Obtaining a driver’s license is officially confirmation that you’re A-OK to drive on Hong Kong roads, but it’s not a reason to be complacent about your driving. Like many skills, driving should be reviewed and reexamined to ensure that you’re not falling into bad or unsafe habits like not using your turn indicator or aggressive driving. While it is very rare to find a government that requires regular retesting of drivers, this doesn’t mean you can’t be responsible and book your own driving course.
Alternatively, you’re a parent of a child who can’t wait to get behind the wheel. Stifling their enthusiasm because you want to err on the side of caution could be taken the wrong way by a youth eager for freedom, so why not consider providing them with extra driving knowledge, skills, and experience? In this article, Kwiksure gives you a run down on the driving courses available in Hong Kong.
What is a driving course?
There are a number of different driver education courses that focus on different aspects of on-road skills. The most common are those personal instructor-led lessons geared towards helping learner drivers pass their licensing examinations, however more advanced courses build upon your basic skills:
Defensive driving courses: A defensive driving course aims to help drivers, both learners and experienced, be both cautious and confident behind the wheel. You can expect to focus on reacting appropriately to other drivers on the road, learn enhanced safety techniques, and learn more strategies for avoiding hazards whilst driving. The result of a good defensive driving course sees you find a happy balance between being too hesitant or overconfident in your vehicle.
Protective/offensive driving courses: Drivers undertaking a protective/offensive course will learn how to protect passengers in an emergency, as well as how to safely engage in otherwise dangerous maneuvers on the roads. Often undertaken by law enforcement and security personnel, private vehicle drivers can also benefit from these courses as they teach you how to react more safely in situations where a collision is very likely.
Performance driving schools: Performance courses are for people who want to learn how to control their vehicles at high speeds and under extreme conditions. You might think of a stunt car driver learning to flip a vehicle safely. However, these courses can also give drivers experience in handling a vehicle in conditions that cause you to drift or spin over wet roads, or how to use your e-brake and clutch in situations that normal drivers might lose control in.
Racing schools: Whilst not necessarily helpful for everyday drivers because of government speed limits, a racecar school can give you the opportunity to experience racing on a closed circuit track at high speeds. All schools and instructors will advise that race driving is not to be used for illegal street racing, but the knowledge you gain from such courses can also boost your confidence when driving on city streets.
Driver improvement/refresher courses: Refresher courses help experienced and licensed drivers reexamine their skills to ensure they are still safe to be behind the wheel. If there are aspects of your driving that are challenging you, such as parallel parking or starting a vehicle on a slope, then these courses can help you improve your driving skills for the better.
Course content and prices will vary by provider, so Kwiksure would recommend that you research and thoroughly understand what a course aims to teach you before you commit to it.
Where can I find driving courses in Hong Kong?
There are many private driving instructors in Hong Kong available for learner drivers, however we’ve found a few driving school businesses that provide courses for you to enrol in:
The Hong Kong Transport Department has a more extensive list of driving schools and driving course providers around the SAR. It is important to note that not all of the advanced courses may be available in Hong Kong, however you should be able to at least find a defensive driving course. The Black Arts Racing company provides racecar driving courses for those of you looking to test your speed limits.
Who needs to undertake a driving course?
We would recommend all drivers undertake a skills course every few years in order to keep your skills sharp. Driving courses are beneficial for those close to retirement age, as well as those who have not driven for a number of years (due to illness, travel, or other circumstance). While you will have to bear the cost of enrolment yourself, the boost in confidence and personal safety is worth it.
Currently, there is no law in Hong Kong that requires drivers to relicense or be reexamined every few years. Drivers who have been convicted of a serious traffic offence (such as dangerous or drink driving) or who have accumulated 10 driving-offence points within two years, however, will find that a Driver Improvement Scheme becomes mandatory for them. For more information, see the Transport Department website.
Will improving my driving affect my insurance premiums?
The short answer is: not immediately. Insurers don’t offer discounts for completing driving courses, however being a better driver will reduce the likelihood of you being involved in an incident that may reset your No Claims Discount. If you are in the market for a new car plan, providing evidence of advance driving course completion may also indicate to insurers that you are both competent and pose less of a risk to them.
At the end of the day, undertaking advanced courses and regularly testing your driving skills is a great way to ensure that you are safe behind the wheel. Hong Kong has a number of driver education course providers with which you can enrol yourself or your young ones in. Obtaining a license lets you get behind the wheel, but being a responsible driver keeps you and others safe while on the road.
If you’re looking for car insurance, the expert advisors at Kwiksure can help. As motor enthusiasts themselves, they’re well aware of what drivers can do to keep themselves safe and confident when driving, and can source you comprehensive car insurance at affordable rates. For a free, no obligation quote, contact the team at Kwiksure today!