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BMW Alpina Intro BMW is not without its rivals from its native Germany. Where the likes of Mercedes-Benz turn to their subsidiary Mercedes-AMG when they're looking for customized luxury models, BMW turns to Alpina. There are some who claim that you haven't truly...

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BMW Driving School

If you’re living in either California or South Carolina, then there’s a very special and exclusive BMW driving school near you — the BMW Performance Driving School. It features some of the most unique BMW driving courses for teens and adults that you’ll find anywhere in the country. Let’s learn more about the BMW Performance Driving School.

Where is BMW Driving School?

The BMW performance center has two principal locations in the United States – one in the east in Spartanburg, SC, and one in the west in Thermal, CA, right by the Joshua Tree National Park.

The BMW school comprises three parts — Teen School, Driver’s School, and M School.

BMW Teen School is designed to make traditional “Driver’s Ed” a little more of a fun and meaningful experience. Rather than focusing on maneuvers like parallel parking, the school teaching high school teens about how to really control their vehicle, especially a BMW.

BMW Driver’s School is a place where a driver currently unfamiliar with the many advanced capabilities of a BMW car. This school focuses on car control, braking while driving, vision, and more.

BMW M School is a thrilling driving experience as you take out top-notch BMW M vehicles onto the track to see just what they can do. It’s the ultimate drive in the world’s ultimate driving machine.

These experiences are designed to combine a functional and instructive driving course with unforgettable driving experiences.

Does Driving School Really Help?

Driving is such an integral part of our everyday lives that we could all stand to boost our skills when we have the opportunity.

Teens especially benefit from advanced driving courses. Typical driving courses cover many important basic things like road driving, signaling, parking, and so on. What they don’t do, however, is allow students to open the car up and discover the secrets of control and driving confidence.

The BMW Teen School offers a one-day class and a two-day class. Some of the safety skills they teach on the one-day course — avoiding obstacles, emergency lane changing, panic braking, etc. — are ones that could potentially save their lives in the future. Furthermore, the course on driving while distracted is a specialty of the teen driving school. Avoid those nightmare scenarios by teaching your teens about these dangers in controlled but hands-on classes.

The two-day teen course adds wet skid pad training and interstate braking from high speeds — more life-saving content.

The BMW Driver’s School also offers one-day and two-day courses, which also contain some of the same information as the teen school. The program focus is placed a little more upon track performance. After a morning classroom session, you’ll go through the skid pad training and panic braking lessons. After a lunch break, you’ll take on the Handling Course and then complete a timed lap.

The two-day package offers an off-road course where you’ll challenge your hand-eye coordination finding your way through various driving conditions. After that, you can pick three different BMW models to bomb around the track, comparing how each one handles and how you can take advantage of their unique qualities.

These courses are certainly fun for drivers, but they are useful as well. The Thermal Club track for example is very challenging and should work to boost anyone’s confidence and competence behind the wheel. Gaining additional skills on top of those you learned from a regular driving instructor will always be valuable.

The third major area at the BMW school is the M school. Though not as universally functional as the Teen or Driver’s Schools, it does offer many great options for that niche seeking a very particular kind of high-performance adventure. You have six options: One-Day M School; Two-Day M School; Race License School; Advanced M School; M4 GT4 School (ultra high-spec M4 model with professional racing instructors); and the M Driver’s Program.

Among these, you’ll find many useful courses. The one- and two-day programs are useful for those who’ve never driven the high-performance M models before. Add some racing skills to your portfolio, too, such as drifting, looking ahead to master the high-speed drive lines, maintaining focus…the list goes on. You can even take part in an exciting rat race where you attempt to catch up to an opponent on a wet-tarmac track.

These courses are also built with many unique features that complement your driving skills, but you do need to know about them. You’ll be amazed how even a single two-hour session as part of your day-long course can make a huge difference.

How Much does BMW Driving School Cost?

On the surface, the rates for classes at the BMW performance center look rather premium for a day or two of driving. When you really understand how much is on offer, however, you quickly see where the value lies. It’s especially important to factor in the skill level and experience of the instructors, all of whom are BMW specialists trained to teach you the art of performance driving.

Both the BMW Teen and Driver’s Schools range from $849 for one day, to $1699 for two days. The M School has different prices depending on which program you want to take part in. The one-day M School starts at $1550, and the two-day program starts at $3595.

If you’re looking to obtain your racing license, then the Race License course starts at $2495. Those looking to boost their experience levels and push their abilities to new limits may be interested in the Advanced M School, which starts at $4600.

The rates are the same whether at the California or South Carolina locations. You can get in touch with BMW via email or phone to book your time with them. Even if you’re not in it for the skills, it’s a great experience just to try out high-performance BMW models in an entirely new way. This will blow any test drive you’ve ever done out of the water!