FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Below each question is the shortest answer I can provide. To learn more read the item with the same number in the center and right column.
I (Joda Collins) do NOT staff my office with a secretary or anyone else to answer the phone because it is very hard to make a living with a driving school. Paying a full time secretary almost guarantees insufficient funds to keep a driving school in this area open. If I am in the office I will answer the phone. If I am out of the office and anticipate being away from the phone for more than two hours, I have one of the secretaries check messages every two hours and return calls. Each of the four secretaries works from their home doing very specific duties and are, largely, disassociated with the work of this business beyond their specific and limited duties. However, when a Secretary returns calls, she knows the answer to most questions. For the most part she will tell you what is found on this page and she can schedule and reschedule lessons. Beyond that, the Secretary will take your question, relay it to me and we will get back with you.
Please be patient with any Secretary that returns your call. This is a highly personalized business that seeks to meet every need and request of the caller. I have a lot of general rules, but break many of them in order to better serve others. However, Secretaries are not allowed to break the rules as they do not know what I can and cannot do different at any given time. Also, since I return most of the calls, a Secretary has limited experience at returning calls. Thank you for your patience. If your conversation with a Secretary does not meet your expectations, email me at email@example.com and I will get back to you ASAP.
If you call the office and I am not in and a Secretary calls you back to give you an overview of this business, she will begin by reading to you the following GENERAL OVERVIEW and answer any remaining questions you have by finding the answer on this page and reading that answer to you. Any question she cannot answer she will relay to me and I or she will get back to you as soon as possible.
I (Joda Collins) put the driver behind the wheel for one driving lesson. A lesson is one hour and 15 minutes. At the end of that training I will tell you how many more lessons, if any, I think the driver will need to reach whatever driving goal or goals you tell me that you are seeking.
There are three major goals. The first is just to pass the State driving exam and secure his or her driver's license. The second is to pass the Driving Exam and be reasonably safe among drivers who keep the rules of the road. The third is to pass the Driving Exam, be safe among drivers who keep the rules of the road and be reasonably safe among drivers who do not keep the rules of the road, that is crash-prone drivers.
Once a driver can drive at 25mph and keep the vehicle in his or her lane, I can usually teach a person of average intelligence and high motivation to learn, to pass the State Exam in one-75 minute lesson, be able to drive with reasonable safety among drivers who keep the rules of the road in three to five 75-minute lessons and be reasonably safe among crash-prone drivers in six or seven 75-minute driving sessions.
Each lesson comes with between 10 and 30-pages of reading. Driver who do that reading will usually progress through training twice as fast, therefore, at half the expense. That is because I do not have to stop the car and explain a lot of things to the driver because he or she has read the information, therefore, the driver gets more driving time with the car moving and has a better and clearer understanding of the driving techniques.
I teach Tuesday through Saturday 10am to 10pm. Each lesson is 75-minutes and each lesson ranges from $126 to $140 depending on how many lessons are taken, how many lessons are paid for by the start of lesson two and if lessons are on a weekday or a Saturday. The first lesson is $135 for a weekday or $140 for a Saturday training.
We accept cash, check, money order, cashier's check, Visa and MasterCard. However, all of the prices I have quoted contain a 10% discount for not using credit.
Drivers are required to have a permit or a license before taking behind-the-wheel training.
STUDENTS AND CLIENTS PLEASE SKIP THIS BLUE SMALL PRINT.
(This page is used for my secretaries to read to callers. What follows is for them.) I am looking at the scheduling calendar now. Would you like to schedule the lesson at this time?
License or Permit number
Name of driver
Name of client
Mailing address and street address if not same.
Training date/time or dates/times.
Put same on wall calendar
Remove same from on line calendar only if can change colors.
Send me an email with all info
1. HOW DOES TRAINING WORK?
The first lesson (75 to 90-minutes) is a training session, followed by a brief verbal evaluation and an estimate of how many more lessons (if any) it will take (in my estimation) to reach your expressed driving goals.
2. IS A LEARNER'S PERMIT OR DRIVERS LICENSE IS REQUIRED?
3. THE CHARGE ranges between $126 and $140 per 75-minute driving session depending on several factors including a 10% discount for not using Visa or MasterCard Credit card. If using VISA or MasterCard please advise us immediately. See #3 in column to the right for more details.
4. HOW LONG DOES THE TRAINING TAKE?
If your driving goal is a certain number of hours, then your goal can be measured and predicted. If your goal is a certain degree of driving skill reflecting driving safety, then the time it takes to reach your driving goal will depend on the speed of your progress. There are six Courses and each has an "average" time investment for completion. See "Courses" page for full details. See #4 in the column to the right for more details.
5. GRADUATION IS NOT GUARANTEED IN THE SUGGESTED TIME FRAME FOR EACH SPECIFIC COURSE
because no one can predict, with 100% accuracy, the future progress of someone else. Times are averages for the average student. See #5 in the column to the right for more details.
6. NON-BINDING ESTIMATE OF PROGRESS.
At the end of the first lesson I, usually, provide an estimate of progress. It is an educated guess, not a prophesy or a promise. See #6 in the column to the right for more details.
7. WHAT IS DEFENSIVE DRIVING?
Defensive driving is driving in a manner where crash-prone drivers do not involve you in their crashes. See #7 in the column to the right for more details.
8. THE DEFINITION OF A BEHIND-THE-WHEEL LESSON.
Seventy-five minutes of training with as much of that time devoted to the student-driver behind-the-wheel as possible. See #8 in the column to the right for more details.
9. DO WE PROVIDE A VEHICLE FOR TAKING THE STATE EXAM?
We will rent you our vehicle for your personal use (to take the State exam) under specific conditions. See #9 in the column to the right for more details.
10. WE PROVIDE THE VEHICLE FOR TRAINING, however, we can use your insured and road-worthy vehicle if you sign a liability waiver assuming all liability. See #10 in the column to the right for more details.
