Useful tips for learning to drive
How do I choose a driving school?The factors it is reasonable to consider when choosing a driving school are:
- first time exam pass rates,
- the full cost of tuition and the cost of an additional driving lessons,
- students' reviews.
- the fee for retaking your driving exam is 40 Euros
- you will have to wait for up to three months before you can retake it
- you will have to take additional driving lessons during that period (it is recommended to take at least two lessons per week)
When choosing a driving school, it is reasonable to base your decision not only on the information presented on valiautokool.ee. If someone you know has recently finished a driving school, ask for their advice.
What do the exam passing rates show?The exam passing rates presented on valiautokool.ee are official data received from the Road Administration.
The theory test passing rates show the percentage of driving school students who pass the exam on the first attempt. If you are searching for courses in English, you’ll see stats of passing the tests in the English language. And accordingly, if you are searching for courses in Estonian, you’ll see the stats of passing the tests in the Estonian language, etc. This is important because there are some schools where the level of teaching in different languages may differ substantially.
The driving test passing rates show the percentage of driving school students who pass the exam on the first attempt in the county where the school works. This is important because the percentage of people passing the driving test in different counties may differ substantially. For example, the average driving test passing rate for category В on the first attempt is 80% in the Hiiu County, and only 33% in the Harju County. If a driving school has branches in several cities, its data will be displayed separately for each city. The Road Administration has no information on the language of the driving test, therefore we have no possibility here to display the data for driving test taken in English, Estonian and Russian separately.
The stats presented on valiautokool.ee covers only the main groups of test takers, that is, only those who take the exam right away after finishing the driving school. It doesn’t cover, for instance, the tests taken by provisional driving license owners when they get a provisional driving license.
When you compare the passing rates for different driving schools, we recommend that you don’t only pay attention to the percentage, but also to the number of exams based on which the percentage was calculated. In case fewer than 30 tests were taken during the year, the figures may be of a random nature. For example, if the passing rate is 100% and the driving test was taken only by 5 students over the year, the figure is highly likely to be an accidental one.
NB! For the valiautokool.ee website we have selected only the data that is most relevant for someone who is choosing a driving school. The Road Administration’s website, as well as the media, publish the total aggregated statistics that doesn’t cover the aspects described above.
How is the price formed for the category В tuition?The tuition price is composed of several parts included in the compulsory driver training program:
- the main course (theory and driving lessons),
- the hazard prevention course (taught on a specially equipped training ground),
- the night-time driving course (usually taught using a simulator).
When accessing the cost of tuition at a driving school you should also consider the fact that you will most probably need some additional driving lessons.
How much do I pay for taking the exams at the Road Administration?You will have to pay the Road Administration the state fee for your driver’s license, as well as for taking the theory and driving tests. The fee is equal to 92 Euros when you apply at the Department’s bureau, and 86 Euros if you apply online.
If you have to retake the theory test, you’ll have to pay 26 Euros, and retaking the driving test for category В will cost you 40 Euros. Follow the link below to find more detailed information:
How many driving lessons will I need?You must take all the driving lessons envisaged by your driving school’s training program. For example, when you study for category В (a passenger car) it is usually 30 lessons, 45 minutes long*. In actual practice this time is not enough as a rule, and the student takes additional driving lessons. It all depends on the particular person, and the number of such lessons cannot be predicted. But you should be prepared that it will not be one or two but possibly 10, or even 20. The practice shows that the bigger a city is, and the more complicated traffic it has, the more driving lessons a student will need.
To minimize the number of additional driving lessons it is recommended that you:
- attend lessons 2 - 3 times per week,
- do not interrupt training for more than 1 week,
- practice driving with a personal driving supervisor.
Who is a personal driving supervisor, and how can he or she help you?A personal driving supervisor is an experienced driver who helps the beginner gain experience. He or she will sit next to you during driving practice and assist you if needed. Practicing regularly with a supervisor will significantly increase your chances of passing the driving test on the first try and reduce the number of driving lessons with a professional instructor. But it is important to understand that a supervisor cannot replace an instructor for you. He or she will help you solidify the knowledge and skills acquired at the driving lessons, but no more than that.
When you practice driving with a supervisor, the car must bear identification signs of a training vehicle visible from the front and rear. Additional foot pedals and mirrors are not required.
A personal driving supervisor must have a valid certificate that is issued by the Road Administration for 1 year. Such a certificate is issued to persons who have owned a driving license of the relevant category for at least five years. A supervisor must not have current penalties for drunk driving or any other violations entailing license revocation.
How do I assess the quality of my driving instructor’s work?It’s very easy. A good instructor teaches you, and a bad one doesn’t. Also, a good instructor will prepare you, first of all, for independent driving and only secondarily for the driving test, while a bad one will get you ready solely for taking the test.
A good instructor will go through the entire program provided by the driving school together with you, which includes teaching you, how to drive in reverse, to park the car, to drive on the highway. They will explain the material and ask you for feedback (whether you understand the explanations, or you don’t). If something is unclear, they will explain once again.
A bad instructor doesn't care if you understand the material or you don’t. He or she will just ride in the car with you, sit through the hours without providing you with proper explanations. He or she doesn’t go through all the topics provided by the driving school’s program, but make you “familiar” with the driving test routes instead. As a result, you do not acquire all the knowledge and skills required for driving a vehicle on your own.
Why do some driving schools have no descriptions and price lists?The prices presented on valiautokool.ee have been collected based on the information provided on the driving schools’ websites. Such information is often not sufficient, and sometimes the driving school tries to hide its prices on purpose. We sent inquiries to all the driving schools to find out about the prices but some of them did not reply. Thus, we have published only the data we’ve been able to collect.
The driving schools’ descriptions on valiautokool.ee have been provided by the schools themselves. If there is no description for a driving school, it means they did not wish to have one published.