West Point Driving School was founded in 1999, and came under current ownership in 2008. With the change of ownership, we started doing things differently. We bought brand new vehicles. We gave every instructor a raise, and we held them to a new standard with an intensive instructor training program. We’re pretty sure no other driving school in the Sacramento region pays instructors more… and we get more from them in return. Instructors tend to stay with us for several years.
We will never be ruled by “industry standard practices”. With the 2008 change of ownership, we stopped “piggybacking” lessons so we never have more than one student in the car. We added our current refund policy. And we allowed parents to ride along. We did these things because they just make sense!
We will always be a 5-star school, and there will always be other driving schools with lower prices. We know we’ve set the bar high, and we don’t disappoint. Check our reviews.
About our name “West Point”:
The previous Owner was a US Air Force veteran who chose the name “West Point” as a nod of respect to the famous military academy. The name had a following and we didn’t change it, but just in case you’re wondering: No, your driving instructor won’t be a drill sergeant! Patience, is our top priority when we hire instructors!
People choose West Point to learn lifetime skills from experienced professional drivers! To attract and retain the very best, we start by offering higher pay rates than any other driving school in the area. So when we’re hiring, many apply and few make the grade. Every instructor must have held a license to drive in the USA for at least 15 years. New instructor candidates must exhibit high standards of professionalism, friendliness, extreme patience, and the ability to teach.
Every instructor has been screened with a criminal background check, and has passed a drug test with clean results.
All newly-hired instructors start from a solid foundation as true driving experts — and then we invest heavily in training! Far beyond the DMV’s requirements for instructor’s licenses (a 60-hour course), our instructor training can take a month or more. We won’t release instructors to work with students until they’ve learned our exclusive training techniques, including techniques to recognize and eliminate common student driving errors. They teach defensive driving with a focus on new drivers, and of course they learn our unique brand of customer service!
Each instructor must also spend at least 20 hours driving from the passenger side of the car, including evasive maneuvers! This is unique to West Point; our cars are specially-equipped for it. This exclusive part of our instructor training is the reason our instructors are known for their unmatched ability to remain calm while keeping a car under control — even if the student can’t.
The instructor’s job is simply to give you the best training experience possible. A West Point Instructor is a trainer, coach, and customer service representative. We help you get results. Quickly.
Cars are our training equipment, and the equipment we choose reflects our high standards. This year we are upgrading to new Toyota Corollas, and we still have some Nissan Versas. The most important feature of these cars is they’re easy to drive. Every car has a tilting wheel and a seat that moves up and down (vertically) to accommodate large or small students.
Beyond just the fancy graphics, our vehicles are upgraded in the following ways:
- Like all licensed driving schools, we have a brake on the passenger side. But we’re one of the few schools to also add a passenger-side gas pedal (accelerator). This means the instructor can “fully drive” the car, and we can use training techniques that others simply can’t. (And it makes your first time on the freeway a lot safer!)
- In our newer cars, we’ve added video and audio surveillance. This will be rolled out in all cars in the coming months. This tool helps establish consistent training, and if there are concerns, the owner can personally review what happened. Recordings cannot be viewed by anyone but the owner, and will be destroyed within 14 days unless there is a legal order to preserve them. (They are digitally encrypted and physically locked in the trunk.) Recordings will never be used for any purpose other than quality assurance or to investigate any concerns. Unfortunately, recordings can not be provided to clients due to the extensive editing and conversion that would be necessary. If you do not wish to be recorded, simply inform your instructor, who can disable this feature for the duration of your lesson.
- Along with video surveillance, cameras are added below both wing mirrors, facing backward. These are displayed to the instructor but are not visible to the student. Of course we also have instructor mirrors, but this feature gives the instructor much better situational awareness, for your safety and ours.
- Every car has a Garmin navigation system with traffic… This helps us arrive on time, and return you home on time. All GPS systems are mounted low, away from the windshield.
- Every car is also tracked for its GPS location. Office staff can always find out where a car is, where it was at any time in the last 30 days, including how fast it was traveling at any moment. The system also gives us alerts for rapid acceleration, rapid braking, low voltage, low fuel, and service engine codes.
- We disabled the stock “lane change signal feature” which causes the signal to blink 3 times. This feature would have confused students who try to cancel a signal which continues to blink.
- The horn is upgraded — A little louder than stock. (The stock “meep” sounded like a scooter. The new horn gives an authoritative “honk!”)
Remember, we come to you! Most instructors take a vehicle home each night, launching from a location near you. Our telephone staff also work from home using secure online software. Our office of record is at the owner’s home in Roseville, which has been inspected and approved by the DMV to meet all criteria for storage and handling of student records. If you wish to visit our office of record at the owner’s home, please call to schedule an appointment.