Driving school or private driving lessons?

【學車考車牌】學車跟私人師傅還是駕駛學院比較好?

Recently, more and more Hong Kongers are interested in getting a driver’s license, the reason being that the Continued Education Fund has listed driving school courses as reimbursable for this scheme. After all, road tests are notoriously difficult to pass in one go in Hong Kong. To take the course quality into consideration without breaking the bank, you’ll want to know which is the better choice: private driving lessons or driving school lessons. 

Today at Kwiksure, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of taking driving lessons in private and at a driving school. 

Things to consider before getting a driver’s license

Prior to starting your driving lessons, there are a few important things to note. 

1. Private cars or light goods vehicle

Before starting your lessons, decide on whether you want to get a driver’s license for a private car or a light goods vehicle. Undoubtedly, private cars are the most beginner-friendly. You’re still qualified to drive private cars once you’ve obtained a license for light goods vehicles. However, you cannot drive a light goods vehicle with a license for private cars. If you’re getting your driver’s license to make a living/to become a professional driver/as a part of your job, light goods vehicles would be a more popular choice. 

2. Consider your car and gearbox type

As for gearboxes, driving on auto transmission is a lot easier than on manual transmission. Having good hand-eye coordination is crucial for manual driving, so naturally, it’s a more difficult skill to pick up. After obtaining the driver’s license, you can drive a manual car. On the flip side, you cannot drive an automatic car on manual gear.

Right now, the most popular choices of vehicles are light goods vehicles on manual gear, and private cars on auto gear. As such, it’s easier to find courses at driving school or with a private instructor for these types of cars at a cheaper price.

Pros and cons of driving school and private lessons

To make an informed decision, take a look at the following list of advantages and disadvantages: 

  Pros  Cons 
Driving school  
  • One-stop shop to help you with your application processes, such as the written test and the learner’s license
  • Has their own test venue and route, so there are fewer cars from the outside, making it relatively easier to pass the road test
 
  • More expensive
  • For some courses, the instructor will keep changing
  • More theory-based courses with limited real-life situations in their road test prep course
Private lessons  
  • Cheaper
  • Road test prep course is 100% based on real-life situations
  • Instructors won’t keep changing 
 
  • There are no exclusive test venues and routes, so there are more foreign vehicles. This makes it more difficult to pass

Overview of private driving lessons

The Transport Department (TD) suggests that learners should clock in a minimum of 30 hours of driving training. Most people would say that each lesson lasts around 45 minutes. In other words, you’ll need at least 40 lessons to meet TD’s recommended hours.

Every private driving instructor has a different teaching style and attitude. Some tend to be more patient and gentle, while others are more drill sergeant-like in tone and temper. Through a trial lesson, you’ll get to know whether your instructor’s teaching style meets your needs. Most private instructors will charge you 10 lessons’ worth of tuition fees on the first day of class. Usually, this is to be paid in cash so you should prepare sufficient tuition fees beforehand. 

Note: besides the tuition fees for driving lessons, examination fees, and application fees, you’ll also have to pay for the car rental cost for your instructor prior to the road test. 

Overview of driving school

HK School of Motoring, New Kwun Tong Driving School, A1 Driving School, Hung Chun Driving School, and Lee Kin Driving School are a few of the most well-known driving schools in Hong Kong. There are differences in course materials depending on the driving school. These include variations on tuition fees, car rental, and the number of lessons, etc.

Aside from these, driving schools provide different discounted packages. For instance, the HK School of Motoring offers a non-specialist “alert driving course” with constantly changing instructors from beginning to end at a comparatively cheaper price. Another example would be A1’s 15 classes package, 45-minutes each, of practical road test prep based on real-life road situations. This is especially suitable for those who want to practice taking the road test, those who have already passed the written test, or students who are confident they can pass the road test. 

Using the Continuing Education Fund (CEF) 

As aforementioned, driving lessons are now eligible to be listed as one of the CEF’s reimbursable courses. These are HK School of Motoring’s Certificate in Light Goods Vehicle Driving (CEF Course ID:33C121778) and Certificate in Private Car Driving (CEF Course ID:33C121786). 

Keep in mind that besides what can be reimbursed, you have to pay out-of-pocket for certain expenses. For instance, the reimbursable driving course is $19,056. Even if you’re eligible for the CEF’s maximum reimbursement, you still need to pay for the remaining $5,122 tuition fee yourself. 

On top of that, renting a car for a road test costs $1,950. The TD’s learner’s license and test form total $1,058. This amount is also not included in the CEF’s reimbursement. In other words, each student will have to spend a total of $8,130. Whether it is worth it to enroll in the driving course under the sponsorship of CEF depends entirely on you in the end. 

Contact Kwiksure for your insurance solutions

Interested in learning more about getting a driver’s license in Hong Kong? Check out our easy-to-read infographics for obtaining a Hong Kong driver’s license for private cars

Whether you’re applying for a driver’s license for a private car or a light goods vehicle, you’ll need comprehensive car insurance after becoming a driver. If you are a motorcyclist, you already need motorcycle insurance while you’re taking lessons!

In addition to car insurance (third-party and comprehensive), Kwiksure also provides home insurance, motorcycle insurance, Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS), Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge insurance (HZMB), and many more. Get a free quote now with our online quotation tool! Want to chat with us for personalized advice? Contact our team of experienced insurance advisors for impartial advice and plan comparisons!