Our roads may be jammed, the private car may be a dinosaur doomed to extinction, but let’s face it, right now, if you can’t drive you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage: in employment terms, in social terms. Passing your test takes, on average, around 45 hours of lessons and that’s going to cost you around £1,000. And then there’s the cost of buying a car and the cost of insurance, which for a young person is probably going to be a lot more than the value of your car. Pretty daunting and if you’re a student it’s going to be even more of a struggle. So here are some tips to help you save money in a situation where every penny really does count.
Buy your driving lessons in bulk
Do your research! Find an instructor in whom you have confidence and then bulk buy your lessons in advance. Yes, it’s a big initial layout but it will certainly save you money; probably in the region of 20% – 25%. You should consider whether a two-hour session is a more efficient way of learning than a one-hour session. You might even want to investigate an intensive course, designed to help you pass your test in a week or two.
It makes sense to start learning to drive with a secure theoretical understanding of the rules of the road. Just because you’re studying for a degree, don’t think you’ll pass the theory test with a quick flick through the highway code the night before. The theory test needs thorough preparation, you can practise online, so don’t waste money by having to retake it.
You don’t need to buy a Highway Code
The Highway Code, together with a whole bunch of other useful material, is available, free of charge, online. If you do crave a paper copy you can buy a DVD and Highway Code pack for about a tenner. If you register for your provisional license online, rather than by post, you’ll save another £9.
Pass first time
I know, this is easier said than done but you can do your best to optimise your chances. Don’t book a test until both you and your instructor are confident that you can pass. The cheapest time to book your test is on weekdays before 4.30pm.
Get the best insurance deal that you can
If you can practice your driving, in addition to the lessons that you’re taking, this will build your confidence and increase your chances of passing first time. Perhaps you have your own car already or perhaps you’ll be using the car of a friend or family member. Either way you are going to need insurance and the amount you can save by shopping around is considerable. If you share your car with an experienced driver it will decrease your premiums. But don’t be tempted to claim that someone else is the main driver if they are not, it’s a criminal offence, will invalidate your insurance and land you in a whole lot of trouble.
All content courtesy of David Johnson.
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