Cost of learning to drive now exceeds £2500

Learners are now paying £2707 to learn to drive, not including the cost of more driving lessons and more tests if they are unsuccessful, according to a report by

The cost of learning to drive in the UK has increased by 215% over the past thirty years, leaving many young people unable to afford the expense, before they've even thought about buying a first car.

#The car insurance experts are now calling for more regulation to be put in place to tackle the rising cost of learning to drive.

The report indicates that learners in the UK must first apply for a provisional driving licence, which costs £34 to apply online or £43 by post. After obtaining the licence, learners need to find a driving instructor suitable and get enough practice in to take the test.

The government's 'Ready to Pass' campaign suggests that learners will take an average of 45 hours of lessons with their instructor plus 22 hours of private practice. With the average one-hour lesson costing £30, learners are expected to pay around £1350 to instructors.

Paying to actually take the driving test is another expense learners cannot avoid – pupils must pass both the theory test (£23) and the practical test (£62 for weekday tests rising to £75 on the weekend).

Additional fees at the test-taking stage include paid-for apps to practise theory test questions, and many driving instructors will also require payment for learners to use the car when taking their test.

Comparatively, learners in the 1980s and 90s paid an average of just £10 per hour for driving lessons, which means that lessons alone are costing learners today £900 more.

Greg Wilson, Founder and CEO of, says that learning to drive is a rite of passage, and the worry is young people aren’t getting the option to learn, as the rising costs are making it unaffordable.

"More regulation on the cost of driving lessons and other mandatory fees would help young people get out on the roads and also help ensure they don’t cut corners. Having a more affordable pathway to learn to drive will also encourage pupils to take their time before booking a test and, in turn, help reduce the growing driving test backlog seen across the country."

In addition to the cost of learning to drive, learners also have to consider the cost of tax, insurance, and the vehicle itself if they don’t have access to a family car, making driving unattainable for many young people. 

Every year around 1.6 million people sit their practical driving test in the UK, with the pass rate as a whole falling just shy of 50%. With the rising cost of learning to drive, it remains to be seen whether more young people will be able to obtain their driving licence and take to the roads in the years to come.

Ask HJ

What is the best way to insure a learner driver?

What are the best options for getting my 17-year-old son insured whilst learning to drive?
Any reputable driving school will have suitable insurance in place for your son to learn to drive in their vehicle. If you are going to teach him to drive with your own vehicle then you can add him as a named driver (although this may push up your premium). A learner policy will cover your son if he wants to learn to drive with his own car.
Answered by Dan Powell
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