Testimonials

Client Comments
Client Comments

If you are looking for driving lessons, go with Richard!! I had only drove once before I started my lessons with him so I was extremely nervous but by the second lesson I started to feel more comfortable driving around. Richard is a personable and funny guy that likes to crack jokes but he's also very patient when it comes to things you need to work on. 

Originally I was going to take 6 lessons but I ended up taking an extra lesson a few days before my road test to get more practice (If you have a car or someone to practice with on your own time you may not need as many lessons). His prices are very reasonable, it was 6 lessons for 300 and extra 100 for taking his car. 

Richard knows all the nooks and crannies for the road test and will prepare you with what you need to know. The day of my road test he picked me up a few hours early to drive around the route a few times so I was prepared. I was nervous test day but thanks to Richard I passed my first try!! Another plus is that he has a lot of experience teaching different types of students even international ones too so if your looking for driving lessons I'd really recommend him! - Jennifer

Great Driving School! I haven't gotten my license yet but I never felt more comfortable learning how to drive. Especially good when you don't have anyone to teach you, because he drives to your house, and you drive for about two hours. which is approximately 41 dollars a class! Very good prices, and explained very well! Thanks so much MR. RICHARD! - Carrie

Before my lessons with Richard, I was a nervous and uncertain driver. But after just a lesson or two I started to regain my confidence behind the wheel. And before I knew it I was driving on the highway and parallel parking like a pro (well almost;). His calm, encouraging manner really helped put me at ease, and I can now proudly announce that I passed my test with ease on the first try. I might also add that I am 31 and had never driven in the US before. I highly recommend Richard for anyone who is looking to learn safe, effective driving skills needed to not only pass the test but to drive safely around Oahu. - Linda

Richard is a funny and sweet driving instructor. As a fellow teacher with 20 years of experience, he knows how to teach and will break things down for you, even the dreaded parallel parking. 

Being someone with a poor sense of direction, he helped me out alot by taking me to different places like Kapalama, Koolau, Waikiki, and the airport. This really helped me with knowing where everything is. 

His driving classes are at a reasonable price, $50-$60 for a 2 hour class and $300 for 5-6 classes. The best bet is to check his website listed on the Yelp business page . 

Everything he did was in steps and he also had me practice the driving test routes which was helpful. I would recommend him but a word of advice is he's only available for driving lessons on Saturday and Sunday so it might conflict with some people's schedule. - Kristi

Richard is an awesome driving instructor. I took 5 lessons with him and was able to pass the road exam :) Not to mention that his price list is very reasonable and affordable. - Izabella

The learning experience is the best, the rates are affordable and lessons are structured well.  Learning was not about the test route only but on overall learning to drive safely. Practice on freeway is provided which is one of the most important part of learning. Overall, Tutor is a nice person and is very easy to feel at ease with him. Clear instructions are provided and easy to grasp. - Vinit

I highly recommend Richard and his driving lessons. He was nice but also strict and did not let me get away with even minor mistakes, which helped me a lot for the test. Also, his long experience with the Koolau driving test location prepared me well for the possible routes, giving me confidence for such a nervous experience. He made the lesson schedule fit when I was available so it helped expedite the learning process even as a full-time college student. In any case, I think I made a really good choice picking ISTS to finally get my license! - Dan Bi K.

This is months overdue, since I finished in January and successfully got my license, but finally got a chance to do this. I'd recommend Richard to anyone who needs some driving lessons as adults, cause with him, I was able to learn how to drive while overcoming my fear of driving. He taught me everything from the basics, since no one in my family drives. Can't express how thankful I am for Richard and his lessons! - Victoria 

I had my license but needed a refresher course. Rich taught me how to parallel park and change lanes. Rich was really patient with teaching me how to parallel park. He coaxed me step by step on how to parallel park. He also gave me written instructions to refer to. He taught me how to exit the space after parallel parking. Thank Rich for giving me more confidence in my driving.

Thank you for helping me become a safer driver. - Mary 

I just took my test about an hour ago and PASSED! I highly recommend Richard for anyone looking for lessons. I took 6 and also used his car for testing day a total of $460 which isn't bad at all!  For the amount of time you practice with him and all that you learn, I believe that is a reasonable price. Richard also tries to work with your schedule as much as possible. He only drives in the morning and noon. He helped me get over my fear/anxiety of the freeway, LikeLike, the Pali, and well driving everywhere! Haha. Richard is very nice and funny but also can be strict. He makes sure there is no mistakes and will make sure you are prepared yourself. Overall, I am glad I chose to learn from Richard.

