Austin Driving School is by far the largest driving school in the Austin, Texas area. What raised an eyebrow for me, however, was the incredibly low Yelp reviews they receive, as well as their F rating with the Better Business Bureau. It seems very strange to me that such a large drivers ed course provider has received so many negative reviews.
The vast majority of the driving school reviews I have on this site are for online drivers ed courses and not necessarily brick and mortar driving schools, but I still wanted to create this Austin Driving School review as a way to simply provide an alternative to using this service (or any other local area driving school).
It’s admittedly a bit difficult for me to give an honest review of Austin Driving School as I am not entirely familiar with them, nor have I gone through their course myself. So, you’ll have to make your own decision about the quality of service Austin Driving School provides based on feedback from prior customers. What I can say for certain is the feedback from prior customers is extremely poor.
What Is The Best Alternative To Austin Driving School?
If the very low reviews of Austin Driving School has you concerned and you haven’t been able to find another local driving school that you are comfortable with, there may be another solution. The state of Texas has a phenomenal program called Parent Taught Drivers Ed or PTDE. This program allows a parent or guardian to take on the role of driving instructor.
This is a fantastic alternative to the typical classroom and behind-the-wheel driving instruction that most of us are used to. With the PTDE program, drivers ed students go through an online drivers ed course such as this one to complete the “classroom” portion of their training. These online drivers ed courses are arguably more efficient than classroom based training. For the driving portion, a parent or guardian applies to be the “driving instructor” and all driving hours can be legally completed without the use of a professional driving instructor. This not only saves time and money, but is way more convenient.
How Does Parent Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE) Work In Texas?
There is a bit of a process if you want to sign up for Parent Taught Drivers Ed in Texas, but it’s fairly straightforward. I’ve broken down the steps below:
Step 1: Sign up for an online drivers ed course that is certified in Austin, Texas. This is my top recommendation, but I’ll provide you with a few other good options below. Students are able to sign up for PTDE if they are between the ages of 14 – 17.
Step 2: You’ll now need to complete the PTDE application from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (download here). Be sure to fill out and return this packet quickly as it can take several weeks to receive approval. In the meantime, you can continue completing the online classroom portion.
Step 3: Once you’ve completed the first 6 hours of your online drivers ed course, you can take the driving permit test. Some online drivers ed courses, such as this one, allow you to take the permit exam online, while others will require you to go to a driving facility to complete the exam on-site.
Step 4: Pick up your permit and start driving! Once you have a permit and a parent or guardian has been approved to be the driving instructor, you can complete all of your 44 behind-the-wheel hours with that parent or guardian.
Step 5: Take your driving test, pass that, and you’re done! You now have a provisional driver’s license and can begin driving all by yourself!
Online Alternatives To Austin Driving School
If the PTDE route sounds like a better option than going through Austin Driving School, I have a few suggestions on the best online drivers ed courses you can take. There are many different online driving schools that are certified for the state of Texas, but just make sure if you don’t go with one of my below recommendations that any school you sign up for is specifically certified in the state of Texas! I can’t tell you how many students spend hours and hours going through a course, only to learn it isn’t certified in their state. Don’t make this mistake!