How Long Does It Take to Learn to Drive?

According to the DVSA, the average UK learner driver needs around 45 hours of lessons and 22 hours of practicing before they’re ready to pass their test.

And that’s just the practical test! You’ll probably also spend many additional hours preparing for your theory test.

So yes, it takes a while to learn how to drive. And this should come as no surprise – there’s a lot to learn in terms of how to operate a car, how to read and navigate the roads, and how to get along with other road users. And beyond all this, it will also take you a while to build up your confidence behind the wheel.

How Many Months Does It Take to Learn to Drive?

It’ll usually take you between six months and a year to get ready for your test. Most driving lessons last an hour, though some instructors offer 90-minute lessons. If it takes the average learner driver 45 hours to learn to drive, then with just one or two lessons a week, it should take between 5 and 10 months.

Around two thirds of learner drivers pass their test within a year of getting their provisional licence. Figures also show that it takes younger drivers slightly longer than older drivers to pass.

How Long Does It Take to Study For the Theory Test?

If you commit some time to studying each week, with as many mock tests as possible, then you should be ready for your theory test within a month or two.

You don’t have to pass your theory test before you start lessons. Though many driving instructors recommend that you take your theory test as soon as possible, as it can help you become familiar with signs and road markings essential to driving.

If you don’t take your theory test first, your practical lessons can also help you prepare for the theory, as you’ll experience many scenarios that could come up as test questions.

Head here to read our guide to studying for your theory test.

How Much Does It Cost to Learn to Drive?

All in, we estimate that learning to drive will likely cost around £1,500.

Most driving instructors charge up to £35 an hour for their lessons often offering a discount if you book a block of lessons. And as we’ve seen, you’ll need around 45 hours of lessons so block booking could save you a bit of money.

You’ll also have to pay for your provisional licence, your theory test, and your practical test.

And you’ll have to sort out your learner driver car insurance for any practicing you do outside of lessons.

For more, you can read our complete breakdown of the various costs associated with learning to drive.

What About Intensive Driving Lessons?

Most learner drivers spread their lessons over the course of many months. This helps spread the cost, but it also means you’ll learn at a comfortable pace, so you can gradually build up your confidence and competence.

However, if you want to speed things up, you could always take an intensive driving course. This condenses many hours of lessons into a short period of time, so you can learn to drive in a matter of weeks, or even days.

Head here to read our complete guide to intensive driving courses. We explore how they work, how much they cost, and weigh up the pros and cons to help you decide if this route’s right for you.

Getting Extra Practice as a Learner Driver

So DVLA figures suggest that most learner drivers need 45 hours of lessons and 22 hours of practicing to prepare for the practical test.

Those additional 22 hours of practice are key. It means driving outside of your structured lessons. You’ll still have someone to supervise you and help you, but it won’t be your driving instructor. This can feel a little scary at first, particularly as you won’t be in a dual control car, but nothing’s more effective at building up your confidence on the road than practicing.

To practice outside of lessons, you need:

  • A car to drive in.
  • Learner driver car insurance.
  • L-plates for the front and rear of your car.
  • Someone to supervise you.

Take a look at our complete guide to who can supervise learner drivers.

Learning to Drive? We’ve Got You Covered

One vital thing you have to think about is car insurance. It’s illegal to drive without it, even for learners.

Your driving instructor should take care of the insurance during your structured driving lessons if you are learning in your instructor’s car. But you’ll have to sort out your own cover for any driving you do outside of your lessons.

Head here to read our complete guide to learner driver insurance rules.

At Go Girl, we specialise in providing learner drivers with comprehensive insurance for less.

Head here to learn more about our learner driver insurance, and get covered online in minutes.


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