11. WE PROVIDE DOOR-TO-DOOR SERVICE FOR ESCAMBIA AND SANTA ROSA COUNTIES FOR SLIGHTLY LESS THAN ONE-HALF THE COST OF A TAXI AND CONSIDERABLY LESS THAN UBER.
Go to http://www.mapquest.com/. Click on "Directions." Enter 32583 in the "A" box and your address in the "B" box. Round the miles and tenths of miles to the nearest mile. Multiply the number of miles by $2.90 for weekday training and $3.30 for Saturday training. That is a very close estimate. Or call 850 981-3355 for an estimate. See #11 in the column to the right for more details.
12. WE DO SERVE PARTS OF ALABAMA?
Yes. See #12 in the far right column for more details.
13. WHAT I (Joda Collins) DO.
I tell the truth about your driving progress and do my best to help you reach your driving goals. See #13 in the far right column for more details.
14. WHAT I DO NOT DO.
I do not lie about your driving progress or reduce my prices. I do not refund money for lessons already completed, started or not cancelled within the one-minute to two-hour time frame. See #14 in the far right column for more details.
15. ARE CAREFUL DRIVERS SAFE?
Careful drivers are reasonably safe among other careful drivers. Only Defensive Drivers are reasonably safe among bad drivers. See #15 in the far right column for more details.
16. BRIEF BREAK
If a break is taken for safety, that is part of the training. If a break is taken for any other reason, additional time to cover the break will be added to that lesson. See #16 in the far right column for more details.
17. CAN PARENTS OR SPOUSES RIDE DURING TRAINING?
Yes. Parents and spouses are welcome and invited to ride along for the first lesson only if we are using the Academy vehicle. If the training is not being done in the Academy vehicle the vehicle owner decides who can and cannot ride since the vehicle owner is assuming all liability. The crash rate with someone in the back seat is 250% greater, therefore, there is a three-minute speech all riders have to listen to before riding. Safety first. If you feel you must ride in the Academy vehicle during training beyond lesson one, talk to me about it and I will see what I can do to accommodate your request. Anyone can follow us to see the training from the outside of our vehicle. I will provide any client (parent, spouse, etc.) a free 10-minute driving session with client behind-the-wheel to get an idea of my teaching ability.
18. HOURS OF OPERATION (Training)
10am to 10pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday. Monday is paperwork day. See #18 in the column to the far right for more details.
19. YOUR INSURANCE MAY BE LESS IF YOU TAKE BEHIND-THE-WHEEL TRAINING FROM A STATE LICENSED DRIVING SCHOOL. (My Driving Academy is State Licensed.) See #18 in the far right column for more details.
20. WHAT HAPPENS IF WE CANNOT "GET ALONG"?
If we cannot work together with a reasonable degree of harmony and mutual respect, we part friends, if possible. But, we part. Life is too short to do otherwise. If you quit early I will not charge you for lessons not taken if canceled in a timely manner. If I quit early, I will not refund money to you for lessons completed otherwise all a person would have to do is consistently irritate me on purpose until I quit and have to refund all money. See #20 in the column to the far right for more details.
21. STATE EXAMINATION INFORMATION
Ask and I will tell you what is required to pass the State Exam. See #21 in the column to the far right for more details.
22. THE FINANCIAL VALUE OF SELF-STUDY
Driver can do self-study in conjunction with their behind-the-wheel training. Most students who do the self-study progress up to twice as fast in training compared to drivers who do not do the self-study. This is a 50% savings. Self-study is not required, however. See #22 in the far right column for more details.
23. DRIVING AT NIGHT AND IN BAD WEATHER
The only way to learn to drive at night is to drive at night. The best way to learn to drive in bad weather, is to drive in bad weather. See #23 in the far right column for more details.
24. WHY IS THERE A CHARGE FOR DOOR TO DOOR SERVICE?
It costs me to provide door-to-door service. I do not add that cost to everyone to cover this expense, so I charge those that use the service about 90% of what it costs me to provide it. See #24 in the far right column for more details.
25. IS THERE A CONTRACT TO SIGN?
Yes. We call it, also, a "Working Agreement." You can see it on this Web Page. Go to "Agreement" and read Sections 1-4 and 6. Clients and drivers must approve the Working Agreement before scheduling. See #25 in the far right column for more details.
26. I (Client and/or Driver) SIGNED THE WORKING AGREEMENT BUT I DID NOT READ IT. NOW THERE IS A PROBLEM BECAUSE I DO NOT KNOW SOMETHING I AM BEING HELD CONTRACTUALLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Talk with me (Joda Collins). We can probably resolve most issues. Let me try. See #26 in the far right column for more details.
27. I (Client and/or Driver) MISREAD THE WORKING AGREEMENT AND NOW THERE IS A PROBLEM BECAUSE I MISREAD IT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Talk with me (Joda Collins). We can probably resolve most issues. Let me try. See #27 in the far right column for more details.
28. WHERE ARE THE DRIVER LICENSES OFFICES?
At the tax office in your town. See #28 in the far right column for more details.
If the email link below does not work. (I do not know why and no one seems to know how to fix it for less than
$200, which I refuse to pay!). Please forgive the inconvenience. Please call 850 981-3355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please forgive the inconvenience.
For no door-to-door pick up fee the second and following lessons begin and end in the parking of the Dollar General Store that is immediately across the street from where the first lesson started. I will be in the first vehicle on your left as you enter the only parking lot entrance to this small business.
AVAILABLE START TIMES
You can schedule a lesson to begin 15-minutes before or after any available time. If you cannot find times that are good for you, let me know and I will see about adjusting the schedule of others to better accommodate you. Email (email@example.com) or phone (850 981-3355 your requested dates. We give priority scheduling to email requests. This web page is manually (not automatically) updated with each lesson scheduled so there is a chance of double scheduling. If this happens, we can only apologize. Our best attempts over a nine-year period to find someone who can auto schedule from 10am to 10pm continue to fail.
All listed times are are start times. Each lesson is one-hour and 15- minutes. Weekday training is $5 per lesson less than Saturday training in an effort to free more Saturday time which fills up first and fastest. No door-to-door service on Saturday. I (Joda Collins) stay busy about one week in advance.
