Saving for Your Driving Lessons
From spending money on socialising to finding the cash for Christmas gifts, there never seems to be a right time to learn to drive. While there’s help available for people who are looking for car finance for their first car and plenty of advice on insurance options, when it comes to actually learning to drive, it can be difficult to factor the cost of lessons into your budget.
For those who really want to learn to drive but are struggling to save up the money, we’re breaking down a series of simple, actionable tips to help you put aside any spare cash and get on the road sooner.
PrioritiseIf you’re serious about wanting to learn to drive, you need to get your priorities in order. Socialising five nights a week can be fun, but will leave you with very little money left over. First of all, try cutting back on the things you do for fun. If you regularly visit the cinema, eat at restaurants or go out partying, try limiting the amount of money you spend on social activities and you’ll soon see your savings mount up. If you’re a student and also have a part-time job, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to afford driving lessons. Try working your driving lessons into your quarterly student loan budget. This way, you won’t need to wait around until payday, and you can work out how many lessons you can realistically afford to pay for in advance. Then you can use your wage from your job to contribute towards rent and living costs.
Top tip: explore these money-saving apps
Be realisticSo many learner drivers set out with the intention of passing their driving test in an unrealistic amount of time, but this only leads to disappointment and a lack of budget. After your first few lessons, ask your driving instructor how long they think it will take you to pass. If you’re keen to pass quickly and your budget allows it, up your lessons to two a week or extend each one-hour lesson. Be careful not to try and pack too many lessons into one week. Learning to drive is all about feeling comfortable and confident on the roads, so don’t risk losing concentration by booking too many lengthy lessons within a short space of time.
Shop aroundYour friends and family will all tell you that the instructor who taught them to drive is the one you should learn with, but it pays to shop around. Enquire about any discounts driving instructors offer and find out if you’ll get money off by purchasing lessons in bulk. You’ll often find that instructors are willing to give new customers introductory prices, so don’t be afraid to ask if they offer any deals. By ensuring you’re comfortable with the instructor you choose, you can save yourself money in the long run - as you won’t need to suspend your lessons while you hunt around for a new instructor, and then start up again with someone else.
Top tip: look for locally listed driving instructors
Know when you’re readyDon’t be fooled into thinking that booking your theory and driving tests as soon as possible is the best way to save money. If you’re not ready, the likelihood is that you’ll end up failing - resulting in you having to book another round of expensive tests, and pay for the lessons to get you up to scratch in the meantime. If you don’t feel confident in taking your driving test, tell your instructor. By being honest about the areas in which you’re struggling, and your instructor will be able to use your lesson time wisely - helping you work on manoeuvres you find difficult or routes you consider challenging.
With this advice in mind, you’ll soon be able to turn your dreams of driving into a reality.