The Best Driving Schools in Vancouver of 2024

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Last updated June 27, 2024

When Kaan Sipahi gets into the car with a new driving student, his first lesson is not simply about the rules of the road, but the greater journey they’re about to undertake.

“They need to understand that this is about gaining their independence,” the Young Drivers of Canada Vancouver instructor says. “They’re going to be able to go out on their own to get from A to B. And safely – that’s the most important part.”

Of course, driving through a major city like Vancouver is not always straightforward, with multiple bridges and periods of high traffic congestion throughout the day. This could raise the stress level for beginners, which is why Sipahi focuses a lot on understanding his students’ driver psychology. If they have no previous driving experience, for example, he begins with small steps that build their confidence. And if they get flustered, he has them take a break until they can calm down and try again.

“It’s about reinforcing the fact that driving is nothing to be scared of, as long as we are aware of our surroundings,” he says. “We teach how to be observant, and, most importantly, anticipate. Once they can anticipate what might happen, then they’re good.”

Finding an instructor like Sipahi might seem almost as challenging as taking a road test, given the plethora of Vancouver driving schools marketing themselves online. The best driving schools not only offer highly qualified and experienced staff but often provide their own vehicles, flexible lesson times, free pickup and more.

British Columbia’s graduated licensing program mandates that those who pass a written test and achieve their “L” or learner’s permit, spend a full year with a qualified driver. This is followed by taking a Class 7 road test to obtain your novice license and finally a 45-minute Class 5 road test after 18 months to obtain your full licence.

To compile this list of Vancouver’s best driving schools (and our accompanying catalogue of driving lessons in Vancouver), we considered everything from road test passing rates, the variety of lesson packages, costs, online reviews and the range of skills students can develop. We also took into account options around booking lessons and payment.

Ultimately, what will matter to most students is how they feel in the car with their instructor, and whether that instructor is truly invested in their success. Sipahi, for example, says he finds great fulfillment when students master a skill like parallel parking, even if it takes multiple attempts.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the time they’ll say, ‘Oh, this was easier than I thought,’” he says. “It’s a good feeling. This is a job where you often see people achieve their goals quickly. Even if there’s always more to learn, driving lessons are an area where you should see results right away.”

1.

Global Driving Academy 5/5

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2.

Atlas Driving School 5/5

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3.

Vancouver Driving School 5/5

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4.

Fraser Driving School 5/5

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5.

Kruzee Driving School 5/5

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6.

Johnston's Driving School 5/5

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7.

West Vancouver Driving School (WVDS) 5/5

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8.

Young Drivers of Canada 4.5/5

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9.

New Day Driving School 4.5/5

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10.

West End Driving School 4.5/5

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11.

TASK Driving Academy 4.5/5

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12.

Pinnacle Driving Academy 4.5/5

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1

Global Driving Academy

global-driving-academy
$ $ $ $

Winner of the 2024 Vancouver Consumers’ Choice Award, Global Driving Academy is an ICBC-approved company that describes itself as a “satellite navigator” that will find the quickest route to getting your license. It provides free pickup and drop-off within 20 minutes of the training area. There are multiple ways to book lessons (via phone, e-mail or chat), and payments can be made directly through the website or e-transfer. Every package is valid for six months from the date of purchase. It’s also open seven days a week.

What You’ll Learn

Global Driving Academy emphasizes an approach based on coaching students in the moment rather than traditional instruction. Its lessons run 90 minutes and encourage parent involvement, where parents can sit in the back of the car to take notes and ask questions. A nine-hour package of six lessons costs $760 and goes over basics such as safety in the car, highway merging and exiting and dealing with roundabouts.

What Students Are Saying

Great options for all levels of drivers. Positive staff, good visual learning cues, really good curricullum that breaks everything down into simple steps. The best in Vancouver!

Xiang, Novice

Locations

Vancouver, Point Grey, North Shore, and Burnaby

2

Atlas Driving School

atlas-driving-school
$ $ $ $

Serving 12 locations across the greater Vancouver area, Atlas Driving School is a family-owned business that has been training students since 2002. Its range of packages include one hour $99 individual lessons up to a complete “Beginner” set of 30 lessons and road test preparation for $3,000. Atlas is also notable in having not only having qualified instructors, but the ability to provide lessons in languages such as French, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Turkish, Hindi, Dari, Urdu, Punjabi, and Farsi.

