How Much Is a Driving Test in the UK?

A Comprehensive Guide to UK Driving Test Fees

Embarking on the journey to become a licensed driver in the UK is an exciting venture, filled with learning and various stages of testing. Understanding the costs associated with this process is crucial for budgeting and planning your learner driver journey. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the driving lesson pricespractical test fees, car costsinsurance premiums, and tax costs involved.

Provisional Licence: The First Step

Before you can start taking driving lessons, you must obtain a provisional licence, also known as a learner’s permit. This is a legal requirement for all learner drivers in the UK. The cost for applying for this licence online is £34, a necessary investment to kickstart your driving education.

Cost of Lessons: Manual vs Automatic

The average cost of driving lessons in the UK can vary significantly depending on several factors, including whether you choose to learn in an automatic or manual car, the time of your lessons, and any applicable weekend surcharges. On average, lessons cost between £30 and £35 per hour. Considering most learners require around 45 hours of instruction, the total cost can be quite substantial. However, block booking lessons can offer savings, with some driving schools offering 10 lessons for £270, providing a cost-effective option for learners.

Driving Test Fees Summary

Vehicle TypeTest ComponentWeekday FeeEvening, Weekend, & Bank Holiday Fee
CarTheory Test£23£23
Practical Test£62£75
Extended Test (Disqualified Drivers)£124£150
Lorry, Minibus, Bus, CoachDriver CPC Part 1a: Theory (MCQ)£26£26
Driver CPC Part 1b: Theory (Hazard Perception)£11£11
Driver CPC Part 2: Case Studies£23£23
Driver CPC Part 3a: Off-Road ExercisesUp to £40Up to £40
Driver CPC Part 3b: On-Road Driving£115£141
Driver CPC Part 4: Practical Demo£55£63
Motorcycle & MopedTheory Test£23£23
Module 1: Off-Road£15.50£15.50
Module 2: On-Road£75£88.50
Extended Test (Disqualified Riders)£150£177
Tractor & Specialist VehiclesDriving Test£62£75

Note: The Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) course fees for motorcycles and mopeds are set by individual training schools. Contact your nearest provider for specific pricing.

Theory Test: A Crucial Step

The theory test is a critical component of the UK driving test process, consisting of 50 multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception test. To pass, candidates must score at least 43 out of 50 in the multiple-choice section and 44 out of 75 in the hazard perception part. The cost for the theory test is £23, with additional expenses for study materials. Preparing thoroughly for this test is essential to avoid the need for retakes and additional fees.

For booking a theory test, the official GOV.UK website provides a straightforward and secure method to schedule your test.

Practical Driving Test: The Final Hurdle

The practical driving test represents the culmination of your learning journey, with costs varying depending on the day of your test. Weekday tests are priced at £62, while evening, weekend, and bank holiday tests cost £75. The test includes various driving scenarios and maneuvers, with an average duration of 45 minutes. Utilizing your driving instructor’s car for the test typically incurs the cost of an additional lesson, averaging around £30.

For detailed information on practical test fees, visit the GOV.UK driving test costs page.

Insurance Premiums for Young Drivers

Insurance for young drivers in the UK can be notably high, with black box insurance policies offering a way to potentially reduce these costs. These policies monitor driving behavior through a telematics device installed in the car, encouraging safer driving habits and potentially leading to lower premiums.

For young drivers looking for insurance options, SafelyInsured offers a range of products tailored to new drivers, including policies with and without telematics.

Tax Costs and Additional Expenses

Owning and maintaining a car in the UK also involves tax costs, which can vary based on the vehicle’s fuel type and emissions. It’s important for new drivers to factor in these ongoing expenses when budgeting for their driving journey.

Money-Saving Tips for Learner Drivers

  1. Block book driving lessons to take advantage of discounts.
  2. Choose weekday slots for your practical test to save on costs.
  3. Consider a black box insurance policy to potentially lower insurance premiums.
  4. Practice with family or friends in addition to professional lessons to gain more experience without the additional cost.

Breakdown Cover: Essential for New Drivers

New drivers are encouraged to secure breakdown cover to provide peace of mind and assistance in the event of a vehicle breakdown. This cover is an essential part of being a responsible and prepared driver.

Continuing from where we left off, understanding the financial aspects of learning to drive is crucial for any prospective driver in the UK. This section delves deeper into the costs associated with the driving test, including practical aspects and additional considerations for learner drivers.

Practical Test: Weekday vs Weekend

The practical driving test is a pivotal moment in a learner driver’s journey. As previously mentioned, the cost varies between £62 for a weekday test and £75 for tests conducted on evenings, weekends, and bank holidays. Opting for a weekday test not only saves money but also might offer a less congested driving environment, potentially easing the test experience.

The Importance of Insurance for Learner Drivers

Insurance plays a vital role in the learner driver journey. For those practicing in their own or a borrowed car, learner insurance is a necessity. It’s designed to protect learner drivers while they gain valuable experience on the road. Policies can vary, with options for short-term coverage that cater specifically to the needs of learners.

For comprehensive insights into insurance options for young drivers, including black box policiesMoneyHelper offers valuable advice and information to help make informed decisions.

Tax Considerations for New Drivers

Understanding tax costs associated with vehicle ownership is another important aspect of budgeting for new drivers. The cost of vehicle tax, or road tax, depends on various factors including the vehicle’s fuel type, emissions, and when it was first registered. New drivers should research the specific tax costs for their vehicle to accurately budget for this annual expense.

Enhancing Skills with Pass Plus

After passing the practical test, new drivers have the option to take the Pass Plus scheme—a course designed to improve driving skills and safety. Pass Plus covers aspects of driving not extensively covered in standard lessons, such as motorway driving. While there’s an upfront cost for the course, completing Pass Plus can lead to insurance discounts, making it a worthwhile consideration for new drivers looking to reduce their insurance premiums.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I reduce the cost of learning to drive?
A: Save money by block booking lessons, practicing with family or friends, choosing weekday practical tests, and considering insurance options like black box policies.

Q: Is it cheaper to learn in an automatic or manual car?
A: Lessons in an automatic car can be slightly more expensive due to higher fuel consumption and vehicle costs. However, the choice should also consider personal comfort and future vehicle preferences.

Q: Can I use my own car for the practical test?
A: Yes, you can use your own car for the test, provided it meets the DVSA’s requirements. Remember to factor in the cost of learner insurance.

Q: What is a black box insurance policy?
A: A black box, or telematics policy, involves installing a device in your car that monitors driving habits. Safe driving can lead to lower insurance costs.

Q: How many driving lessons will I need?
A: The average learner takes around 45 hours of professional lessons, plus additional private practice. However, this varies significantly between individuals.

Driving Test Tips and Techniques

To ensure readiness for the practical test, familiarize yourself with various driving techniques and scenarios. From mastering the cockpit drill to navigating roundabouts and performing emergency stops, comprehensive preparation is key. Additionally, understanding dashboard warning lights and practicing eco-driving can not only improve test performance but also contribute to safer, more efficient driving in the long term.


While this article aims to cover the comprehensive costs and considerations for learning to drive in the UK, it’s important to remember that prices can vary based on location, instructor, and individual needs. Planning, research, and preparation are your best tools for navigating the journey to becoming a licensed driver efficiently and cost-effectively. For more information and resources, including driving lesson tips and test preparation, visit RAC Drive for expert advice and support tailored to new drivers.

Embarking on the journey to driving independence is an investment in your future, offering freedom, mobility, and a host of new opportunities. By understanding the costs involved and making informed choices, you can ensure a smooth and successful path to obtaining your driving licence.

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