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Learn to drive on a budget
Simon Jones white clock learner driver5 minute read Learner Drivers

How to Learn to Drive on a Budget

There are lots of costs involved in learning to drive and they soon begin to add up. Here’s how to make learning to drive as affordable as possible.

Simon Jones

Learning to drive is a rite of passage for many teenagers in the UK, with most people getting their provisional licence as soon as they turn 17. However, it’s pretty expensive for whoever is footing the bill. Here are our tips on cutting the costs of learning to drive.

Provisional Licence

The first step on your driving journey is getting your provisional licence. The cost of this will differ depending on how you choose to apply. There are two options:

  1. You can apply online here and your licence should arrive within one week. Applying for your licence online will cost £34.
  2. You can apply by post by completing a D1 application form at a Post Office or using the DVLA form ordering service. Postal applications take up to 3 weeks and will cost £43 (payable by cheque or postal order only).

If you opt for a postal application you will also need to provide a colour passport-style photograph, Not only are these photos always super awkward (#nofilter) but they’re pretty expensive too.  They’ll usually have to be taken by a photobooth machine or by a professional photographer which usually costs around £10. It’s often cheaper to look online where you can get your photos printed from as little as £3, or 4 for £6.


Driving lessons with an approved driving instructor are a must. There is no minimum number of lessons required and everybody is different, however the Driving Standard Agency (DSA) recommends around 44 hours of professional lessons before your test. The cost of lessons can vary but on average is around £24.00 an hour. That’s over £1000 on lessons alone!

The best way to save money is to book in blocks. Most driving schools and instructors will offer you a discount for buying lessons in bulk or give special introductory offers. This can save you hundreds over the course of learning to drive.


The theory test costs £23. You can save money when you’re revising by making the most of free resources. Your driving instructor should be able to provide you with physical and online resources or you can try Theory Test Pro for free. You can even take free practice tests online here.  If you’re okay with spending a little there are lots of awesome apps which are great value for money at around £2.99 and perfect for practising on the go!

Practice with friends or family

A driving instructor is perfect for teaching you the foundations of safe driving, but getting out with mum or dad between lessons is a great way to build confidence on the roads. You may even feel that you don’t need as many expensive lessons with an instructor as you become more comfortable behind the wheel.

It’s important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place when you are practising in someone else’s car. Luckily our Learner Driver Insurance is easy to understand and so quick you can get a quote in less than two minutes! It’s an affordable, flexible option starting from just £1.56 per day or £140.02 for 90 days.  Cover is available from 2 hours right up to 180 days meaning you only have to pay for the time you need.


The best way to save money learning to drive is to pass first time! Failing first time is not a big deal but it will cost you more time and money.

Tests are not cheap but you can save money by booking your driving test on a weekday which will only set you back £62 compared to a whopping £75 for evenings or weekends. Make sure you only book your test when you feel 100% ready to boost your chances of passing first time round!

Simon Jones

Worked for short-term car insurance provider Veygo for over 3 years. Been involved in building insurance products for learner drivers and people looking for temporary cover on cars, then telling the world about them through marketing campaigns. Also drive a bit myself, mainly my son around where ever he needs to go.

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