Learning to drive can be an expensive process, especially if you have never driven before. On average a learner driver will need between 30 and 40 hours tuition, with a fully qualified driving instructor, before being ready to take their test. Although this is number of tests is the average, it is of course dependent on the individual’s learning style. Some students learn faster than others, while some might take longer to get their head around what can be a complex subject.
The average price of an hours tuition can range anywhere from £15 to £30 depending on your location, quality of instructor, choice of car or type of transmission. Learning to drive requires a significant financial investment and it’s no surprise most individuals look for cheap driving lessons once they’re ready to start the process. If we take the two lower bands for number of lessons (30) and cheapest cost of a single lessons (£15), it will cost the average learner at least £450 before they’re ready to take the test and even with this very conservative estimate, it’s still a significant amount of money.
If you’re thinking about booking your driving lessons and are looking for advice on how to get the best deal, we have written this guide to help you with your search for cheap driving lessons.
Look For The Best Introductory Offer
Most driving schools offer introductory rates to encourage new drivers to signup with them. These offers are normally only available to students who block book and if you you’re looking for the best deal on driving lessons, comparing the introductory offers of the driving schools in your area is a good start.
Driving schools only offer introductory offers to new students, however there is nothing stopping you from leaving one school, once your introductory offer is over and block booking with another, if you’re able to find an instructor in your area offering a similar discount.
Most driving schools have a varied pricing structure, where they offer a range of options to suit students of all budgets. This pricing structure is designed to offer students flexibility, allowing them to book as little or as many lesson as they desire. What is important to note with this type of offering is that you’ll often receive a larger discount, the more lessons you commit to upfront.
Committing to a minimum number of lessons from the outset guarantees the instructor or school a certain level of revenue and this is usually rewarded with a lower rate for the student. Conversely, booking just a single lesson is the most expensive option and unless you really need to only book one, is often advisable to explore other options.
Of course not everyone will be in a situation where they’ll be able to block book 10 or more lessons upfront, however if you can, it tends to work out much better for you and comparing the discounts offered for block bookings between the instructors in your area, will ensure you’re get the best deal on your driving lessons.
Negotiate With Your Instructors
One lesser known method used to get a better deal on driving lessons is to negotiate with your driving school or instructor. Don’t assume the advertised price is final, or there’s no room to negotiate, especially if you’re dealing with an independently owned driving school.
There are always a number of independent instructors or smaller driving schools in any given area and when dealing with either of these practitioners, its possible to get a better deal by negotiating on your price per lesson. If you’re only planning on booking a single lesson, you won’t have much bargaining power, however if you intend on block booking a large number of lessons, for example over 20, you can use this as a strong negotiating tactic and often smaller driving schools will give you cheaper rate than what they currently advertise.
Get Your Friends and Family To Recommend You
Getting friends and family to recommend you to their driving instructor can help you get a better price on your lessons. When learning to drive you spend a considerable amount of time with an instructor and as a result a bond between learner and instructor is formed, which you can leverage to get a better deal.
If one of your friends, or a family member has recently passed their driving test, it’s a good idea to enquire who they took their lessons with and assuming they have good things to say about the school or instructor, ask them to refer you to their instructor at a discounted price. This tactic is especially effective when you’re able to block book your lessons in advance and the two combined will often lead to you getting a cheaper price on your lessons.
Book Your Driving Lessons Over Winter
Although most driving schools and instructors are busy all year round, there are certain periods of the year that are busier than others and you can save money on your lessons by understanding when to book. During the winter months, where the days are shorter and people are less likely to be out and about, some instructors, especially the independent ones, may find business to be a little slower than they like and because of this, if you negotiate and block book, you can often net yourself a good deal in these situations.
Learn to Drive in a Manual Vehicle
You can save money on your driving lessons by learning to drive in a manual car as opposed to an automatic one. Automatic cars cost more than their manual equivalent and as a result, automatic driving lessons tend to cost more than manual lessons. Although you’ll initially save money by booking manual driving lessons, it may take you longer to pass your driving test in this type of vehicle than it would in an automatic one, if learning how to use the clutch pedal and change gear proves challenging. If you find it difficult to master the concept of clutch control, you could end up spending more time and money than you otherwise would, had you learnt to drive in an automatic one.