I’m a learner driver in Ireland. Since 2011, in order to apply for a driving test one must complete a program designed by the Road Safety Authority called Essential Driver Training. I have just completed this program and though a good idea to share my experience.
What is Essential Driver Training?
EDT is a program of twelve lessons designed to teach fundamental driving skills to a learner driver. Included in the lessons are guides to tackle maneuvers such as the reverse around a corner and a three point turn which you will be expected to perform in the driving test. In a nutshell, the course aims to provide you with the skills needed to pass the driving test and be a safe driver.
Lessons are usually completed in the instructor’s car which is fitted with dual controls. In my case it was a 2014 Toyota Yaris. After each lesson your instructor fills out a report sheet in the ‘logbook’ which you can look back on and see what areas of your driving needs attention. You are also supplied with a book outlining what will be covered in each lesson so that you can be prepared.
I found the lessons to be of great help. I had already been driving for a number of months beforehand, so my skills were somewhat developed. This was a great advantage. If you begin lessons without any driving experience the majority of them will be consumed by the basics of driving controls. This is not what the lessons are meant to cover and you will miss out on the helpful advice from real wold driving.
I was fortunate to have a very professional and helpful driving instructor, but I have heard stories of some less than ideal practices by other companies. All I’ll say is ask around and don’t be fooled by thinking the bigger companies must be the best.
I definitely learned a lot during the lessons that I otherwise would not have. If I had not completed them, I would definitely not feel confident going into my test. Many small pointers and common errors are very important and the instructors know exactly what the examiners look for in the test.