Smart Driving School Review: Must-read tips for would-be Pinoy drivers

Apr 19, 2019 | Same topic: Let's drive smart!
The Smart Driving School review will show you prospective, would-be drivers out there how it is one of the best & most established driving schools in the Philippines.

Now picture this, you’ve just come to that point in your life that you can afford a vehicle. Of course, you’re excited.

So you immediately visit the nearest dealership for the car you want and then as you stare in glee at your would-be car’s steering wheel and shifter it slowly dawns on you, hits you even; you didn’t bother learning how to drive all this time. That doesn’t deter you however as you remember you have relatives who can teach you how to do so.

But guess what; your father is back at your home province busy enjoying his retirement while your nearest cousin also doesn’t know how to drive. What do you do?

Well, you decide to enroll in a driving school. And you’re in luck gentlemen and ladies because for this article we’re going give you a comprehensive review of the Smart Driving School, arguably one of the most accessible and most comprehensive driving school in the Metro Manila area.

A picture of a student with his instructor at Smart Driving School

Students of the Smart Driving School is not only taught how to drive but are also made familiar with how vehicles work

I. Smart Driving School Review: Introduction

1. Smart Driving School Overview

Now in order to start the Smart Driving School review, we have to get to know them first.

For those of you who are unaware, the Smart Driving Corporation has been operating since August 2008 in España, Manila and was founded by two people; Francisco and Marites Gavino. Since then, the company has grown to 76 branches spread around Metro Manila and in some provinces.

As of the present, the school has a 134 strong fleet of training vehicles consisting of a myriad major brands and vehicle types in the Philippines.

A picture of one of the branches of Smart Driving School and their vehicles

The Smart Driving School Parañaque branch showing their varied vehicle choices

2. Top 5 reasons you should choose Smart Driving School

Thanks to their various choices of available driving courses (which will be discussed in more details later), it would be safe to say that what their school offers seems to be quite comprehensive in terms of vehicle choice, driver education, skills development, and convenience, not to mention affordable.

We also applaud the ability to somewhat customize each course to your needs and budget like the Executive Courses as it provides a ton of convenience especially those who are strapped of time. So it’s really telling that the Smart Driving School strives to produce well-trained drivers who are also responsible and knowledgeable in defensive driving and traffic laws. As such their company is indeed a significant contributor to road safety in the Philippines.

A picture of Smart Driving School's training center and their training cars

One of Smart Driving School's training centers which has its own driving track

The school is also recognized by a number of government institutions and has garnered a number of consumer choice awards and quality awards during the span of their operations. Also, they are partnered with a number of government and private entities like; the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines, Philip Morris, the U.S. Embassy, Isuzu, Red Bull, and many others.

Below are the top 5 reasons why you should choose Smart Driving School:

#1. Licensing assistance is available;

#2. Good reputation;

#3. Very accessible with numerous branches located across Metro Manila (please refer to the end of this post to find full contact details of all branches);

#4. Smart Driving School rates are affordable;

#5. Orientation and lecture on defensive driving and driving are offered free of charge.

>>> Check out List of Top 7 Cheap Driving Schools in the Philippines for more choices

3. 8 important tips to keep in mind before enrolling

#1. Make sure to choose the nearest branch to your location because you know how unpredictable the traffic is and you would not want to be late for class.

#2. It's very important NOT to take the same schedule every time. By scheduling different times, you will be able to expose yourself to different traffic conditions from morning traffic to night driving, which is definitely helpful to improve your driving skills.

#3. Be noted that being at least 16 years old AND having a student permit are basic requirements. In case you might need it, here are some must-know tips about student permit in the Philippines.

#4. In order to save time, make sure that you know your schedule before heading to any branches so the officer in charge could help proceed instantly.

#5. This is according to my personal experience though I am not sure what it is for: Bring 02 copies of your 1x1. This is required for the enrollment process later.

