As of 2023, the average cost of a driving lesson in the UK is around £34 per hour. However, prices may vary depending on various factors, such as the location of the driving school, the instructor’s experience, and the type of car used for the lessons.
On average, it takes a learner around 45 hours of lessons to pass their driving test, which can add up to a significant amount of money. Learning to drive costs a lot of money but is well worth it when you have the freedom to do what you want when you want.
As well as the cost of driving lessons, learners will need to also pay for:
- Provisional licence
- Theory test
- Practical test
- Car, and insurance
The cost of a provisional licence is currently £34, while the theory test costs £23 and the practical test costs £62 on weekdays and £75 on weekends.
- Average cost of driving lessons per region in 2023
- Applying for a provisional licence
- Driving tests
- First car
- Learner insurance
- Car tax
- Cost of learning to drive
- Tips to save money on driving lessons
If you fail your driving test, you will need to pay for extra lessons and another practical test, which can make it even more expensive to learn how to drive.
Overall, learning to drive costs a lot of money, but it will give you increased independence and better job opportunities. It is important for you to work out how much it is going to cost you for your driving lessons but you should also make sure that you choose a rated driving school and instructor so you can be reassured that you are getting high-quality lessons which will prepare you for your driving test.
Average cost of driving lessons per region in 2023
The cost of driving lessons can vary by region in the UK, with some areas being more expensive than others. Here is a breakdown of the average cost of driving lessons per region as of 2023:
- London and the Southeast: £30-£50 per hour
- Southwest and East of England: £30-£40 per hour
- North and Midlands: £30-£40 per hour
- Scotland and Wales: £30-£30 per hour
Location can impact the price of driving lessons because some areas have a higher cost of living, which means driving schools tend to charge more to cover their expenses. Additionally, the availability of driving instructors can impact the price, with more demand resulting in higher prices.
The cost of automatic vs manual driving lessons can also vary, with automatic lessons generally being more expensive than manual. This is because automatic cars are more expensive to purchase and maintain.
Hourly lessons tend to be cheaper than intensive driving courses because instructors can spread the cost over a longer period of time. Intensive courses require more hours per day, and instructors may need to block off a longer period of time in their schedule, resulting in a higher cost per hour.
Many driving schools offer discounts for learners who pay for bulk lessons in advance. This is because it can help the driving school with cash flow and reduce the administrative burden of scheduling and payment processing. Learners who plan to take a lot of lessons may benefit from taking advantage of these discounts.
What other costs are involved in learning to drive?
Applying for a provisional licence
To apply for a provisional driving licence in the UK, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 15 years and 9 months old
- Be a resident of Great Britain or Northern Ireland
- Meet the minimum eyesight requirement
- Not be prevented from driving for any reason
To apply for a provisional licence, you can do so online via the government’s website, or by completing a D1 application form, which is available at most Post Office branches.
If you choose to apply online, you will need to have a valid UK passport or another form of identity, your National Insurance number, and your addresses for the past 3 years. The fee for a provisional licence is currently £34 if applying online and £43 if applying by post. The licence will usually arrive within a week if you apply online or up to three weeks if you apply by post.
If you are applying for a provisional licence for a moped or motorcycle, you will need to complete a compulsory basic training (CBT) course before you can ride on the road. If you are applying for a provisional licence for a car, you can start taking driving lessons with a qualified instructor once you receive your licence.
It’s important to note that you must display L-plates (L for “learner”) on the front and rear of your vehicle when you’re driving as a learner. Additionally, you must always be accompanied by a qualified driver who is over 21 and has held a full UK driving licence for at least three years.
To get your full UK driving licence, you will need to pass both a theory and a practical driving test. Here’s what you need to know:
- Theory Test: The theory test is a multiple-choice test that assesses your knowledge of the Highway Code, road signs, and driving rules. It also includes a hazard perception test, where you watch a series of video clips and identify potential hazards. The test can be taken at any DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) approved theory test centre and costs £25. You must pass the theory test before you can take the practical test. You can practice for the theory test using official DVSA practice materials or apps, as well as through private companies that offer online practice tests.
- Practical Test: The practical driving test assesses your ability to drive safely and competently on the road. The test is approximately 40 minutes long and includes a range of driving manoeuvres, such as reversing, turning, and emergency stops. You can take the practical test in your own car or your driving instructor’s car, but the vehicle must meet certain requirements, such as being roadworthy and having valid tax, insurance, and MOT certificates. The cost of the practical test is £62 on weekdays and £75 on weekends. If you fail the test, you will need to pay the fee again to retake it.
