How Many Hours Driving Lessons to Pass the Practical Test?

This question is very important especially if you are one of those who is taking cheap driving lessons.

How many hours of professional instructor tuition will I need before I'm ready for the UK driving test and pass? This is the second most common question I get asked as a DVSA qualified driving instructor operating in London.

It is not possible for an instructor to answer this question, how many driving lessons for test varies, as every individual is different when it comes to learning to drive. Here are a few facts that you should bear in mind when thinking about how many hours or driving lessons you need to pass your driving test.

1. The Driving Standards Agency (DVSA) which conducts the UK driving test recommends an average of 45 hours with about 22 hours of private practice.

2. Your driving age is a determining factor, the younger you are, the quicker you learn, the fewer driving lessons you'll need, on the other hand an elderly learner will need more lessons to be prepared for the test.

3. Previous experience also needs to be taken into account, a learner who rides a motorbike will have more road knowledge than someone the same age who has no previous experience on the road and is thus more likely to be ready for the driving test earlier, and thus requires fewer driving lessons for test.



4. You need to be consistent with your learning. Many people have a few driving lessons, take a 6-month break, find another instructor have some more lessons, expecting to just continue from where they left off. This will not work, learning to drive is about building a habit, and you need to be consistent with your lessons which is why I always advise those wanting to learn to drive to save up or budget the money for their lessons so that they can be consistent and not have to re-learn old skills that have been forgotten due to long breaks in between driving lessons.

5. Use the time in between driving lessons productively. If you haven't passed your theory test continually study your books and the Highway Code. If you have passed the theory test, make sure you still read the highway code at least. You can never have too much knowledge, and it is important that you don't forget all you learnt for the theory test as any gaps in your knowledge will reflect on your driving.

So back to the original question how many driving lessons will I need to pass my driving test?



Here is a formula to give you a ROUGH idea of how many lessons with an approved driving instructor you MIGHT need before you are ready for the driving test.

Hours = Your Age X 1.5

Please note that the above-mentioned information applies to learner drivers in the UK. If you are in the US, then you need to check with your local Driver Education instructor or a DMV office for advice if a provisional license holder, as requirements differ from state to state, and what holds in Califonia may be inadequate in Michigan.

More Reading for Learner Drivers
How many driving lessons before I start maneuvers?
Using the Driver's Record to know when you are test ready.
Advice on Choosing a driving instructor.
Pass Plus scheme for new drivers.
Provisional driving licence dont drive alone!

So how many driving lessons for your driving test? Take as many as would give you enough experience to keep you safe after you get the licence!




Free Driving Lesson Sept 16th 2009.

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More Articles
How many lessons before starting manuevers?
Driving Lessons in Borehamwood.

42 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:16 am

    Your age x 1.5 as a rough guide? I m a driving instructor and this is more like your age x 3. Most people will take approx 50 hours without any private practice. 17years old x 3 = 51 hours needed. There are only about 10% of my pupils that need 25 hours to be ready for a test from scratch.

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  2. Anonymous4:11 pm

    I would agree with the above. Not all puils have access to a car for private practice which means slower learning

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  3. Anonymous1:25 am

    I passed when I was 18 (now 19) with 28 hours. Maybe it's the gaming generation that do best? :P

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  4. Anonymous9:25 pm

    Definately the gaming generation, or people who play driving/racing simulations with a wheel. You can set a standard for all people, everyone learns at different rates, different people learn in different ways, and of course getting a good instructor is instrumental in passing, age x 1.5 sounds about right, x3? way off, maybe with you as an instructor?

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  5. x3 isn't as "way off" as the person who made the last post seems to believe. It's a lot nearer to the mark than 1.5. There seems to be a perception, especially amongst younger learners that most people will take about 20 lessons at most before they pass the test, no doubt influenced by classroom boasting etc. I am constantly amazed at the number of times I have heard claims of having had between 10 and 15 lessons before passing. The figures, I'm afraid don't lie. The average is, as previously stated about 45 hours with an instructor and about 22 private practice, nearly 70 hours in total. As for the "gaming generation" whatever that is, don't quote me on this but I'm pretty sure I read some research last year that stated playing console and PC games (driving or otherwise) had a noticeable detrimental effect on driving ability in the "real world". It is slightly worrying that some, more immature members of society actually believe that playing racing games can improve their driving on a real road!!