What You’ll Learn

Beyond the one-hour lessons, students have access to resources such as a 177-page “Drive Smart” handbook with tips for first-time drivers. The school also provides a guide on scheduling your ICBC road test. A vehicle for road tests and free pickup and drop off is included in all packages.

What Students Are Saying

Great options for all levels of drivers. Positive staff, good visual learning cues, really good curricullum that breaks everything down into simple steps. The best in Vancouver!

Xiang, Novice

Locations

Most metro areas surrounding Vancouver

3

Vancouver Driving School

vancouver-driving-school
$ $ $ $

In business for more than 20 years, Vancouver Driving School says its instructors exceed ICBC requirements and design lesson plans that reflect the fact every student is different and may struggle with certain concepts more than others. Booking is available online or by phone and lessons run one hour – 55 minutes of driving and five minutes to debrief and go over your progress. Individual lessons start at $85 and a Beginner Package of 15 lessons plus road test costs $1,379.

What You’ll Learn

Vancouver Driving School’s lessons start with a circle check and entering and exiting vehicles safely, followed by fundamentals such as straight driving and speed control. However, lessons also go into the particulars of driving near schools, playgrounds and construction zones, as well as navigating multiple lane intersections.

What Students Are Saying

I highly recommend going through this driving school. I decided I wanted to start doing lessons and after registering and buying my first set of lessons, I began within a week. The lessons are spaced out well and fitted to your schedule and are at generally the best price you will find around. I passed my driving test on the first try after no more than 11 hours behind the wheel. This was most definitely thanks to my fantastic instructor Gang. He was a very calm and very well informed instructor who gave me clear directions on everything. He gave me short quick points which were easy to remember to help me with parallel parking reverse parking and just general road driving. He accompanied me to the test centre and waited for me whilst doing my test all the time giving me encouragement and reminding me of proper road safety. He was always ready to teach and helped me work around my schedule. I booked my road test by waiting for cancellations and with a days notice he did the 50 minute pre road test warm up and lent me his car for the test, all on his day off. He is a lovely man and we grew to be become friends in my journey to finally get onto the roads. I would highly recommend this school but even more so this instructor. Thanks so much Gang!

karl murphy, Beginners

Locations

Vancouver

4

Fraser Driving School

fraser-driving-school
$ $ $ $

Winner of the 2024 Vancouver’s Top Choice Award, Fraser Driving School has been teaching students for 28 years and focuses on defensive driving techniques. Lessons are available weekdays as well as Saturdays and run between 1.5 and two hours. Students can come by the office to meet instructors prior to their first lesson, and female instructors are available. The Beginner program includes 12 one hour lessons and 2.5 hours for the road test, and costs $1,544. Payment options include credit cards, debit and e-transfers.

What You’ll Learn

Fraser Driving School lessons go over all the expected skills, such as steering and maintaining speed control, but instructors also aim to build students’ hazard perception and provide tips on maneuvering and avoiding head-on collisions. Students will also be taught how to gain confidence driving at large intersections two- and three-point turns.

Locations

Vancouver

5

Kruzee Driving School

kruzee-vancouver
$ $ $ $

It may only have been founded in 2022, but Kruzee claims to have delivered more than 50,000 lessons in 2023 – and more significantly, boasts an 85 per cent pass rate on road tests. The company’s approach is based upon making the process of learning to drive convenient, interactive and accessible. Booking is done exclusively online and includes free pickups from government-certified and fully insured instructors. Hourly driving lessons start at $90, and the Beginner program of 10 hours of in-car lessons costs $845. Those who pass their road test and get their licence get five free insurance quotes and other perks.

What You’ll Learn

The in-car lessons are complemented by 30 hours of self-paced online learning aimed at developing safe driving habits. The program also goes over defensive driving and skills such as positioning, evasive tactics, S-turns and parallel parking.