Just because a time does not appear as available does not mean it is not available. I work my time off, days off, paperwork times and promotion efforts around my training schedule. Within a week if a day does not have any lessons, I will normally take that day off. Within a week, if there are any non-scheduled times I will reserve those times for other paperwork and promotion.
Sunset this Sat is 4:52
Sat, Dec 16, 1:15pm, 4:30 pm, 7:45 pm No door to door on Saturday
Other dates/times may be available. Feel free to call 850 981-3355 to find out.
(Weekday training $5 less than Sat)
Fri, Dec 22: 8pm (Sunset this week is 4:49)
Sat, Dec 23, 1:45pm, 5pm, 8:45pm (No door to door service on Saturday)
MERRY CHRISTMAS Must have permit for 90-days to drive at night.
Tue, Dec 26, 4pm, 7:15pm (Weekday training is $5 less than Saturday)
Wed, Dec 27, 10am, 1:15pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm
Thurs, Dec 28, 9:30am (Sunset this week is 4:47)
Fri, Dec 29, 10am, 1:15am, 8pm
Sat, Dec 30, 10am, 1:45pm, 5pm, 8:45pm (No door to door service on Saturday)
Closed Sunday and Monday unless otherwise noted.
2018 HAPPY NEW YEAR! (Sundown in January is 5:12pm)
Tue, Jan 2, 1:15pm, 4:30pm, 7:45pm
Wed, Jan 3, 10am, 1:30pm
Thurs, Jan 4, 10am, 1:15pm, 4:45pm, 7:30pm
Fri, Jan 5, 10am, 1pm, 8pm
Sat, Jan 6, Anytime 10am to 8:45pm start time. (No door to door service on Sat.)
Jan 7-15 Closed for tax prep and normal Sunday and Monday closed.
Must have permit for 90-days to drive after sunset.
Jan 16, 18-20, 23, 25, 27 and 30. Anytime 10am to 8:45pm start time.
Jan 17, 24 and 31, 10am, 1:30pm
Feb 1 and following: Anytime Tue thru Sat 10am to 8:45pm start time.
The only way to learn to drive at night is to drive (train) at night.
We have increased our prices less than 1% since September 2009. Thank you for understanding we cannot serve for less and stay in business.
THIS IS A SUMMARY OF HOW I CAN SERVE YOU
At the end of the first lesson I will tell you how many more lessons, if any, I think you will need to reach whatever driving skill level you desire.
My business is Client-based and Driver-based. If you are ever less than happy with me or my service, tell me and I will do everything in my power to make you happy. The only thing I will not do is reduce my charges because it is hard to make a living with a driving school and I am worth every penny you will spend. I do all the training and I am very good at it. No bragging, just a fact. You will get more than your monies worth. Everyone does.
All written training materials are free (download) or in paper copy which can be used free ($20 refundable deposit required) or purchased. (Ask for details.) Student-drivers who do the optional available reading progress about twice as fast and half the expense through training. Reading is, however, not mandatory to enroll in behind-the-wheel training. EXCLUSION: Drivers who only want to learn to steer, accelerate and brake will find no value in the reading. Reading is for driving safety only, not for control of car in open spaces.
How Long Does Training Take?
How long training takes depends on the kind of training you desire. Some desire only X number of hours in order to satisfy insurance companies requirements for insurance discounts. In that case, the training takes the exact number of hours you requested based on your insurance providers minimum requirements.
Each lesson is one-hour and 15-minutes except for the first which may take up to one-hour and 30-minutes because I (Joda Collins) show some things to the driver to start the lesson with the driver in the passenger's seat. The driver's time does not start until he or she is behind-the-wheel. For drivers who are seeking a specific degree of driving skill, once a driver is able to drive between the lines of his or her lane and make safe and legal right turns from through, turn and deceleration lanes, I can teach most average drivers with no learning disabilities to:
1. Pass the State Driving Exam in one driving lesson.
2. Be a reasonably safe driver among other reasonably safe driver in three to six 75-minute lessons.
3. Be a reasonably safe driver among crash-prone drivers in five to seven 75-minute lessons.
Obviously, the more skilled a driver wants to be the more training a driver will need. After the first lesson I will give you an estimate of how many more lessons it will take, if any, for you to reach your driving goal(s).
Note: I define an average driver as one who reads English at a 9th grade level, is motivated to learn, will do four hours of self-study between lessons, remembers the major rules of the road from his or her written exam study, has normal IQ and has no mental, emotional or learning disabilities.
3. THE FINANCIAL CHARGE
All lessons are one hour and 15 minutes. The non-credit card charge is $135 weekdays and $140 on Saturday and includes a 10% discount for not using Visa or MasterCard.
Additional discounts are $4 discount for two lessons (1.5%), a $9 discount for three lessons (2.2%), a $16 discount for for lessons (almost 3%), a $45 discount for five lessons (6.6%). To calculate discounts for six or more lesson multiply $9 times the number of lessons.
We do not accept pre-payment for lessons not on our scheduling calendar because people who are too busy to pre-schedule are usually too busy to take lessons and most end up asking for a refund of unused lessons. For us that is just another administration expense we incur.
All prices above are for cash, money order, cashier's check or certified bank check, or personal/business check (if pre-approved) and include a 10% discount for not using Visa or MasterCard credit. I do accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards (no debit cards), however, the expense to us for using Visa/MasterCard are horrendous. In 2016, we charged $1,700 in training income and paid over $600 in MasterCard/Visa fees! Therefore, we give a 10% discount for not using Visa or MasterCard credit cards. All prices quoted are "non-credit card" prices. If you use Visa or MasterCard please re-add the "non-credit card discount" by increasing the total by 10%. To discover 10% multiply the discounted total by 1.1111112. Thank you for understanding.
We do not use PayPal. PayPal is just another third party to pay and just increases my expense and your charge. All expenses are passed on to clients.
