Motoring can be an expensive business. There’s the cost of the vehicle itself to consider, as well as that of things like road tax, insurance, and ongoing maintenance. If you’re at the outset of your driving career, then you might be wondering whether it’s worth the bother – since the process of learning to drive can itself be expensive and time-consuming, even before you start to see any benefits. According to one writer in the Guardian, the total figure for the average learner driver will sit at between £1,081 and £1,269.
This figure is based on a study by Nimblefins, which highlights that there are significant variations in the cost of driving, depending on where you are in the country. In the Southwest, for example, you might expect to pay £41 per lesson, while in the North East it’s closer to £32. This is a reflection of a variety of factors.
Wherever you are in the UK, there are few things you might do to bring down the overall cost. Let’s take a look.
Choose the right instructor
Your instructor will make a big difference to the amount you spend on your driving lessons. While a more expensive instructor might be off-putting, they can actually be the cheaper option in the long term – provided that they live up to the price. If you need 20 lessons from a £40 instructor, then this will be preferable to you needing 30 lessons from a £30 instructor (£800 vs £900).
Look at the pass rate of the specific instructor. But bear in mind that this figure can be misleading – an instructor who only takes on naturally good drivers will have a higher pass rate, without necessarily providing higher-quality teaching. The best way to go is to look at recommendations from other students.
Block book lessons
Driving instructors will be inclined to offer discounts if it means that they have a reliable supply of work. Booking ten lessons in a row might save you substantially. Different instructors might offer different levels of flexibility. If you think you might swap instructors, then don’t block-book. If you’re happy, then do it.
Practice with friends
Most of the time you spend learning to drive will be spent practising what you’ve picked up in the lessons. You don’t need to pay for an instructor to do this. Just get a friend or family member to sit alongside you. Work out where your weak points lie and drill the appropriate manoeuvre. The right learner driver insurance will help you to do this.
Make use of free resources
There are certain kinds of learning that you do without spending any money. This goes especially for the theory test – but you can get practical hints from free online resources, too.