It’s important to note that there are certain requirements you must meet before you can take either test. For the practical test, you must have a valid provisional driving licence, have passed the theory test, and be able to provide a suitable vehicle for the test. For the theory test, you must have a valid provisional driving licence and be at least 17 years old.
In terms of practicing for the practical test, it’s a good idea to take driving lessons with a qualified instructor to ensure that you’re adequately prepared for the test. Your instructor can also provide feedback and advice on areas where you need to improve. Additionally, it can be helpful to practice driving outside of lessons with a qualified driver who can supervise you.
Overall, passing both the theory and practical driving tests is essential to getting your full UK driving licence. By practicing and preparing regularly, you can increase your chances of passing both tests and becoming a safe and confident driver.
The amount that a new driver in the UK spends on their first car can vary depending on several factors such as their budget, personal preference, and the type of vehicle they are looking for. However, according to research by Auto Trader, the average amount spent by new drivers on their first car in the UK is around £4,500. This figure can go up or down based on the make, model, age, and condition of the car.
Both brand-new and second-hand cars come with their own set of pros and cons. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each:
Brand new cars:
- Comes with a warranty and are often more reliable
- You have the option to customize and choose specific features
- You can take advantage of low-interest financing offers from dealerships
- Newer technology and safety features
- Generally more expensive than second-hand cars
- Depreciation rate can be high
- Often higher insurance premiums
- Generally more affordable than new cars
- Often have lower depreciation rates than new cars
- A wider range of vehicles available to choose from
- It is possible to find a reliable and well-maintained car with a good service history
- Fewer initial costs such as sales tax, registration, and insurance costs may be lower.
- May require more maintenance and repairs over time
- Limited or no warranty
- May not have the latest technology or safety features
- It can be difficult to determine the vehicle’s condition and history.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to buy a brand-new or second-hand car comes down to personal preference, budget, and needs. It’s important to do your research, consider all the factors, and take the time to test drive and inspect the vehicle before making a purchase. It’s also important to consider the cost of running a car, such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance, in addition to the initial purchase price.
The cost of learner driver insurance can vary depending on several factors, such as the learner driver’s age, the make and model of the car, and the insurer. According to a study by MoneySuperMarket, the average cost of learner driver with a provisional licence insurance in the UK is around £887.35 per year. However, this figure can be higher or lower depending on the factors mentioned above.
The cost of learner driver insurance is often high due to several reasons, including the fact that learner drivers are inexperienced and more likely to be involved in accidents. Insurers, therefore, view them as high-risk drivers and charge higher premiums as a result. Additionally, the cost of repair or replacement of the vehicle may also be higher due to the inexperience of the driver.
When learning to drive with friends or family, the car insurance policy of the vehicle being used must cover the learner driver. The policyholder should inform their insurance provider that they will be teaching a learner driver, and they may need to add the learner driver as a named driver to the policy. This may result in an increase in the policyholder’s premiums. Alternatively, the learner driver can take out a separate learner driver insurance policy to cover them while they are learning to drive in someone else’s vehicle.
To teach a learner driver how to drive in the UK, the person accompanying them must:
- Be over the age of 21
- Have held a full driving licence for at least three years
- Be legally allowed to drive the vehicle that the learner driver is using (for example, if the car has a manual transmission, the accompanying driver must also be able to drive a manual car)
- Be in a position to take control of the vehicle if necessary
In terms of the insurance required for learning to drive with friends or family, the minimum requirement is third-party insurance. This covers any damage to other people or their property that may be caused by the learner driver while they are driving. It’s important to note that if the learner driver is at fault for an accident, any damage to the vehicle they are driving will not be covered by the insurance policy, and the owner of the vehicle will be responsible for the cost of repairs. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that the learner driver is adequately supervised and confident before allowing them to drive a car.
The amount of car tax (also known as Vehicle Excise Duty or VED) that a new driver pays depends on several factors, such as the type of car they have, its fuel type, and its CO2 emissions. As a new driver, once you’ve passed your driving test and are purchasing your first car, you’ll need to check how much car tax you need to pay for that specific vehicle.
In general, the amount of car tax can range from £0 (for zero-emission cars) to over £2,000 (for high-emission cars). For cars registered after April 1st, 2017, the amount of car tax you pay for the first year is based on the CO2 emissions of the car, and for subsequent years, it’s a flat rate of £155 per year for most cars, with some exceptions for higher-emission vehicles. However, it’s worth noting that electric cars and hybrids are often exempt from the first year’s tax and may pay a lower rate for subsequent years.
