Learning to drive: how you could save money
Published 28 September 2015 by Emily Bancroft
Being able to drive is a great skill, but it can be expensive.
Being able to drive is definitely a useful skill for life, whether you’re driving the kids to school, commuting to work or just getting from A to B. There are few things more stressful than going in for the test, but nothing beats the feeling of knowing you’ve passed! However, learning to drive can be expensive, with the cost of lessons and the driving test itself at a premium.
If you’re looking to get behind the wheel but don’t want to waste money, we’ll show you how you could learn to drive for less.
Like with anything else, driving lessons are cheaper if you buy in bulk. The AA estimates that the average cost for an hour’s driving lesson is £24, but you could cut this down by booking a block in one go. When you’ve found the instructor for you, ask them how much it will be if you book five or 10 hours of lessons at once. Make sure you’ve already had a few hours of lessons with them first before you do this though – you don’t want to rush in and book 20 hours of lessons at £15 each, only to find out after 10 minutes that you don’t like their teaching style.
By wary of the introductory offers too – just because an instructor offers the first few lessons at a bargain, this might not be their regular price. Make sure you find out what they usually charge, as this could be a lot higher. The low price shouldn’t be the only thing you look at when choosing an instructor though. It’s important that you find someone who is registered with and approved by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). A better instructor means you’ll get more value for money and be ready to take your test sooner – so you’ll be saving money in the long-run.
Revise for theory
Everyone will tell you that the driving theory test is easy to pass, and it is – if you revise for it, that is. A lot of the questions are common sense but there are some facts and figures you’ll need to memorise, so it makes sense to learn these in advance.
The theory test is set to be reduced to £23 from 1st October 2015, but you still only want to have to take it once. You can buy a driving theory test book from the DVSA and these often come with a CD-ROM for practising the hazard perception part of the test. If you want to save money, you can do a practice test for free online.
Test in the week
Once you’ve passed your theory test, it’s time for the practical test! It’s easy to be intimidated by this but you don’t need to let the pressure get to you. Make sure you really feel ready to take the test before you go in for it. There’s no point rushing into it to try and save money – if you have to have two or three tests, this will ultimately work out more expensive.
You could also save a few quid by taking your driving test on a weekday before 4:30pm. If you do this, it will cost you £62 whereas it costs £75 at all other times. This won’t be possible if you work during the week but if you work shifts, see if you can swap your hours around to fit your test in. It might not be a big saving but when it comes to learning to drive, every little bit helps.