When using Visa or MasterCard we collect that information from you in a secure fashion that we will clarify at your request.
I do not negotiate my charges. Everyone pays the same rate. That way, I can honestly and with integrity say that I am not charging one person more than another person. Please do not try to dicker with me for a lower price. I am not selling a used car. I am providing a valuable life-saving service. If you do not feel my services are worth the charge, then do not do business with me. Pretty simple. Please do not expect me to compromise my business integrity by asking for more discounts or more free services than I offer to everyone else. Please do not ask me to give to you as a courtesy what others have the courtesy not ask for. I give a way a lot. I give away enough. I cannot give away more and stay in business. Thank you for your consideration.
4. HOW LONG DOES THE TRAINING TAKE?
Completion is based on the number of hours behind-the-wheel if your goal is a specific number of training hours or the ability to perform the driving skills you stated at the start of your training that you desired to accomplish. A combination of commonly desired driving skills has been combined to form standard "Courses" which you can view on our Course page.
Each driver is unique. After the first driving lesson, I will be able to provide an estimate of how many more lessons, if any, will be needed to reach your expressed driving goals.
5. IS GRADUATION GUARANTEED IN THE SUGGESTED TIME FRAME FOR EACH SPECIFIC COURSE?
No, because graduation is based on driving skill not time behind the wheel. For example, a four-year college degree is not guaranteed in four-years from the date the student takes his or her first class.
Most students graduate the course with an A, B, C or D grade in the designated time frame of the course. However, some fail.
The reason some fail is that they do not get sufficient mastery of the course material to "pass" the course. However, the course time is sufficient for the average student with average devotion to task to pass.
Most pass in the time frame designated in the course they qualify for. Course time estimates are based on the prerequisite courses. For example, a four-year college degree (Bachelor's Degree) takes 16-years of training (K through 16) not four years.
6. LIMITED CONDITIONAL GUARANTEE OF PROGRESS
Drivers who do all of the following usually complete their training in half the time that drivers who do none of the following require:
A. By the start of lesson one memorize the following five words in consecutive order, "ahead, behind, mirror, shoulder, signal."
B. Turn in the written work for no less than 30-pages of the Workbook for each lesson beginning with lesson two or, if the driver has a reading disability, four devoted hours of self-study, at the start of each lesson beginning with lesson two.
C. Memorizes the steps for parking and three-point turn on your own time rather than use behind-the-wheel time for memory work. One student memorized the steps for parking and three-point turn in 30-minutes. One student said it took him nine hours. A few told me it was impossible for them to memorize yet each had memorized their name, addresses, telephone number and a host of other facts. It is human nature to say "I can't" instead of "I don't want to." Most students tell me it takes about 2.5 hours to memorize the steps for parking and three-point turn. It takes most students two lessons 75-minute lessons to memorize the steps for parking and three-point turn during paid training.
D. Be able to do hand-over-hand steering by the end of lesson two if taking three or more lessons.
On the first lesson, if you ask me to, i will show you parking and three-point turn and quote the steps as I show you parking and three point turn. That visual will help you memorize the steps.
Drivers who cannot memorize, think they cannot memorize or opt not to memorize the steps for parking and three point turn on their own time for FREE are invited to memorize the steps during paid driving time.
The fastest I have ever had a student memorize the steps for parking and three-point turn during paid driving time was 20-minutes. The longest was five 75-minute driving sessions. On average it takes about two 75-minute driving sessions (2.5 hours) for a driver to memorize the steps for parking and three-point turn during paid driving time.
Most students who memorize the steps on their own time for free just need to go through the motions of parking and three point turn only once or twice to become proficient at parking and the three-point turn.
E. Read each evaluation (sent via email) and return it via email with the word "Read" typed in the subject line or as the first word in the text. Do so not later than the start of the next lesson as evidence of reading it so I don't take the first five or 10 minutes of your driving time covering it
7. WHAT IS DEFENSIVE DRIVING?
Defensive driving is driving in a manner that keeps you from becoming involved in the crashes that crash-prone drivers create.
Defensive driving is gracefully preparing for and pre-acting to possible driving dangers using 23 specific driving techniques rather than frantically reacting at the last split second in an untrained and unsafe manner to fully developed dangers.
Defensive driving is the opposite of "aggressive driving." Aggressive drivers do not show consideration for others on the road, do not "yield their rights or their time" in order to avoid crashing or make allowances for the poor driving habits of others. Defensive drivers do these things all of the time.
The difference between an accident and a crash is that a crash is avoidable. An accident is unavoidable. There are very few driving accidents. Almost all damage to property and life, and all loss of life on the roadways are easily avoidable if any one of the drivers is a defensive driver. In most cases, it takes two drivers who are untrained in defensive driving skills to have one crash.
It is wise to be that defensive driver, rather than hope that all other drivers on the road you share are skilled? (Few are!)
Defensive driving is the opposite of "automatic" driving. The automatic driver travels with his vehicle in "drive" but his mind in "neutral." A defensive driver drives with his/her mind operating to identify and respond to driving dangers BEFORE those dangers fully develop.
Defensive driving is the opposite of "tunnel vision driving" (looking only straight ahead). Defensive drivers know the conditions of their driving environment at all times and in every direction.
Like all learning, it is only after one acquires the skills that one can really appreciate those skills. The only individuals that feel acquiring defensive driving skills are unimportant are those that do not know defensive driving skills. Ignorance has a voice. It is always critical of and condesending towards knowledge.
I have never met an individual that has graduated a defensive driving course who states that learning defensive driving skills was a waste of time or money. Neither have you!!! Only those who are ignorant about defensive driving skills belittle or decry defensive driving education/training.
8. THE DEFINITION OF A BEHIND THE WHEEL LESSON.
All driving sessions are 75-minutes in length except for the first lesson which may last 90-minutes and, if so, there is no additional charge. Here is the process for training. I tell you what to do and give you a chance or two to do it. If you cannot do it, I do not continue to let you break the law and/or endanger our safety by letting you do it wrong over and over. I show you how to do it and give you another chance or two to do it. If you cannot do it, I show you again, and so on. It is dangerous, stupid and illegal to allow a driver to learn by doing it wrong time after time after time.