#6. Just because the orientation and lectures come free, doesn't mean you can take them for granted. Instead, make sure to take advantage of the freebies which you have to pay for in other driving schools.

#7. In case you are a female driver, you can consider bringing a companion as you drive. But if you are a boy, you are not allowed to do so (possibly due to safety reasons).

#8. You can attend the orientations for free if you still keep your receipt! This is advised by my instructor, I am not sure if it actually works though.

A picture of the Smart Driving School's lecture hall

The Smart Driving School's lecture halls are spacious and their instructors keen on guidance

Overall, according to my own experiences, Smart Driving School is a great way to learn how to drive as their driving courses are very comprehensive and will definitely set you up to be the driver you want at affordable rates. Moreover, their branches are very accessible for customers as they have numerous branches all across Metro Manila.

II. Smart Driving School Fees & Courses

The Smart Driving School has a very varied list of courses you can choose from depending on your budget and what kind of vehicle you want to become familiar with. Here is a breakdown of the driving courses that you can avail from the Smart Driving School:

1. Manual course

Training vehicles used in this particular course will have a manual transmission meaning the school will teach you how to shift gears in the appropriate speed using a clutch pedal and a stick shift. Cars to be used in this course are mainly sedans common here in the Philippines namely; the Toyota Vios, Toyota Altis, the Mitsubishi Lancer and the Honda City.

As to the number of hours; you can easily arrange with the school to adjust the amount of time you need to learn from 5 up to 20 hours. Aside from those, you will be given up to three hours of free driving lessons and a lecture that we will show you in detail later.

Smart Driving School Rates for Manual Courses
Course Fee starts at
Regular Manual Course P2,200
Manual Special Course P3,360
Manual Smart Course P4,200

The Smart Driving Manual Course does not only comes with actual time on the wheel but the course also takes into consideration many different aspects when it comes to driving like defensive driving, traffic rules, and how to perform preventive maintenance for your vehicle. They will also assist you in your application for a driver’s license which is also a great deal of help.

2. Automatic course

As the name implies, Smart Driving School will make you more familiar with vehicles that can automatically change their gears and like the Manual course, you can choose the number of your training time from 6 to 20 hours and depending on the package you have chosen, you can also enjoy up to 3 hours extra of driving lessons. Packages with their corresponding fees are the following:

Smart Driving School Prices for Automatic Courses
Course Fee starts at Note
Sedan Automatic Course P6,000 You will be using sedans similar to the ones used in the Manual Course except with automatic gear boxes.
Toyota Innova Automatic Course P6,960 This course will familiarize you with the Toyota Innova with an automatic transmission.
Toyota Fortuner/Mitsubishi Montero Automatic Course P8,160 This course will teach you to be familiar with driving the aforementioned SUVs.

Like the Manual course, the Automatic Course will not only teach you how to drive specific vehicles but will also assist you in applying for your driver’s license but not only that; you will also be given a free Petron Value card when you enroll for this course.

3. Executive course

Now what sets this course apart from the previous two courses is that it includes all the vehicles available in the first two but you are also picked-up from your place of work or your house with the manual or vehicle of your choice.

In speaking of freebies, this package also has the free hours, lecture and the very useful free Petron Value card. The Smart Driving School Executive course starts at Php 5000 but there are a number of sub-categories of this course you can also choose from.

Smart Driving School Rates for Executive Courses
Course Fee starts at Note
Smart Driving School Executive course P5,000
Manual Executive Course P6,000 The same with the Manual Course in terms of vehicle choices
Innova/Crosswind Manual Executive Course P7,560 You will learn to drive with either a manual Toyota Innova or Isuzu Crosswind
Sedan A/T Executive Course P7,800 Like the Automatic Course but with the pick-off and drop-off perk
Toyota Innova Executive Course P8,760 You will learn to drive and be driven to and from your location by a Toyota Innova AT
Toyota Fortuner/Mitsubishi Montero Executive Course P10,200 Learn to drive with either of the two AT vehicles
Toyota Hilux MT Executive Course P7,800 Learn to drive using the famous Toyota pickup truck

4. Masteral course

If you opt to unleash your full potential on the wheel, you can also opt for the Smart Driving School Masteral Course where you will be given 30 hours of driving lessons that will teach you advanced driving skills. Like all the courses listed above, you can also avail the same set of freebies.