As a new driver, it’s important to consider the ongoing costs of car ownership, including car tax, insurance, fuel, and maintenance, when choosing your first car. It’s also worth considering the environmental impact of your car and choosing a more eco-friendly option to reduce your carbon footprint and potentially save money on car tax.
Total cost of learning to drive in the UK
The total cost of learning to drive in the UK can vary widely depending on a range of factors, including where you live, how many lessons you need, and the type of car you purchase. However, to give you a rough idea of the costs involved, here’s a breakdown of some of the key expenses:
- Provisional driving licence – £34
- Driving lessons – The average cost of a driving lesson is around £25-£50 per hour, and the DVSA recommends that learners take around 45 hours of lessons. This means the total cost of lessons can be around £1,125 to £2,250, but this can vary widely depending on the number of lessons you need.
- Theory test – The cost of the theory test is currently £23.
- Practical driving test – The cost of the practical driving test is currently £62 on weekdays and £75 on weekends and evenings.
- First car – The cost of a first car can vary widely depending on the make, model, and age of the vehicle. As a rough guide, a new car can cost anywhere from around £10,000 to over £25,000, while a second-hand car can cost anywhere from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds.
- Car insurance – The cost of car insurance for a new driver can be high, and the exact amount will depend on a range of factors, such as your age, driving experience, and the make and model of your car. On average, a new driver can expect to pay around £1,200 to £1,500 per year for car insurance.
- Car tax – The amount of car tax you pay will depend on the type of car you have, its fuel type, and its CO2 emissions. Car tax can range from £0 to over £2,000.
Overall, the total cost of learning to drive can be around £3,000 to £5,000 or more, depending on the specific circumstances of the learner driver. It’s worth noting that some driving schools may offer package deals or discounts for block bookings of driving lessons, which can help to reduce the overall cost of learning to drive. Additionally, some first-time car buyers may opt for a cheaper second-hand car, which can also help to keep costs down.
Tips to save money on driving lessons
Learning to drive can be a costly process, but there are some ways you can save money on driving lessons. Here are some tips:
- Book lessons in blocks: Many driving schools offer discounts for block bookings of driving lessons. Booking 10 or more lessons in advance can save you money compared to paying for individual lessons.
- Practice outside of lessons: Practicing with a friend or family member outside of driving lessons can help you to progress faster, which can reduce the number of lessons you need.
- Compare prices: Don’t just go with the first driving instructor you come across. Shop around and compare prices from different driving schools in your area.
- Look for special offers: Some driving schools may offer special deals or promotions, such as discounts for students or first-time customers. Keep an eye out for these offers to save money on lessons.
- Take lessons at off-peak times: Driving lessons during peak times, such as weekends and evenings, may be more expensive. Consider taking lessons during off-peak times to save money.
- Avoid cancellations: Many driving schools charge a cancellation fee if you need to cancel a lesson at short notice. To avoid these fees, make sure you’re able to attend all of your scheduled lessons.
- Take an intensive course: While intensive courses can be more expensive upfront, they can be more cost-effective in the long run, as you may need fewer lessons overall.
- Focus on areas you struggle with: If there are particular areas of driving that you find challenging, focus on these during your lessons to ensure you’re making progress and not wasting money on areas you already feel confident in.
- Take the theory test early: Passing the theory test is a prerequisite to taking the practical test, so it’s a good idea to take it early on. This will give you more time to focus on the practical side of driving, reducing the number of lessons you need.
By following these tips, you can save money on driving lessons and reduce the overall cost of learning to drive.
Driving Lessons Costs in the UK FAQs
- Location: Driving lesson rates can vary depending on where you live, as the cost of living and local competition can impact pricing.
- Instructor experience: More experienced instructors may charge more for their services, as they may have developed a reputation for delivering high-quality driving lessons.
- Lesson length: Some driving schools may offer lessons that are longer or shorter than the standard one-hour lesson. Longer lessons may cost more upfront, but they may be more cost-effective in the long run as you may need fewer lessons overall.
- Type of car: If you opt to take your lessons in a premium or high-performance car, you may pay more for the privilege.
- Intensive courses: Intensive courses that allow you to complete your lessons more quickly may be more expensive than standard lessons, as they require more time and resources from the instructor.
- Demand: Driving schools may charge more during periods of high demand, such as during the summer months when many people are looking to learn to drive.
In summary, driving lesson rates can vary depending on several factors. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare prices from different driving schools in your area to find the best deal.
