Is The Cost Of Driving Set To Change?
Getting driving lessons and taking the necessary tests for a driving licence can be expensive, but since driving is considered a rite of passage among many, young learner drivers and their parents do their best to pay the necessary fees. The average expense for lessons and tests total around £1,300 if a learner passes the tests at first try.
This amount is broken down into lessons that cost between £20 and £25 an hour, with 46 hours of training and an additional of 22 hours of private practice. For some, this amount of experience is enough, while others would need a little more time behind the wheel to successfully pass their driving tests.
In 2013, transport research group TRL made a number of recommendations in line with its investigation into decreasing car accidents that involve teenagers learning to drive. Under the recommendations is a compulsory requirement for at least 120 hours of lessons. The mandatory prerequisite could cost up to £3,360 on lessons alone.
Add the cost of a provisional driving licence (£50) and the charges for the theory test (£31) and the practical driving test (£62 on weekdays and £75 on bank holidays, weekday evenings, and weekends), plus additional costs if the learner would have to retake any of the tests. Needless to say, the total cost doesn’t bode well for young drivers and their parents who would probably be the ones to foot the bill.
The TRL report and some of the recommendations outlined therein received criticism from AA president Edmund King, who stated that the report recommended taking inexperienced drivers off the road by restriction and regulation rather than helping them develop the right skills and attitudes when driving.
If learner drivers manage to pass their tests and get their licence, there are still other expenses to consider, such as registration fees, insurance, car maintenance, and fuel costs. While the recommendations given in the TRL report have not been mandated, the overall cost of driving could prevent drivers from taking to the road. Of course, running costs will vary depending on the car’s age and fuel economy as well as the motorist’s driving style, but there is no drastic difference between various drivers.
Will it change anytime soon? Probably not, unless the cost of insurance or petrol price suddenly drops. The cost of insurance varies from person to person, while the petrol price is set at around £107 on average per litre.
Since it does not seem that the cost of driving is set to change anytime soon, learner drivers would do well to make some smart moves. One of these is to make block bookings for driving lessons that cost less than when paying for each lesson. Another is taking mock tests online to help you in passing your theory test the first time. Reading and studying educational DVDs and CDs can also prepare learner drivers for tests. And of course, nothing beats practising privately with an experienced friend or family member to make you more skilled and confident behind the wheel so you’ll be able to pass your driving test with flying colours.