9. DO WE PROVIDE A VEHICLE FOR TAKING THE STATE EXAM?
Yes, we can provide the vehicle for taking the State exam. We must be assured that a driver can drive safely before we allow a driver to use our car for his or her State exam. This requires one 75-minute lesson to make that determination.
More and necessary details are found at www.JodaCollins.com, Agreement Page, right column, pink print.
10. DO WE PROVIDE THE VEHICLE FOR TRAINING?
Yes. However, you can use your vehicle if you sign a waiver and assume all financial responsibility/liability. It is, however, better to use your vehicle for the parking and three-point turn training for reasons which are clarified at www.JodaCollins.com, Agreement page, left column, colored print.
11. DO WE PROVIDE DOOR-TO- DOOR SERVICE?
Yes, we provide weekday (not Saturday) door-to-door pick-up service for slightly less than one-half the charge of a taxi ($1.45 per round trip mile) from a start location of 4033 Buttonbush Dr., Milton 32583.
Within the State of Florida, I serve a 60-mile radius from Pensacola as long as within the State of Florida.
For #12 go to top at column to the right.
Take I-10 East over the Escambia Bay Bridge. Take your second exit (#26). Turn left at first stop sign. The Shell Station is immediately on your right.
Take Highway 90 towards Milton.Turn right on Avalon Blvd (at the PJC entrance). Take Interstate 10 East, take first exit (#26). Turn left at the first stop sign. The Shell Station is the first building on your right.
From Milton (near I-10)
The Shell Station on the North Side of I-10 at Exit 26.
How much does the training cost?
Each lesson comes with between 10 and 30-pages of reading. Those who do the reading progress about twice as fast and half the expense through the training. Charges range from $126 to $140 per 75-minute driving lesson depending on how many lessons are taken and/or paid for in advance and if the lessons are on a weekday or a Saturday. These charges include a 10% discount for not using Visa or MasterCard.
Where is the start location?
We serve Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Our office is centered between the East and West reaches of those two counties in miles and centered North and South by population.
Door-to-door service is provided on weekdays for $1.45 per round trip mile Tuesday through Friday from very near Interstate 10 at Exit 26, Milton 32583. Provide your start location address and we will tell you the door-to-door charge or you can go to www.mapquest.com and use start location 4033 Buttonbush Dr., Milton, FL 32583.
If you are not using door-to-door service, the start location is 3804 Garcon Point Road, Milton 32583 which is less than one-tenth of one mile from the Intersection of Interstate 10 at Exit 26, Milton (six miles East of Pensacola, the second exit after crossing the Escambia Bay Bridge.
What are the available training times?
Training is 10am to 10pm Tuesday through Saturday. Each lesson is one hour and 15-minutes.
How to schedule?
Usually we suggest you schedule only the first lesson. You can use the scheduling calendar at your left or call 850 981-3355. At the end of that lesson I (Joda Collins) will tell you how many more lessons, if any, I think you will need to reach whatever skill level you desire. You will pay full price (no discount) for the first lesson. Any discounts will be retroactive to the first lesson.
Is there a contract or working agreement?
Yes. You can read it at this web site on the Agreement page. Go to the top right section of this page and click or tap "Agreement".
Who answers the phone in my office?
If I (Joda Collins) am in the office, I answer the phone. If I am not in the office, the phone goes to voice mail and either I return your call when I get back to the office (usually within two hours) or a Secretary will listen to the voice mail, be sure she knows the answers to your questions and return your call as soon as possible. However, Secretaries know about his business only what is printed on this page. Unanswered questions will be forwarded to me to answer as soon as possible. This business is very fluid as I make as many alterations as I can to accommodate callers. Only I know what adjustments I can make at any given time.
This web site contains a huge amount of information. If you tire of reading it, just call 850 981-3355. We will cheerfully spend as much time as you need to answer your questions.
This photo is 10 years old, however
there remains a slight resemblance!
Driving directions to the start location for lesson two and following.
Behind-the-Wheel and Internet Training
Training charges are between $126 and $140 per 75-minute session depending on how many lessons are paid for by the start of lesson two.
I started this business in July 2008. After fourteen months of experimenting with various charges, I determined my charges. I have not increased my charges less than 1% since September 2009. From July 2008 until I increased my charges, my profit was a negative 18%. I had no profit and had to borrow money to stay in business. I adjusted my charges in September 2009 so my profit margin would be 14% (the standard profit margin for this kind of business). Since I increased charges in 2009, my profit margin decreased from 14% in 2009 to 5% in 2017 because the cost of doing business continues to increase while my charges remain unchanged. In March 2017, I increased my charges slightly less than 1%. Thank you for understand that I cannot offer any additional discounts or any additional FREE products or services and stay in business.
Each lesson is one-hour and 15-minutes (75-minutes) except for the first which may last up to 15-minutes longer and if so, at no extra charge. Each session is $126 to $140 depending on how many lessons are scheduled and paid for in advance. Each lesson contains a $25 scheduling fee which has to be paid even if the lesson is canceled unless canceled for fear of adverse weather not later than thirty minutes before the start of the lesson. I do not overcharge everyone in order to cover the expense of the few who cancel or reschedule. Any scheduled lesson paid for before the start of lesson two is considered paid in advance and a retroactive discount is applied to lesson one. We do not collect in advance for lessons not scheduled. All lessons on our scheduling calendar not later than 7pm the night prior to the start of lesson two are considered scheduled in advance. To calculate the charge, just multiply each weekday lesson times $130.00. That figure is within $4.50 of the charge regardless of the discount applied. For Saturday training multiply each lesson times $135.50 and you will be within $4.50 per lesson no matter what. These figures include a 10% discount for not using Visa or MasterCard Credit Card (No debit cards accepted at this time.)
