GCS Driving Academy Teaches Hands-On Driving in Real World Situations

Published on 13 July 2017 in Business
Kim Thomas (author)

Kim Thomas

Kristen and Trey Inman

Kristen and Trey Inman

A long career as a racecar driver and performance driving coach led George Csanadi to open GCS Driving Academy, which caters to two very different types of drivers:  Those who own high-performance vehicles and hire George to help them turn their fantasies into realities, and young drivers with parents who want to hire the very best driving coach for their children.

These two types of clients love George for very different reasons, but parents of teens who have gone through his program love George because he teaches their children to safely navigate Tampa Bay’s busy roadways. “I have successfully coached over 400 teens. Today I coached number 416, and I have met just about every personality type and every skill level with both students and parents.

“It’s a reality check when parents learn that 60% of kids will crash in the first 12 months after getting their driver’s license,” says George. “I am teaching a lifelong skill that will stay with them until they are 90 and have to hang up the keys because they can’t see anymore. With me, they are going to learn to be a driver who anticipates things instead of reacting to things. I was a competition racecar driver for 18 years and I apply those same techniques in my teaching and it has nothing to do with speeding! It is about being 100% aware of what’s around you. A race car driver knows what’s on his left, his right, in front, and behind at all times!”

George says there are two things that people need to know about GCS Driving School.  

“Number one:  I do not provide the vehicle. We are doing the training on the same family car that they will be using to do the rest of their training. And if there is more than one family car, we try to drive them all.  I’ve taught kids driving all types of vehicles from Mini-Coopers to Escalades and Suburbans.  

“Number two:  I made it mandatory that parents ride with us three years ago, and it was the smartest decision I’ve made in this business. For kids to continue in the program, parents need to come and sit in the car with us and observe how their student learns and how they’re being coached. Let’s face it, a lot of times parents don’t anticipate what is coming and calmly tell their child; rather, they wait until the last minute and then end up screaming at them. When they ride along with us, they observe me and then when I leave, they can continue the same pattern and same style of coaching.”

His sense of humor showing, George adds, “I always tell parents:  Letting your kid drive you up to Publix is not a good driving lesson; it’s twelve minutes of terror that ends up with you snatching the keys out of the ignition as soon as you’re parked. And at that point, they usually laugh and say that’s exactly how it is.” 

George says it is best to start driving lessons at 15 or 16, before they acquire bad driving habits. Casey, whose parents enrolled her in GCS Driving Academy when she was 15, said, “Before I took driving lessons from Mr. George I hated driving and was afraid of it. After ten hours of fun and knowledge filled driving lessons, Mr. George armed with the skills and the ‘little tips and tricks of driving’ and I am now confident and comfortable with driving in almost any situation.” 

Terry and Kristan are very happy they hired George to coach their son Trey. “Without a doubt, calling you to help with Trey’s driving was 100% the right decision for us as parents! You were able to take Trey driving to places that we would not have dreamt to take him. As parents, my husband and I feel so much more confident that Trey has the knowledge and understanding of how to drive safely and will help keep him secure so our child makes it home safely each time he drives. Thank you for allowing us to ride along not only to witness the wonderful job you had done with Trey’s driving abilities but to witness first hand that we all could benefit from a professional driving lesson from time to time. As parents, we try to provide the best for our children and you are it! You should be aware that every parent of a young driver we come across we make a point to tell them what a beneficial service you provided and that they should hurry and call for your professional expertise in helping to teach their child how to drive safely! Just save some time when it comes time to coaching my youngest son how to drive. You are worth every penny and every word!” 

Worth Every Penny!

“We have a different format than most driving schools that teach parking lot skills, how to maneuver around cones, and how to pass the driving test,” explains George. “I don’t care about the test. The test is mediocre at best. It doesn’t even require drivers to get out on a main roadway! These kids will have to drive 50 or more hours in order to get their license in the state of Florida.

A lot of parents will just sign the form saying their kid has driven the 50 hours with 10 hours being in the dark, knowing that isn’t the case! I have students who come in who have 30-40 driving hours logged already and have never driven on the interstate with a tractor trailer going 70 miles per hour coming up on your left. Where we live, kids get their license and drive out of their neighborhood or apartment complex straight onto a busy roadway.”

George acknowledges, “I’m not the cheapest coach in the area for sure, but I deliver an incredible result. I have a 100% clean record – no crashes – and I want to keep it that way. Hiring me to improve parking lot skills is a bad investment. The value of my coaching services is being next to the kid with a semi coming up on his left!” 

GCS Driving Academy has a very informative and easy-to-navigate website (gcsdrivingacademy.com) where you can find more information and many testimonials. Call George Csanadi directly at 813-713-4233 to set an appointment, or email George@gscdrivingacademy.com.

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