Press release

Drivers in the south hit with almost double the cost for learning to drive

The most expensive city to learn to drive in the UK is Reading, where it costs an eye-watering £1,717 to get out on the roads – nearly £500 more than the average UK cost of £1,296.47 – and almost double the cost compared to some northern cities

  • Learner drivers in London and Reading pay nearly double the hourly rate for driving lessons compared to those in Manchester and Liverpool
  • The total cost of a provisional licence, theory test and driving test totals £119 – and that’s if you’re lucky enough to pass first time
  • More information for new drivers, top tips for passing your driving test and the full costs data can be found at: https://www.autotrader.co.uk/content/advice/tips-and-advice-for-young-drivers

Learner drivers in Reading and London may find themselves with the worst deal in their efforts to become a fully-fledged driver, by paying almost double the amount per hour for driving lessons than in other cities across the UK, according to a recent study by Auto Trader.

Auto Trader, the largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, has investigated and identified the most and least expensive cities for those learning to drive in the UK - unveiling huge variance across many of the main UK cities.

With a recommended 47 hours of lessons for learners to be fully prepared for the practical driving test, it can mean the cost for driving lessons alone is close to £1,000; and even up to £1,600 in some areas. The average cost of driving lessons across 19 cities studied is £1,296.47; which can still be deemed hugely expensive for many learner drivers.

Reading and London came out as the most expensive areas for driving lessons at an average of £34 and £33 per hour respectively, with Southampton and Exeter in joint third at an average of £30 per hour. This is nearly double some areas in the UK with Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester as the cheapest options at £20, £19 and £18 for their average hourly prices.

The cost of the essentials to get on the road also adds up, with obtaining a provisional licence, booking a theory and practical test setting each learner back by £119. With the pass rate for those taking their theory test sitting just below 50%, that cost can increase to £142 and £165 for those taking their theory tests for a second or even third time. For learners that fail their practical test first time (government statistics show that nearly 54% fail first time), they can expect to pay a further £62 for every test taken, meaning their basic costs will go from £119 to £181 for taking a second test, and £243 for those hoping for third time lucky.

An Auto Trader spokesperson said: “As most new and learning motorists turn to Auto Trader to find the right first car for them, we felt it was important to understand the cost implications of learning to drive, and how this differs across the UK.

“Learning to drive is a valuable skill which many people learn as early as possible, but it’s surprising how much the cost of learning varies across the country, with close to a £1,000 cost difference between some areas.

“Getting on the road brings more costs with things like new driver insurance and fuel, but finance options such as PCP have made driving more accessible and affordable for so many new drivers in recent years.”

The average cost of learning to drive. A full breakdown of costs, along with top tips for drivers can be found at https://www.autotrader.co.uk/content/advice/tips-and-advice-for-young-drivers.

 

City

Average driving lesson cost (per hour)

Average amount of lessons needed

Total driving lesson cost

Cost of a provisional licence

Cost of a theory test

Cost of a driving test

Total

Reading

£34.00

47

£1,598.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,717.00

London

£33.00

47

£1,551.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,670.00

Southampton

£30.00

47

£1,410.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,529.00

Exeter

£30.00

47

£1,410.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,529.00

Glasgow

£28.00

47

£1,316.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,435.00

Nottingham

£28.00

47

£1,316.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,435.00

Bristol

£27.00

47

£1,269.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,388.00

Cardiff

£25.00

47

£1,175.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,294.00

Plymouth

£25.00

47

£1,175.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,294.00

Belfast

£24.00

47

£1,128.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,247.00

Edinburgh

£23.00

47

£1,081.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,200.00

York

£23.00

47

£1,081.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,200.00

Sheffield

£23.00

47

£1,081.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,200.00

Newcastle

£22.00

47

£1,034.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,153.00

Huddersfield

£22.00

47

£1,034.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,153.00

Leeds

£22.00

47

£1,034.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,153.00

Birmingham

£20.00

47

£940.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,059.00

Liverpool

£19.00

47

£893.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£1,012.00

Manchester

£18.00

47

£846.00

£34.00

£23.00

£62.00

£965.00

 

[ENDS]

Methodology

Set variables including the cost of a provisional licence, cost of a theory test and cost of a practical driving test are correct as of May 2019, according to the DVLA website:

Prices sourced for the average cost of a driving lesson per hour, were sourced via the below providers. Prices were then calculated using the median cost within that city, before being multiplied by the recommended hours needed before taking a test (47 hours):

All data is correct as of July 2019.

 

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK and Ireland’s largest digital automotive marketplace. Auto Trader sits at the heart of the UK’s vehicle buying process and its primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 250 Index.

The marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Auto Trader has over 90% prompted brand awareness and attracts circa 50 million monthly cross platform visits a month, with over 70% of visits coming through mobile devices.

The marketplace also has the largest pool of vehicle sellers (listing more than 450,000 cars each day). Around 80% of UK automotive retailers advertise on autotrader.co.uk.

For more information, please visit http://about-us.autotrader.co.uk

For media enquiries, please contact:

Rebecca Nassiri, Auto Trader, Rebecca.nassiri@autotrader.co.uk

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