What is an Intensive Driving Course?

Most of us want everything as fast as possible — whether it’s a meal, online delivery, or a driving licence. It used to take months (sometimes even years) to learn to drive and pass both tests, but not any more… Enter the ‘intensive driving course’, sometimes referred to as a ‘crash course’ — the game-changing secret weapon for learner drivers who like things done fast.

But what is an intensive course? And, most importantly, are they really worth it?

Let’s take a good look at the pros and cons of intensive driving lessons. By the end of this article, you’ll know if these speedy courses are a good match for you.

How do intensive driving courses work?

Back in the day, driving lessons would typically consist of 1- or 2-hour lessons, once a week. So, with the DVSA recommending at least 40 hours to get test-ready, learning the old school way could take over a year...

On the flip-side, intensive courses are designed to teach you everything you need to pass your driving test in the shortest possible time. These courses are usually spread over a week or two, with lessons on most (if not all) days.

One thing to bear in mind is that it’s best to pass your theory test before starting your lessons. This helps to prevent any delays if you need to re-sit the theory. Plus it’s much more efficient to concentrate on just the practical side of things during your course.

The two common types of intensive course

Residential Driving Courses

These are usually 5-day courses taught from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. You’ll be expected to travel out of your local area to a driving school (unless you live nearby) so you’ll need to pay for a week’s stay in a hotel.

Some driving schools are located in popular holiday destinations around the UK, and the course is advertised as a kind of ‘educational holiday’. But we want to learn to drive, not throw a frisbee on the beach, right?! So, let's put promenades and piers to the back of our minds and discuss the ups and downs of learning to drive with residential intensive courses.


✔ Typically faster than traditional lessons

✔ Established driving schools with reputable instructors

✔ Possibility of a fast-tracked driving test

✔ The usual requirement to pass the theory test before the course means you can concentrate on the practical side of driving

✔ Usually based in nice, rural locations (but this can also be a big disadvantage — more on that in one mo)


More expensive than traditional lessons

Requirement to take time off work or education

No guarantee of a driving test at the end of the lessons (your test could be months later than your lessons, so you lose confidence in the downtime)

Little opportunity to practice driving in bad conditions (e.g. driving in the dark and/or rain)

Learning on quieter roads might mean you struggle to drive in your local area

Zero (or little) support with your theory test

Expensive hotel and travel costs

Late cancellation can result in losing all fees paid

Local Driving Courses

This more popular type of intensive course is offered by most driving schools and instructors around the UK.

Instead of travelling to another area (like the Residential Courses we just covered), you’ll learn in your local area with a local instructor. Generally, you’ll have 2–5 hour lessons on consecutive days and take your practical test at the end of the course.

Most schools offer this type of intensive course, so it might be overwhelming when it comes to shopping around. Cheaper is very rarely better and it’s smart to go with a driving school that has access to fast-tracked driving tests .

But what are the ups and downs of local intensive driving courses?


✔ Typically faster than traditional lessons

✔ Fast-tracked driving tests will mean you take your test straight after your lessons, keeping everything fresh in your memory

✔ Many schools and instructors offer intensive courses

✔ Some schools offer help with your theory test

✔ Learn in your local area

✔ Much more flexibility and chance to work around your schedule, not the school’s

✔ Option to scale down and learn semi-intensively if intensive isn’t working for you


More expensive than traditional lessons, but cheaper than a Residential Course (no overnight stays)

Many options might make it harder to choose the right school/instructor

Late cancellation will result in losing some lesson/test fees, but you’ll rarely lose the whole course cost

Usually less opportunity to drive in different conditions

Am I guaranteed to pass an intensive driving course?

If you’re scouring the market for an intensive driving course, then you might notice some schools offer a ‘guaranteed pass’.

At first glance this sounds great, anyone would probably be willing to dish out a lil more dosh if they knew for certain that they’d have a licence at the end of it all.

But the proof is in the small-print — and guaranteed passes are often too good to be true…

Each provider defines a ‘guaranteed pass’ differently. Some offer just one extra driving test, others offer several. In rare cases, you might be given unlimited attempts at the test but a time-scale to pass within. If you don’t pass within that time, you’ve paid all that extra money for nothing.

At the end of the day, no company can guarantee you’ll pass your practical test. Test examiners are employed by the DVSA, and no driving school or instructor can influence their decision. The one thing all companies can agree on when it comes to ‘guaranteed passes’ is that it comes at a cost — these types of courses are usually the most expensive (by a long stretch too).

