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How to choose a driving school

If there’s another prospective driver in the household, consider using a driving school to help them learn. To get the best instruction and maximum benefits, choose a certified facility with a reputation for teaching proper driving techniques, including defensive driving skills that could save a life. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) offers these tips for choosing the right driver education program.  


Woman driving car holding keys
kali9 | iStock

Choose a government-approved school

In Ontario, you can find a list of approved institutions. The MTO also publishes a list of schools with revoked licences.  

Check the syllabus

Ontario’s curriculum for beginner drivers includes 20 hours of in-class instruction (which can now be delivered virtually), 10 hours of in-car instruction (largely on hold during Covid-19) and 10 hours of flexible learning, which can include digital resources, in-class or in-car lessons.  

Ask for recommendations

Find out what friends liked or didn’t like about their driving schools.  

Check ratios

Virtual classrooms cannot exceed a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Pre-pandemic, schools were allowed up to 40 students in their onsite classroom, although the MTO recommended 24. In-car instruction is most productive when it’s one on one.

Research carefully

Get answers to these questions: will the instructor’s schedule fit your own? Will they pick you up at home for in-car lessons? Are you getting the in-class and in-car hours you paid for? Are there any extra or hidden costs? While driver training programs are not inexpensive, the defensive driving and safety skills learned are priceless. Plus, completing an approved course entitles the graduate to reduced insurance premiums.

Coverage for everyone

Looking for an auto insurance policy? Call 1-800-582-5013 to speak to a Licensed CAA Insurance Agent. 

Family plan

As a new driver, make sure you have peace of mind with a CAA Membership. To be added as an Associate Member, go to today. 
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