Best Driving Schools in Cork City
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Top 5 Driving Schools in Cork City

Cork City is a beautiful city to explore, and there are several spots to visit for food or for photo ops. The best way to tour the city is by driving around, so if you don’t have a license yet—here are the top driving schools you can try in Cork City!

In this article, we’ll talk about these driving schools and what services they offer. We’ll also talk about the experiences of former learner drivers to give you more idea of what to expect.

Let’s start!

In Ireland, you would need to complete an Essential Driver Training programme or EDT. It’s a structured programme for learner drivers and is composed of 12 one-hour lessons.

There’s a need for an Approved Driving Instructor or an ADI to accompany the learner. You can also have just six sessions if you’re qualified to have reduced EDT.

The overall rates for these lessons are between €500.00 to €700.00. The final cost would depend on your choice of instructor.

The following criteria will be used to evaluate the most trusted driving schools in Cork:

Driving instructors should be well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to teach driving lessons to students.
Facilities evaluate the designated areas where a learner driver can practice what he or she learned during lessons and also the vehicles used (should be modern and fully functioning). 
Safety measures should be implemented at all costs like the installation of dual controls and allowing instructors to take over during emergencies.
Class sizes should be considered because a small-sized classroom allows for a more focused individual assessment.
Reviews and recommendations from former students assure new learners about the quality of lessons and services the driving school offers.

1. Next Gear Driving Lessons

Next Gear Driving Lessons
ADDRESSCalderwood Rd, Ardarrig, Cork, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 86 240 5139
OPERATING HOURSMonday - Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

When it comes to instructors, Next Gear Driving Lessons is at the front of the line. Learning how to drive is easy, but usually, nerves get in the way–so having instructors that are very supportive helps in achieving your goal!

And this is what we and the former students love about Next Gear Driving Lessons. The atmosphere in class is very encouraging, allowing you to develop self-confidence before your main test.

What we love about it is that the classes themselves are very informative. And the instructor conducting the lessons is methodical with his approach, and this allows the students to absorb the lessons more.

We also love the fact that the classes aren’t large. This allows the instructors to focus on the needs of each student and develop a strategy for him or her to succeed!

We really want to give kudos to the instructors because they know what they’re doing. You can also feel that they really want their students to learn, hence, their styles of teaching are flexible depending on the needs of the students.

They give great advice as well! So if you happen to be a student about to take the test, you’ll really get encouraged.

The only problem we see about this driving school in Cork City is related to communication. Some clients complain about not receiving responses to their inquiries so they have to follow up a lot—this could send some potential customers away!


  • Knowledgeable driving instructor
  • Very informative lessons
  • Encouraging atmosphere
  • Gives great advice to learners
  • Easy process
  • Methodical way of teaching
  • Focuses on each student’s strengths and develops a strategy


  • Some emails are left with no response
  • Needs to follow up for inquiries

Great driving instructor

Brian is an excellent driving instructor in every capacity. As someone who was experiencing a severe lack of confidence in my own driving and who also had done many lessons with other teachers for 4 years, I was at the end of my tether with driving. Brian was able to change that and he helped me gain confidence in my abilities and I passed on my first go! I’ll be recommending Brian to anyone who needs lessons.—Oisin Hunt, Google Reviews

Gives great advice to learners

Passed my test with Brian last week and he couldn’t have made it easier and less nerve wracking! Through experienced advice and patient teaching he made the whole experience nothing but insightful and enjoyable! With expert advice on both the driving aspect as well as the theory, I couldn’t recommend him any more to any first time drivers or someone looking for a new instructor! 10/10— Cian Magee, Google Reviews

2. Excel School Of Motoring

Excel School Of Motoring
ADDRESSCork, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 86 846 5329
OPERATING HOURSMonday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Saturday: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Sunday: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Excel School Of Motoring is one of those driving schools with instructors that you’ll either love or hate. But at the end of the day, everything they teach you is for your benefit, especially because you’re dealing with driving.

According to some of the former learner drivers, Excel School’s instructors are friendly, but they’re very strict. They’ll really push you to correct your mistakes and techniques until you finally get them, which can be frustrating to some students.

