The costs of learning to drive


Posted by Holly West-Robinson on 22 February 2016

Everyone knows that in this day in age, driving alone is an expensive luxury as well as a necessity to a lot of people. When you first start learning it can be quite an overwhelming experience - what with all the nerves, the hours spent revising for your theory, finding a suitable instructor and being shouted at by your mum or dad because you nearly crashed the family car into a lamp post! But it's all worth it when you pull into the test centre in pure suspense and anticipation, to be told "Congratulations, you've passed!"

It's an amazing feeling, but it doesn't come cheap! So we have put together a guide on costs and some money saving tips.

How much will my driving test cost?

Pile of English notes and English coins with queen's head

Well, first you need to take into account the theory as well as the practical. Last year the government reduced the cost of the theory test from £25 to £23. It's not as much as the practical, but you don't want to take it any more times than you need to and rack up extra costs if you fail.

Driving Test Success provide a great DVD that contains everything you need to know to get you through your theory. At a price of £9.99, it could be money well spent!

The practical test costs about £75 on the weekend and around £62 during the week, so there's a saving to be made just by doing your test midweek.

how many hours of lessons do I need to pass my driving test

If you were to get extra tuition with a parent or friend outside of your instructor's lessons, you would be looking at approximately 35 hours before you would be ready to take your test.

Without additional practise outside of lessons it could take you quite a bit longer! You could be looking at approximately 50 hours of driving to be confident enough to take your test.

Of course, everyone's different - some drivers will take less, and others more! Abstract clock drawing on flaming orange and yellow background

"BSM's introductory offers can save you up to £50 on 10 hour blocks! Check it out -"

How much do driving tests cost

The price can vary from instructor to instructor but most tend to charge an average of around £25 per hour. Although this can vary anywhere from £20-£40. This means, if you're practising in a friend or family member's car, the total cost on average could be £1075 (£875 + £200 for 3 months learner driver insurance) or, on average, £1250 without additional practice. That's assuming you pass first time!

Do driving instructors give any discounts?

Many driving instructors offer a discount for booking lessons in blocks of 5, 10 or 20 but again, the amount can vary. Out of 70 instructors that we spoke to, 65% said they would look to knock money off. On average the discount offered is approximately 7% (£1.75 off per lesson!).

Are there any other costs involved?

The main cost you could incur are weekend charges for lessons. Some instructors can charge a supplement for weekends of anywhere between £2-£10. If you live in London, you may also have to pay the congestion charge.

What are the main causes of someone failing their test?

Blue vehicle crashed into front of someone's house

You would be surprised at the reasons for some people failing! We tallied up what our driving instructors said were the most common causes for not passing your test.

Of the people who failed their tests, 50% of them blamed nerves or anxiety, 11% of people failed because of poor observation, another 11% failed as a result of junctions, roundabouts and having to perform manoeuvres and misjudgement made up about 5%. There are many reasons and many things that can easily put you off!

Tips on saving money on the costs of learning to drive

Learning to drive is a big investment when you add it all up however, it is an essential skill many of us have to gain. Here are our top tips on getting your driving licence in the most cost effective way.

  • If possible, shop around for the best prices for lessons and book in blocks for additional savings.
  • Look to do your lessons and test on a week day as it can be cheaper with better availability.
  • Extra practice helps you practise the driving skills you learn from your driving instructor which is where our Learner Driver Insurance comes in handy.
  • Be confident! We are only human and, like any test, you will always feel nervous! The trick is to stay relaxed, observant and don't over think things too much.

If the big day is coming up for you soon, we wish you the best of luck!

The costs relating to driving lessons are based on a survey response of 70 driving instructors and will vary by instructor.

About the Author

Holly West-Robinson
Holly West-Robinson

Hi I'm Holly and I'm a young driver based in Peterborough! I love tattoos, food, drawing and anything art related, enjoy hanging out with friends and family and making a fool of myself XD I'm a huge lover of music and also a part time DJ in the underground drum and bass scene. I passed my driving test first time when I was 17 years old have been loving life and my new found freedom ever since! I'm definitely one of the adventurous types who's always up for a good old road trip!