So, your driving has gotten a little rusty, and it’s time for some training. Or, perhaps you’ve been ordered to take a course. Either way, we don’t judge, but we do want you to choose a course that’s right for you.
Your reason for taking the course may play a significant role in the one you choose.
If you’re looking to potentially save on your car insurance, your insurer may only recognize certain courses. Likewise, not every defensive driving course is valid or accepted in every state. That means, if you are taking one to dismiss a ticket or remove points from your driving record, you will need to learn from the court or appropriate state department (such as vehicle licensing) which courses are approved.
Here are three more tips to help you find the right course for your needs and your budget:
1. Consider your learning style
You’ll get more out of your defensive driving course if you choose one with a learning environment that works for you. You can complete an online course from the comfort of your own home, for example, but classroom options may also be available, depending on your area and the course material.
Online courses offer convenience, save time and may also cost less than in-person classes. However, classroom options might offer additional interaction or fit your learning style better. Either option can range from 4-12 hours over one day or several days.
2. Look at reviews
State-approved courses will likely have the most useful course material, but searching online review sites such as Yelp and others may help you find other quality options for defensive driving or accident prevention training. Keep in mind that people might be more inclined to post negative reviews, particularly if they felt forced to take a course to avoid a ticket.
3. Determine whether the cost is worth it
Courses range widely in cost, again depending on your area and the course material, as well as whether it’s online or in person. So, if you’re taking a course primarily to save on your auto insurance, be sure to check with your carrier or agent first about how much of a car insurance discount you may receive.
For example, if you stand to save $50 on your car insurance premium each year for three years, you probably wouldn’t want to spend more than $150 on the training. And, while having to take a state-approved course may limit your choices, potentially resulting in a higher cost, it may be worth it if it keeps a ticket off your driving record.
There’s a key benefit to defensive driving courses beyond ticket avoidance and insurance discounts, though: Your driving may improve! You’ll possibly learn about new laws, be reminded of some things you’ve forgotten and get an overall refresher on good, safe driving. And, that’s worthwhile, no matter what.