Jack Dreyer | Monday 19th December 2022 8:00am
Learning to drive is one of the main great freedoms as we grow into adulthood. Suddenly, we’re no longer beholden to public transport and fixed routes but can instead go wherever our fancy takes us – whenever it does so. As much as public transport is a real force for good, there’s something in driving that you can only get by hopping in a car and getting going.
But the process of learning to drive is often quite tedious, stressful, and outright expensive. So it’s helpful to have a clear idea of what’s involved and at which times.
How long does it take to learn to drive?
Before we can estimate a cost, we have to first look at how long it takes to learn to drive. The usual estimated amount of time is around 45 hours of lessons – how spread out this is, as you can imagine, varies greatly and usually affects how long it takes to learn to drive overall.
That’s because learning any skill in short bursts usually means it takes a lot longer to internalise. When learning to drive, the beginnings of sitting in a car and knowing which pedals do what can feel like handling heavy machinery. The aim is instead to learn all the movements essentially by muscle memory so that you don’t have to think about what you’re doing and can instead focus on the road.
Usually, lessons are between 60 to 120 minutes long – with longer lessons giving you more of an opportunity to practise particular skills. With 120-minute lessons once a week, then, you could be ready to take your driving test within 6 months.
It’s worth noting here that you’re not actually required to have any minimum number of lessons before taking a driving test, you just have to have passed the theory test.
So if you have a particularly helpful parent, guardian, or friend who’s willing to spend the time then you could actually learn quite cheaply. But you will have to be suitably insured on any vehicle you’re driving – and the person supervising you needs to:
- Be over 21
- Have had their licence for over 3 years
- Be qualified to drive the type of vehicle you’re driving
The cost of driving lessons
There are no minimum or maximum limits for what driving instructors can charge for lessons. Their fees are usually based on general market rates in their area and have to cover overheads such as the cost of maintaining the learner car, insurance, and fuel.
The cost tends to be between £30-£60 per hour, again depending on the area, experience, and whether the instructor specialises in any niches such as automatic driving.
Booking your theory test
Ideally, you should be booking your theory test as soon as possible because there tends to be quite a wait for an available slot. There are phone apps that can be hugely helpful with helping you learn everything you need, as well as revising for the theory test itself.
A lot of the requirements for the theory test are also things that you should pick up in the process of learning.
You can book your theory test using the government website – at the time of writing, they cost £23.
Booking your Driving test
Your instructor will tell you when they feel that you’re ready to take the test. Usually, this will be after you can drive confidently without any guidance or notes from the instructor for at least a few hours.
It’s easy to feel as though an instructor is purposely holding you back at times – but usually it’s because they’re right. The aim of the test is to prove that you can independently drive a vehicle, including carrying passengers, or public roads safely. So this isn’t a light decision.
Getting your first car
Many people learn to drive just so they can, but most people have a car lined up and ready to explore in. When you get to that stage, trust the experts at your local Kwik Fit centre to keep it in great condition.
Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.
Wednesday 22nd November 2023
It can be hard to tell if your puncture can be repaired or not. Read our handy guide to understand if your tyre can be saved or if you need a replacement.
Wednesday 18th October 2023
Driving on old or worn tyres can be dangerous so you need to maintain them properly. Read about how long tyres should last and how to know if your tyres are old.
Thursday 27th October 2022
Driving in the rain isn’t only a pain but can be surprisingly hazardous – here are our top tips for staying safe in wet & icy weather this winter.