learning to drive

How much will it cost to learn to drive?

Learning to drive isn’t cheap! It’s a skill for life, which puts you in control of a vehicle doing up to 70mph on a motorway, so shouldn’t be cheap either. Having a car and a driving licence can open more doors not just from a social perspective, but also give you more options in the study and job markets! The overall cost differs depending on how many lessons and tests you need to take to achieve a pass on the practical test.

How much is a provisional licence, theory test and practical test?

Before you even consider how much driving lessons are going to cost, it’s a good idea to understand the essentials that you’ll need to pay for during this journey.

Before you can take any driving lessons, you’ll need a provisional licence, which will set you back £34. The best way to apply for this is via the gov.uk official website. Don’t get caught out using a third-party site that may charge an admin fee. To find out more about what you need to apply for your provisional licence, check out this article.

As well as the provisional licence, you’ll need to pass the theory test. It costs £23, including both the multiple choice and hazard perception sections.

Once you’ve cracked the theory test, you’ll then be looking at planning for your practical test. The cost of the practical test in the UK is £62 on weekdays and £75 on evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Pass the practical test and you’ll have earned your full driving licence, and will be able to drive on your own.

How much do driving lessons cost?

So we haven’t even looked at the main cost and we’re up to £119 (provisional licence, 1x theory test & 1x practical test on a weekday).

The cost of driving lessons varies depending on the cost of living in that area, so learning to drive in central London will cost more than learning to drive in Newcastle. In London and other areas driving lessons can be subject to an additional charge to cover the congestion zone charges where relevant.

The average cost of a driving lesson in the UK is around £25 per hour (but don’t take that as a guarantee in your area). If the average learner is going to take somewhere around the 45-hour mark then you’re looking at approx £1125 in driving lessons.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who pick it up quickly, then this number will be greatly reduced. It can also increase significantly if you fail a test and need more driving lessons to fix your mistakes and reach the test standard.

What do I need to budget for this whole process?

A total budget of around £1250 would give you a great chance of getting your full driving licence. That sounds a lot, but don’t forget that doesn’t need to be paid in one go and can be spread out.

If you do have the money in savings, then make sure you maximise the power of bulk buying driving lessons as you’ll often get a cheaper hourly rate.

If you’re working and looking at a weekly cost, maybe consider a 2-hour lesson per week costing around £50, with the additional cost of the tests coming along when you’re ready.