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Cheapest places to learn to drive

Young driver

Learning to drive is a goal that many look to achieve as soon as they turn 17, but new data has revealed the true cost of getting on the road in the UK.

South West England is the cheapest place to learn to drive at £24 a lesson on average, while Londoners pay up to £430 more to get behind the wheel, according to the study conducted by Hitachi Personal Finance.

Cheapest places to learn to drive in the UK

Region Average cost per one hour lesson3Total cost for 47 lessons3 
South West £24£1,128
Yorkshire & Humber£26£1,222
Wales£26£1,222
North East £26£1,222
East of England £26£1,222
North West £27£1,269
South East £27 £1,269
Scotland £28£1,316
Midlands£29£1,363
London£30£1,410

The research calculates the overall cost of learning to drive – from practical lessons to essential paperwork.

Starting with the costs of practical lessons, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) states the average learner who passed their test took 47 hours of lessons. However, the total cost for these lessons can vary dramatically depending on where you live.

On top of these 47 lessons, learner drivers are expected to also fork out for a whole host of other costs, including a provisional licence, theory test and practical test.

Then to finally hit the road, new drivers also need to shell out for insurance once they have passed their test, meaning the average learner spends at least a whopping £1,6761 before they can legally get behind the wheel.

And these are just the immediate compulsory costs, as successful learners may also need to consider the cost of buying or leasing a vehicle if they don’t already have access to a car, fuel costs, breakdown cover, MOT and tax.

“Learning to drive can be an expensive business, and it’s important for learners to be aware of all of the costs involved before they begin taking lessons,” said Vincent Reboul of Hitachi Personal Finance.

“Luckily in the UK, it is possible for learners to learn with a parent or friend if they have the required experience, which can really help to reduce overall costs, even if those lessons are mixed with official tuition from a registered instructor. And some instructors do offer the option to bulk buy lessons for a discount, which is always worth enquiring about.

“It’s clear that costs vary vastly across the UK, as do first-time pass rates, so it’s important to make an informed decision when choosing where to learn to drive and who to learn with, and consider where you may have the best chance of passing first-time to ultimately keep costs down.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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