We love that the instructors are pushy in a good way. We’re talking about driving here, and one mistake can cause accidents. 

We appreciate that the instructors are very aware of this so they make sure their students are in their best form before taking driving lessons. Their teaching styles focus on techniques, so students will learn things based on their strengths and weaknesses.

To add to this, the instructors are very patient with their students. We love that they want to make sure the lessons are learned by heart before moving on to the next item.

The lessons are quite fun and informative as well! Most of us learn better if the lessons aren’t too formal, so this is an advantage to those who easily get bored in class.

Just a heads up though—it’s difficult to book a slot in Excel School, so you have to book weeks in advance. It strictly needs an appointment so you can’t just walk-in and apply for a driving lesson.


  • Encouraging and competent instructors
  • Good teaching styles
  • Organised lessons
  • Explains everything in detail
  • Informative and fun lessons
  • Pushes your limits in a good way
  • Very meticulous in terms of techniques


  • Difficult to book
  • Strictly needs appointment

Patient instructors

I can honestly say that John is the best in the business when it comes to driving instructors. I passed my test thanks to John’s patience, teaching skills and driving knowledge. He has the ability to make you feel both at ease & confident in your own abilities, which is something I really struggled to find in an instructor before. I would highly recommend him as an instructor, and can’t thank him enough.—Katie Murphy, Google Reviews

Informative and fun lessons

John is a wonderful driving instructor. He explains everything in great detail, he is reassuring and very informative and helped me so much in passing my test first time! I am absolutely thrilled and couldn’t have done it without him! Thanks so much John, fully recommend to everyone!.—Lucy Twomey, Google Reviews

3. Dwyers Driving School

Dwyers Driving School
ADDRESSCork, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 86 828 9687
OPERATING HOURSMonday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

When we asked the former learner drivers of Dwyers Driving School what they loved about it, they told is they loved the way the instructors taught them. The instructors were very thorough and strategic, so they were able to learn quickly.

In addition to this, they also said that the teaching styles of the instructors were great. They adapt their styles based on the learning capacity of the student, or if they have special needs.

One student was dyslexic, so the instructors made sure to switch things up a bit so the student would learn well. We love it when service providers adjust to the needs of their clients because it means they’re really focused on the student’s wellbeing.

We also appreciate that the instructors are friendly and accommodating. They also set aside a portion of the lessons for Q&A to make sure the student really understands the lessons and instructions.

We love that the driving school also makes sure they’re using updated cars and controllers. This assures us that safety is its priority, which is very important to student learners.

The lessons are informative as well. And the atmosphere inside the classes is always encouraging and non-judgmental.

The only problem we heard is that the school cancels lessons on short notice, which is totally inconvenient. Some lessons aren’t booked properly as well, so we recommend calling to check your schedule before going to the site. 


  • Accommodating and friendly instructor
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • Clear instructions
  • Gives great advice
  • Meticulous with details
  • Adapts lessons based on the student’s needs


  • Cancels lessons on short notice
  • Some lessons aren’t booked properly

Customer Reviews

Relaxed atmosphere and clear instructions

Jerry was a great instructor. He kept things relaxed, gave clear instructions, and was always very patient. Learning to drive was really easy with him. Would definitely recommend—Sean O Callaghan, Google Reviews

Gives amazing advice and tips to students

Jerry is an absolute pleasure to work with. He has helped me learn the rules of the road and at the same time implement them and pass my test. Jerry’s advice in the pre-test and practice is what helped me pass my test. I would highly recommend Jerry to anyone who wants to learn how to drive or even needs help to pass their test.—Abanoub Fares, Google Reviews

4. Airport Driving School

Airport Driving School
ADDRESSKillumney, Co. Cork, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 21 485 0748
OPERATING HOURSMonday - Saturday: Open 24 hours

Sunday: 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Arguably the biggest driving school in Cork, Airport Driving School is quite famous around the area. It has various driving lessons for every type of vehicle there is, making it a popular choice for most learner drivers!

In addition to this, the driving school uses the latest models and gadgets for driving lessons. We appreciate this because it means the students are learning with the latest cars and it adds to the assurance that the lessons are safe.

We also love that the lessons are well-organised. The students learn everything properly because the instructions are clear and explained clearly.

