Direct Drive Driving Training Car - 2015 MazdaThe training vehicle is a 2015 Mazda CX5 Automatic 4-Cylinder All-Wheel Drive. The vehicle is safe, easy to drive, and comfortably suits the needs of a typical learning driver.

This depends on many factors such as skill and confidence, ability to practice and improve, quality and consistency of at-home driving, and their particular learning style. Ideally, every driver would sign up for the full 8-lesson package, but I realize that this is not always realistic.

Many drivers do well with the 3 or 6 lesson package if they have been driving under consistent and dedicated supervision, others need more. If we only have a student for one lesson, we are really only in a position to offer corrections on what they are doing improperly, rather that comprehensive instruction on critical strategies of defensive driving… which really is the big picture goal of training young drivers. There is so much to cover.

A typical driving lesson is 90 minutes long. If a learner would like to shorten the lesson to one hour (for any reason) then the price would be adjusted accordingly.

Unfortunately no.

As professional instructors, we are required to conduct training only in my designated driver training vehicle with a valid commercial vehicle inspection certification.

Many factors go into this decision. We will always offer honest advice on a student’s readiness to become independent. As a parent, you must ask yourself that important question… is my son or daughter ready to confidently make safe decisions as a driver without me in the vehicle? It’s usually a simple matter of consistent practice with qualified supervision.
ICBC has determined that one year of training is sufficient for most learners to develop the skills and experience to become a capable and safe independent driver.

There is no way to avoid having to meet this minimum time requirement no matter how much driving you have done in the year.

During the “L” stage of driving, ICBC requires a driver to have completed 60 hours of driver training (with or without a professional instructor). This is an important benchmark and the only way you know you have reached this requirement is to have kept a log of your hours during the year. (You will not be asked to show this log to the examiner)
We do not instruct in a manual transmission vehicle, but I can offer practical advice and training recommendations.
I always recommend that a student meets this requirement for their own benefit. If they don’t achieve these numbers, they will still be allowed to take the road test, but the examiner can easily spot the driver that needs to spend more time behind the wheel.

Although it is possible to pass the road test, many young drivers are less likely to take parental driving advice once they have their “N” in hand.

We teach year round, and winter driving is an important aspect of driver training. Specific winter driving lessons can be booked and I will consider the conditions of the day so maximum learning can be achieved.

We will not take an inexperienced learner on challenging or busy roads during icy conditions. We’ll complete training strategies in zero-traffic situations.

We prefer to have students booked for a lesson two to three weeks in advance. We are always happy to schedule last minute bookings if able. My best advice if you have to book lessons one at a time, give as much notice as possible. This ensures that you get the time and date that works best for you. You can always pre-book recurring lessons that you feel will suit your schedule.
No, he can take his road test at any road test centre anywhere in British Columbia. To book a road test visit the online service set up on the  ICBC website http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/visit-dl-office/Pages/Book-a-road-test.aspx
You can lead a horse to water… and this is true with teenagers as well. Try to have an open discussion about her concerns… there are often a variety of reasons for this, try to pinpoint it. One of the most common reasons I see is due to a fear of failure, or not “being good” at something in a public forum (you’re on display when you’re in your car). Make it clear the potential disadvantages of never being qualified to drive a car.

My best advice is to promise to take it slowly, and be extremely patient. Avoid pressuring them, offer encouragement and constructive advice, but it may become necessary to pull the plug on training if this starts to affect them in a negative manner. Professional driver training will help, but it is not a cure. Extreme cases may benefit from professional counseling to come to terms with a decision one way or another. At the end of the day, obtaining a driver’s licence is not a mandatory rite of passage.

A learner has to want to do it.

Yes, in many cases. If he meets the requirements to obtain his learner’s licence, there are some solid strategies to assisting the learner with many levels of challenges. Autism, ADD, ADHD, Anxiety, and many other mental health disorders are challenges, but not necessarily barriers to achieving the independence and self-esteem building process of becoming a qualified driver.

