Learning to drive is a costly exercise. However it is also one of the most rewarding and liberating experiences you can expect in your life and so many people would say that the costs of learning to drive are far outweighed by the benefits that driving provide you with. But how much are driving lessons and how do they compare to the overall cost of learning to drive? We take a look at the figures you can expect to pay in 2020 when it comes to learning to drive.

In addition to the cost of driving lessons, which can be anything upwards of £15 per hour, you will need to factor in the costs associated with applying for and obtaining your provisional licence, your driving theory test and the practical driving test. When you start to add in the costs of owning your first car such as the outlay for the vehicle itself, insurance and fuel then the costs really start to stack up.

But don’t let that put you off, instead be prepared by understanding all of the costs of learning to drive upfront – we will delve in to these costs in more detail below.

Provisional Licence Costs

The cost of a provisional licence has actually become more affordable than it used to be. Since October 2014, provisional licences now cost £34 for online application and £43 for postal applications. Prior to this, provisional licence applications would have cost £50 so at least the licence itself is more affordable now.

It is advised to apply for your provisional licence as soon as possible so you have it when you are ready to take your first lesson. Provisional licences don’t technically expire (although the photograph will need updating every 10 years) and you can apply for it three months before your 16th birthday. You won’t be able to take your first driving lesson until you are 17 years old though so this gives you plenty of time to get prepared. By applying early you will also save in case of future price increases.

Driving Lesson Costs

How much driving lessons will cost you will very much depend on how quickly you are able to learn, how consistent you are with your lessons, your prior skill level (if any) and your instructor. Driving lessons generally cost in the region of £25-£30 per hour – although this will vary from instructor to instructor and also from location to location. Here at Result Driving School, our lessons cost £22 per hour for manual cars and £25 per hour for automatic cars and we also have some excellent starter packages with lessons available for as little as £15 per hour to get you started.

According to the Driving Standards Agency, it takes 47 lessons and an additional 22 hours of practice for the average learner driver to pass their test.

If we take these figures and apply them to our the average of £25 per lesson then you would be looking at £1,175 for the lessons or £1,725 if you didn’t have the opportunity to practice privately.

How Much Does A Theory Test Cost?

The theory test is a flat fee of £23 for cars and motorbikes and consists of questions related to the essential elements of driving – these include driving skills, traffic signs and the highway code.

You will need to pass your theory test before you can book on to a practical driving test.

Driving Test Costs

Driving tests cost £62 per test on weekdays and £75 per test on evenings and weekends. The likelihood is that you will be using your driving instructors car for the duration of the test and most people opt for an hour’s practice before their test. You will need to add the usual lesson cost to work out the real cost of your driving test and in this example (at £25 per hour) you could expect to pay around £112 for a daytime test and £125 for an evening or weekend test.

The good news is that once you pass your test there is no fee to upgrade your provisional licence to a full licence – so long as you are happy to keep the same photograph.

Total Costs Of Learning To Drive

The total cost of learning to drive will vary from person to person, but based on the average length of time to learn and feel confident to take your test as well as the average two full driving tests that it takes to pass the figures might look like this:

Provisional Licence = £34

47 lessons at £25 per lesson = £1,175

Theory test = £23

2 x Driving tests and driving instructor time/car = £224

Total Cost = £1,456

Of course some people will take longer to learn and others will be ready much sooner so this should be taken as a guide only. To find out how much our prices cost please see our prices page here.