How much does learning to drive cost?
The cost of learning to drive is driven by how much you pay for driving lessons
Infographic – cost of learning to drive
How much do driving lessons cost?
The cost of driving lessons can vary greatly depending on where you live in the UK. The amount you spend on lessons will, of course, also depend on how many hours you need to spend in the car with an instructor.
Franchise driving schools (for example, The AA)
Learning with one of the well-known franchise driving schools, such as The AA, will cost around £28 for a one-hour lesson in the Greater Manchester area. And, could reach up to £38 per lesson if you live in Surrey.
You could achieve significant savings of up to 20% by having two-hour sessions instead and block booking lessons in advance.
Franchise driving schools also offer extra services that can be a big help, such as theory test support or even getting to choose which car you drive.
Independent driving instructors
Alternatively, you could choose an independent driving instructor. They’re often cheaper, with the average UK price per hour of £25 before discounts.
How many driving lessons will I need?
According to the DVSA, drivers that pass their test on the first attempt tend to need 47 hours of lessons with a qualified instructor, supplemented by 22 hours of supervised driving practice with a family member or friend.
Using the UK average rate for an independent driving instructor of £25, you’ll need around £1,175 to cover the cost of your driving lessons.
YCD estimates you’ll need to spend over £1,100 on driving lessons if using an independent instructor.
How much does Learner Driver Insurance cost?
First of all, you should know that you don’t need to take out additional insurance when taking lessons from a qualified driving instructor – this is included in the fee you pay them.
However, if you want to go out on the road with a family member or friend, you will need to make sure there is some form of insurance in place. There are two ways to do this:
- You could be added as an additional driver on the car owner’s existing insurance policy. Bear in mind this does put them at risk of losing their No Claims Bonus should you get into any trouble.
- Another option is to take out Learner Driver Insurance. An insurance policy in your name that allows you to drive someone else’s car with fully comprehensive cover. It also means that if you were to have an accident, the owner’s No Claims Bonus isn’t affected.
According to MoneySupermarket, you should expect to pay around £75-125 for a months’ cover, subject to your age, location and the car you’ll be driving.
Don’t be fooled into paying for your provisional licence through a third party website. There’s no benefit, and they could charge you up to three times the original price. Learning to drive is expensive enough already!
Extra fees – tests, study and provisional licence
Finally, there are several other costs you’ll need to pay to cover the cost of learning to drive:
- Provisional licence fee: £34 online or £43 by post
- Theory test fee: £23
- The practical test fee: £62 on weekdays or£75 at weekends
- DVSA theory test study books: £30 (optional)
So, what’s the total?
Overall, you should expect to pay £1,724 throughout the learning process, should you pass your test first time. This covers:
- 45 hours of driving lessons with an independent driving instructor (£1175)
- A one-hour driving lesson before your test, using the test car (£50)
- Provisional licence and test fees (£149)
- Four months’ supervised driving insurance (£250)
- Fuel (£100)