event of an incident.
Confirm the coverage is current and valid, make sure you know the company and acct number. There are only 3 insurance companies that cover commercial driving schools in Florida.
- Confirm the Student Car you will be driving in is registered as a Commercial Driving School Car. This is NOT the vehicle registration for the tag, it is a separate registration from the Department of Motor Vehicles. [Click here to see an example]Make sure the VIN number matches, the dates are current and the school name and address is correct. If not, you will NOT be covered by any insurance and your training is invalid.
Have them show you their daily inspection or review the daily inspection of each and every vehicle.
Red Flags to look for when considering hiring a commercial driving school:
- Some Schools have multiple names and websites. This Red Flag should warn you that they are trying to deceive customers by populating multiple sites to try to capture customers under different names. They may be trying to avoid reputation issues with instructors or the school, overwhelm you with choices so you feel you have to go with one of their choices or try to block you from seeing the other choices out there to compare.
Beware: There is one group in North and Central Florida with 11 different names, 11 different websites and even a top 10 schools website lasting all of their 10 websites. Yet this school has only 5 employees.
- Some Schools post false locations and operations on Google. Yes, there are schools that post locations that do not exist. They do this so you will find them in searches in areas that they are not in. This is a deceptive practice. Our point is, if a driving school is willing to deceive you about where they are located, you can assume they will continue to deceive you in every other area. There is no such thing as a part-time liar.
Beware: The same group listed above has locations listed in google that do not exist, they are under multiple names and are in places that are high profile or near a competitor. If a driving school cannot show you a state license with that address you found on the internet and a local business license, then you are dealing with a fraud.
- Some Driving Schools may be Third Party Examiners. There are several VERY IMPORTANT facts that you must know.
EVERY EMPLOYEE must be background checked and approved by the state of Florida AS a TPA Examiner.
EVERY EMPLOYEE must have their certificate, make sure to ask to see them.
YOU MAY NOT be tested by the same person who gives you instruction. This is such a bad thing that if a TPA is found to have done this they will force EVERY person tested by the TPA for up to Three (3) Years to have to retest at a DMV office or LOSE YOUR LICENSE. Even if it was not you, you or your student may have to retest and lose their license.
If you CANNOT BE 100% SURE of the school’s ethics in current and past testing…Beware you may be subject to retest.
- False reviews are another deceptive practice of some driving schools. It’s easy to figure them out. Some driving schools pay students as well as anyone they know to post reviews.
If it’s too good to be true, it’s likely not true. Schools that have 3-5 instructors with 1000+ reviews they received in less than a year is likely false. Find out how many instructors and do some basic math. Large schools see 1000’s of students a year, smaller schools may several hundred. The percentage that leaves a review is small.
Beware, schools that do this again are being deceptive to get your attention. If they are deceptive in one area then likely they are in all areas. The same group noted above is know for falsifying and paying people for reviews. Use common sense, when a school with 50+ instructors that do a great job has 3-400 per location and a school with multiple names, multiple false websites and unregistered schools and have 3-5 instructors has over 1000 reviews made up in one year at one location you can figure out what is factual.
- Only Pay with a Credit or Debit Card. DO NOT pay cash unless you must! If a school or instructor requests or suggests you need to pay cash STOP…and RUN! Your ONLY form of recourse is your credit card or debit cards policy to make sure you get what you paid for.
Beware, many stories of paying cash and not getting lessons or getting shorted. Driving instruction invaluable, make sure you get what you pay for. If the school can’t afford 1.75%-3.25% in fees for taking cards then you might consider they are skimping on other areas involving your safety and education.
- Make sure the school can explain to you the curriculum and what their plan for teaching you or your student is. Know what your learning goals are in advance and make sure the program fits.
Some schools just spend TIME with the student, letting them drive and barely learning more than it takes to pass a minimum skills license test. If that’s all you want, there are plenty of choices or mediocre training with in car babysitters that punch a clock and will use your time and try to sell you more.
Every person in the school should know the curriculum, what the type of training is and how they do it. If you are not sure or just being pushed to a yes, STOP and check out some other schools. Better to wait for a couple weeks with a good school then start right away at a mediocre school that is going take your money.
Our GOAL is to reinvent the driving instruction and driving education programs in Florida and bring them into the 21st century. We will provide real-life driver training in a semi-traditional driver’s education environment that is cost-effective for parents and students while using our proprietary defensive and predictive combination of driver training from our private training programs.
We are NOT your standard commercial driving school. We have provided this information for you to make an informed decision about something that is incredibly important. Before you and/or your student take off into the driving world in a rolling 4000-pound weapon of a car you really have only one chance to make a difference in that new drivers’ life behind the wheel. This is so very important to us. How someone learns to drive in the first 12-24 months is how they typically drive for the rest of their life barring any significant event that would influence that.
This means that now is the most important period in us being able to assist new drivers. Existing drivers come back to us only when desperate for a change or the Judge sends them to us. We WANT you to SHOP and COMPARE. There are some good driving schools out there, but honestly, there are more bad ones. The good ones are typically larger as the costs to have proper insurance, good people and equipment are astronomical. There is no cheap way to have a good driving school.
While we will NEVER single out another school or talk negatively about them, we do feel it’s our duty to do the best to save lives. This also means to promote good competitors and not the bad. While we have other schools, we work with closely and some we even do road testing for that cannot afford to do it themselves there are some like those we mentioned above that need to be noted. As a driving school, we have had a deceptive school randomly assault our driving instructors (police report) had them threatened our ownership’s family and children if we don’t leave their ‘territory’ even knowing some of our team are active and retired law enforcement. We have been subject to corporate sabotage on the internet and even false reviews by this group. We, however, are not willing to abandon our students or give up what we feel is our calling. We are here to provide the best in driving education and change the face of driving education in Florida. We lose too many teens and young adults to driving tragedies. We MUST stand up for driving education and do everything we can to build our new drivers up and help them survive in today’s hostile driving environment.
You can find out more about our team and our passion for driver training here