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Swansea named the cheapest area in the UK for driving lessons, according to study

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A new study has named Swansea the cheapest UK city for learning to drive – with driving lessons costing an average of £23.50 per hour! 

Motoring experts at Bill Plant Driving School have looked at the cost of driving lessons around the UK to reveal the cheapest cities to learn to drive. They have also looked at additional learner driver costs, such as practical test and theory test costs, and provisional license expenses, whilst also providing advice on how to cut costs as a learner driver. 

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A spokesperson for Bill Plant Driving School said: “Learning to drive can be a daunting and expensive challenge. However, it’s a valuable life skill everyone should at least try at some point in their lives.

“Just like going to university, driving lessons are an investment in yourself and your future, and passing your driving test can make your transportation a whole lot easier, meaning you’ll never have to complain about public transport again.

“Yes, they can be expensive, but knowing the costs and preparing for them can make the process a lot easier on you and your wallet. 

“Here at Bill Plant Driving School, we’ve decided to break down the costs of learning to drive. We’ve looked at the average amount driving instructors charge for lessons in different areas of the UK, some of the forgotten costs, as well as tips on how to save money when preparing to start your lessons.

“The best way you can save money on the overall cost of learning to drive is through cost-effective lessons. That’s why we’ve decided to reveal the places in the UK that are spending the least amount of money on driving lessons. “

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1 – Swansea – £23.50 per driving lesson

The residents of Swansea are paying the least for driving lessons, at just £23.50 per 1-hour lesson. It’s estimated that you need 44 hours of driving lessons in order to pass your driving test. Therefore you could pay a little over £1,000 in Swansea for driving lessons. Based on the 44-hour estimate, the Welsh city is almost £200 cheaper in total than any other city. 

2 – Bristol – £28 per driving lesson

Bristol takes second place in our list of the cheapest places in the UK to learn to drive, with £28 being the average cost for a 1-hour lesson. Based on the 44-hour estimate of time needed to pass your test, the total cost for driving lessons in Bristol could come up to £1,232. 

3 – Aberdeen – £29 per driving lesson

Bradford completes our top three with £29 being the average cost for a 1-hour lesson, just £1 more than Bristol in second place. The average cost for a 1-hour lesson across the 20 cities in our list is £32.44, which means that driving lessons in Bradford are almost £3.50 cheaper than the average.

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On average, learning to drive will cost you £32.05 per lesson in the UK. So we wanted to find out the cities that were driving that average cost up. 

1 – Brighton and Hove – £40 per driving lesson

Brighton and Hove is the most expensive place to learn to drive, at £40 per lesson on average. Therefore, learning to drive in Brighton could cost you almost £1,760 based on the average number of lessons it takes to learn to drive. 

2 – London – £38.25 per driving lesson

London is the second most expensive city to learn to drive, costing £38.25 per driving lesson on average. If it takes 44 hours of driving lessons to pass, then it will cost you just under £1,683 to pass your test in the capital. 

3 – Nottingham – £35.50 per driving lesson

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Nottingham is the third most expensive city to learn to drive with an average cost of £35.50 per lesson. Based on the 44-hour estimate of the time it takes to pass, it could cost you around £1,562 to bin those L plates in Nottingham.

Obviously, it’s the driving lessons which take up the majority of the cost when learning to drive. However, some expenses go under the radar when trying to estimate the amount it costs to learn. That’s why we’ve revealed those costs so that you don’t forget about them again.

1 – Test Car – £90 – £120 depending on hours required

Unless you have your own car which is suitable for test conditions, you will have to pay to use your instructor’s car. This means you’ll have to pay for a 1-hour lesson whilst you take your test, as well as time to drive to the test centre and back home. This could take up to three hours, costing you anywhere between £90 and £120, however, this will vary depending on your location. 

2 – Practical Test – £62 on a weekday or £75 on a weekend

The most expensive of these forgotten costs is the practical test. Daunting, we know! However, the relief after passing will make it all worth it. After all the hours, and all the money spent, your practical test is your time to shine, and to prove that you are ready to drive. Booking your practical test for a weekday is the cheaper option, at just £62. However if you can only do it on an evening, weekend, or bank holiday, then this will cost you £75 and will be paid to the DVSA and not the driving school. Hopefully, you’ll only have to book it once! 

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3 – Provisional Licence – £34 online or £43 by post

The provisional licence is the first and arguably most crucial part of learning to drive. Without it, you will not be able to learn to drive, whether that be with your instructor or a family member. Ordering your provisional licence is generally a smart thing to invest in any way as it’s a good form of ID. It’s more convenient than your passport, and it will be cheaper to replace if you lose it. When ordering your provisional licence, make sure you order it online, as applying by post will cost you £43, £9 more than if you order it online. Like the driving test, this amount goes straight to the DVSA. 

It’s also worth noting that once you pass your test, your licence will be upgraded at no extra cost!

4 – Theory Test – £23

The theory test is another crucial part of learning to drive. The theory test examines your knowledge of the highway code, as well as your ability to spot hazards on and around the road. It might sound intimidating, however, it just takes some practice. This will cost £23 to book and just like your practical test, you’ll hopefully only have to book it once.

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5 – Learner Driver Insurance

Your driving instructor or school will cover this in the price of the driving lesson, however, if you want to learn outside of your lessons and gain some additional experience or confidence, then paying for learner driver insurance could be really valuable. This will allow you to learn with your parents, or an older sibling, to get some additional practice in.

This can be expensive, particularly for a short-term policy, however, it can take people over four months to pass their test, so paying for learner insurance early will save you some money.

The amount you pay will depend on the car you intend to learn in, but five months of learner insurance could cost you a little over £250. This might sound like a lot, but you can get a huge amount of practice in that time which will help you pass your test. 

You can view the full study here: https://www.billplant.co.uk/blog/learner-locations/ 

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Top 10 cheapest UK learner driver locations

RankCityAverage Cost of 1 Hour Driving LessonCost of 44 Lessons
1Swansea£23.50£1,034
2Bristol£28.00£1,232
3Aberdeen£29.00£1,276
4Bradford£29.50£1,298
5Manchester£30.25£1,331
6Leeds£30.50£1,342
6Leicester£30.50£1,342
6Hull£30.50£1,342
9Liverpool£30.75£1,353
10Glasgow£31.00£1,364
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