Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled this list of frequently asked questions to help you learn about Driving Unlimited Academy for New Drivers and getting your license. We hope that you find the information below informative, but if you still have questions, please contact us and we will be happy to get you all the information you need. You can also visit the ICBC website for general information on driver licensing.
Why are you called Driving Unlimited Academy now?
Driving Unlimited Schools Inc has been in operation conducting advanced driver training programs for corporations, government agencies, police forces, car manufacturers and enthusiast car clubs since the 1990s.
We started a driving school for new drivers in 2007 as Driving Unlimited Academy in Pitt Meadows, BC. From 2012-2020, we were under the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy worldwide banner. That program came to an end during COVID and we have returned to our roots as Driving Unlimited Academy.
We have continued with the same programs, lesson plans, coaching techniques and personnel as when we operated under the MBDA banner. Our management and ownership team is exactly the same. All the things that have made us the most advanced driving school in BC remain the same.
We have now introduced a successful online version of the GLP Theory Classroom that provides an interactive experience for students – without leaving their home. We have also introduced some exciting new training vehicles – brand new 2021 Mazda 3 GT Sport AWD cars. These cars have great technology and state-of-the-art features and our students are telling us they love them!
How do I register for courses?
You can purchase many of our courses directly from this website. We will contact you after the purchase to complete your registration. You may register by phone by calling our customer service centre at (604) 460-5004 during business hours. You may also email us at email@example.com and we will contact you.
Where do I go for more information?
What areas of the Lower Mainland do you service?
We service the entire Lower Mainland from East Maple Ridge to West Vancouver. When you register with Driving Unlimited Academy your coach will pick you up at your home or school for your in-car lessons. GLP Theory Classes are conducted online via Zoom, and you can participate from the comfort of your home.
How long are the lessons?
In-car lessons are 90 minutes each. Road Test Packages are two hours long. Theory Classroom sessions are three hours long including scheduled break times.
What kind of courses or lesson packages do you offer?
We are an ICBC Licensed driving school offering a full range of lesson packages and an ICBC Approved Graduated Licensing Program Course. The GLP course is our most popular program. We also have lesson packages that can be tailored to suit the individual student’s needs and level of experience. Whether you are a beginner driver, or an experienced driver looking for a tune-up, we have the experience to help. We offer the GLP Course package, individual lesson packages, Road Test packages, and Class 4 (Restricted) training.
What happens if I have to cancel an in-car lesson?
We have a 24 hour cancellation policy. Lessons cancelled within that time (or no-shows), will result in a forfeiture of that lesson. A reinstatement fee will need to be paid in order to reschedule that lesson. Everyone receives a 3-day reminder via email and a 24-hour reminder via text.
We understand that emergencies happen, however, we only have so many lesson slots, and cannot replace that time once it is lost. Because of that, everyone – regardless of the situation – is subject to the reinstatement fee for late cancellations.
What is the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) about?
ICBC implemented the Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) several years ago to help reduce risk for new drivers as they gain experience. In the Learner or “L” stage of the GLP, drivers must have a supervisor with them at all times, among other restrictions. Later, drivers who pass a road test can graduate to a Novice or “N” license with fewer restrictions. Finally, after passing the Class 5 road test, drivers become fully privileged and restrictions are removed.
ICBC recognizes that proper and thorough training can also reduce the risk vs untrained drivers. Because of that ICBC “rewards” new drivers who complete an ICBC-Approved GLP Course, by reducing the amount of time they need to remain in the N-stage of their licence.
It is not just a loophole – ICBC has very strict standards of how these programs are run and what the content must include. They reward those who commit to a higher learning by reducing the wait time for these drivers to be fully licenced by 6 months as well as providing 2 high school credits for completing the course.
For complete information on “L” and “N” licenses including restrictions placed on each, go to http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/Pages/Default.aspx
How long does the GLP program take?
ICBC designed the GLP program to foster proper and effective learning that produces lifelong safe drivers. It is designed to span one year, and 0nce you begin the program, you have up to 365 days to complete all three sections of the required training (Theory Classes, Online Self-Directed Modules and In-Car Lessons. The GLP program is not designed to be condensed into a few months prior to the road test.