In addition, I do four things that help a student progress up to twice as fast (thus at half the expense) through training compared to other driving schools.
1. FREE written training materials that prepare a driver for each lesson in advance. Those who take advantage of this benefit progress up to twice as fast and at half the expense compared to those who do not do the reading.
2. FREE e-mail between each (almost all) lessons (starting with lesson two) clarifying drivers progress and needs.
3. FREE unlimited e-mail access to me and my office to answer any question a client and/or student-driver has.
4. I do not take time out of the driver's behind-the-wheel time to talk with interested parties. I will take my time to have a brief conversation about each lessons progress, but do most of that information sharing via email for FREE.
Applying these benefits, my prices are competitive with or less than any other reputable driving school in the USA.
All pre-paid and deposited funds are 100% refundable upon request if cancellation or rescheduling deadline is met. Cancellation/rescheduling deadline varies from one-minute to two-hours depending on the reason for cancellation or rescheduling. Most driving schools require a 24 to 48-hour cancellation/rescheduling notice. No money paid for completed service is refundable under any conditions. All final charges are rounded to the nearest dollar.
Driving Lesson Duration
All driving lessons are 75-minutes in length unless otherwise noted or arranged.
I provide door-to-door service for slightly less than one-half the charge of a taxi and less than UBER. I arrive within one-minute of your scheduled time, rather than the 45-minute window offered by most taxi services. The charge is $1.45 per round trip mile from 4033 Buttonbush Dr., Milton, FL 32583. Use www.mapquest.com to calculate one way miles, multiply by two and then by $1.45 or call 850 981-3355 for a quote. Also, you can consult this web site (Agreement Page, left column, purple print at bottom of left column) for an approximate door-to-door charge by zip code reference. Door-to-door service is not cheap. However, I charge about 90% of what it actually costs me to provide the service. I am a small business. I have only one car. One-hundred percent of my overhead has to be gleaned by the per mile and/or per minute use of my one car.
12. DO WE SERVE ALABAMA?
We can pick you up and drive you across the Florida line, train you in Florida and drive you back to your home in Alabama.
13. WHAT I DO
Telling a driver the truth about his driving allows me to good word a driver who does well and opens the door for me to help a driver with driving needs. I cannot help a driver become a better driver if I do not identify driving flaws.
I teach everyone who is able to learn including those with handicaps of all and every kind.
A. New drivers to pass their Florida State Licensing Test.
B. Twelve safe driving skills that keep the driver from causing crashes.
C. Twenty-three defensive driving techniques that help people drive crash-free even when driving among poor drivers and in bad weather.
D. How to drive citation-free for life.
E. Experienced and new drivers to be safer by teaching defensive driving skills.
F. People from other countries; those whose first language is not English.
G. Drivers with handicaps.
H. Those ordered by the Court system to satisfy court-ordered remedial behind-the-wheel driver’s training.
I. I provide validation of graduation for insurance companies that offer discounts for drivers that successfully complete a behind-the-wheel driving course/training.
J. I provide evaluations" to determine if a driver is "safe behind-the-wheel."
14. WHAT I DO NOT DO.
It does you no favor if I lie to you about your driving needs and it robs you of the joy of recognizing your progress. Lying about your driving ability in order to keep from hurting your feelings can make a driver over-confident behind-the-wheel and cost that driver his or her life. I will not do it. If you cannot handle constructive criticism or appreciate wise advise, you are too immature to be entrusted with a vehicle that can cripple or kill in a split second of a wrong decision. Driving is not for children.
I do not refund money for lessons already taken or started. I quit doing that when I had a student-driver whose grandfather demanded a full refund of $630 because at the end of the training, he felt she had not progress enough (even though her progress was well in line with the average progress of the average student and she was in all ways an average student). I refunded the money. When I told him I would refund this money, he broke out in laughter.
A few weeks later I got a call from a mother. Her last name was the same as the last name of grandfather and student driver that received a full refund. After three lessons, the mother asked if she could ride for one lesson. Foolishly, I allowed it. After that lesson the mother said she did not like me or my teaching style. I ended up refunding half of their money paid. I can't help but think I was set up for this by the sociopath grandfather. I will not refund any more money for lessons already taken. If you are unhappy for any reason, stop the training immediately and I will refund any unused part of that lesson on a per minute basis and any unused advanced payments.
So, now I simply do not refund money for completed lessons any more than the gas station will refund your money for a consumed tank of gas.
15. ARE CAREFUL DRIVERS SAFE?
No. Only safe drivers are safe. Being careful is not the same as being safe. You cannot avoid crashing by being careful. You can only avoid crashes by driving defensively. Driving defensively is a skill. Being careful is the result of driving under the influence of an emotion. "Caring," is an emotion, not a skill. Bad drivers cannot be careful enough or caring enough to drive skillfully. Skillful driving is the result of training not the result of caring more.
Only perfect practice makes perfect. Drivers who have bad driving habits but are "careful" when they drive poorly are not "safe" any more than a person jumping from a plane with a poorly packed parachute is safe if he is "careful" (care-filled) during his free-fall or pulls the rip-cord with much carefulness.
"Carefulness," is not "driver's training," but a state of mind. Giving an untrained driver the keys the car and telling that driver to, "be careful," is no different than giving him an loaded gun with no more training than the admonition to, "be careful." It is foolish and it is naive. It is deadly and expensive. One man told me that his son did not need driver's training because his son was a "careful driver." After two crashes and more than $1,500 in damages, he brought his son to me for driver's training.
16. BRIEF BREAK
In some cases, there is a two or three minute break for each lesson about half way through where the driver is able to rest his or her mind. It is part of the driving safely. This is an important safety factor. If there is a break for safety, the driving time will not extended. If, however, there is a break for any other reasons, the driving time will extended so the driver does not lose behind-the-wheel time. If we are going to be more than five minutes late, I will call.
17. CAN PARENTS (SPOUSES) RIDE DURING TRAINING?
If the training is in your car, then, of course you can ride in your car during training as you are assuming 100% of the liability when training in your car. I invite riders for the first lesson, only (in my vehicle). There are good reasons for this that I will share upon request.
