Friday, 16 February 2007

How much does learning to drive cost?

(if you've got here looking for how much it costs to train to be a driving instructor - look at: How much does it cost to train to be a driving instructor?)

So how much will learning to drive cost?

(A little help to calculate the average amount of driving lessons needed to pass, and the average lesson price! Yeah right - and everyone's average aren't they!)

Piece of string anyone?

Well lets start with how long will it take to learn.

Basic: 20 hours.

Doesn't sound a lot, but you've gotta be good to do it in that - probably a bloke (spatially aware, with mechanical knowledge, and used to riding a cycle/scooter on the road, been watching others drive for the last 5 years and with loads of motivation)

From here, add:

Female - 5hrs (don't shout at me, this is just a generalisation, and it's unfortunately often true, if you want me to explain then comment at the end and I will).

Lack of mechanical knowledge - 10 hrs.

Over 17 - add another hour for every year older you are (even I don't understand exactly why this should be the case, but I promise you, it does work this way).

Add another hour for every mile you live away from the test centre.

Never rode a bike with gears - 5 hours.

Never rode a bike in traffic - 5 hours.

Impatient parents/partners who shout at or beep at other drivers - 10 hours (charge them for this - it's their fault)

Nervous or easily intimidated - 10 hours.

Every break in lessons of a month or more - 2 hours.

Every break in lessons of 6 months or more - 5 hours.

Only a rough guide, but you can see that a confident 17 year old lad who lives near the test centre, rides a bike with gears through town to his apprentice job as a mechanic could pass in 20 hours. On the other hand, the timid 47 year old lady, who lives 10 miles out of town, has never ridden a bike with gears, and has a husband who shouts, beeps and tailgates everyone could take 110 hours or more.

Take 5 minutes to work out how long it will take, then work out how much your lessons will cost.

Basic lesson cost: £19/hour.

Add to this,

£2 if you cannot concentrate on complex tasks for more than 50 minutes at a time (longer lessons are often cheaper, than 1 hour lessons).

£1 if you cannot get a good recommendation (a good recommendation will save you time and effort. If you cannot get one, pay for a good instructor, rather than hunting down the cheapest, they will be cheap for a reason and may cost you a fortune in wasted lessons).

£3 if you live in London, or central to one of the big cities.

£1 if you want to learn in a fancy looking car (the mini is a favourite of instructors, because it draws in customers, but they need to recover the extra costs of running an expensive car somehow).

So going back to our apprentice mechanic - he could do it for £380, but if he lives in central Manchester, doesn't have great concentration, and wants to learn in a fancy car - it's gonna be £500. The timid lady has had a long chat with all her friends at the WI, and has found a marvellous instructor (who may be able to get her through in 100 hours rather than 110 or more), and doesn't care what she learns in, has good concentration, and lives in an ideal quiet suburb for starting her learning off can do it for £1900. (The lady next door though, the narky one who has the badly bleached hair and snobby attitude towards people who don't have fancy things takes 120 hours, and because of the fancy car, and the fact her husband told her not to have longer lessons pays £2760!)

Go on - how much is it going to cost you to learn! Remember, once you've done it - you've got it for life.

(edit: One thing I forgot to mention - if you wanna drive an auto - it should halve the amount of lessons you need, but add £2 to your lesson price)


Mad as a Hatter said...

So, what's your view on intensive training. You know, "pass in a week" claims.

The Undercover ADI said...

All I can say is - yeah right!

Intensives CAN be done right, but from what I see day to day - they rarely are. NEVER do an intensive if you've never driven before. NEVER do an intensive if you aren't gonna get 1 to 1 training.
NEVER do an intensive unless they guarantee you're gonna do your test the same place as you do your training. NEVER do an intensive if the hourly rate of your training costs more than £25/hour. NEVER do an intensive in Blackpool.

Can you see the recurring theme?!