Cost of learning to drive hits record high of £1575, causing more learners to ‘cut corners’ in attempts to save money

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As with everything right now, costs are a concern. And sadly driving lessons are not exempt from a price hike. Veygo, the learner driver insurer, is warning that thousands of learner drivers are taking their driving test prematurely to save money, as the average cost of learning to drive soars to an average of £1,575 for the first time.

The rising cost of driving lessons is a direct result of the increased cost of living and fuel, and the impact is now being felt for learner drivers. With lessons now costing a record £35 per hour, on average, people are increasingly trying to reduce the overall cost of learning to drive by taking their driving test too early – and, ultimately, then failing. Only 48.4% passed their driving test in the last 12 months according to DVSA data, highlighting a systemic issue of ill-prepared learner drivers taking driving tests, in part due to the cost of lessons.

A side effect of this trend is that many learner drivers are also having to pay for multiple driving tests, which cost up to £149. RAC data revealed that more than 50,000 tests in the last 12 months were taken by those who have failed five or more times – which could cost them up to £745 on driving tests alone.

The troubling trend of ‘cutting corners’ emerges amid an industry that is facing significant waiting times for lessons and tests – caused in part by Covid 19 pandemic delays and DVSA strikes – with learners across the UK having to wait up to six months for a test slot. With fewer than half of learners now passing their practical driving test, there are growing calls for learner drivers to be ready before they take their test.

James Armstrong, CEO at Veygo, says: “With the average driving lesson now costing £35 per hour, and learner drivers needing around 45 hours of professional instruction to pass their tests, the cost of learning to drive is currently sitting around £1,575. This is nearly 5% of the average annual income for a UK household (£32,300 in 2022), introducing a huge cost and barrier to learning to drive for many across the country.

“We are seeing a systemic issue of people failing their driving tests. Learners are trying to pass as quickly as possible so that they don’t have to pay for expensive lessons, which is resulting in taking the test before they’re fully ready. This is feeding into the ongoing issue of long driving test waiting lists, and increasing the overall cost of learning to drive.

“I’d recommend that learner drivers prepare as much as they can before their tests, even if they have a limited budget. One way to do this is to support your professional lessons with practice in a private vehicle. Having access to a family member or friend’s car – with full learner insurance – is therefore a huge bonus for learners, making it quicker and much more affordable to learn to drive.”

 

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