Everybody likes to think that learning to drive will be affordable and quick to achieve but will it?
When most people are starting to think about driving costs, most will ask friends who they learned with, and how much they paid for their lessons. This is a great way of doing some easy initial research, but are you really finding out the truth about the cost of learning to drive? After all, are your mates really going to admit that it took them 36 lessons to get to test standard and that they failed 3 times before finally scraping a pass? I don’t think so! More likely you’ll get the usual:
“yeah I did it with only 20 lessons and I passed first time!” Not quite the truth!
This would lead you to believe that the cost of learning to drive is 20 x £22 (an average price), making it about £440. That’s not too bad really is it?
This, however, in reality isn’t going to apply to many people, and it doesn’t take into account other costs such as driving tests and the cost of your license etc.
Below is a list of things that you need to budget for before you start to take your driving lessons. Remember, running out of funds and having to stop lessons is something which will, in the long term, cost you more money!
Cost of first Provisional Driving License: £50
Cost of Theory training materials: Approx £15
Cost of a Theory Test: Currently about £32
Cost of lessons: average number of lessons for a 17 – 19 year old is 35, multiplied by average price – £22 = £770!
Cost of Driving Practical Test: Currently £62 for a weekday and £75 for a Saturday
So far it’s up to about £930! A long way off £440 isn’t it? and all of a sudden not quite so affordable!
The best advice if you are planning to start to learn to drive is to budget! If you are paying for your own driving lessons then consider what you can cut down on to help you to afford them. For example, a night out on the town is likley to set you back anything up to £100 or more depending on how much of a party animal you are. That’s nearly 5 hours of driving lessons!
Always ask your instructor for longer lessons. Most Instructors will be more than happy to give you a 1.5 or even a 2 hour lesson, instead of just 1 hour lessons. Longer lessons mean you spend longer in the driving seat and get more time to practise and perfect the skills and techniques you are learning.
If you can only cope with 1 hour at a time, take your lessons close together, you will remember more and progress more quickly, saving you time and money!
Where possible take private practise, it will help to strengthen the skills and techniques you have been taught in your lessons. Be aware though that parents or friends can negatively impact your learning if you begin to pick up their bad habits! Always tell the person you practise with, what you have been learning about and what you feel confident with. Make sure that your accompanying driver knows what you can and can’t do and ask them to give you directions in plenty of time. Most drivers need to do this much earlier that they would normally do!
Do your Theory Test early on or even before you start your driving lessons. Having the essential underpinning knowledge of driving will save your instructor having to teach you in your lessons. For example: road signs are an easy thing to learn but if you don’t know what bus lane signs mean, then you can expect at least 15 minutes of you lesson to be on bus lanes. At £22 per hour, 15 minutes of lesson time equals £5.50!
Hazard perception is an integral part of driving and an essential driver skill. Learning it from a PC is much easier and less scary than in a car, and again it can save you a lot of lesson time.
Obviously most people will opt for the cheapest possible driving lessons, go through a voucher website, or look for special offers from big driving schools to try to lower the cost. Beware of cheap driving lessons though. Driving instructors need to cover their own ever increasing costs and make enough money to live on. If a driving school or instructor is offering lessons at a rate that seems to be too good to be true, they will need you to pay for more of them in order to make their margin.
Money Saving Expert, have recently included an article and forum on this topic on their website. Follow the link below to find out what advice they are offering on ways to cut the cost of learning to drive:
Rob at Manchester Driving Lessons