California drivers ed is now approved for home study, which is pretty awesome. You’re allowed to use any number of online driving schools that have been certified by the state.
Whether you’re a student or a parent, that’s some pretty cool news. Not only are online drivers ed courses more efficient than classroom-based courses, but they are way cheaper, less boring, students will retain information better, and it’s faster as well.
I’m a certified CDL driving instructor and even helped to create an online training program for truck drivers.
I understand full well that for the vast majority of driving students, an interactive online course is always better than a classroom or textbook.
Want The FAST Answer? This Is The Best California Online Drivers Ed Course
Finding The Best Online California Drivers Ed Course
The only real problem with taking drivers ed online in California is figuring out which school to use. Search engine results are pretty overwhelming and the state is not allowed to give recommendations. That’s why I’ve put this page together. I have personally gone through several online drivers ed courses (yeah, what a fun life I live, huh?) and have narrowed it down to a few great schools for you.
It’s not that all the other online driver ed programs are horrible or anything like that. On the other hand, there really are some low budget and very low-quality courses out there. And watch closely, some of them aren’t even state-certified! I figured narrowing it down to 3 quality courses should give you a good start.
I run this site on my own, so I can’t review them all! Feel free to search around on your own and if you think I’m missing a really good course, contact me to let me know.
The schools I reviewed are the most popular courses in the state of California, they all have an excellent reputation with at least 1-million graduates, and they’ve all been in business for over 10 years. As a certified driving instructor, I only promote courses I would personally recommend to friends and family.
Don’t Forget Your Free Discount!
After finding and reviewing the higher quality courses, I contacted the companies and asked for discounts or coupons I could share with my awesome website visitors (that’s you!). Not only have they graciously given me special discount links to share with you, but they are also giving me a few bucks for sending people over. So, if you wouldn’t mind, use the discount links I provided below. You get to save a few bucks and I get a few bucks – everyone wins! Isn’t the internet awesome?!
Check the School’s Reputation and Read Customer Reviews
Online driver’s ed is not just all about discounts and finding the cheapest courses, you’d also want to ensure you are learning from one of the best schools. So don’t forget to check your chosen education provider’s reputation.
You can check their accreditation and certifications that are usually displayed on their websites – of course, take the extra effort to verify that it’s not just for display. You can also rely on the rating they get in Better Business Bureau, or perhaps the ratings provided by customers on Trustpilot and other third-party review websites.
Reviews such as this one can help narrow down your choices if you don’t want to spend hours looking into every online driver’s ed program you’ll find in your internet search results.
My Online California Drivers Ed Course Reviews
As a former driving instructor, I not only understand what it takes to effectively teach the rules of the road, but I have personally gone through each of the below courses. Make sure you check out the full reviews under the short reviews I made for each course below.
TOP PICK: Aceable Online Drivers Ed Course
The Aceable online drivers ed course is my top pick and there really are no competitors. Sure, I gave several more options below, but if I needed to sign up for online drivers ed in California Aceable is pretty much the only one I would consider.
What I love about Aceable is their unique approach. When you first start the course, you will meet your course instructor. Your instructor happens to be an animated robot named Ace! By the time the course is over, you might actually be sad to say goodbye. Ace will take you through everything you need to know in order to obtain your permit and get your license.
As with any high-quality course, they include video, animations, graphics, and interactive features to help you retain info. What I really like is how they have clearly built this course just for teens. For example, they know teens love using their phones and tablets. Instead of just creating “mobile-friendly” versions of their course, they have built a dedicated version of their course for any device you want to use. They also include some unique features like being able to contact customer service via Facebook messenger (in addition to phone, chat, etc.). This course was just developed 2 years ago from the ground up with millions of dollars in funding. Bottom line, this is my top pick and it was an easy choice to make. You can learn more in my full and detailed Aceable review here.
Review #2: DriversEd.com
DriversEd.com is another fantastic option and this course has been around for a very long time. It’s one of the largest courses you’ll find with millions of satisfied students.
Recently, they upgraded their videos and animations to give it more of a 3D quality. They look very sharp and the interactive aspect of this course definitely makes it rank as one of the best California certified programs available online.
Of course, as with my other top recommendations, they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, have been around for more than 10 years, and are one of the most popular online driver’s ed courses in existence.
Yes, you can also start taking the course for free and they won’t ask for any payment info until you’ve already gone through a large chunk of the course.
Review #3: iDriveSafely Teen Driver Course
I really like the iDriveSafely course and in my opinion, it’s one of the best courses to sign up for. Since you can start taking this course for free without giving them any payment info, I highly recommend everyone at least tries it out.
First of all, they seem to strike a nice balance between teaching both parents and teens. Few schools understand the importance of getting parents involved in the curriculum.
We’re talking life or death here and I think most parents want to be involved.
This school not only gives parents resources, but they also give you an entire step-by-step guide packed with lesson plans and any resource you’ll need while teaching your teen how to drive.
Finally, their reputation is unmatched by any other online driving school.
They’ve been around the longest with over 2-million customers already, have a money-back guarantee, an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and are very well established.
No other online driver’s ed program has a reputation as they do.
