How much does it cost to learn to drive? | RAC unit (2023)

Courses, license applications, didactic material, insurance... If it's youLearn to driveIt can be difficult to keep track of all the costs involved.

To help you with student driver budgeting, we research the fees and add them up to give you a rough guide to student driver driving costs.

1. Apply for a temporary license

Your first step in getting there is to apply for a provisional license.

it costs£ 34forapply onlineor £43 if applying by post. To save money we use the online cost for our running total.

Accumulated total: £34

2. Driving lesson costs

How much does it cost to learn to drive? | RAC unit (1)

What's a good price to learn to drive?

The average person needs about 45 hours of driving instruction and another 22 hours of practice before they are ready for a road test.1.

The cost of driving lessons varies depending on where you live, but a good price for a driving lesson is around €10.£ 25- £ 30per hour2. Here you can save with introductory prices or bundles.

A good instructor will also let you know if you are ready for the practical test before the 45 hours of class. So that's good news if you have a family member or friend who can take you to practice.

Let's assume the high end of the estimate£30an hour in 45 classes, that is£ 1.350added to our costs.

Accumulated total: £1,384

Looking forteach someone to drive? check out our guide.

Car insurance for learner drivers

Pay only for the protection you need - from 1 day to 5 months.

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How much does it cost to learn to drive? | RAC unit (2)

How much does it cost to learn to drive? | RAC unit (3)

3. Testicles

Cost of the theory test

The theory test must be passed before the practical test.

You can do this once you have a provisional driver's license number; However, a little freeway driving experience can be helpful.

will cost£ 23forPlan your theory test.


You might want to give yourself a better chance of passing the theory test by using aFahrtheorie app.

Full access to all resource costs€ 4,99per month, but let's round it up£ 5for our calculations.

You can download it here:

How much does it cost to learn to drive? | RAC unit (4)How much does it cost to learn to drive? | RAC unit (5)

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Cost of the practical driving test

The practical driving test is the last step before obtaining a full driving license. The DVSA fee£ 62for tests during the week, and£ 75if you want to take your exam at the weekend3.

In order to be well prepared and avoid unpleasant surprises, we add the weekend number from£ 75to our shores.

If you intend to use the instructor's car, you must factor in the time cost of the test. As the exams last 40 minutes plus additional time for the “Show me”, “Tell me” and eye exam sections, you will need to reserve the car for an hour. that's extra£30.

Now we have our estimate before throwing the cost of a car, taxes and insurance into the mix.

The cost of learning to drive before the cost of the car, taxes and insurance:

provisional license£ 34
Instruction£ 1.384
theory test£ 23
Theorieprüfung app£ 5
practical exam£ 75
test car£30
In total£ 1.551

4. Trainer

Whether used, fresh off the farm or if your parents kindly footed the bill, Britain's first mid-size car costs£ 3.410.4

OurChecklist for buying a used carcan help you buy your first car with confidence. You can also checkRAC-Autosfor thousands of new and used car deals near you.

Grand total: £4,961

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  • 15 driving test tips to help you pass the first time

5. Safe for students

Many insurers offer special servicesLearner Driver Insurance. This type of flexible short-term insurance offers protection while preparing for the driving test.

If you have your provisional driver's license and are already taking professional lessons, learner driver insurance allows you to gain additional driving experience with the help of a friend or family member.

After you pass the test, you need to get your firstcar insurance. The average premium (the amount you actually pay to an insurance company for coverage) for drivers aged 18-20 is£ 972, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Cumulative total: £5,933

6. Taxes

Assuming a new driver's first car is a used vehicle, we can use the following guidelines to understand how much tax you're likely to pay:

fuel type12 months one-time paymentOne-off payment for 12 months by direct debitA total of 12 monthly direct debit payments6 months one-time paymentOne-off payment for 6 months by direct debit
petrol or diesel£ 145£ 145£ 152,25£ 79,75£ 76,13
Electric£ 0N / DN / D£ 0N / D
Alternative*£ 135£ 135141,75 €£ 74,2570,88 €

*Alternative fuel vehicles include hybrids, bioethanol and LPG.

