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Review: A1 Driving School, Philippines

It was this year when I decided to finally enroll myself in a driving school and aim to get that driving license. I was scared out of my wits but it’s a skill I know I needed to have. My younger brother, who got his license years ago, told me about his dissatisfaction with Socialites Driving School that’s why he recommended A1 Driving School. We headed out to the nearest branch, inquired and within a day got myself enrolled.

A1 Driving4

A1 Driving3

I opted for the 10 hour sessions which came with free 3 hour session, 2 hour orientation and 8 hour lecture. Before you get to drive, you’ll need a Student’s Permit so make sure you have it! It’s super easy to get. Just go to your nearest LTO early and et voila, half a day later, you’ll have your Student’s Permit. (Steps include a substandard medical exam, picture and signature taking, LOTS OF PAYING PEOPLE AND WAITING)

Anyway, let tell you more about my experience with A1.

1st session

For my first session, I was assigned with instructor A. Instructor A has got the hots for me. JOKING! Instructor A was kind and reassuring. He made me feel like there was nothing to worry about and that I could drive a car. He was also very accommodating especially when I said that I didn’t want to try turning first. For the first part of my class, we spent it going over the pedals, switches, signs, lights etc that a driver needed to know. After that, we spent close to an hour (roughly forty minutes) driving around and just practicing my footwork and trying not to run over anyone. I feel like he cut short our session because he had another class and it was a bit further away from where we were. I was a bit disappointed with this but still overall okay with it.

2nd session

Instructor B has to be my favorite. Right out the bat he let me take control of the wheel and asked me to get the car out of the parking lot and onto the road. Then he asked me to drive around for three hours. No kidding. He made me drive around everywhere. It was tiring but it was amazing. He didn’t push too hard and gave me the proper encouragement when I needed it. He reminded me to always keep calm and focus on the road and not on the other motorists especially if they are honking at you!

3rd session

I was unluckily assigned to Instructor C because Instructor B had to be somewhere else. I disliked this instructor. First of all, I had three hours for that day and we spent a good hour and a half driving around the A1 compound. I personally didn’t like this because I knew I had a free two hour session there but when your instructor tells you to go there, I don’t think you can say anything to change his mind. Secondly, this guy had the nerve to ask for a break. A quick twenty minute break while I was stuck in the car fiddling the controls. 😦 Who does that? But I did learn something anything new. I learned how to park but I wasted time knowing I could’ve been practicing shifting gears (my low point) instead of going around in circles in first gear. What’s worse it this guy kept on moving the steering wheel every time I was about to make a mistake instead of telling/warning me beforehand. Every time he did this, I panicked! I don’t know if he was wrong to do that, but I’d appreciate it more if he told me instead of doing that.

4th session & Free 2-hour Session

Back to Instructor B. This guy is really my favorite. He was just cool and he let me do the driving but still guided me. He gave me practical tips and gave just the right amount of confidence. He also asked me to practice parking in a mall. I was so nervous but it was okay and it was good practice. I really had a feel of what it feels like to park with cars all around me. For the two hour session, we just spent it at A1 compound going over parking and turning. A little disappointed since I didn’t even leave first gear. 😛

Anyway, that was my personal experience while driving. But here’s a breakdown/sneak peek of what a ten hour session with A1 Driving School looks like. As you can see, it’s really detailed and they have certain tasks/goals per hour.

A1 Driving2

Some positives:

-Really detailed and curriculum based teaching plan

-Instructors (although not all) are nice, skilled and professional. (Although I am a girl so I’m not sure how it plays out when it comes to boys)

-You get text reminders if you have scheduled driving sessions

-Safety is a priority. Student permit is checked. Seatbelts must always be fastened. Instructor has his own brake pedal on the passenger side.

-If you have conflict with the schedule, they are very open to rescheduling as long as it’s done ahead of time but you can only reschedule once per session.

-A1 has their own compound, complete with parking slots, inclined roads, stop lights and U-turn slots. I drove around their compound in Las Pinas and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

-I also like the classroom training they give. Their orientation is a must. It really prepared me for my first day of driving. I’d suggest you go and take that orientation first.

Some negatives:

-It’s pricey.

Overall, choosing A1 Driving School has to be the best decision I ever made. They make sure that their students are knowledgeable and are equipped to drive on the roads after their sessions. Their orientation, lectures (the ones I didn’t attend) and comprehensive curriculum covers everything a new driver needs to know. I highly encourage anyone to choose A1 Driving School over any of the other driving schools out there. It’s definitely worth it. 

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