Save Money Learning to Drive
It is no secret that learning to drive is expensive. However, by following these tips and with a bit of forward planning, you can save yourself some money.
I actually wrote this having just seen my eldest go off, with his instructor, for his second attempt at his driving test. Here's my top tips on how to save money learning to drive.
Apply for your Provisional Driving Licence Online
It costs £34 to apply for your licence online and £43 to apply by post. This is an easy saving to make.
Start Learning your Theory early
You can book your theory test to take place on or after your 17th birthday. However, you can start learning the theory any time before that.
If you are having driving lessons whilst still learning your theory, you may find yourself in the same position my son was. He was at test standard but couldn’t book a driving test as he still hadn’t passed his theory test. This meant we were technically paying for lessons we didn’t need to.
Use Free Learning Aids
There are many apps and publications on offer which you can purchase to help your theory practice but before you splash out, take a look at the free multiple choice tests and hazard perception test available on gov.uk .
Don’t Take your Theory Test Before you are Ready
The pass rate is high – you need a score of 43 out of 50 on the multiple choice section of the test and 44 out of 75 on the Hazard Perception Test. If you have followed tip no. 2 above, you have plenty of time to spend learning and practising the skills required to increase your chances of passing first time. This will save you money on having to take a retest.
Use the Lockers provided at the Theory Test Centre
If you are found to have any items such as bags, earphones, mobile phones or watches on your person, your test will be cancelled and you will have to rebook. Each test centre provides free lockers in which you can place your personal items whilst taking the test.
Don’t leave it too late to begin your driving lessons
You don’t have to be having driving lessons before you pass your theory test but there is a deadline. You have two years from the date you pass your theory test to have passed your practical driving test. If you have not passed your practical driving test within this timeframe, you will have to take the theory test again.
Purchase Lessons in Bulk
Some driving instructors or driving schools give you the option of purchasing lessons in bulk by offering a discount. It requires a large outlay of cash initially but we were able to save £12 per week on a 2 hour lesson by purchasing lessons this way.
Book your Practical Test Early
Some test centres have a long waiting time for tests. By the time my son’s instructor advised him to book his test, he had to wait for 3 months. You can, of course, sometimes get cancellations but even though we checked every day, we didn’t find anything earlier.
Looking back, we should have booked his test much earlier as it is really easy to change the date of the test to a later date if he hadn’t been ready in time.
Don’t Take your Test Too Early
On the flip side, it is important that you don’t actually take your test too early. If you are not at test standard (and only your instructor can advise you on this) you are unlikely to pass your test and you will need to pay out for another one.
I am pleased to say that my son passed! Now for the real learning – actually getting out on the roads without the comfort of driving school livery on his vehicle or his instructor besides him.