Best Driving Schools in Columbia

Why These Driving Schools?

Our goal is to connect people with the best local experts. We scored Columbia Driving Schools on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

Reviewed Curated Top Picks 40 28 10

Our Selection Criteria:

  • 1. Availability

    Consistently approachable and responsive, so customers never feel ignored.

  • 2. Qualifications

    Building customer confidence with licensing, accreditations, and awards.

  • 3. Reputation

    A history of delighted customers and outstanding service.

  • 4. Experience

    Masters of their craft, based on years of practical experience and education.

  • 5. Professionalism

    Providing service with honesty, reliability, and respect.

Read more about our selection process

ABC Driver Training School

West Columbia-based ABC Driver Training School has been teaching people from all walks of life how to drive for almost 50 years by teaching students how to be safe, responsible, and responsive on the road via comprehensive, expert private lessons with an emphasis on safety and road awareness. ABC Driver Training School is all about options to make learning to drive and becoming licensed as seamless as possible for students and their families. ABC's services include comprehensive teen driver's ed including eight hours in class and six hours in-car, extra behind-the-wheel sessions, 4 Point Reduction classes, and testing at the local DMV. ABC is happy to customize programs to suit each student's individual needs, and licensing testing can be performed by owner and experienced instructor Walter Matulis at times that are convenient for students, avoiding long DMV waiting times. The school also transports students to the DMV and offers use of cars for testing. ABC Driver Training School is a member of the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce and has been voted Best of Columbia three times by the Free Times. The team at ABC is also deeply committed to welcoming, helping, and teaching international students.

West Columbia, SC 29169


Advantage Driving LLC

Advantage Driving LLC offers driving lessons in the community of Irmo. Teen drivers can receive eight hours of classroom instruction plus six hours of in-car training, which covers residential streets, rural settings, interstate driving, and heavy traffic situations. The school is an AAA Approved Driving school and also provides adult driver training, defensive driving, and 4 Point Reduction courses. Fleet training classes are also available for Driver Improvement Programs, insurance savings, or another desired custom program, and instructors at the school are certified by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles and have passed a SLED background check. Advantage Driving has taught thousands of students, offers custom lesson times for an additional fee, and is an approved Third Party Testing school as well.

Irmo, SC 29063


C.O.P.S Driving Academy

C.O.P.S Driving Academy brings decades of driver training experience to the residents of Columbia. The school is known for professional driving instruction that includes the teaching of rules, know-how, and skills above and beyond the competition to produce exceptionally confident and safe teen drivers, and teens benefit from highly qualified teachers including two South Carolina Law Enforcement Master Instructors. The founders work as certified law enforcement officers, one is a certified as an instructor by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, and both are involved with collision research and reduction programs. Every other member of C.O.P.S Driving Academy's staff are retired or current certified senior law enforcement professionals who specialize in training, communications, and highway safety.

Columbia, SC 29229


Championship Driving School, LLC

Championship Driving School, LLC is a Lugoff driving school backed by over 20 years of experience. Teenagers from numerous area high schools have access to the driver training course required by the State of South Carolina, and classes utilize interesting topics, projects, group work, individual work, and hands-on learning to produce confident, knowledgeable, and safe drivers on the road. The fully licensed and bonded school is known for quality instruction by experienced and licensed instructors as well as for affordable prices, and students appreciate being able to obtain their license in as little as two weeks time. The school offers the Permit and Driving Test as well for added convenience along with an Insurance Reduction Course, and individuals can register directly on the company's site.

Lugoff, SC 29078


Dutch Fork Driving School

Dutch Fork Driving School handles driver's education training in the Irmo area. The center provides the state-mandated eight hours of classroom time along with six hours of behind-the-wheel training and is also certified to administer the road test as well so students do not need to go to the DMV for their exam. Classroom learning is completed in one day, and the in-car sessions typically take place over three separate times. The school uses two Mazda Miatas with automatic transmission for training, and the instructor specializes in beginner drivers as well as nervous drivers. Lessons are available for both teens and adults, and the owner is a retired Navy veteran who taught his own daughters how to drive.

Irmo, SC 29063


Kennedy Drivers Training

Kennedy Drivers Training has been a Columbia driving school for almost 20 years. State-approved instructors provide a full driver's education course that is focused on safety, and hundreds of students over the years have learned to become confident, aware, and responsible drivers at the school. Kennedy Drivers Training is known as a top school by local families, schools, local law enforcement, and churches due to its fun and supportive environment, its emphasis on teaching students to understand the consequences of their actions, and its defensive driver training as well. The school offers car rentals for the state driving test as well as additional hours for in-car training, and details for teen and adult driver courses can be found on Kennedy Drivers Training's site.

Columbia, SC 29210


Lake Murray Driving Academy

Lake Murray Driving Academy is a driving school in Chapin. The Christian-faith based school provides teen drivers eight hours of classroom learning as well as six hours of driving time, and students learn critical skills such as how to parallel park, back up at least 100 feet, perform a three-point turn, park a vehicle overnight, and prepare for the DMV Driver's License exam. Participants can also sign up to take their driver's test at the school and in one of the school's vehicles they are already comfortable driving, and certified instructors can pick up and drop off students for all lessons as well. Lake Murray Driving Academy employs teachers who are full-time police officers, is AAA Certified for a 4 Point Reduction, and Certified by the SC DMV.

Chapin, SC 29036


Potts Driving School LLC

Potts Driving School LLC has been a Sumter driving school for almost 20 years. Students can sign up for permit classes, the SCDMV Permit Test, fleet safety training, a defensive driving course, and lessons aimed at insurance reductions and 4 Point Reductions as well. The school offers complete training programs for both teens and adults, pickup and drop-off services from home, work, or school, and payment plans upon request and serves as a SCDMV Third Party Road Test facility as well. The owner previously worked as a truck driver for 27 years and has been teaching defensive driving skills for several years. All instructors at the school are state-certified and pride themselves on top-notch customer service, and Potts Driving School also features instructor training courses as well.

Sumter, SC 29150


ThinkSafe Driving School

ThinkSafe Driving School is a driving school serving the Columbia area. The SC DMV Approved Driving School is state-certified and offers a full driver's ed course for teenagers, which includes the mandated eight hours of classroom instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel training. Adults can also sign up for driver training lessons with packages of two to five sessions available, and additional services at the school include free pickups, free lunch, payment plans, and highly qualified instructors. Students can read about the necessary requirements to take the DMV Road Test on ThinkSafe's website as well as review class schedules, and parents can take a look at their obligations, parent orientation time, and advice on practicing with their teens.

Columbia, SC 29210


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