License on the 1st try

All my friends have told me that their driving instructors make them drive around doing errands such as going to 7-11 or picking up dry cleaning. This is not the case with Olson’s Driving School. I promise you that Mr. Randolph gives you his full attention and  will provide you with the tools to pass your driving test. I took my test in Los Gatos which can be difficult due to its traffic and pedestrians, but Mr. Randolph really knew the area and helped me to get my license on the 1st try this past Friday with only 2 errors. He provides a lot of helpful tips and certainly helped me dispel my fear of driving. I even learned to parallel park and I’m really comfortable with driving on the freeway! This driving school is worth the money and don’t forget to call way in advance! (:

~ S.K. in San Jose in Yelp Filtered Reviews

SVDS: Drivers Permit

Provisional or Instruction permit is the first step to acquiring a driver’s license and allows for driving on public roads. No matter what age you are, you are required to take the DMV written test. If you are under 17 1/2 years old you must complete a Drivers Education program. For specific information on acquiring a permit refer to section titled DMV Test Requirements.

SVDS: Questions to ask when choosing a school

The following is a list of helpful questions you can ask driving schools during a phone conversation. We believe this will help you decide which is the best school for you.

  • Have all instructors been teaching for years?
    (It takes years to become good at any profession)
  • Does the instructor speak a language the I will understand?
  • Is it private instruction?
  • Are instructors, knowledgeable, professional, personable, and patient?
  • Do they provide the same instructor and car for all lessons.
    (Same instructor and same car provides more ease and continuity of training)
  • Do instructors always show up for lesson or do they cancel?
  • Does the office call student and cancel lesson?
  • What is taught during the 6 hours of lessons?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Days and hours of training sessions?
  • Are vehicles well maintained, clean, and fit any size student?

Note: Observe your conversation with driving schools. Are they easy to understand, personable, knowledgeable (answer questions to one’s satisfaction), helpful (offer advice or information not considered), good telephone skills, and ease in scheduling? Watch out if they are rude or in a rush.

SVDS: Avoid problems when choosing a school

Tthe following is a list of problems that have happened to students with other driving schools. So beware it does not happen.

  • Student can’t pass drive test – fails many times.
  • Instructor falls asleep while student is driving.
  • Instructor does not teach anything, just lets student drive around.
  • Instructor goes to shopping mall and leaves student in car for one hour.
  • Student can’t understand the language the instructor is speaking.
  • Both instructor and student skip lesson and play video games or go to go cart track.
  • Wait 2 months to get first or second appointment.
  • Other students in car – that means the driver will drive other student home wasting lesson, because a great deal of straight driving occurs.
  • Taught incorrect methods and/or rules.
  • Office or instructor calls up and cancels lesson more than once.
  • Instructor does not show up for one or more lessons.
  • Instructor collects all money on first lesson and never shows up again.
  • Student paid $900 in driving lessons and still could not pass drive test, failed many times. Cost for each lesson was cheap, but overall they spend a great deal of money with no result (truly did not learn how to drive competently, nor able to pass drive test).
  • Instructor taught only how to drive on DMV test routes but not really teach the skill in how to drive.
  • Student does not learn new things each lesson or does not improve each lesson.
  • Driving school had two prices for taking student to drive test. Standard price if student fails, if passed charged extra. Price really should be same.

SVDS: Why pay more?

A person may find a real good price on driving lessons, but if they learn next to nothing, they just lost their money. Typically the difference between a poor or fair driving school lesson and a superior driving school lesson can be as little as $10 – $20 per lesson. When considering that the average person will drive 40 – 50 years of their lives, which is a small price to pay for superior training. The little extra money paid will reap big rewards. Rewards such as, good driving skills and habits developed early will minimize or eliminate accidents (loss of money or health). Also being a competent driver will promote confidence and skill thereby making driving a more stress less and problem free. Typically when paying more one gets a more experienced and professional instructor, that provides more comprehensive training as well as making it easier to learn. Finally, good training greatly increases the chance of passing drive test first time, instead of taking several times.

SVDS: Choosing a drivers training school

The following is a list of elements which are contained in a quality driver training program:

  • Instructor licensed by the California DMV
  • Instructor should speak a language that you can understand.
    (Note: Be sure to ask the Driving School office, or you may encounter a real problem.)
  • Have an experienced and knowledgeable instructor.
  • Instructor should have several years of experience. Usually, as in any profession, the longer one has been working at that profession, the more competent they are.
  • Instructor should keep learning as stress free as possible.
  • Instructor should really be interacting with you while teaching how to drive, not ensuing endless unrelated chatter, or letting student just drive around with little or no instruction.
  • Learn ability to control the car well..
  • Private lesson – only one student in car during the lesson. Having more than one student in car posses many problems. First, because you will be dropping off the prior student, it entails a large amount of straight driving (which teaches very little). Second, the other student is sitting in the back seat, waiting to be dropped off – wasting their time, and boring (which you will be too when it is your turn to be dropped off). Last, you may feel self conscious because some one is watching you learn to drive.
  • Late model cars, clean, and in good working order.
  • Cars that fit any size person.
  • Cars equipped with proper climate control (e.g. heating and air-conditioning)
  • Warning:
    • Many driving schools only teach DMV Drive Test material. There is much more to learn about driving then just how to pass the test, such as: defensive driving, freeway, perpendicular parking (most common), parallel parking, driving in hills, down-town driving, and driving in traffic. Incomplete training will limit where you can drive.
    • Many driving schools have a high turnover rate of instructors, so it is important to ask how long your instructor has been working as a driving instructor. Look for years instead of months of experience.
    • Students should learn new material on each lesson, or see their driving skill improving.
    • Interactive instruction is required to learn how to drive! If all you do is straight driving during a lesson, you learn virtually nothing.
    • Roof top signs on training vehicles for advertising may cause embarrassment, but do not reflect negatively on the quality of the school.
  • Material covered should include:
    • Direction on how to control the car well.
    • Car maneuvers
        – Right and left turns
        – Lane changing
        – Parking (diagonal, perpendicular, parallel, hill and curb)
        – Backing up along a curb in a straight line (without using mirrors)
        – Turnabout or 3 point turn
        – U-turns
        – Merging
    • Defensive Driving
    • Different driving environments
        – Residential
        – Down Town Traffic – traffic skills, rules
        – Mountains
        – Parking lots
        – Freeway
    • Simulated DMV road test
    • How to read and understand all road signs and road markings, and various road layouts
    • Tips on passing DMV license drive test
    • Develop driving skill, safety, and judgment
    • Learn proper interaction with other vehicles and pedestrians
    • Judging time and distance
    • Learn vehicle controls and instruments
    • Taken to various geographical locations to develop driving knowledge

    Note: You should be instructed on all maneuvers to the point of being able to complete them successfully with your instructor.

SVDS: General Information

Choosing a good driving school and instructor is very important. The typical person drives 40 to 50 years of their life. You will come to know that driving is an essential part of your life. It is a tremendous convenience and a necessity for most people, since driving is done usually on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s obvious that driving is an important aspect of our lives. Eventually one day you will have to give it up due to old age, or for some other reason. When that day comes, you will find driving to be very difficult to give up, because it has become so much a part of your life.

Since driving is so important it is imperative that you receive correct and quality driving instruction, and practice in the beginning. Developing good skill, competence, and confidence in the beginning pays off big time in future dividends. The dividends are problem free driving with less or no traffic accidents. That translates into money savings – no property loss, medical costs, or being sued. Another dividend is peace of mind due to little or no stress – you truly know how to drive.

The cost of lessons is also a very important factor to most people. When you are determining cost, you should look at overall cost not price per lesson. You may find a price per lesson very low, but if you learn very little each lesson your overall cost could be considerable. Whereas if you spent more per lesson with a more qualified instructor, and learned more rapidly, your overall cost would be less, due to fewer lessons taken. Learning to drive with fewer lessons is also a cost savings in regards to saving your personal time. The following is a true example:

An adult student went to a local driving school and paid $900 in driving lessons and still could not pass drive test, failed many times. Cost for each lesson was cheap, but overall a great deal of money was spent with no result (truly did not learn how to drive competently, nor able to pass drive test).

Other Considerations:
  • Having a more qualified and experienced instructor makes driving easier to learn.
  • Learn proper not improper driving skills, rules, and techniques.
  • Less hassles in every aspect in the interaction with the school (office personnel, or instructor).
  • Good chance of passing drive test first time, instead of taking many times to pass.
Look for Value:
    Value is looking for a good service or product at a fair price. You get what you pay for – you may find a real good price on driving lessons, but if you learn next to nothing, you loose. You loose your money on the driving lessons, and on possible future losses – due to lack of driving competence. You don’t have to go to the most expensive school to get good driving instruction. By using our guideline on choosing a school you can find a good school without paying an exorbitant price. Typically the difference between a poor or fair driving lesson versus a good driving lesson can be as little as $10 – $20 per lesson. When you consider that the average person will drive 40 – 50 years of their lives, it is a small price to pay for good training.
In conclusion:
    Bottom line: Choosing a quality driving school is to your benefit!

SVDS: Scheduling / Contact Us

  • You can call the office 24 hours, 7 days a week to leave a message.
  • Lessons are scheduled in 2 hour increments.
  • Driving Training is conducted 8:00am to 6:00pm, Monday through Sunday.
  • Cancellation policy: You must contact the office at least 24 hours prior to scheduled appointment in order to avoid a $45 cancellation fee.
  • You must have a valid California Driving Permit or a valid license. No permit or license at scheduled appointment will result in cancellation of appointment and related fee of $45.

Call us today!
(408) 251-3163

SVDS: What we offer

  • Hours of operation:
    • Driving Instruction: Monday – Saturday, 8:00am – 6:00pm
  • All of our Driving Instructors are:
    • Highly experienced and skilled instructors
      DMV licensed with many years of experience
      English as a first language
      Patient and friendly
  • We offer in-car driving instruction for teenagers, adults and seniors.
  • Preparation for DMV Drive Test.
  • We offer the Drivers Education Home Study Program.
  • Most of our students pass the DMV Drive Test the first time!
  • We service all of Santa Clara County.
  • We don’t cancel appointments and we show up on time.
  • You are guaranteed to overcome your fear or nervousness on the first lesson.
  • Free pickup from your home, school or work.
  • Private, one-on-one lessons.
  • Fully bonded and insured.
  • Immediate Appointments.
  • Each lesson is 2 hours.
  • Well maintained cars that fit any size person, comfortably.
  • Dual control cars with air conditioning.