So we picked up the football and invented rugby by creating PassProtect — the simpler, clearer, and cheaper way of giving yourself peace of mind on the day of your driving test. If things don't go to plan first time, then you'll get 2 more fast-tracked driving tests for the price of 1.

Add PassProtect onto any PassMeFast course to take the pressure off your practical test.


What is different about PassMeFast’s intensive courses?

PassMeFast are intensive course specialists, but we reinvented the intensive to make learning to drive better for you.

We don’t ask you to travel out of your local area to take your course (but if you want to, we can also arrange that). Instead, we arrange your course to take place in your local area, with pick-ups and drop-offs from home or work. This way you’ll master driving around your local area and pass your test with bags of confidence.

Another problem that learners have with intensive courses is simply finding the time to do it! Life can be hectic — between work, hobbies, friends and family, a lot of us don’t have much to spare.

When you book with PassMeFast, we’ll ask you about your availability, rather than forcing you into our schedule. We’ll build the course around your needs, and find the perfect test and instructor for you.

It’s not when you start, it’s when you finish that really matters

Now, the really good thing about PassMeFast is how we organise our courses (if we may say so ourselves!).

Pssst — wanna know our secret weapon? We book your driving test before your lessons start. This might sound a bit backwards, but there’s a good reason for it.

By booking your test first, we can find your perfect instructor with plenty of availability in the run-up to your test. This way your lessons are as close as possible to the test day, keeping everything fresh in your brainbox and giving you the best chance of smashing your test.

Faster, easier AND more cost-effective?!

Many intensive courses will tempt you into booking by telling you lessons can start in, “Just a week or two”. But your destination isn’t just learning to drive, you want to pass your test (and fast).

So even though you might start your driving lessons soon, your test could be ages after. This big, unwanted gap in your learning is just going to make you forget skills and you’ll end up forking out even more money for refresher lessons. No bueno!

So, that’s why we preach that it’s not when you start learning, it’s when you take your test that really counts.

Would you prefer to go with a company that offers to start your lessons in 2 weeks, but your test would be 2 months after your final lesson? Or would you prefer to go with the company that starts your lessons in one month, with a test straight after your final lesson?

It’s a no-brainer, if you ask us!

Not sold on intensive courses? PassMeFast is still your faster route to driving!

You already know we’re fans of flexibility and giving you the power to choose how you learn. Now you might be sitting there thinking: “I wanna pass fast but intensive just ain’t for me.”

And you know what? Nobody knows you better than… you!

So we offer semi-intensive and not-intensive-at-all courses too. And you can still pass faster than usual because we will fast-track your theory and practical tests. Your tests will be booked with enough time for you to fit your lessons in with one of our fantastic instructors at a pace that you’re comfortable with.

Intensive Driving Courses: FAQs

Is it worth doing an intensive driving course?

It depends when you want to pass. If you're looking to pass as soon as possible, it's worth considering an intensive driving course. You'll take your lessons in a short space of time, leading up to your driving test. If you can afford to take your time, you might find it easier to take a less intensive driving course.

How much are intensive driving courses?

PassMeFast courses are priced on the amount of hours you're taking, rather than how intensive your course is. You won't need to pay anything extra for an intensive course. The cost of each driving course varies by area, so visit our prices page to find out more.

Are you guaranteed to pass on a crash course?

Nobody can guarantee that you pass a driving test. The DVSA runs driving tests in the UK, and they hire examiners who decide whether you've passed or failed. Examiners can't be influenced, so it all depends on how you perform on the day. A company offering a guaranteed pass is usually being deceptive and there will be various clauses hidden in the terms and conditions.

Are intensive driving lessons cheaper?

A PassMeFast course is the same price regardless of how intensive it is, whereas some companies charge more for an intensive course. Having said that, you might find that you don't need as many driving lessons if you take an intensive course. This is because there's no gap between your lessons, so you don't forget what you've already learned. Taking fewer lessons means you could save money in the long run.

How do intensive driving courses work?

If you take an intensive driving course, you will do your driving lessons in a shorter space of time. Instead of one or two hours a week, you'll do longer and more frequent lessons.

How long are intensive driving courses?

It really depends on what works best for you, as well as how many hours of lessons you need. You could finish an intensive driving course in a few days or a week, or you could space out your lessons a little over a few weeks.

Are intensive driving courses any good?

An intensive driving course is great if you need to pass your test quickly, or if you learn better at a quick pace. If you struggle to take in a lot of information at once, or you're not in a huge rush, it might be easier to take a more relaxed approach to your driving lessons.


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