Essential Driver Training

In 2011, the Road Safety Authority introduced Essential Driver Training (EDT) - a mandatory, 12 hour course for learner drivers in category B vehicles (motor cars). Leo Varadkar, who acted as Minister for Transport when the scheme was launched, said that ‘The EDT programme is designed to protect inexperienced learner drivers while they are learning to drive and to support them as they develop the skills, confidence and appropriate behaviour to share the road safely with others’.

The EDT is slightly different to ‘regular’ driving lessons - and that’s a good thing! A common worry surrounding driving lessons is that the tuition received provides everything you need to know to pass your test, but doesn’t do much to prepare you for real life driving scenarios. That’s where EDT comes in. EDT looks at some of the highest risk on-the-road situations, and teaches you the correct and safest ways to manage these conditions. You’ll learn about how to position yourself on the road, how to manage your speed, and how to calm your nerves, even in high tension environments.

Each of the 12 EDT lessons focuses on a different aspect of driving. Some of these aspects aren’t necessary for you to pass your test - night time driving for example - but they are designed to help you learn important skills that you’ll need to use when you’re out on the road.

  • Lesson 1: Car Controls and Safety Checks
  • Lesson 2: Correct Positioning
  • Lesson 3: Changing Direction
  • Lesson 4: Progression Management
  • Lesson 5: Correct Positioning (advanced)
  • Lesson 6: Anticipation and Reaction
  • Lesson 7: Sharing the Road
  • Lesson 8: Driving Safely Through Traffic
  • Lesson 9: Changing Direction (advanced)
  • Lesson 10: Speed Management
  • Lesson 11: Driving Calmly
  • Lesson 12: Night Driving


It’s natural to have some questions about how the essential driver training course works. Here are some of the most common questions we’re asked by new learner drivers:

How Long Does the EDT Course Last?

Each EDT lesson should last for around 1 hour, so you will need to complete 12 hours of training as a minimum. The Road Safety Authority recommends spacing the lessons out to every two weeks. Our female driving instructors will devise a schedule that’s a good match for your experience level.

Is the EDT Course All I Need to Pass?

Some learner drivers may be ready to take their practical driving test by the time they’ve completed their EDT course, and some won’t. Unlike ‘normal’ driving lessons, EDT isn’t designed to help you pass your test, it’s designed to give you valuable skills that will ultimately make you a safer driver.

Can I Take My Test Without Undertaking EDT?

In 2011, it became a legal requirement for all learners taking a category B (motor car) driving test to complete an EDT course. EDT can only be carried out by registered ADIs like our all-female team of driving instructors, but you can still practice in your spare time with a friend or family member.

What to Expect from our EDT Training Course

If you’ve never undertaken any form of driver training before, you may unsure what to expect. All driving schools work slightly differently, so while we can’t outline how other training providers will operate, we can guarantee you’ll experience the following benefits when choosing us:

  • EDT training for women, by women. We’re proud to be an all-female driving school, offering essential driver training for women who feel more comfortable with a female instructor.
  • All 12 lessons covered at a pace you’re comfortable with. We’ll adapt your lesson plans to ensure you’re confident with the previous lesson before moving onto the next.
  • Additionally training and support above and beyond the EDT course for those that need it. If you require extra tuition or can’t quite master a manoeuvre, we’re here to help.

If our EDT course sounds like it would benefit you and help to make you a more confident driver, give us a call to see if we’d be a good fit for your needs.