What Students Are Saying

The BEST BEST BEST customer service and experience I have ever received. Period. Please don't go looking anywhere else. This is driving 101 ELITE edition! This is the best experience I have ever had with a company, regardless of the kind! I felt safe and at ease throughout the entire experience! Thank you, Kruzee! I have personally done other instructed driving courses, and out of them, Kruzee is beyond compare. This program was clear and direct. I enjoyed my lessons because the information was delivered engagingly! The driving instructors are highly knowledgeable and genuinely like the work they do. They are excellently trained teachers and very calm. Just who you want to help you reach your driving journey goals! If you can pick Corey as an instructor, I recommend you do so. He was patient and willing to go above and beyond to ensure I knew all I needed for my driving exam. He planned our time together expertly and to the minute to ensure I could receive the maximum out of my session. I appreciate his honesty and genuinely kind disposition. Corey, if you are reading this, you are a 10/10! Keep on being you! I had a unique issue come up, which I won't get into, but wow, can I tell you how relieved I was to find out the founder of this company cares about their customers! Within minutes, what was a potentially unfortunate situation for me, was mitigated and resolved by Mika's generosity with their time and resources. You are the true G.O.A.T, Mika! Thank you! Thank you! Many, many thanks! Also, the booking system is fantastic. Enough said! I will always recommend this driving program and hope you, as a review reader, heed this incredibly positive experience!

Liza Igoshie, Beginner Driver Certificate Course

Locations

Vancouver

6

Johnston's Driving School

johnstons-driving-school
$ $ $ $

With a track record that spans more than 55 years, Johnston’s Driving School’s mission is to “make driving a breeze for new and nervous drivers.” Its instructors have an average of 30 years’ driving experience, and the company claims an 80% student success rate on road tests. Its automatic cars feature dual gas and brake pedals, and it provides drop off and pickup services to students West of Vancouver and Richmond. Its rates and packages are extremely simple: $110 per 1.5 hour driving lesson (including tax) and two hour road tests for $250, with a $50 discount for any combination of the two.

What You’ll Learn

Johnston Driving School bases its lessons on the ICBC’s Turning Up for Drivers Manual, which features suggestions to deal with common challenges on the road. Each lesson is based on 80 minutes on the road learning basics such as freeway driving, parallel parking, emergency maneuvers, and head on avoidance. This is followed by a 10-minute review from your instructor.

Locations

Vancouver

7

West Vancouver Driving School (WVDS)

west-vancouver-driving-school
$ $ $ $

Instead of touting its years in the industry, WVDS notes its team has conducted more than two million kilometres worth of road test practice, which is the equivalent of driving to the moon and back five times. Besides English, students can also be instructed in Farsi. You can choose between 1.5-hour lessons at $150 each or a 1.5-hour plus road test package for $240. These include pickup and drop off at an ICBC location, and the use of a dual-control Toyota Corolla. Booking is easy through an online web portal.

What You’ll Learn

WVDS promotes a four-step process that begins with understanding each student’s strengths and weaknesses, discussing key theories, putting them into practice on the road and then going over best practices for road tests.

Locations

North Vancouver, Burnaby and Point Grey

8

Young Drivers of Canada

young-drivers
4.5/5
$ $ $ $

One of the most recognizable brand names in driving education, Young Drivers has trained more than 1.3 million students over the course of more than 50 years. B.C. is among the select provinces where Young Drivers offers in-person, online or virtual instructors theory-based programs. Its instructors receive annual retraining through an internal certification program based on its proprietary CollisionFree approach. While individual lessons cost $208, a virtually led course with 12 hours of in-car driving lessons and road test costs $1,699. Payment plans are available and graduates can get perks such as discounts at major attractions.

What You’ll Learn

Young Drivers offers customized programs to each student, but all instruction is grounded in its Collisionfree! Approach™ system. This includes four habits and 20 sub-habits, such as: risk perception; gravel shoulder recovery; threshold/ABS braking; rear-crash avoidance; head-on collision avoidance; emergency braking; brake and avoid techniques; swerving techniques; and freeway driving. A Class 7 licence is not required to begin some programs,

Locations

North, South, East and West Vancouver, UBC and more

9

New Day Driving School

new-day-driving-school
$ $ $ $

Owned and operated by a former ICBC driving examiner, New Day primarily serves students on the West side of Vancouver and specializes in preparing them for the Point Grey road test. Individual lessons start at $90 for one hour but there are also options for 90-minute lessons. A package of 10 1.5-hour lesions and two-hour road test with the use of a car costs $1350. Payment options include cash, cheques, debit and credit cards. Booking is available by phone or e-mail.