The Masteral Course can also be made convenient for you by upgrading the said course into the Masteral Executive Course for an additional fee. Also included in this course is the free but very important lecture you get with the first three courses.

Here are the courses listed under the Master Course category with their corresponding rates:

Smart Driving School Rates for Masteral course
Course Fee starts at
Sedan M/T Regular Course P16,000
Innova / Crosswind M/T Regular Course P24,000
Sedan A/T Regular Course P28,500
Innova A/T Regular Course P32,000
Toyota Fortuner / Mitsubishi Montero A/T Regular Course P37,500
Toyota Hilux Masteral P28,500

III. Smart Driving School Schedule

As we have mentioned earlier, all of these courses come with a free 15-hour lecture filled with very important information regarding defensive driving, traffic rules, signs and other regulations, and how to perform preventive maintenance for your vehicles.

All of these are very important know-how for a new or even veteran driver and as such is a very nice touch by the Smart Driving School Indeed. So let’s take a look at how these lectures are scheduled:

Two Hours Pre-driving Seminar & One Hour Advanced Orientation

Mondays - Sundays 09:00 am - 12:00 nn
Malls 10:00 am - 01:00 pm
Mondays - Fridays 03:00 pm - 06:00 pm
Malls 10:00 am - 01:00 pm

Eight Hours Seminar on Traffic Rules, Defensive Driving, Preventive Maintenance

Mondays - Sundays 01:00 pm - 05:00 pm
Malls 02:00 pm - 06:00 pm

Four Hours Smart Driver Boot Camp

Every Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 10:00 am - 03:00 pm

A picture of student driver's participating the Smart Driving School's driver boot camp

The Smart Driving School driver's boot camp educates learners on many aspects of owning a vehicle

IV. Smart Driving School Review: Corporate Consultancy

Aside from individualized courses, Smart Driving School also offers packages for corporations who want to train their employees which can be broken into the following:

1. Full Consultancy

Fee P1,500 per pax
Services include Four hours of Advance Defensive Driving Seminar:
- Behavior
- Attitude
- Right of Way Rules Proper Mental Awareness
- Fundamentals of Safe Driving
Hands-on driving assessment
Written Exam

2. Defensive Driving Seminar

Fee P1,200 per pax
Services include Four hours of Advance Defensive Driving Seminar:
- Behavior
- Attitude
- Right of Way Rules Proper Mental Awareness
- Fundamentals of Safe Driving
Written Exam

3. Driving evaluation

Fee P500 per pax
Services include Hands-on driving assessment
Written Exam

V. Smart Driving School Branches, Contact numbers & Office hours

If you want to give the Smart Driving School a call, you can reach them at (+63) 928 505 7056 / (+63) 02 534 7152 or via their email at inquiry@smartdriving.com.ph.

Smart Driving School office hours are from 8 am to 5 pm Mondays to Saturdays with some branches also open at Sundays.

A picture of the Smart Driving School office in Caloocan

Another picture of one of Smart Driving School's many branches. This one is located in Caloocan

Smart Driving School Branches are located all across Metro Manila. For more specific details, please refer to the contact details of their branches in the table below. Their branches can also be easily located at Google Maps as they are indeed registered there or you can also view their own map at their website.

Smart Driving School Branches and contact numbers

Smart Driving School Branches and contact numbers

Smart Driving School Branches and contact numbers

Smart Driving School Branches and contact numbers

Smart Driving School Branches and contact numbers

Smart Driving School Branches and contact numbers

Smart Driving School Branches and contact numbers

For more reviews, tips and news, keep posted here at Philkotse.com.

Source: Cesar Guiderone B. Miguel