I have had many rewarding experiences assisting drivers with various diagnoses to achieve their goal to become a safe and confident driver. I am a registered service provider with the Autism Funding Unit. This allows parents to access funding to support their children to affordably access coaching and interventions to obtain important life skills.

Yes the results sheet is challenging to understand. The road test examiner will be happy to go over the results with you, you only have to ask. You also have to have permission from the student to discuss the results with the examiner.
We will travel up to 15 minutes free of charge to pick up a student. Any distance further than that I will still pick up, but that travel time is incorporated into the lesson time, or else it would be subject to a surcharge. (you will be notified in advance of any surcharges to help with your decision) If you live out of town, my best recommendation is to meet in downtown Salmon Arm, as that is where the bulk of our training will take place.
There are many different skills that are subject to evaluation on a road test. It is a good idea to review the Learn to Drive Smart manual and/or the Tuning Up for Drivers manual, supplied by ICBC. Besides strategies for downtown driving, a student will be asked to perform several precision skills such as parallel parking, reverse stall parking, curb parking, three-point turns etc.

Overall, they will be assessed in five key categories; observation, speed, steering, communication and space margins.

Unfortunately not. I will however guarantee that your son or daughter will receive quality instruction to suit their needs. They will learn the proper way to perform all maneuvers in a safe manner. They will learn the latest defensive techniques and strategies to become safe and competent life-long drivers. At test time, they are on their own, and it is up to them apply what they have learned.

Not every driver passes the road test the first time; many factors can influence even the best driver. It is not my priority for a student to pass the road test… it is our priority to make them the best and safest driver that they can be… passing the road test will happen when they are truly ready.

Yes, normally you will have to hold a Novice or “N” licence for 2 years. If you take a full GLP (Graduated Licence Program) Course, you may reduce that time by 6 months and earn 2 high school credits as well. This comprehensive training course involves extensive practical in-car training as well as 18 hours of classroom theory sessions. Unfortunately, due to low demand, I do not offer this course.

Yes of course you can. There is an advantage if a student has practised in the vehicle and is comfortable and familiar with how to operate it. I offer two options for using the vehicle, option one includes a 20 minute warm-up drive, and option 2 is a one hour pre-test lesson… please see Courses page for prices and more information.
To obtain your “N” (class 7 road test) you will not be taken on the highway in excess of 50km/h. The bulk of the road test will take place in the downtown area. However, to obtain your full class 5 Licence, you will be asked to merge onto and safely exit the higher speed portion of the Highway (70km/hr)
The best strategy is to start off slow in an empty parking lot.

  • Let him slowly become acquainted with the operating systems of the car and get a feel for steering, braking and accelerating.
  • Build confidence slowly by driving in short sessions at first, 15 minutes or so, to avoid overwhelming him.
  • We will encourage you and him to read the “Tuning Up for Drivers Training Manual“.

Another important strategy is when you, the supervisor, are driving, give instruction by offering a running commentary on what you are doing and why. Remember to follow the proper rules of the road… young drivers often learn bad habits from careless parents!

Absolutely. We allow one adult to come for a ride-along if they wish, the understanding being that they are there as a spectator and not a second instructor. Parents usually wind up learning a thing or two in the process.
I offer “Sibling Packages” where I will take two students out together, and split the driving time between them… they are asked to participate in the learning process from the backseat as well. This is usually a fun and productive learning experience (provided that the siblings get along!)
This is a delicate subject within many families, but so critically important that these concerns are addressed.

The first step should be to have an honest discussion with the senior, expressing concern for their safety. Attend a meeting with her doctor to discuss the options. The doctor will make recommendations and possibly offer an in-office cognitive assessment. There may be a referral set up to be evaluated by the ICBC Examiner by means of an ERA (Enhanced Road Assessment). This is a comprehensive driver examination designed to ensure that a driver is still safe on the road.

DIRECT DRIVE offers comprehensive seniors’ assessments and refresher training at a 10% discount off of listed prices. I have no increased authority to recommend suspension of a driver’s licence to ICBC. I will prepare a confidential evaluation sheet with recommendations that are designed to assist the senior and their family on the best strategies to move forward.