So for all those reasons (and more) the iDriveSafely teen driver course gets my top pick as the best online drivers education program for California See my detailed review of the Teen iDriveSafely Drivers Ed course.
Review #4: Improv Traffic School Drivers Ed Program
Their online drivers ed program in California has been running for over a year now and it’s just as good as their traffic school course, if not better. Improv takes a different approach to online driver education. Instead of being “serious” about it, they take an entertainment approach. They like to use the term “edutainment.” On the surface, you probably want a serious course. After all, driving is dangerous and safe driving habits are formed early. However, I’ve found that the retention rate for students is much higher when they are laughing and having fun, which is exactly what Improv created… A fun,
Their online driver’s ed program in California has been running for over a year now and it’s just as good as their traffic school course, if not better. Improv takes a different approach to online driver education. Instead of being “serious” about it, they take an entertainment approach.
They like to use the term “edutainment.” On the surface, you probably want a serious course. After all, driving is dangerous, and safe driving habits are formed early.
However, I’ve found that the retention rate for students is much higher when they are laughing and having fun, which is exactly what Improv created… A fun, humorous, engaging course that will also provide hours of entertainment at the same time.
These are the same people who run the Improv Comedy Club chain, so they aren’t short on material! You can always start taking the course for free and decide for yourself, but in my opinion, this is the best online drivers ed program available in California. Be prepared to laugh! See my detailed review of the Improv Traffic School online drivers ed course.
Review #5: The Teen Driving Course
While I don’t think the TeenDrivingCourse.com quality is as good as the other courses I’ve listed, they are a bit cheaper.
Compared to the other drivers ed courses in California, this school ranks much higher than most others and I would certainly consider it as a top option for those who are on a budget.
In fact, they guarantee to have the cheapest price of any online California drivers ed course. If you find a cheaper price, they’ll beat it.
This is another school that allows you to start taking the course for free. You don’t even have to give them a credit card number to start the course.
Even though you’re paying a lower price, they have been around for about 10 years now, they have a good reputation, offer 24/7/365 live customer service via phone, chat, and email, have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and have had millions of students complete their course.
So even though they lack in some areas such as high-quality videos and animations, the company is solid and the course work is very good.
Do Students Really Learn Better Using Online Driving Schools?
I won’t claim that every student will learn better through an online course. Some students simply learn best in a classroom. You know your child best. But in my opinion and as someone who is a certified driving instructor, online courses are much more effective than classroom-based settings or traditional textbooks.
Most parents are more than qualified to teach their kids how to drive. Most parents have been driving almost every single day for the past couple of decades at least!
Whatever you decide, remember that safety is above everything else. Driving is the #1 cause of accidental death in every age group.
So no matter which course you sign up for, please be sure it’s a high-quality one. Lives depend on it!
That said, there are several benefits online traffic school offers, the primary being convenience.
If you work full time, you won’t have to miss a day at work just to attend. If you have kids at home, you don’t have to leave them.
It also saves you on cost — yes, you still have to pay for the course, but imagine how much time and money you save from not needing to travel from one location to another. And yes, online is always cheaper as there’s no actual classroom to pay for.
But as I said, taking a traffic school online is not for everyone. Some drivers prefer to attend in-person classes because they like having direct interaction with the instructor and their peers.
You’ll need to consider your preferences to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
How Does Online Drivers Ed Work In California?
There is a multi-step process to taking drivers ed online in California. First, you must take the actual online driver’s ed course so you can obtain your driving permit (woohoo!). Once that has been completed, it’s time for behind-the-wheel training. Some online drivers ed courses in California offer behind the wheel instruction, such as this one. Others may not offer behind the wheel training, but they will help you locate a local school they work with.
After you have successfully completed behind the wheel training, it’s time to practice what you’ve learned in all weather conditions and all driving conditions. This is when you drive around with a licensed adult, usually a parent or guardian. Mom and Dad typically have the final say on when you are ready, but you need to meet some basic minimum requirements:
- Drive a total of 50 hours with a licensed adult driver of at least 21 years of age.
- 10 driving hours must be done during nighttime conditions, although this is a bare minimum.
- You must complete these hours over at least a 6 months period.
Once you’re finished driving with Mom and Dad for 6 months, the long-awaited day arrives! Congratulations, you made it! Just one final step. You need to head to the DMV and apply for your first-time driver’s license. A good day indeed!
Will Online Driving School Be Easy?
That depends. If you enjoy learning about driving safety and the basic rules of the road, it will probably be quite enjoyable and extremely easy. However, if you simply rush through everything as fast as possible and don’t put in any effort, you may find an online course difficult to pass. Do not go into this thinking that taking online drivers ed instead of a classroom-based drivers ed course will be easier. It won’t be. These online courses are specifically set up to make sure you can’t slack off!
What If I Fail My Online California Drivers Education Course?
As long as you put in the effort, you won’t fail. But, to directly answer the question, if you fail a quiz during your drivers ed course, you simply retake the quiz until you pass. No big deal. The final exam, however, is another story. Realistically, if you have passed the quizzes, you will easily pass the final exam. If you do fail, you may be able to take the exam again. If you fail a second time, you may need to retake the entire course. Make sure you pay attention!!
Advice For Passing The California Driving Test
Page Last Updated on January 2023