How much does it cost to pass your driving test? Good question…
When Miss Frugal turned 17, the only thing she asked for as a Birthday present was her Provisional Driving Licence so she could start learning to drive as soon as she possibly could. She was super keen and determined to pass her test as soon as she could.
She had to wait a while to get in with the instructor she wanted to learn with and by the time she got going, she only managed about five week’s worth of lessons before the world went a bit mad and everything had to be put on hold. Once we realised that things weren’t going to go back to normal quickly, we decided to move up our plans to buy her a car so I could teach her myself until lessons were back on.
Since then, she’s managed a few lessons last Summer but not many as there was so much demand for lessons with her instructor that he could only fit her in every three weeks or so. Her theory test was booked in for the day that the November Lockdown started so that was cancelled and obviously nothing’s restarted yet so she’s still in limbo with just me to teach her everything I know. 🙂
I do know that when she does get to start her lessons up again then she’s not going to need much in the way of lessons as she’s pretty much-mastered driving and the basics of the manoeuvres in the time we’ve spent driving so it’s just going to be the finer details that she needs to be taught.
We did sit down last night and work out some costings though as I was curious to see just how much we could have potentially saved with our DIY lessons…
How much does it cost to pass your driving test?
- Provisional licence – £34 if you pay online or £43 if you do a postal application
- Lessons – £968*
- Theory Test Practice book – £5
- Highway code book – £5
- Theory test – £23
- Practical test + 1-hour prep lesson – £84 for a weekday daytime test or £97 (evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays)
* According to the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), you’ll need around 44 hours of professional lessons to pass your driving test so based on the cost of lessons in my area with our instructor that would be 44 x £22
So, if you take the average number of lessons, apply online for your license and pass everything the first time around then you’re looking at an average cost of £1119 to pass your driving test.
There are lots of ways you can save on the costs of learning to drive though…
1. Block book your driving lessons
If you can afford to pay upfront for a block of lessons then you’ll often get a discount which brings the cost down a reasonable amount. If I book and pay for five sessions upfront then I get the sixth one free for Miss Frugal although I must admit that I haven’t done that since the first block of five because they’ve just been all over the place.
2. Fit in some DIY lessons
I couldn’t add Miss Frugal onto either of our car insurance policies without paying a huge premium but if she was getting insured as a learner driver on her own car then I managed to get that policy so much cheaper – I think it was about £330 pound for the year for a learner driver policy and we’ve spent loads of time in the car together just driving. She’s not perfect and still has her days but she’s got confidence in her ability and is at a good level in my opinion. I’d say honestly that another 10 lessons proper lessons with her instructor when we can get them booked in and she’ll be good to go which would mean we’ve saved around £500 on actual lessons.
Ideally, though she’d have been having weekly lessons and then coming out with me to put into practice what she’d learned that week.
3. Make sure you’re test-ready before you book them
For your theory test, I’d say get it booked in and study, study, study. There are all kinds of apps and books you can use to make sure you’re fully prepared. This was the best one that we found for driving theory test revision – it has 4.6 stars out of five on the App store with over 5k reviews so it seemed like a good one to try and Miss Frugal found it really easy to use.
When it comes to your actual driving test then my best advice would be to listen to your instructor and take his advice when it comes to when the best time to book your test is. Booking it too early could mean you fail which is going to dent your confidence and your pocket as you need to pay out for another test later down the line.
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