According to some former students, the instructors are very thorough with techniques. During the practical lessons, they assess your weaknesses and give you advice on how to improve them. 

The instructors are also very encouraging. They want to make sure you’re full of confidence before you take your test so you’ll pass with flying colours!

We love that you’ll also enjoy the classes. They’re not only informative but also fun, so that the students won’t get bored and will absorb details more.

Just a little thing worth mentioning—if you have unused hours, the driving school refunds them, but it’ll take a long time. Also, be careful of additional fees—make sure to clarify the exact amount you’ll pay during the inquiry. 


  • Offers a variety of driving lessons for different types of vehicles
  • Has the latest cars and gadgets for driving lessons
  • Competent instructors
  • Encouraging atmosphere in classes
  • Well-organised lessons
  • Very thorough with techniques
  • Patient with students
  • Explains instructions well


  • Additional fees
  • Long wait for a refund regarding unused hours

Helps students build their confidence

Tried airport driving School after my 12 lessons to get extra practise before my test, I had different lessons with various instructors (Michael, Shane, and Michal ) that were all very good. I did my pretest with Michal and he really helped me get up to the test standards in a matter of few hours, He really helped me build up my confidence and  knowledge, I passed my test on the first go , Couldn’t be happier, I would definitely recommend this instructor and this company ! Un grand Merci—Angelica Burke, Google Reviews

Thorough with techniques

Bob was my instructor. I came to airport driving after my 12 lessons for extra support before my test. Bob was an excellent driving teacher, explained everything so detailed and kept practicing with me until I got everything right. He was so thorough with all maneuvers and didn’t hesitate to answer any qs I had. He was an incredible support and I would highly recommend the school as I had another instructor for just 1 lesson and he was equally excellent!—Bronwen Hyland, Google Reviews

5. Neptune School of Motoring

Neptune School of Motoring
ADDRESSElm Rd, Clashduv Rd, Togher, Cork, Ireland
CONTACT DETAILS+353 83 302 4769
OPERATING HOURSMonday - Friday: 9:30 AM - 6:30 PM

Saturday: 9:45 AM - 2:30 PM

First of all, Neptune School of Motoring is proud of its 95% passing rate in driving, so that’s already one indication that you should consider. In fact, most students attest to how good the instructors are, allowing them to pass their tests easily!

For one, the classes are fun to attend. While the lessons are composed of serious subjects, the instructors make sure the classes are interactive and not boring.

In addition to this, we love that the classes are encouraging. Not only do the instructors push students to be confident, but their fellow students as well!

In terms of the practical lessons, we love that the instructors focus on the different abilities of the students and develop their techniques based on those. They also make sure to explain instructions well so the students will have an easy time.

We also love that when you make mistakes, the instructors will demonstrate what you’re doing wrong so you can easily correct them. And just in case you don’t know how to, they also make sure to show you how to do things properly.

Just a heads up that the driving school is quite difficult to locate. Also, make sure you book an appointment before dropping in because you might not get accommodated. 


  • 95% passing rate
  • Excellent instructors
  • Fun but thorough lessons
  • Instructors demonstrate mistakes
  • Explains instructions well
  • Focuses on individual abilities
  • Teaches techniques based on strengths
  • Encouraging classes


  • Strictly needs an appointment
  • Difficult to find

Instructors show you your mistakes so you can correct them

I completed my exam with flying colours, and Hamit was an excellent teacher during the two lessons I had with him prior to the test. He provided me confidence for the test and demonstrated to me how to fix my mistakes. I am really thankful, and I gained a lot of knowledge from our drive together.  I became a better driver as a result of his patience and insightful instructions. Anyone in need of instruction should definitely consider Hamit, in my opinion.—Martyna Fudala, Google Reviews

Explains instructions well

Hamit is an exceptional driving instructor. I had 6 EDT and a pre-test lesson with him. He explains really well and has a great sense of humor. He instructed me really well, so I was able to pass the test. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a great driving instructor.—Ribeard, Google Reviews

We hope our list helped you choose the perfect driving school that caters to your needs. If you need more guidance before taking a driving test, here are the Dos and Don’ts for an Irish Driving Test.