If a rider is needed in my vehicle some specific reason, let me know the need and I will make a decision regarding someone in the back seat during training beyond lesson one.
The crash rate with a parent or spouse in the back seat is many times greater. Anyone can follow us to see the training from the outside of our vehicle. Upon request, I will provide any client (parent, spouse) a free 10-minute driving session with client behind-the-wheel to get an idea of my teaching ability.
18. HOURS OF OPERATION
The first lesson of the day can begin as early as 10am and the last driving session of the day can begin as late as 8:30pm, Tuesday through Saturday. If Monday is the only days you can train, I will make adjustments to meet your available time. Just ask.
19. INSURANCE DISCOUNTS
Some insurance providers give 5% to 15% discounts to drivers who driver's training. Some do not. Call your insurance provider to find out.
20. WHAT HAPPENS IF WE (YOU AND I) CANNOT GET ALONG?
So far, out of the total of about 3,000 people I have worked with in this business (student-drivers and clients), I have not gotten along with six people.
A person has to work really hard at not getting along with me. Tell me what you want and if it is within my power and within any parameters of reason, I will do it. Tell me what you do not like about me and I won't do it again. Tell me what I can do to better please you and I will give it my best effort to do it. How much more could any person do? How much more could anyone expect from me?
If we cannot get along, we part company. However, I will not refund money paid for lessons already taken or already started.
I do not get along with narcissists, sociopaths or psychopaths because the only way to get along with them is to be their spittoon. I refuse. Life is too short to endure the ongoing discomfort of trying to work with people who are devoted to failure in that working relationship.
If you have one of these fowl people in your life, go to http://www.lulu.com/shop/joda-collins/dealing-with-the-demonic/paperback/product-20198023.html
and get some help.
Every one of the six people I could not get along with refused to read carefully the working agreement that they signed and then got upset with me because I did exactly what I said I would do in the working agreement or I expected them to do what the working agreement stated was their responsibility. If you refuse to read the Contact, please do not do business with me. If you struggle to read, I will read it to you. Just ask.
21. STATE EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS TO SECURE A DRIVER'S LICENSE.
The requirements vary greatly depending on where you take your exam. Tell me where you are taking your exam and I will tell you the requirements.
22. THE FINANCIAL VALUE OF SELF-STUDY
Those who do the suggested self study progress about twice as fast through training compared to those who do none of the suggested self study.
Whether you do self-study or not makes no difference to me. However, why pay me money for necessary things you can learn on your own time for free!
I have invested about 1,400 hours in separating what can be learned about safe-defensive driving (and/or passing the State driving exam) from a book from what can only be learned about safe-defensive driving (and/or passing the State driving exam) behind-the-wheel.
I have a workbook that contains everything that can be learned about safe driving (and/or passing the State driving exam) from a book. Student-drivers that avail themselves to these printed resources spend, on average spend about half the time behind-the-wheel and learn the same driving skills as Student-drivers who do not read the printed material. I offer the reading material for free; however I do not beg a person to read it. Clients who would rather pay more to learn the reading material during paid driving tiime are welcome to do so without any objection from me.
23. DRIVING AT NIGHT
Some things about night time driving cannot be taught in the daylight. Everything about daylight driving can be taught after sundown. Drivers with a permit for more than 90-days can take lessons after sundown and will always be better prepared for all driving conditions than drivers that only train in the sunlight. I do not "promote" night driving beyond making this statement. If you desire a night driving session, let me know.
24. WHY IS THERE A CHARGE FOR DOOR-TO -DOOR SERVICE?
It costs money to drive my car and I get paid for my time.
No driving school provides free door-to-door service. Either the expense for door-to-door service is added to the price of the driving lessons and spread across the expense to all clients or the clients that use door-to-door service are charged for that service. My policy is that I only charge those who use door-to-door service for the service.
Driving my car, paying myself a living wage and covering my business expenses are all accomplished by the per minute use of my time and the per mile charge for using my vehicle. I have no other source of income. If I invest my time in you and drive my car for you, I incur expenses. In most cases my door-to-door pick up charge is about 90% of what it costs me to provide it.
Schools that say they "do not charge" for door-to-door service are lying to you. They have increased charges to everyone to cover the expense of providing the door-to-door service. If I offered "free" door-to-door service, everyone would take advantage of that service. My standard 75-minute driving lesson would take, on average, twice as long. I would be spending 50% of my work time on the road for door-to-door service. My car would wear out, at least twice as fast, maintenance expense for the vehicle would double. I would have to increase my prices to cover the expense as no one in business works 50% of the time for free while doubling expenses.
The charge for door-to-door service is slightly less than 50% of what a taxi would charge and considerably less than UBER. It is $1.45 per round trip mile just off of Interstate 10 at Exit 26, Milton, 32583.
My arrival time is within one minute of the promised time rather than the 45-minute window offered by most taxi services.
25. IS THERE A CONTRACT TO SIGN?
It is against the State law for driving schools to have any verbal agreements with drivers or clients. Most driving schools have very brief Contracts. They read, "X number of lessons. X number of dollars. No refunds." And there are statements to protect the company from lawsuits.
However, since I have a liberal refund policy, give discounts when certain conditions are met, provide written estimates and more, my Contract (Working Agreement) is long. Thank you for reading it carefully. You can find it on the AGREEMENT page of my web site (www.JodaCollins.com).
Upon request, I am happy to provide a simplified Working Agreement to anyone who asks that just states, "X number of lesson for $X dollars. No refunds. Plus, a few statements that protect us." All I do is remove client and driver benefits from the Working Agreement.
I must have that signed Working Agreement in hand the day before the first driving lesson can take place. You can :
1. Fax it to 850 981-3355,
2. Mail it (allow five business days for
delivery from date of postmark).
