Sears Driving School has a solid reputation in the drivers education industry. How Sears got involved in drivers ed, I have no idea. But nonetheless, they have established themselves as a very reputable driving school.
Unlike many other local drivers education schools, this one is backed by a multi-million dollar company. That means the facilities and classrooms will be nice (sometimes within a Sears store itself) and the vehicles will be in top shape. In most cases, the Sears Driver Ed School has its own mechanics which ensure their driver training vehicles are in top condition. That’s a serious advantage to the smaller driver ed programs.
Sears driver training is known for its quality instruction. It’s considered one of the best driving schools in the country. They hire very well qualified instructors who all undergo background investigations. Going with the Sears drivers ed program is about the safest choice you could make. While I personally prefer online drivers education for the classroom and book work portion (it’s way more interactive and effective), this is still a great choice for those who are unable to take their classroom portion online (not all states allow online instruction yet). It’s also a good option for parents who want their teens to learn the driving portion from a qualified instructor (example: Texas allows an online home study course where the parents act as driving instructors).
By far, the biggest advantage you get with this school is the peace of mind. You don’t have to question whether it’s a good program or not. They are well established in the industry and have been providing quality driver training for many years.
By far, the biggest con is price. Sears Teen Drivers Ed is pretty expensive. The price varies by location, but even Sears admits that their program is pricey. It is claimed that the quality of instruction reflects the increased cost, and I tend to agree with that from the research I’ve done.
Another problem is there aren’t any online modules. Quite a few drivers ed schools are now offering a chunk of their “classroom training” online. This limits commute times to the school as well as the boredom of being lectured to. Online drivers education programs have been proven to be more effective than typical classroom settings. Luckily, they do accept online driving school certificates from online driver ed programs such as iDriveSafely and TeenDrivingCourse. That way, you can still get the quality driving instruction from a Sears driving instructor after you do the book work online.
Other than that, I can’t think of too many bad things about this program. It’s a very solid driving school and if you are willing to pay the added cost, Sears Driving School is one of the best programs in the country.
Note: Sears Driving School is now known as the Official Driving School.
Brief Background on Official Driving School
Official Driving School started providing driver education in Michigan under the Sears Driving School brand. They’ve been in the business for more than 40 years already, so that’s quite a long time! Currently, they are located in local schools and Sears retail locations across the state.
Both of their teen and adult driver’s education programs are approved in the State of Michigan. They have employed only the best instructors who have completed the schools’ rigorous training and background checks. Plus, training is in safe, late-model vehicles.
Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC)
Official Driving School also offers the Basic Driver Improvement Course (BDIC) in Michigan in partnership with the American Safety Council. This course will keep traffic ticket points from being added to your driving record. You can also take this course to save up on your insurance costs. Just like their online Driver’s ed course, you can take the BIDC at your convenience, anywhere you are. They even report your course completion to the state directly.
To comply with the state’s COVID-19 response, they make sure that during their in-car lessons, their instructors are equipped with the know-how on the disinfection process, and the car is aired out and wiped down in between sessions. Students (and instructors) are also required to sign off on a Covid-19 questionnaire before starting the driving lesson.
During the in-person test days, students are spaced 6 feet apart during the test, and everyone in the testing facility is required to wear a mask that covers both their nose and mouth completely.
Want to see some online alternatives? Go to the Online Drivers Education section of the site!