THANK YOU! - Jurnee

5 stars as I passed first time at Kapalama!! OK....I've been driving for many years and moved here from abroad, but the help in getting me familiar with the quirks of the Kapalama driving test was very helpful. Great teacher, very strict but personable and knowledgeable. - Euan 

Richard is an excellent teacher! His price is very reasonable and he teaches you driving basics, the Kapālama and Koolau test routes, driving on the freeway, and parking. You meet him at his house for the first lesson and he'll pick you up from home the following lessons. If you choose to use his car for the test, it can only be for the Koolau location and preferably 8 o'clock. - Michelle 

I passed my road test today at 8:00am at Koolau DMV. Richard will teach you more than just a test route he'll teach you how to be a safe driver and how to pass your road test. His 90 minute lessons are worth the money he goes over basics of car functions in the first lesson then teaches you how to park in the following lessons and then goes over the road test route in the last lessons you'll have with him. He gave me confidence driving on the freeway guiding me on merging lanes and making safe lane changes. I took six lessons and used his car for my road test. My total overall was $460. Richard is firm and lets you know when you made a mistake and corrects you right away. He's a great guy and the instructor I needed to learn how to drive and pass my road test. Thank you Richard! - Kawika

I got my Driver's License at the first try today! All the credits should go to the awesome teacher Richard!


Richard has been an educator for a long time and he has all the qualities you want from a great teacher: knowledgeable, super professional, funny, friendly,and also strict. He taught me everything that I need to know to drive safely, not just how to pass the road test. He gives well-planned individualized lessons. I especially enjoyed two lessons driving around neighborhoods with steep hills. It was challenging for a new driver, but great learning experiences!

If you are like me, a new driver with little driving experiences and seriously want to learn how to drive, Richard will be your best choice! His lessons are also the most affordable I could find! - Xi

If I could give 6 stars I would! Not only did Richard help me gain confidence behind the wheel and pass my road test on the first try, he helped me pass it a second time! (I had to move out of the country for over a year and needed to retake my test when I got back to hawaii). As someone who put off getting my license until my 30s due to nerves and lack of confidence I can't recommend him enough. He will put you at ease and make sure you master the skills necessary to drive safely. - Linda

I never thought I would ever be ready to take my road test (I've had my permit for the past six years and never attempted the test) but after six lessons that started a little over a month ago, I passed my test with full marks! I was able to practice different possibilities of the test routes so I was prepared as much as possible. I gained valuable and priceless knowledge about safe driving and I appreciate that I was told what I need to work on to improve. Thanks to the lessons, I learned how to park and drive better and I can honestly say that Mr. Puhalla was the reason why I passed this test, and with flying colors.. - Katie

Richard was a great instructor, and very patient with my wife in learning to drive. She just received her license, and she couldn't be happier with the way Richard taught her the ropes. 


Again, 5 stars to ISTS and Richard, and Mahalo! - Burke/Anastasiya

I started driving with Mr. Puhalla last May, and today I managed to pass my very first road test. He is patient, very knowledgable, and caring to his students. I have had my permit since 2014 and kept renewing it every year and never attempted to take the test. My sister recommended Mr. Puhalla to me. I learned a lot from him. He taught me how to safely drive and was really patient with me. He even helped me to get an appointment for the test. I could not have done it without him teaching and mentoring me.

Thanks Mr. Richard! - Van

Richard was essential in the process of passing the road test. He cares about his student drivers and will thoroughly help you prepare for the test. I came in with some bad driving habits, and he did a great job correcting that. His services are fairly priced too. - Ken 

I had a fantastic experience with Rich at the driving Academy. He was an excellent teacher and always guided me according to the rules of driving in Hawaii. I am from Fiji, and English is my second language, he has an understanding for that and took time to be detailed in his explanation and what was expected of me on the rode. Apart from passing the test and getting your license, he also believes in safely driving in any given condition and with good judgement. - Mosese 

Yehey! I passed. Thanks to Richard for all the patience you have endured during I'm driving. I learned so much with you to drive safely and be aware and alert for my surroundings. I highly  recommend  him for being such A good instructor and a joker as well making me feel comfortable to relax and drive his car safely. Also, he knows exactly  what the  road testers are looking for.  Good driving educational  investment  to develop  my driving skills. After I took all the lessons, I passed on the road test at koolau.
Big mahalo to you. - Ericka 

Listed on the Defensive Driving.org and Expertise.com as one of the top ten driving schools in Honolulu, HI