Difference Between Traditional Driver’s Ed & Online Driver’s Ed

Whether you’re looking for a driver’s ed course for your teen or want to take an adult driver’s education class to get your license for the first time, you are probably already aware that you have a plethora of options. There are not only several different schools that you can enroll in, but depending on which state you live in, you might even be able to take your driver’s ed course online. Yes, really! Instead of commuting to a course on the weekend, you could complete your driver’s education from the comfort of your own computer.

You might be wondering what the differences are between these two-course options. After all, you probably already have a vision of the traditional setting for driver’s ed: a stuffy classroom filled with giggling students and an ambivalent teacher. But online driver’s ed is a relatively new concept, and it can be a little hard to imagine.

Either option that you decide to go with should be the right one for you. If the idea of a traditional classroom sounds like the most effective way to learn how to drive safely for your learning style, then that might just be your best bet. But if the perks of online classes appeal to you, then it’s certainly something to look into more seriously. Here are some of the main differences between the old-fashioned method of driver’s ed classes and taking it online.

Help In The Classroom Versus 24/7 Assistance

Prospective students often like the idea of having an actual person in the classroom to learn from. It’s the way that classes usually take place, and for many people, it’s simply the way that they learn best. But with these classes, it often means that you can only get help and ask questions when you’re in the classroom. If you run into any issues outside of class time, then you have to wait until the next time you meet to sort out your problems.

When looking at online driver’s ed classes, choose an option that offers 24/7/365 assistance. This means that any hour of any day of the week, you’ll be able to get your questions answered. A big benefit to doing an online course is the freedom to complete the coursework at your leisure. For many busy people, this can mean doing the lessons at odd times. But not to worry! Even though you’re taking the course alone, you’re not alone at all. Simply reach out for advice and your online course will be able to help you.

DriverEdtoGo has been commended for its reliable free customer and technical service support via phone call, text, and email. Another school we recommend is iDriveSafely for their consistent customer service makes them one of the easiest schools.

Learning During Class Times Versus Learning On Your Own Time

As mentioned, a big bonus to enrolling in an online driver’s ed course is that you can complete the lessons when you have the time. This means it’s ideal for busy individuals like students who participate in sports and also have a job or adults who are trying to maintain a healthy work/life balance. 

Most online driver’s ed will allow 24/7 unlimited access to learning resources that are compatible with any device.  Aceable even made a dedicated mobile app that’s filled to the brim with interactive games, videos, and graphics on road safety and traffic laws. That’s what we call convenience and flexibility! Squeezing in a lesson right before dinner, doing some work as you lay in bed, or completing some of the work in between shifts means that you don’t have to completely clear your schedule on the weekend for a long, exhausting class. It also means that you can work during the times that you feel most productive. If you’re an early bird or a night owl, you’ll be hard-pressed to find driver’s education classes in person that will suit your preferences.

Classroom Learning Versus Self-Directed Learning

For people who aren’t self-starters or have a hard time motivating themselves to get work done, a traditional classroom setting may be best. To pass the course, attendance is non-negotiable, and so it forces them to make it to class. It also means that they strive to get the work done by the deadlines, as it’s enforced for them.

For those who can find the motivation within themselves, though, an online course is perfect. It requires self-discipline and a true desire deep down to pass, as well as realizing that you and only you are responsible for passing. This is certainly a great deal of responsibility, but it also means that the student is willing to put in the work. It requires them to study and truly take in what they’re learning as opposed to merely getting credit for showing up.

It’s not as hard as you’d imagine though. Online driver’s ed schools make it a point to design course outlines that are easy to understand even while you’re learning alone at home. Schools like DriversEd.com and Improv Traffic School specially designed their courses to be short, simple, and entertaining. DriversEd.com makes their courses clear and straightforward with short text-based lessons, but they also have interactive learning tools like 3D animations, graphics, and videos. At Improv Traffic School, you’ll find hilarious videos and skits specially made by Hollywood scriptwriters and driving professionals to be fun and engaging. 

Behind-The-Wheel Training Versus No Driving Experience

Some people, parents of new teen drivers especially, are worried about enrolling in online driver’s education because it does not involve any behind-the-wheel training. A traditional driver’s ed class will involve this—usually 40 hours or more. However, this is also the time in addition to time outside the classroom that they’ll need to practice.

Don’t get us wrong: driving practice is wonderfully beneficial. But is a grouchy driver’s ed teacher the person you want to learn from or have your child drive with? The problem with many in-person driver’s ed classes is that they aren’t designed to be enjoyable. In fact, it’s rare to find a teacher that actually likes teaching the subject. So while the act of driving practice itself can make you or your child a better driver, the traditional driver’s ed behind-the-wheel work is not perfect. Additionally, it gets paired with often less-than-exciting lessons from an unenthused teacher, making the student not excited at all about really paying attention and learning to drive well.

There are a variety of online courses, though, for every type of learner, from the “just the facts” type of person to someone looking for a little bit of comedy mixed in. By feeling more engaged in the classroom, it will greatly improve the student’s behind-the-wheel work overall.


In short, online driver’s ed is the most convenient and affordable way to get your driver’s license. You can learn at your own time and at your own pace, anywhere and on any device. Thanks to 24/7 customer service and technical support, going through online driving school will be a breeze. Online driving school is also more fun and innovative than traditional driving school. You’ll find engaging simulations, games, 3D animations, videos, and audio tools. We think that’s 100% better than sitting in a classroom while a disinterested teacher flashes an outdated PowerPoint presentation.

What are you waiting for? Check out some of our recommendations to find the best online driver’s ed for you!

That said, if you prefer the more traditional ways of studying, then that might be the better option for you. 

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