Should You Take Online Drivers Ed?

By: Michelleriley
What do the following activities have in common: ordering pizza, renting movies, checking your bank account, taking drivers ed..? They can all be done online! Taking drivers education on the internet can be a great option for the classroom-phobic or the super busy, but is it right for you? Read this article before you sign up - we've got lesson one for you right here.

What it's great for:

Virtual drivers ed can be a more self-paced and interactive alternative to regular drivers education class. It lets you work at your own speed, tailored to your personal schedule. It's usually cheaper than paying tuition at a regular driving school, and your parents save time and gas money since they don't have to drive you to and fro. But watch out: only in certain areas can you take classes online to meet the 30 hour drivers ed requirement for teens. You've lucked out here if you live in: California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania or Texas.

Those of you in the rest of the states may still have to do the actual driving school thing (it's really not too bad!), but online drivers ed courses can still offer you a few advantages: you can complete one to get an auto insurance discount, or to take practice permit tests.. some companies will even reimburse your money if you don't pass on your first try!

If you'd like to lower your car insurance payments, call your provider to see if they have a policy of rewarding drivers who take defensive or safe driving courses. It doesn't matter where you live or whether you've already got your drivers license - completing one of these classes online can help you get up to 10% off your monthly rate.

What's not-so-great:

Even if you can complete your state's drivers ed class requirement on the internet, it's important to know that online courses won't fulfill the driving instruction portion of it. Driving instruction consists of several (usually around 6) hours of behind-the-wheel, supervised drivers training. You can either hire an instructor just for this from a driving school, or have your parents teach you. Laws vary state-by-state, so make sure to check your driving manual for details.

Since you set the pace for virtual drivers ed class, you'll definitely need some self-discipline to make sure you set aside time for the material. Everyone learns a bit differently, so this may not be the best option if you need a little push to stay consistently focused on your work. Even just 20 minutes a day might be enough, but if you find yourself too distracted by instant messages, online games, and MySpace, you won't get through the course. Ask yourself whether you might have an easier time learning in a more traditional classroom setting.

So, to wrap up: if you do decide that online drivers ed is for you, make sure to choose a company that's solid and reputable, just like you would in non-virtual life. Search the web for other people's reviews, and check their reputation with the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org. Ready to get started? Best of luck, and don't be late to class!
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