Driving is owned and operated by Ron McKenna and his family. While
it is based in Dartmouth, it also serves the metro Halifax area in general.
Classroom sessions are held in Dartmouth. McKenna's offers
a fully recognized driver education program consisting of 25 hours in
the classroom and 10 hours in-car.
As with other schools, completion of the McKenna's
program will result in a reduction in insurance rates (depending on insurance
company, and on individual family circumstances). It also allows
easy transition at the end of two years of driving from the novice (N) stage,
to the experienced licence. The minimum waiting time between obtaining the
beginner's licence and taking the road test is reduced from six months to three
McKenna's in-car program
follows all provincial guidelines and in fully-approved vehicles with friendly
certified instructors. Training will include suburban, urban and
freeway driving, with a thorough preparation for the Registry of Motor Vehicles
NOVA SCOTIA DRIVER EDUCATION IS MADE UP OF
25 HOURS OF CLASSROOM THEORY AND INFORMATION,
FOLLOWED BY 10 HOURS OF IN-CAR PRACTICAL LEARNING.
McKenna's classroom phase:
covers all provincially
required topics, plus more.
Instruction is pleasant but
very thorough, with consistently favourable
reviews from students.
You will not find any filler material here, as there are more than enough
important topics to fill 25 hours.
based on a provincially approved textbook, but presented by way
of a course-book personally written by the instructor.
Note-taking will be minimal.
Students will have a
test at the last session, as compared to shorter ones along the way or no
evaluation at all (as may be the case at some other schools).
Students with valid test-writing difficulties will be accommodated.
Classes are mostly
scheduled for seven 3.5 hour evening sessions, rather than the more
common day-long weekend sessions offered by most other schools.
In some months
one or more of the classes will be on a Saturday beginning at 9 AM.
Classes are conveniently
held at the
Quality Inn Halifax-Dartmouth (MicMac)
at 313 Prince Albert Road in Dartmouth,
near the Braemar Superstore.
A current schedule of classes for the upcoming months
follows completion of the classroom program)
one-on-one instruction. Instructors routinely receive rave
Lessons progress based on
the skills and knowledge of the student, with situations progressing in a
logical order of complexity.
Instruction commences with
static familiarization with the vehicle and blind spots, to quiet areas, to
suburban driving, to rural and freeway driving, to downtown Halifax and ends
with concentrated practice for the road test. Progression is adjusted
depending on the experience and learning of each student.
Ideally the lessons are one
hour long and perhaps twice per week; however in some cases two hour lessons
or more frequent lessons might be arranged to accommodate special
In-car lessons are
in most cases spread over two to three months to accommodate the minimum 3-month
waiting period between acquisition of the learner's licence and doing the road
test. Students who have already completed the waiting period might
do the in-car lessons more quickly, but all students should realize that driving lessons are ideally partnered with driving experience over time at home in the
In most cases students may
be picked up and/or dropped off at home, at school, or place of employment.
Students who live outside the Dartmouth/Cole Harbour/Eastern Passage/North
Preston area normally must make arrangements to meet in the Dartmouth area for
in-car lessons. In some months students who live just outside
the above area may be able to be accommodated with door to door
service. Check with the office to discuss.
- Rely on word of mouth
rather than advertising. Most of
McKenna's students report that they came due
to our reputation for service, quality and
- Which suits you best, a
Canada-wide corporation or a local stand-alone
company with all its roots in the community?
No doubt that big chain has an excellent product
but taking into account other factors you may
find McKenna's excellent product preferable.
- Is there a
representative who is willing to explain the
program and answer all your questions prior
to committing your money? Call Glenna at
- Will the school pick you up from your
home, work or school for the in-car driving lessons,
within its service area? We
will, within the core area of
- Driving schools must be
licenced in Nova Scotia and carry adequate
liability insurance. Vehicles must be
kept in good repair and inspected annually.
- Instructors must be certified and
currently licenced to teach driving in Nova
Scotia. Criminal record checks are
required to teach driving. Ours are.
- All driving school operators and
instructors should be professional,
courteous, personable, respectful, and emphasize safety
and integrity. They should also be enthusiastic and dedicated to
what they are doing. Ours certainly
are, as our students will readily
- Look for a school in which the
instructors who love the in-car training are
doing that, and the instructors who enjoy
teaching a classroom full of students are
doing that aspect, and that each consider
what he or she is doing to be equally
important in a complete package. This
is for sure at McKenna's. Ron, Jake
and Sam enjoy the in-car. Bill enjoys
the classroom. And each is very
competent in doing what they enjoy!
- Ask about the required hours and
scheduling format for the classroom
sessions. All schools must present a
25-hour program but the format is typically
either 3 or 4 day-long classes OR a series of
shorter evening classes. Which works
best for you? McKenna's uses the
shorter class format usually evenings 6 -
9:35 spread over seven non-consecutive evenings.
- Discuss the attendance policy
25-hour classroom sessions. It may be
difficult to attend the complete number of
hours due to other commitments. Will
the school allow split attendance over two
or more monthly class sessions in order to
make up the time?
- Be wary of schools
that are overly lenient in attendance
policies, as that is a statement that they
do not themselves value their own product. It is important for
classes to be attended!
McKenna's allows only very limited absences
for good reasons not being made up, and will
never schedule in-car lessons at the same
time as the classroom.
- Compare tuition costs
schools and ask if there are any additional
fees or charges such as for use of the
vehicle or instructor time during the final
road test. McKenna's is among
the cheapest in the Halifax area and does
not charge for the use of the car during the
road test. Regardless of the school
your personal payments to Access Nova Scotia
for testing and licences are always your own
- Ask about the school's
cancelling or rescheduling a
behind-the-wheel training session.
McKenna's does not charge for cancellations
provided you give reasonable notice.