Yes, you do need car insurance when learning to drive, whether you’re practicing with a professional driving instructor or with a friend or family member. In fact, it is a legal requirement to have at least third-party insurance to drive on public roads in the UK.
If you’re taking lessons with a professional driving instructor, their car will be insured for you to drive, so you don’t need to worry about arranging insurance yourself. However, if you’re learning with a friend or family member, you’ll need to make sure you’re covered by their insurance policy.
It’s also worth noting that learner driver insurance can be more expensive than standard car insurance, due to the increased risk associated with inexperienced drivers. However, there are specialist insurance policies available that are designed specifically for learner drivers and may offer more affordable rates.
The number of driving lessons you need to pass your test can vary depending on several factors, such as your previous driving experience, natural ability, and the frequency of your lessons. The UK Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suggests that the average learner driver will need around 45 hours of professional driving lessons, combined with 22 hours of private practice, to pass their practical driving test. However, this is just an average, and some learners may need more or fewer lessons depending on their individual circumstances.
It’s worth noting that the length and frequency of your driving lessons can also impact the number of lessons you need. Longer or more frequent lessons may allow you to progress more quickly, while shorter or less frequent lessons may take longer to develop your driving skills. Additionally, intensive driving courses that condense your lessons into a shorter timeframe can be a good option for some learners, as they may help you to reach test standard more quickly.
Ultimately, the number of driving lessons you need to pass your test will depend on your individual circumstances and the quality of your driving instruction. It’s always a good idea to work with a qualified driving instructor who can assess your skills and provide tailored guidance on the number and frequency of lessons you need to reach test standard.
In the UK, you can start taking driving lessons as soon as you turn 17 years old and hold a valid provisional driving licence. You can apply for a provisional driving licence up to three months before your 17th birthday, but you can’t start driving on public roads until you have received your licence.
It’s important to note that if you receive the higher rate of mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you may be able to start driving lessons at 16 years old, and apply for your provisional licence up to three months before your 16th birthday.
It’s a good idea to start learning to drive as soon as you are legally able, as it can take several months of practice to reach test standard. By starting your driving lessons early, you’ll have more time to build up your skills and experience behind the wheel, and you may be able to pass your driving test more quickly.
The cost of intensive driving lessons in the UK can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, the driving school, and the length of the course. As a rough guide, you can expect to pay anywhere from £400 to £1000 or more for an intensive driving course, depending on the length of the course and the number of hours of instruction included.
Most intensive driving courses offer a range of options to suit different learners’ needs and budgets, such as courses that last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and include different amounts of driving instruction. Some courses may also include the cost of the practical driving test, while others may charge this separately.
It’s important to choose an intensive driving course that is right for your needs, as taking on too much instruction in a short period of time can be overwhelming and may not give you enough time to practice and build up your skills. Before signing up for an intensive driving course, it’s a good idea to do your research and compare different options to find the best one for your needs and budget.
The cost of refresher driving lessons in the UK can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, the driving school, and the length of the lessons. As a rough guide, you can expect to pay anywhere from £25 to £50 per hour for refresher driving lessons.
The number of refresher lessons you’ll need will depend on your individual needs and the amount of time that has passed since you last drove. Some people may only need a few refresher lessons to get back up to speed, while others may require more extensive instruction to regain their confidence and driving skills.
It’s important to choose a driving instructor who is experienced in providing refresher driving lessons and who can tailor the instruction to your specific needs. Before booking your lessons, it’s a good idea to speak with the instructor to discuss your goals and any areas of concern, so they can create a lesson plan that is right for you. Additionally, some driving schools may offer discounts for booking a block of lessons in advance, so be sure to ask about any available offers or promotions.
The cost of automatic driving lessons in the UK can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, the driving school, and the length of the lessons. As a rough guide, you can expect to pay anywhere from £25 to £50 per hour for automatic driving lessons.
Some driving schools may also offer discounted rates for block bookings, where you pay for a set number of lessons in advance, or offer package deals that include the cost of the practical driving test.
It’s important to choose an experienced and qualified driving instructor who can tailor the instruction to your individual needs and learning style. When comparing driving schools and instructors, be sure to consider factors such as their qualifications, experience, and reputation, as well as any available reviews or feedback from previous students.
Keep in mind that the number of lessons you’ll need to pass your driving test will depend on a variety of factors, including your individual abilities and experience, so it’s a good idea to budget for more lessons than you think you might need. Additionally, it’s important to practice outside of your driving lessons to reinforce your skills and build your confidence on the road.