If you’re planning to take the Beginner Driver Education Course on standard,
carefully consider these facts before selecting a driving school...
The Ontario Instructor Training Course focuses on teaching the rules of the road in an automatic vehicle; it does not cover manual shift techniques or manual shift teaching methods; “manual shift” instructors therefore have to draw from their own experience and “wing it” - the result is that, all too often, bad habits or incorrect/outdated techniques are passed along to the student.
Some of the current requirements for the Ontario manual shift road test are clearly outdated, and instructors providing the MTO course on standard normally follow these guidelines; this almost guarantees that the student will be taught incorrect (and potentially dangerous) manual shift techniques. For that reason, and until those requirements are changed, I recommend doing the test with an automatic
. For more details check out Planning to take the Road Test with a manual shift..?
Manual shift instruction vehicles used at “regular” driving schools are generally not equipped to properly monitor the actions of the student; this makes it practically impossible to detect and correct small, but sometimes important mistakes or bad habits. Also, very few have control of all the pedals from the instructor’s side (only the brake is mandatory), so the instructor can’t “take over” or assist the driver in difficult or dangerous situations.
If a student needs to: (1) learn to drive manual shift correctly, (2) develop essential defensive driving skills, and (3) prepare for the road test, it’s unlikely all this can be done properly in 12 hours of manual only instruction (the minimum required by the Ministry); the student will usually be short-changed one way or the other. (Note that in Europe, manual shift in-car training is usually 30 hours or more). A practical solution is to split the lessons between manual and automatic as we suggest; this has been found to work quite well with most students providing the manual lessons are properly structured and taught by an expert such as a ProShift instructor*. Extra manual or automatic lessons are available if necessary.
* Note: ProShift does not provide the Ministry-Approved Driver Education Course, and does not instruct holders of a G1 driver's license. The ProShift instructor providing manual shift training as part of that program does so under individual (personal) contract with Ottawa Driving School, a Ministry-Licensed driving school, and the student must register with ODS.