Online driver’s ed has become a popular alternative to traditional in-person driving instruction. Even in states that have resisted online driver education, the COVID-19 crisis has prompted governments to allow online driver’s ed so students can learn remotely. Michigan, for example, is now allowing students to complete their coursework online as long as they complete a written exam and a behind-the-wheel test in-person once the state of emergency has passed.
As more states get comfortable with online driver’s ed, more student drivers will get to learn how to drive without hours of classroom instruction. In this post, we’ll show you exactly how online driver education works, and how to make this format work for you.
What Are the Benefits of Online Driver’s Ed?
The primary benefits of online driver’s ed the more flexible schedules and the lower costs. When you don’t have to work around an instructor’s classroom schedule, you’re free to study whenever it’s best for you. And since instructors don’t have to be physically present with individual students, online driver’s ed classes are usually less expensive than in-person classes.
Some online driving schools even offer courses designed for mobile use, making it easy to study your course materials directly from your tablet or cell phone. Getting a driver education has never been easier or more convenient!
How is Parent-Taught Driver’s Ed Different from Instructor-Taught Driver’s Ed?
Most online driver’s ed courses allow for “parent-taught” education, as opposed to instructor-taught. This means a parent (or guardian) with a good driving record can lead all your behind-the-wheel hours. With some states requiring over 20 hours of behind-the-wheel training, having a parent handle your instruction can save a lot of money compared to having a behind-the-wheel instructor.
Here are a few quick tips for making the most of your parent-taught education:
- Start slow. A big, empty parking lot is a good place to get the feel of driving.
- Ask lots of questions. Your parents might not think much about driving since it’s second nature to them. So ask questions and follow up on those questions until you get a clear answer that makes sense to you.
- Learn car maintenance basics. You need to know what to do if you get a flat tire or your wiper blades need replacing.
- Practice in all types of weather. It’s helpful to get the feel of driving through rain and/or snow with a parent in the car.
- Consider chauffeuring small groups when you’re ready. Having multiple people in the car can make some drivers nervous, so it’s good to get a little practice in.
What Kind of Car Insurance Do Teen Drivers Need?
All states have different insurance requirements, but there are some things you’ll definitely need from your car insurance policy.
- Make sure you meet your state’s minimum coverage requirements. Your insurance company will be able to confirm this for you.
- Roadside assistance. If you break down and need help, you can call roadside assistance to come to your rescue.
- Accident forgiveness. Some insurance companies automatically raise your rates when you have an accident, but that’s not the case if your insurance company offers accident forgiveness.
- A teen driver app. With a teen driver app, you won’t have to answer endless questions from your parents; they can just check the app to confirm you’re being a safe driver.
- Look for discounts. A good student discount can save teen drivers big money.
Some insurance companies, like Apparent Insurance, offer car insurance policies designed specifically for teen drivers. These specialty policies cover everything you need as a new driver.