3 I can Email it to you or to any Office Depot, UPS Store, Staples Office Store, Office Depot or Office Max where they will print it for you, you sign it and they fax it to me. The cost is about $5.00. You bring the receipt to me and I reimburse you in full. You must provide to me the address and the phone number of the store so I can email the info to the store. You must tell me what day you are going to the store as they will hold the email for you for one full day.
4. Read it early and sign it just before the lesson begins, when we first meet.
Before the first driving lesson begins, I will need 5 or 10 minutes with the driver and the client's undivided attention to cover the most important details of the Working Agreement to ensure understanding of mutual responsibilities.
26. I signed but did not read the Working Agreement. Now that there is a problem because I did not read the Working Agreement, can I be held accountable for what I think the Working Agreement should have stated rather than what it actually stated?
This is my ninth year in business. I have refused service to two people because I deemed them to be mentally unbalanced. Beyond those two, I have had a strained working relationship with eight people out of the approximately 3,000 drivers and clients.
Those eight had one thing in common. Everyone of them signed the Working Agreement without reading it or without reading it carefully. Every one of the eight got upset with me over something that was clearly stated in the Working Agreement when a specific of the Working Agreement was enacted.
I have never had a strained working relationship with a driver, spouse or parent who read the Working Agreement.
1. The Working Agreement must be signed and returned to me via fax, mail, in person or email (electronic signature followed by a personal signature at our first meeting).
2. At the first meeting all parties have to sign a paper copy of the Working Agreement, if not already signed. This includes the driver, even if under 18. This includes the Client, who is the the financially responsible individual).
3. I am willing to consider altering anything on the Working Agreement, upon request, except for changes that cost me time and/or money. Please, however, ask for changes before signing.
27. I MISREAD THE WORKING AGREEMENT AND NOW I HAVE A PROBLEM. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Talk with me (Joda Collins) and let's solve the problem.
28. WHERE ARE THE DRIVER LICENSES OFFICES?
For directions and/or address in Escambia County call 472-0031. For Santa Rosa County call 983-1800.
To contact me --
call 850 981-3355 or email JodaCollins@aol.com .
The web site below this paragraph brings together relevant information on a variety of topical subjects including tips on teenage driving and refresher courses for the mature driver.
Most Asked Questions/Answers
My Specialty and Business Structure
JODA COLLINS DRIVING ACADEMY
My Commitment to You!
From Gulf Breeze (near the toll bridge)
Take the toll bridge towards Interstate 10. Take Interstate 10 East. Take the first exit (#26). Turn left at the stop sign. It is the first building on your right.
From Navarre and Gulf Breeze (near Hwy 87)
Take Hwy 87 North. Take I-10 East. Take Exit 26. Bear right at first intersection. Go under 1-10. It is the first building on your right.
Lesson Start Locations
1. A lesson can begin and end any place you desire in the State of Florida.
2. For no pick-up fee lessons start/end at 3804 Garcon Point, Milton. This is a Shell Station/Truck Stop/Circle K/Restaurant at the Intersection of Interstate 10 and Exit 26, Milton, 32583.
Specific directions to the start location for the first lesson will be provided to you upon request or you can find it using www.mapquest.com and the address 3804 Garcon Point Road, Milton 32583. Also, see immediately below.
My Specialty is Defensive Driving.
I have driven almost one-million miles (including 18-wheeler, bob-tail truck, UPS Package delivery truck, as a chauffeur and a driving Instructor) and developed safe-defensive driving skills at the highest level. As a driving Instructor for more than 1,400 students (about 6,000 lessons, 7,500 training hours and 170,000 training miles), I have gained the ability to work with every kind of student at every level of driving skill. However, I do not serve narcissists, psychopaths or sociopaths. Life is too short and I am too smart now to spend time with psychological predators. Been there. Done that. No thank you! I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. So far, out of more than 1,400 student applications, I have refused service to four. I should have refused service to eight; LOL. (You know who you are!)
My Business Structure
I have a small business with four people assisting me about two-hours per week each.This means you are, usually, receiving the attention of the business owner. If someone is in the office, we will answer the phone. If no one is in the office, we try to return every phone call and every email within two-hours. Phone 850 981-3355. Email: JodaCollins@aol.com.
My Business Goal
I have only one goal.That goal is to be the best defensive driving school in the world. What does it take to be the best driving school in the world?
1. An experienced, dedicated instructor (me) that will train you and yours with the mind-set that the driver's
life depends on the quality of service he/she receives and a devotion to invest in each student as if the student was his own child, sibling or parent.
2. A commitment to do everything, exceptionally, well.
3. A Client-centered and Driver-centered business that makes the needs and desires of every Client and every
Driver the priority, second only to safety and, at least, a moderate degree of reasonableness.
Without reservation of thought, I tell you that I offer you the "best" defensive driver's training that you can find anywhere in the world. That is a bold statement; however, I believe it to be an accurate statement. Some driving school has to be the best. This is it! In reality, since few business have highly-experienced staff who are dedicated, first and foremost, to your success and to pleasing you as a priority, the field of top-quality businesses, in any field, is not large.
When the person giving you most of the service is the business owner, that is a positive with regards to receiving the best service.
Very few driving instructors have the vast experience behind-the-wheel that I have. And, driving instructors come and go often. Very few have trained 1,400 drivers!
Full revelation of details. I am a man of many words. It takes a lot of words to reveal all information. I would rather lose your business than have your business and you be confused about what you are paying for or what to expect. I do not like confrontation. I will do my best to explain to you exactly what to expect. I do not bait and switch, misrepresent, lie, conceal or withhold information. I have no small print where information is hidden that is designed to hurt you or take advantage of you. I will answer any question you have as honestly and as fully as I can. I will put anything I say in print and sign it.
Hello. My name is Joda Collins. Welcome! Thank you for taking a look at my web-site. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me (850 981-3355) or email JodaCollins@aol.com.
My commitment to you is excellent service, excellent training and excellent training materials provided with a Client-centered and Driver-centered approach.
If you are here to check the available start times, read the left column. If not, go to Section Two (right column).
Email your request to JodaCollins@aol.com or call 850 981-3355.