Defensive driving courses


Get your full licence 6 months earlier

Attending the NZTA-approved AA Defensive Driving Course will fast track you to your full licence quicker, increase your chances of passing your driving test first time around and will help you become a safer driver.

Book now Or call 0800 223 748

Defensive driving courses include:

  • Access to the eDrive online training system
    (valued at $39.95)
  • 4 classroom sessions
  • 1 in-car session

Why take a defensive driving course

Sure, you can drive yourself on a restricted licence, but only at certain times or with an experienced driver. You can’t take younger brothers and sisters, or your friends, anywhere. You can’t be on the road between 10pm and 5am without risking fines, demerit points or being uninsured if something happens.

It’s for your own safety, but wouldn’t it be great to slash 6 months off this time? The answer is right here and it's NZTA approved - book a defensive driving course. They're available in most major centres including Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Lower Hutt, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill.

People who attend a defensive driving course are 10% more likely to pass their driving test the first time.

You'll learn defensive driving skills including:

  • Searching and eye scanning while you drive
  • Assessing and identifying hazards
  • Watching out for factors which cause the most crashes
Facts & Figures

Restricted licence pass rates for under 20's

The new restricted licence test requires you to demonstrate the ability to drive in challenging environments, in heavy traffic and on multi-lane roads. These are the pass rate percentages for August 2014.



16 year olds
1,215 total



17 year olds
1,540 total



18 year olds
990 total



19 year olds
657 total

Tap/Rollover each figure to see what a difference an AA DDC made to the August 2014 pass rates.

eDrive is included

eDrive is a scientifically proven online driver training programme, valued at $39.95. Using the latest technology, eDrive deliver video-based traffic simulations to your computer in a fun and interactive way.

When you attend an AA Defensive Driving Course you get full access to this state of the art programme that you can use from your home computer.

It focuses on driving skills, such as visual search and situation awareness that are directly linked to crash risk. eDrive shows real-life driving situations filmed on NZ roads with you right in the driver’s seat.

Who can attend

Learner licence holders

Doing the course while you have your learner licence will help you pass your restricted licence test as it includes a one hour in-car session and develops your driving skills. People who have attended a defensive driving course are more likely to pass their restricted test on their first try. You’ll be able to attend a defensive driving course once you’ve had your learner licence and some driving experience.

If you complete a DDC while on your learner or restricted licence, this will enable you to reduce the time you're required to spend on your restricted licence by 6 months.

Restricted licence holders

People who have attended a defensive driving course are 10% more likely to pass their full licence test on the first try. Attending also reduces the time you’ll spend on your restricted licence by 6 months. If you're over 25, the time on your restricted licence reduces from 6 months to 3 months.

Full licence holders

Even full licence holders benefit from completing the AA Defensive Driving Course.
If you're a police recruit, a court referral, completing a Police Diversion programme or just want to refresh your driving knowledge and skill base, you’ve come to the right place. The AA Defensive Driving Course is designed specifically for you.

What it covers

The course

AA Defensive Driving Courses make you a smarter driver – building your confidence and knowledge, so you'll be safer when you’re driving. Our courses are NZTA-approved and they've been running since 1989, so you’re guaranteed the highest quality teaching.

The course was completely rewritten and revised in January 2013. It’s more interactive and includes videos, DVDs and access to a state of the art online driver learning system from eDrive (valued at $39.95) that you can use on your home computer.

What's involved

It takes 9 hours to complete the course – there are four separate 2 hour classroom theory sessions and a 1 hour in-car practical session. You will arrange your in-car session with the tutor once you arrive at the course.

We watch DVDs and discuss various problems and scenarios in class. The in-car practical session helps you understand and identify any error patterns you might have. It then helps you develop the skills and abilities to eliminate them. You can also practice what you’ve learned in the classroom or from the eDrive online learning system. The instructor will take you through a practice full licence test and give you advice on how to pass comfortably.

If you finish all the coursework and the practical drive within 60 days after the last classroom session, you’ll get your certificate at the end.

Ready to go?

You’ll learn the skills you need to make you a better driver, including:

  • Searching and eye scanning while you drive
  • Assessing and identifying hazards
  • Watching out for factors which cause the most crashes



What our students say about the course

I just wanted to say thank you for taking me for the defensive driving course. It was really useful, and I'm definitely more aware while I'm driving now. It was great having done the practical to know what to expect in the full licence test which I passed first time. The testing officer could even tell I'd done the course without me telling her, which I think shows how useful it is.


Completed DDC in May 2014

This defensive driving course was a great way to become a safer and more confident driver, and to learn new techniques to improve the way I drive. I would recommend people to do it because is a worthwhile course to complete in order to improve your driving skills and become a better driver. The teacher I had, Shefali, was great at teaching this course, would recommend!


Completed DDC in May 2014

Totally recommend! Not boring, and I am a much more confident and safer driver now. Really enjoyed the course :-)


Completed DDC in May 2014

Definitely do it. I can not imagine going for my full without having done this test. I learnt a lot and definitely became more aware in my driving. I cut down a lot of my distractions and I find it so much easier to drive now because of this test because I am not worrying about a million things anymore.


Completed DDC in May 2014

Google+This is just some of the feedback from our students about the AA Defensive Driving Course. To see more reviews or leave one yourself, visit our Google+ page.

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