Using the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders statistics that petrol and diesel cars account for 90% of new registrations in 2019, we will consider the highest possible annual tax costs for petrol and diesel cars:£ 152,25.

The amount of the new car tax varies greatly. Visit for more detailsfirst tax payments when registering a vehicle.

7. Total cost of learning to drive

How much does it cost to learn to drive? | RAC unit (6)

We now have an estimate of the cost of obtaining your full driver's license:£ 1551

After calculating the average cost of a first car in the UK, the average insurance premium for 2019 and assuming it's a petrol or diesel car, we have a figure to make your first car roadworthy:£ 4.541,25

Combining the two, we estimate the total cost of learning to drive and driving on the road is:

£ 6.085,25

Even if it sounds like a lot, don't despair! Keep in mind that this amount should be treated as an estimate, not a fixed cost that anyone can expect to pay.

You should also keep in mind that these costs can and will be spread across your journey as a learner driver, making them much more manageable.

The following assumptions were made in our calculations:

  • Novice drivers receive 45 hours of lessons at a cost of £35 per hour
  • The theory test is passed the first time.
  • The driving test is taken over a weekend and passed the first time.
  • An instructor vehicle is used for the practical driving test.
  • The cost of the car corresponds to the national average for a first car
  • The insurance premiums correspond to the national average for novice drivers
  • The car has a diesel or petrol engine and pays the tax in 12 monthly installments

Tips to save money as a learner driver

The cost of learning to drive and getting your first car on the road is high for many of us. Here are some tips that can help you save money on your insurance premium.

Get black box insurance

ABlack Box PolicyIt works by monitoring your driving through a small black box installed in your car.

It creates a picture of how you drive and allows the insurer to treat you as an individual and reward safe driving with a lower premium.

If you are a young driver, black box insurance can be especially helpful.

Add family members to your policy

we do not recommendfrontal' - that's illegal.

But adding your partner as a designated driver in a shared car can offset the risk and shave a few pounds off your premium.

Some providers allow you to carry over your member's no-claims discount, and therefore your discount, to your new policy.

Don't overestimate your annual mileage when purchasing insurance

If you typically tell your insurance company you cover 10,000 miles a year but actually drive a lot less, you may be paying a higher risk premium than you really need to.

Give the company a realistic number, but don't underestimate it or you could find yourself without cover.

Keep reading our complete guideReduce your car insurance costs as a young driver.Here you will find a lot of general informationSaving tips for drivershere too.

did you pass your exam Get puncture protection

Congratulations! If you successfully pass your driving test, you can join the 30 million motorists currently using our roads.

However, before you get behind the wheel of your car as a new driver, it is important to take somepuncture protection.

This gives you absolute peace of mind should the worst happen. You should search tooCar insurance for novice drivers.

Now that you're done, stay healthy and enjoy your new driver's license.

More instructions for driver training

  • How to Pass a Driving Test: A Complete Beginner's Guide for Pros
  • How to drive a manual car - a quick and easy guide with pictures
  • How to drive an automatic car - step by step instructions
  • 15 driving test tips to help you pass the first time
  • How to get a provisional driver's license
  • How to Teach a Learner Driver: A Guide to Supervising a Friend or Family Member
  • The Highway Code: Common British Road Signs and What They Mean
  • 17 things your driving instructor never taught you
  • Simplified stopping distances
  • How to pull off the mountain - our complete manual and automatic guide
  • How to find your way around: Parking space for your driving test
  • How to parallel park: our video guide to mastering the manoeuvre
  • How to Make a Three Point Turn - Guide to Steering
  • Roundabouts: how to deal with them and pass the exam
  • Motorway drivers: everything you need to know
  • What is a failed road test? Majors and minors explained
  • Should I do an intensive driving course?
  • Fear of Driving - How to overcome fear of driving

Black box car insurance

Help young and new drivers save money by rewarding safe driving.

How much does it cost to learn to drive? | RAC unit (25)

How much does it cost to learn to drive? | RAC unit (26)


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