Choosing a performance driving school

Whether you want to improve your driving skills or are looking for a place to safely enjoy your love of racing speeds, performance driving schools are a way to help you become a safer driver, hone your driving abilities and have fun.

There are many different driving and racing schools available. It’s important to know the differences to help you decide which one to attend Read on to learn how to choose a driving school that’s right for you.

1. High-performance driving schools

Choose a performance driving school1 if you want lessons that emphasize how to master car control. These advanced driving schools will teach braking, throttling and turning techniques that can be used to your advantage on the road. Any driver can benefit from this kind of driving school.

An added bonus—high-performance cars you may not already own, such as BMWs, Chevrolet Corvettes or Ford Mustangs, are often available for use.

2. Racing schools

There are also racing schools2 designed to improve track skills in response to and in an environment with other racers. In most cases, a racing school requires that you’ve completed a performance driving school course before racing. These schools often take performance skills and build on them. Such schools will often have single-seat race cars and sometimes have open-wheel racers for you to use to develop your skills.

3. Specialty schools

Finally, there are specialty schools that are designed for people who want to learn how to master a specific type of racing. That can include kart racing, drag racing or even stock car or NASCAR racing. This kind of driving school is less likely to provide you with the driving skills you’ll use in the real world—choose a specialty school if you want to learn specialized skills like emergency skid pad control or hairpin-turn braking techniques.

Finding the right school

When choosing a school, you’ll need to think about what type of training you want and make sure the driving courses offered suit your needs.

Once you’ve chosen your area of study, the main points to consider are price, location and reputation. Schools can be expensive—ranging from several hundred dollars for a few hours to thousands of dollars for a few days—so it’s important to make sure your money is well spent.

Performance driving schools are found in nearly every state; some of them have permanent locations, while others have agreements with different racetracks around the country and offer instruction for a day or weekend.

Certain car manufacturers may also offer driving schools and courses. BMW, AMG, Porsche, Jaguar and Ford are just some of the brands that have their own driving schools and tracks. If you want to learn how to master your car on snow and ice, there are schools for that, too.

Who’s in charge?

Once you’ve found a school, it’s important to find out who will be teaching the courses. Just as with any other type of education, some instructors are better than others, and some have specialty skills and experience that can better suit the type of racing you're interested in. Check the website of the school for your instructor's experience, and give the school a call if you want to learn more. A good school will always be willing to share what sets it apart from others. Checking social media and sites for honest reviews is always a good idea, too.

Along with your new skills, you should have car insurance to protect your vehicle and yourself. Contact Nationwide for more information about policies designed to meet your unique needs.

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