Students progress more quickly if they have lots of support from the parent or co-driver and get plenty of supervised practice. ICBC recommends a minimum of 60 hours while in the “L” stage. Research shows that students who get 120 or more hours of supervised practice while in the “L” stage have 40% fewer crashes and violations when they begin to drive solo as an “N” driver. This is what we recommend.
In-car lesson frequency is flexible, based on the goals of the student and their schedule flexibility. Lessons should be spaced far enough apart to allow students time to practice in between and acquire the skills introduced by their driving coach.
Why should I take a GLP course?
Completion of our Graduated Licensing Program (GLP) is the most effective way to prepare new drivers for a lifetime of safe, responsible driving. Unlike traditional driver training that limits its focus on road rules, basic vehicle control, and driving in traffic, our course features in-depth study of new-driver risk factors: strategies to identify and control impulsivity, and the effects of the individual’s personality and lifestyle variables. Driving Unlimited Academy students develop self-awareness of their abilities by learning to continually evaluate their driving throughout their years behind the wheel. The responsibility for safe decision-making is transferred to the learner throughout their training so when they begin solo driving, they are used to making safe decisions on their own without supervision.
- GLP grads are safer drivers. ICBC’s data shows a 10 to 13% decrease in crashes and violations among “N” drivers who have taken an approved GLP course.
- Other benefits include a reduction of six months off the minimum time a driver must hold an “N” license, and two secondary school graduation credits upon successful completion.
- GLP Program packages are heavily discounted packages and an excellent value for the money – including Theory Classrooms, Online Learning Modules and In-Car Lessons
What if I miss an online classroom session?
All theory sessions have to be completed to achieve GLP designation. Since our courses are routinely sold out, and online class attendance is limited by ICBC, scheduling a make-up class can be difficult if you miss one. A rescheduling fee will also apply when a student has to be placed in a make-up class. It is highly recommended to make your 4 Theory classrooms a priority to avoid extra cost and extra stress.
What is taught in the GLP Theory Classrooms?
Theory sessions include all of ICBC’s established Learning Outcomes for new drivers – including topics you would expect, such as road rules, laws and road signs, plus a lot of things you might not expect; interactive mini-workshops on common new-driver crash cases, distracted driving activities, understanding the role of impulsivity relating to new drivers, individual’s personal risk tolerance and a host of fun, educational group activities that open student’s eyes to a world of driving they may not have thought about before. They learn a lot about driving and they learn a lot about themselves, too. It’s definitely not boring! Students are surprised at how much they learn and how much fun they have.
Can I take my Road Test in your car?
Yes. We offer a Road Test Package that includes a pre-test (max 45 min) warm-up session with the coach, as well as the use of the driving school vehicle for your test. Road Test packages cannot be purchased online, as we need to verify availability prior to purchase. Please call the office to book.
Will I have the same Coach for all my In-Car lessons?
Our objective is that a coach and student work together for the duration of the in- car training. In certain cases, such as when a coach is sick or on vacation, or due to limited availability, or position/area changes we may need to switch the student to a different coach for a lesson.
Can Parents ride along during lessons?
Yes. Parents are encouraged to ride along to observe how their new driver is doing and to learn techniques that will help them in their role as co-drivers.
**NOTE: Due to COVID-19 safety protocol, only the student and instructor may occupy the training vehicle. We will welcome parents back in the car as soon as restrictions can be lifted.
Can I take driving lessons in my own car?
An ICBC-Approved driving school may only deliver lessons in a vehicle that is registered with ICBC and that meets their requirements – one of which is dual pedal controls. For this reason, we are not able to have a coach ride with you in your own car to conduct lessons. There is an increased level of safety provided by an approved Driving Unlimited Academy vehicle – instructor control of braking, extra mirrors to allow the coach to thoroughly observe conditions and graphics that clearly identify the car as a training vehicle.
Do you have any manual transmission vehicles?
Due to the lack of demand, we regret that we no longer offer training in manual transmission vehicles.