6 Tips for learning to drive in London on a budget - Broke in London

6 Tips for learning to drive in London on a budget

Guest post by Rebecca Lee

What with the rising cost of rent and mortgages, petrol, utilities, and groceries, you don’t need us to tell you that London is a very expensive place to live. So, it should not come as a surprise to discover that learning to drive can be an expensive endeavor too. However, for those on a budget, there are some ways you can reduce the overall costs involved in passing your test. Here are 6 strategies you can employ to keep your outlay to a minimum:

1. Secure your provisional license online

If you want to learn to drive, you will need to secure a provisional license. Basically, there are two ways you can do this – either online or via post – with the costs varying between the two. At the time of writing, applying online will cost you £34, while it will set you back £43 if you do it by post. The good thing about applying online is that you typically get your provisional sent to you within a week, thus saving you time and money. By contrast, you can expect to receive applications made through the mail in about three weeks.

2. Booking driving Lessons in Bulk

After receiving your provisional, you’ll need to set up lessons for yourself. One of the most cost-effective ways of doing this is to compare and book driving lessons with EZLicence UK. They offer an easy-to-use and flexible booking system that enables you to compare the ratings, costs, and reviews of a wide selection of driving instructors in your area. When you find one you like, you can book online with immediate confirmation and, most crucially, schedule a block of lessons that offer economies of scale. Thus, enabling you to order 10 lessons, for example, at a much cheaper price than you would pay if you bought them individually.

3. Ask for driving lessons as presents

A clever way to fund your driving lessons is to ask your family and friends to get you them for your birthday or Christmas. Many driving schools and private instructors offer a voucher system which you can redeem for lessons. This could be a very good tactic to score a good number of slots with your instructor without having to fund them yourself.

4. Practice!

One of the best ways to save money on paying for driving lessons is to practice as much as you can with family and friends. Not only should this increase your confidence on the road, but it should also help you to gain experience in various conditions, such as at night, in the rain, and during rush-hour traffic. You will need to be very careful who you choose to practice with. So, try to only pick someone with good communication skills, who does not panic and has a lot of patience! It is also a good idea to only practice with someone who is not your driving instructor, once you have had at least five lessons. Additionally, you should make sure whoever’s car you are driving is ensured for you to be at the wheel.

5. Ace the theory test

Driving tests are passed in two stages, the initial one of which is a theory test. As this currently costs £23 per test, to save money, you should do all you can to pass it at the first time of asking Thankfully, there are plenty of free online resources you can use to help you do just that. Just make sure you devote plenty of time to learning and understanding what might be covered in the test.

6. Practical driving test

Once you have passed the theory test, the second stage to complete is the practical driving test. Just like with the former, you should try and give yourself every chance of passing first time around, to avoid having to pay the charge again. Currently, this fee is £62 for a test during normal weekday hours and £75 for tests at night, at weekends, or during public holidays. Therefore, it is worth waiting until your driving instructor thinks you have an excellent chance of passing, as you will end up having to pay for a few more lessons and, of course, another test.