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How much are driving lessons?

With the price of driving lessons, car insurance and the actual driving test to consider, the cost of learning to drive can be pretty hefty. 

But there could be ways to save – if you know how.

With the price of driving lessons, car insurance and the actual driving test to consider, the cost of learning to drive can be pretty hefty. 

But there could be ways to save – if you know how.

Written by
Rory Reid
Car and technology expert
Last Updated
1 SEPTEMBER 2023
5 min read
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How much does a provisional driving licence cost?

Applying for a UK provisional driving licence will cost you £34 if you apply online, or £43 if you apply by post. You’ll need one before you can start learning to drive on UK roads.

Having a provisional licence allows you to drive under the supervision of a driving instructor. You can also learn with another driver who’s over 21 and has held a full driving licence for at least three years. This could be a parent or sibling, for example.

What is the cost of driving lessons?

Driving lesson prices vary depending on the instructor, where you live and whether you drive a manual or automatic car. It will also depend on how many lessons you book and the length of those lessons.

The average driving lesson cost is somewhere in the region of £25-£35 an hour.

You could save money by bulk-buying lessons through an introductory or package deal.

How many hours of driving lessons do I need?

You aren’t required to have a set number of lessons before taking your driving test. But according to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), the average learner will need 45 hours of driving lessons and 22 hours of extra private practice to pass their test.

So, if you have 45 lessons at a cost of £30 each time, it will set you back around £1,350. This doesn’t include the cost of your provisional licence or any insurance you may need.

How much will your driving tests cost you?

Before you can ditch your L plates, you’ll need to take two types of test – theory and practical.

Driving theory test

The driving theory test costs £23. You’ll need to pass your theory test before you can take the practical driving test. The overall pass rate for the theory test in the year ending March 2023 was 44.2%.

If you want to practise, it might be worth paying £4.99 to download the Official DVSA Theory Test Kit app. This includes mock tests and hazard perception videos that help prepare you for the real thing.

Practical driving test

The practical driving test costs £62 for weekday tests. Evening, weekend and bank holiday practical tests cost £75. The overall pass rate for the practical test was 48.4% in the year ending March 2023. In other words, more people fail than pass, so don’t rush to take it. 

Total cost of learning to drive 

With everything we’ve laid out, you can see that it costs around £2,000 to learn to drive:
 

Provisional driving licence

£34

Learner driver insurance (average for one year)

£705[1]

Driving lessons (estimate)

£1,350

Theory test

£23

DVSA theory test app

£4.99

Practical test (weekday)

£62

Total

£2,178.99

 

[1] 51% of learner drivers between 17-24 years old could achieve a quote of up to £704.92 for their car insurance based on Compare the Market data in June 2023.

Although the costs mount up, these are spread across your learner driver journey – which means you won’t be stung by them all at once.

Do I need car insurance when learning to drive?

If you’re practising in your own car with a qualified passenger showing you the ropes, you’ll need learner driver insurance. Some policies require the person supervising you to be over 25.

You’ll also need learner driver car insurance if you’re learning in a friend’s or parent’s car, so make sure you’re covered by the car owner’s policy.

If you’re taking lessons with a professional driving school, insurance is usually included in the lesson price. But be sure to check.

What is the cheapest way to learn to drive?

There’s a few ways to lower the cost of learning to drive:

  • Shop around for driving lessons – go online and compare quotes from different instructors.
  • Book lessons in bulk – you could get a discount for booking multiple lessons.
  • Book two-hour lessons – booking a two-hour lesson might be cheaper than booking two one-hour lessons. It also gives you more time to get into the swing of it.
  • Get in some extra free practice – if you’re insured on a friend or family member’s car, get some extra practice in for free.
  • Only book a test when you’re ready – one way to save money learning to drive is to pass your test first time. Easier said than done, we know. But to give yourself the best possible chance, make sure you’re properly prepared.
  • Shop around and compare car insurance quotes – if you need car insurance, let Compare the Market do the work for you. We’ll gather quotes from more than 58[2] different UK insurance providers in just a few minutes.

[2] Correct as of June 2023.

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Rory Reid - car and technology expert

Rory Reid is a car and technology expert. He serves as the main presenter on Auto Trader’s YouTube channel and was previously a host on BBC Top Gear and its sister show Extra Gear. He is also a presenter on Fifth Gear. Previously, he hosted Sky TV’s Gadget Geeks, CNET’s Car Tech channel, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition and on the YouTube channel Fast, Furious & Funny.

Learn more about Rory

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