What You’ll Learn

Unlike any other school on this list, New Day calls out the fact that many people initially fail their road test, and it welcomes the opportunity to help those students improve their chances the next time. Instructors will determine the areas you need improvement and reinforce the positive aspects of your driving. You’ll also gain insight into the behaviors of other drivers and a deeper understanding of the physical driving environment.

What Students Are Saying

I took Young Drivers. From what I hear from others who took lessons elsewhere there are some key differences. The big one that I remember is emergency maneuvers. The instructors spend a lengthy lesson doing things like emergency braking and avoidance. They set up pylons in an empty parking lot and have you do things like drive towards them, and get up to 50km/hr. or so then they turn off the car so you have to avoid using no power steering. Another you had to avoid the pylons using only the emergency brake. Another you had to react to a coming rear and collision. High-speed braking was another. I was fortunate to do that lesson the day after an ice and snowstorm, so I had tougher conditions. It taught me things I still remember every winter. To me, it was worth the money. The best thing to do is get a complete breakdown of what you’re paying for. If all you want is to pass your test you can cheap out a bit, but if you want something more comprehensive consider it money well spent.

R. Stoivz, Drivers Education

Locations

West Vancouver

10

West End Driving School

west-end-driving-school
$ $ $ $

Despite its name, West End Driving School serves students across Vancouver and beyond. It claims a road test passing rate of more than 95% and has been in business since 2000. It offers free pickup and a late-model Toyota Corolla with double steering and braking. Lessons are also available seven days a week. West End’s New Learner package costs $1,150 and comes with 10 one-hour lessons with pick-up and drop-off. It also includes the vehicle’s use for a road test and a one-hour practice beforehand. Individual one-hour lessons start at $100. Lessons are booked by phone and can be paid by credit card, PayPal or cash.

What You’ll Learn

In addition to helping students pass their road test, West End focuses on helping learn a series of tips that can increase their safety and confidence when they’re behind the wheel. Some of its top “seeing” tips include aiming high in steering, for instance, and taking a “see-think-do” approach to decision-making.

Locations

Vancouver East and West, downtown, UBC, Kitsilano and Kerrisdale

11

TASK Driving Academy

task-driving-academy
$ $ $ $

A recent visit to TASK’s website caused a pop-up on its homepage announcing its latest hire – an instructor whose experience could be measured in more than 2,000 road tests. The company offers lessons seven days a week and includes free pickup, as well as a vehicle for road tests. Individual lessons start at $90 for one hour, while a Beginner Program with 30 hours of instruction costs $2,785. There are also many other packages with price points in between. All one-hour lessons include five minutes for debriefing. Booking is available online through a registration form.

What You’ll Learn

TASK complements traditional in-vehicle instruction with a lot of tips through its blog, which is updated multiple times each month. Recent entries focused on ensuring road safety for pedestrians, parking techniques and the nuances of driving electric vehicles.

Locations

Vancouver, Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, UBC, South Vancouver, East Vancouver, Mount Pleasant

12

Pinnacle Driving Academy

pinnacle-driving-academy
$ $ $ $

Formerly known as Royal City Driving Academy, Pinnacle has been in business since 2015 and not only trains novice drivers but future driving instructors. Lessons can be booked via e-mail or simply a text message, and payment options range from e-transfers and credit cards to cash. Payments for packages are only due after the first lesson is completed to ensure the student is comfortable with their instructor. Individual lessons start at $95 for one hour, while the Novice Driver package includes 14 1.5-hour lessons and a road test for $1,595.

What You’ll Learn

Pinnacle’s lessons focus on helping students demonstrate control, safety and responsibility in basic driving situations. Instructors also go over the meaning of traffic control devices and how to maintain a safe time and space margin during driving maneuvers. There’s a focus on developing superior levels of mental alertness during driving situations, as well as skills in visual search, scanning and hazard perception.

Locations

North Vancouver and New Westminster

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