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.
You used to be Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy – what’s behind the name change?
Long time customers may recall that before we launched the successful Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy program in March 2013, we were Driving Unlimited Academy – an ICBC licensed school established in 2008. Before then, Driving Unlimited had been in operation conducting driver training programs for corporations, government agencies, police forces, car manufacturers and enthusiast car clubs since the 1990s. The consolidation of the Mercedes-Benz Canada Vancouver regional office into the M-B Canada head office in Toronto played a big part in the decision to change. Then in March of 2020 with the onset of Covid-19, we could no longer conduct face-to-face classrooms in Mercedes-Benz dealerships. The combination of these events led to the decision to take the name brand “back to the future” and re-establish the Driving Unlimited Academy name.
What has changed now you’re Driving Unlimited Academy?
We’re glad you asked – very little! We have continued with the same programs, lesson plans, coaching techniques and personnel as when we operated under the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy banner. Our management and ownership team is exactly the same. All the things that have made us the fastest growing and most advanced driving school in BC remain the same. We have introduced a successful online GLP training course that provides an interactive experience for students – without leaving their home. And we’ve introduced some exciting new training vehicles – brand new 2021 Mazda 3 GT Sport AWD cars. These cars have even more technology and state-of-the-art features than the cars they’re replacing, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you.
Where do I go for more information?
How much do your courses cost?
There are a wide range of courses available. We have taken care to price our services competitively – students can experience the benefits of the Driving Unlimited Academy training at prices similar to other respected schools. There are always lower cost alternatives available when choosing any product or service – consumers should take care to compare the quality of the services before they make a purchasing decision.
We recommend you call a representative at Driving Unlimited Academy for expert advice on which training program is the best choice for you.
Is there a Payment Plan available?
Yes. For our GLP courses we offer a payment plan with no interest or registration fees. Please call a customer service representative for details.
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. Lesson plans can be tailored to suit the individual student’s needs and level of experience, from beginner to those who have been driving for a while and need some fine tuning to prepare for their road test. You can look through the list of courses here or give our office a call for expert advice.
Can I add extra lessons?
Yes! You can add extra lessons to an existing lesson plan whenever necessary. Please call or email our customer service centre to make arrangements.
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. For complete information on “L” and “N” licenses including restrictions placed on each, go to http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/Pages/Default.aspx
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 and you can participate from the comfort of your home.
How long does the GLP take?
It varies, depending on the student. Once you begin the program you have up to 365 days to complete all aspects of the training. For example, a student who gets their “L” licence right at the beginning of the program has 12 months before they’re eligible to take their “N” road test. In this case, the student may choose to delay taking some of the later in-car lessons so their coach can work with them closer to the date of their road test. These decisions are made after consultation between the coach, parents and students. In-car lesson frequency is flexible, but lessons should be spaced far enough apart to allow students time to practice in between and acquire the skills introduced by their driving coach. Doing lessons too close to each other is not recommended.
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.
How long are the lessons?
In-car lessons are 90 minutes each. Road Test Packages are two hours long. Classroom sessions are three hours long including scheduled break times.
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.
What happens if I have to cancel an in-car lesson?
We have a 24 hour cancellation policy. Lessons cancelled within that time or unattended, may be forfeited in the case of lesson packages – or a replacement lesson may have to be purchased in the case of a GLP course package. Late cancellations will require a rescheduling fee to re-book the lesson.
Our coaches schedule a finite number of lessons every day and are very busy. If lessons are cancelled with short notice, that time is gone for good.
When are the online GLP classes offered?
What if I miss an online classroom session?
All theory sessions have to be completed before your certificate can be issued at the end of the course. Since our courses are routinely sold out, and online class attendance is limited by ICBC, scheduling a make-up class can be difficult. A rescheduling fee will apply when a student has to be placed in a make up class. Call our customer service centre so we can help make arrangements in this event.
Can I take driving lessons in my own car?
An approved driving school may only deliver lessons in a vehicle that is registered with ICBC and that meets their requirements. 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.
Why are there cameras in the cars?
Some of our training vehicles are equipped with in-car cameras. Cameras are used for on-going coach training, and they provide extra piece-of-mind for students and parents alike.
Can I request that cameras not be used during my lessons?
Yes. If you prefer not to have your lessons recorded for any reason, the camera will be shut off for you. ICBC requires cameras be shut off during road tests, as well.
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.