Choosing a Texas Driver Education Method

Okay, let’s be honest here… learning to drive was a lot different when we were kids. Most of us just took driver education at our high school and did our practice driving out on an old country road.

But now, with all the online courses and driving schools in the area, there are numerous Texas driver education methods. It’s hard to know what is right for you and your child. After all, our children are the most important things in our lives.

Commercial Texas Driving School

Many parents choose a commercial Texas driving school thinking that they won’t have to deal with the aggravation of teaching their teen to drive. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. First of all, someone still has to take and pick up the student from the school every day for the duration the 32 hours of required classroom training. If you miss a class, you have to make it up. Many of us don’t have that kind of time.

Next, the driving school is responsible for 14 hours of driver training. Most schools will provide 7 hours of actual behind-the-wheel training and then an additional 7 hours of observation. This means that they will ride in the backseat while another student is driving. Here is the kicker that most parents don’t realize. After the student has graduated from the school you will not receive a certificate of completion until the parent then teaches an additional 20 hours of behind the wheel driving. Technically the 20 hours is supervised driving, meaning that the parent is responsible for logging 20 hours of driving. This includes 10 hours of night driving to satisfy the requirements of the state of Texas. So, with the taking and picking up and the 20 hours of supervised driving the parent is still responsible for a lot of time and effort, even with a commercial driving school.

Parent Taught Method

Texas PTDE Behind The Wheel Driver TrainingThe next method is Texas Parent Taught driver education training. Just to be fair, this method is our preferred method. We were one of the first approved online Parent Taught courses in the state of Texas many years ago. Parent Taught is becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons. The main reasons are cost and flexibility. It is so easy for the parent and student to sit down at their leisure, at their own computer and take the 32 hours of required training.

Depending on the course, on-line training is as effective as the traditional classroom method. In some cases, we believe it may be better. The student has the option of reviewing the lessons they didn’t understand the first time. In classroom training the student must request a review. This may take weeks or months before the review is offered. Also, the consistency of the material is much greater with online. It is always the same, never alters due to having a bad day or disruption to the class. Another big advantage is the length of time the student has to complete the course. With a commercial driving school the student has 1 month to complete the classroom and they are very limited as to when their driving times may be. With online Parent Taught (at least with Virtual Drive) the student has up to 1 year to complete the course. These are just some of the many reasons why we believe computer based driver education training is best.

Which Method is Best?

Here is the good news, whether you decide on Parent Taught or Commercial Driving School, you will be just fine. All of the 13 approved Parent Taught courses in Texas have gone through a very rigorous evaluation of their curriculum. While all of the courses are presented differently, all of us had to go through the same process through the Department of Public Safety to be approved as a provider. This means the difference you will find is not necessarily with the content, but with the delivery method. So when choosing a course for Parent Taught training, we encourage you to really look at the course. Make sure you evaluate the delivery method, how many years the company has been around and the stated results of their students. Many companies don’t list the results of their students driving records because they don’t want you to know.

As far as the driving schools, most of the over 400 driving schools in Texas are very good. They must go through the same rigorous evaluation by the Driver Training Division of the state of Texas. They must comply with all the rules and regulations as well as keep all instructors certified. You are in good hands.

So now it is your choice, your decision and your time and money. Hopefully this blog helped a little in your decision. If you have further questions, you can always email us at We welcome your questions and comments about or approved Texas driver education courses.

We know you will make the right decision for your child, nobody loves and cares about your child’s safety more than you do!