The cost of learning to drive

Driving lessons, tests, getting a licence – and that’s all before you factor in the car and the cost of insurance.

Learning to drive isn’t cheap – our research has found that the average cost can run into the thousands. Scroll down to see how the cost of learning to drive breaks down.

Provisional driving licence – £50

Before learning to drive a car, moped, or motorbike, you have to apply for a provisional driving licence, which gets converted into a full licence when you pass your test. Learner drivers can apply for the licence three months before their 17th birthday and can apply online or via the Post Office.

Driving lessons – £1,128

According to the Driver And Vehicle Standards Agency, the average learner driver needs 47 lessons and 22 hours of private practice before they pass their test. Lessons can cost between £20 and £30 – our calculations use the average AA lesson price of £24. Block-booking or having two-hour lessons can often get you discounts, though make sure you’re comfortable with the driving instructor before committing.

Intensive driving courses – where you learn to drive in under a week or two – can be cheaper. These courses can involve up to six hours driving a day, so it’s worth discussing with a course advisor before signing up.

Theory test – £31

The theory test – which examines your knowledge of essential driving skills, traffic signs, and The Highway Code – costs a flat £31 for cars and motorbikes. You need to book and pass your driving theory test before you’re able to take your practical driving test.

Driving tests – £124

Driving tests cost £62 on weekdays and £75 for on weekday evenings or weekends – if you intend to use your driving instructor’s car you’ll need to book their time as well as the test.
Many people choose to practice for an hour before the test which can quickly up the cost. Most drivers pass on their second attempt, so budget for having to take the test twice.

Total cost of learning to drive – £1,333

After passing the test, car insurance is by far the biggest cost for young drivers to contend with – average premiums for male drivers aged 17 to 22 are more than £3,500, with young women paying average bills of almost £2,300. When buying a first car, the type of car you choose will have a big impact on how much you’ll pay for insurance.

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