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We are dedicated to providing the best quality driving school services in Sarasota & Manatee county.





Suncoast Defensive Driving School is dedicated to providing the very best quality In-Car Instruction throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties. We specialize in defensive driving techniques. In simple terms, defensive driving means identifying potential hazards before they become immediate hazards.

Teen Defensive Driving

Teen Defensive Driving

The Team Concept encompasses private defensive driver instruction coupled with frequent practice at home. Our certified instructors will meet with parents during the driving course for progress reports and suggestions.

TeenSmart - The world's most effective teen driver safety program.

Interactive Driver Training

Suncoast Defensive Driving School proudly offers the teenSMART Crash Avoidance Program. Initially developed for the insurance industry to reduce claims, this is a proven and effective computer based training tool.

Senior Driving Program

Senior Driving Program

Suncoast Defensive Driving School offers the most comprehensive Senior Driving Program in this area, designed to refresh skills or identify and assess potential impairments in older drivers. Our program will help the driver, family members, friends and doctors who have concerns about driver fitness or safety. If necessary, we will then provide guidance as to whether driving should be continued unrestricted, with some limitations or discontinued completely.

AAA Approved Driving SchoolSuncoast Defensive Driving School has met and surpassed all requirements of the AAA Approved Driving School program.  This insures all students will receive the very best in driver training, curriculum, vehicles, customer service and community reputation.

As the area’s exclusive AAA Approved School, we are pleased to offer a 30 hour home correspondence driver education program utilizing the AAA How To Drive manual. Together with our in-car training, this program provides equivalent classroom time to public school programs, with the convenience of home based study and the advantage of private in-car instruction. For homeschooling families, this course exceeds the standards from the Florida Department of Education for Driver Education and qualifies for a .5 school credit.


“I took the Suncoast Defensive Driving course and it helped me so much! I feel so much more confident driving now, and I was able to get my license because of it! I had Rob Aiken, and he never once yelled at me! He was calm collective and cool. If I had not done this driving course, I don’t know if I would have passed the driving test.” [5/9/2018]

“Frank was a great teacher and gave my son Leo the instruction and confidence that he needed to get his driver’s license. Frank came and picked him up before the test time, reviewed what to expect, and brought Leo home after passing without any concerns due to the thorough teaching. When I called to inquire about what services they could offer, Bill helped me select the right program to fit my son’s needs. I am so thankful that I called and Suncoast Defensive Driving School is an excellent program! Thank you so much!” [4/14/2018]

“I never thought I would be able to drive but thanks to this school and my instructor Frank I am driving today! Frank did an amazing job at making me feel comfortable driving and giving me safety tips! I had an incredible experience here!” [3/7/2018]

“My son’s driver was Frank, and he immediately connected with him and really enjoyed his time driving with him. He took him on the interstate several times and really helped increase his confidence behind the wheel. Frank made this very convenient by coming by to pick him up and even took him for his driving test. Thanks for a great experience!” [3/7/2018]

“Superb! My daughter was so lucky to get Mary as her driving instructor. Very professional, knowledgeable, and patient. My daughter said she felt very safe and secure when driving with Mary. Highly recommend!” [3/4/2018]

“I had 4 lessons in one week, and the following week, I got my driver’s license. Rob Aiken was my instructor and he made me feel comfortable to be on the road. He was also patient and is a laid back guy. Thank you for changing my life! I would most definitely recommend Suncoast Defensive Driving!” [1/24/2018]

“I had to take an ‘extended’ driving test because of an accident, my age (80) and medical issues…. I took two lessons with Robert where we went onto the actual course where the test is given and we went through the entire test, step by step. Robert assured me that this will be the exact test that I will be taking. He gave me some great tips that increased by confidence significantly….When I took the test, I was amazed that every single thing that Robert told me would be on the test was exactly the way he said. After the first test was completed, the examiner, Duane. said ‘You did very well. You’ve taken instruction haven’t you?’ After I got a perfect score on the second go round, Duane said, ‘I’ll bet you took instruction from Suncoast. He said my driving mannerisms reflected the technique taught by Suncoast. Passing the test was a necessity for me. If you fail an extended test in Sarasota, you have to wait at least six weeks to take a re-test. Being without a car would be a considerable hardship…. However, it worked out beautifully and I have Robert to thank for his wisdom and confidence building.” [10/2/2017]

“We cannot say enough about our experience with Suncoast Defensive Driving School. My daughter had Mary for her instructor and she is everything you would want for your teen driver! She was incredibly kind, professional, patient, knowledgeable and above all an amazing instructor. She helped my daughter to feel so confident in her driving skills. Cannot say enough about what a positive experience we had with Mary! Thank you Mary!!” [7/26/2017]

“Just a note to say that Mary Wicks, my instructor is tops. She is caring, knowledgeable, and most of all ‘there for you’. Thanks Mary for your help and encouragement.” [12/30/2016]

“I hired Bill to teach both my children. He is excellent and helped them feel confident and to be safe behind the wheel. They passed their driving tests easily the first time.” [12/19/2016]

“I just got my driver’s license today! Yeaaah! I have been trained by Bill and Arlene. They are both amazing instructors! They teached me how to behave safely on the road and they gave me very useful advices in order to pass successfully my driving test. Thank you Suncoast Defensive Driving School! Doubtless, the best driving school in Sarasota-Manatee County.” [5/12/2016]

“As a senior driver I was becoming phobic about certain strange conditions (left curves and road surfaces). This phobia was growing worse and was certain to limit my ability to drive and to be independent. It was my good fortune to have picked up the phone to call Suncoast Defensive Driving School and its owner, Bill Rowell. I had determined that it was a mental rather than a physical condition. Bill queried me appropriately and then set up some tests and lessons. His calm and assured manner combined with his supportive assistance as well as his obvious expertise helped me get back on the road with confidence.” [5/10/2016]

“Bill was amazing! He was so calm and always corrected any mistake that I made. I passed on the first try and got my license! Highly recommend.” [3/28/2016]

“Suncoast Defensive Driving School was an excellent source for my daughter to begin driving. Bill was a superb instructor. I would highly recommend this company.” [11/24/2015]

“I am in my forties and I had a fear of driving when I began my lessons. Arlene however helped me overcome my fear. She showed great patience and understanding. Arlene’s positive reinforcement and encouragement helped me build my skills and confidence as a driver. In the end, I was able to pass my practical test with a perfect score. I am forever thankful to Arlene and highly recommend her as an instructor. I also very much enjoyed our conversations.” [11/15/2015]

“I really enjoyed my lessons with Suncoast Defensive Driving.” [10/12/2015]

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