How much does it cost to learn to drive?

May 16, 2022

Being able to drive a car is a significant (if not a tad scary) milestone in life and is at the very top of most older teens' life goals list.  And it’s little wonder.

Driving a car will lead to your first real taste of independent, adult life and having your own set of wheels can literally make the whole world your oyster.

However, before you can start ‘sliving’ (living your best life) and burn off to Glastonbury, you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time and money preparing for this hotly anticipated freedom.

So how much is driving lessons? Do you have to pay a fee for a provisional driving licence and how much is a driving or theory test these days?

Here’s everything you need to know about the cost of learning to drive UK.

How much does it cost to learn to drive?

How much is a provisional licence UK?

How much does it cost to get a driving license?

How much is it for a driving test?

How much is a theory test?

When can you start driving lessons?

How much does learner car insurance cost?

How much will learning to drive cost altogether?

Young drivers sat in car

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How much does it cost to learn to drive?

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the average driving lesson cost UK is £23, although this will vary between instructors and will also depend on:

  • where you live
  • whether you take manual or automatic driving lessons
  • whether you block book lessons and get a discount

The DVSA also says that the average learner will require 47 lessons and 22 hours of practice.

So using an average of 47 x 1-hour lessons means the cost of learning to drive with a professional driving instructor can typically cost around £1,081 or if you take 47 x 2-hour lessons, can cost as much as £2,162.

How much is a provisional licence UK?

A provisional driving licence UK cost is £34 when you apply online or £43 if you apply by post.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the provisional driving licence

How much does it cost to get a driving license?

When you pass your test you can no longer drive on a provisional licence and will need to apply for a full licence.

The good news is that applying for a full UK driving license will not cost you a penny and is completely free of charge!

However, if you hate your provisional licence photo and want to use a different passport-style photo for your new full licence, you will have to pay a fee of £17. And, just in case you’re wondering we’re sorry to say no, you can’t use filters.

How much is it for a driving test?

A practical driving test UK (2022) costs £62.

Note: You cannot take your practical driving test until you have first passed your theory test so get studying!

You might like: Best driving test apps 2022

How much is a theory test?

A theory test UK (2022) costs £23 for cars and motorbikes.

When can you start driving lessons?

Before you start driving lessons, you will need to apply for and possess a provisional licence.

You can apply for a provisional license at the age of 15 years and 9 months but you cannot start driving lessons until you are 17 years old. If you don’t want to wait that long for your independence, you can choose to ride a 50cc motorcycle, moped or scooter at the age of 16.

You might like: How to pass your driving test - top tips

Are you about to start learning to drive?

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How much does learner car insurance cost?

At the age of 17, temporary learner driver insurance can cost approximately:

  • £8.42 for 3 hours
  • £36.14 to £59.69 for a week
  • £79.01 for 28 days or one month
  • £153.15 for 84 days or 3 months

To get cheaper car insurance cover while you learn to drive, many parents choose to add their child to their own car’s insurance policy as a ‘named driver’. However, if you have an accident, your parent would lose their no claims discount and their insurance premiums will increase, so arranging temporary insurance can take the pressure off a bit.

Warning: If you or your parents/guardians buy a car solely for the purpose of you learning to drive in it, don’t be tempted to put your parent down as the ‘main driver’ and yourself as the ‘named driver’ if it’s predominantly you that will be behind the wheel. This is insurance fraud known as ‘fronting’.

Read more: The cheapest way to insure a learner driver

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How much will learning to drive cost altogether?

Assuming you:

  • apply for your provisional licence online
  • pass both your theory and driving tests on the 2nd attempt (the DVSA said the 2019/20 pass rate for practical tests was 46.4% so more than half of you will have to take 2 or more tests)
  • practice driving in your own car (or a parent’s/relative’s car) for 3 months and pay for temporary car insurance
  • pay for 45 hours’ worth of driving lessons

the overall cost of learning to drive is approximately £1,438.15, as per the breakdown of calculations shown in the table below.

Provisional license £34.00
Driving lessons £1,081.00
Learner driver insurance £153.15
Theory test x 2 £46.00
Practical driving test x 2 £124.00
Learning to drive total estimated cost: £1,438.15

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