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  6. Anonymous5:56 pm

    I don't think an amount of lessons can be set by the age of the learner driver. Everybody is different and everybody's way of learning is different, regardless of their age.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous4:49 pm

    1.5 times and 3 times are both crazy answers to give! You cant possibly judge how many lessons a person needs to take based on their age or a 1 year old would be driving pretty damn quickly and a 50 year old in 3 years at 1 lesson a week.The old times your age method is a bit outdated isnt it people.An as a person who knows MANY people who have passed their tests...none of them have had such an absurd amount of lessons....maybe time to retrain as an instructor...oops you did know you need qualifications right?

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  8. Anonymous10:16 pm

    Just as a curiosity, I realise that most people are different but roughly on average how many lessons would someone do before they begin practising their manouvers. My daughter has now reached lesson 31 without practising any. Personally I think that seems a lot, but then I'm not a driving instructor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My instructor started me on manoeuvres on my second lesson and then carried on during my third . 31 lessons sounds an insane amount

      Delete
  9. 31 driving lessons is a lot, and should have started manouvers by now. Why not go on a lesson with your daughter, this should give you an idea of how both she and the insructor interact, and how much progress she has made.

    Do you have proof she has had so many lessons (driver's record or similar), if so and she seems to be doing okay with the skills she has been taught, then maybe she has been held back.

    Is the instructor fully qualified?

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  10. Danny9:01 pm

    I would normally start manoeuvres with the Controlled Stop - which should be around lesson 6/7 subject to the pupil responding well to previous lessons.

    I have heard similar stories to this and am amazed that people are getting away with this.
    Is the instructor definitely a qualified ADI?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous8:56 pm

      The controlled stop is not a manoeuvre

      Delete
  11. MeAcHiE10:40 pm

    On my 1st lesson I was doin a circuit around this street I live nearby. got into gear 3 hitting about 25mph and on my 2nd lesson I was doing reverse manouvers and 3 point turns... I have now had about 16 hours worth of lesson and feel I am an okay driver, just need to practise and build confidence on the faster roads... I'd say another 16 hours worth to be safe so that should be around the 32 mark... :) Hope this helps

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  12. MeAcHiE10:50 pm

    Oh and this was with no previous driving experience, well half hour with my father about 2 years ago....

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous12:00 am

    I've had 10 lessons, 2 more till test. Had quite a lot of time in my car with parents. My instructor is awesome!
    Hopefully it will be a pass!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous10:34 pm

    Ok so all of this formula stuff, say i am 26 and have just finished a graduate degree at university and until now have had no reason to know how to drive, are you telling me that because i am in my twenties i need more hours than a 17 year old kid? i dont think so somehow. If i am wrong please enlighten me, there seems to be a few drviving instructors commenting here so i am sure one of you could tell me.

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  15. Anonymous10:40 pm

    i just passed my test first time 6 minors

    im 17 and i have had 47.5 hours and no practise other than the hours with my instructor

    which i was told is about average with no car to learn in with parents and so on

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous5:26 pm

    I dont think games have anything to do with it to be honest, the gamer generation comment is rubbish.

    I am 31 and have been playing games since I was about 7 and have had just about console imaginable, and work in software development.

    It is down to the individual, some people learn more slowly than others, some suffer from nerves.

    My instructor always said age x 2, which is in the middle of the 2 on this blog, surely its completely subjective though.

    Also 31 lessons and no manoeuvre techniques practiced? I did emergency stop on my second 2 hour lesson and also started learning turn in the road then.

    Its hard to believe a lot of what you read online, I have heard people saying they passed after 12 hours etc which always annoyed me.

    I had 59 hours of lessons and was also driving my girlfriends car with her sitting me up, I only just passed at age 31.

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  17. Anonymous11:17 pm

    i know that age x1.5 is a load of rubbish.in general the younger a learner is the easier to teach but not always. i hav young kids that hav passed with 25 hrs but im pretty sure they wer driving b4. you can normally tell on there 1st lesson.and i dont think there is any point in teaching manouveres in early lessons unless they can drive and hav good control of the car. i personally teach my learners how to drive and control the car properly then i teach manouveres. i dont belive in teaching bits here and bits ther. and guess wat i hav a 73% pass rate. and anybody that sais they hav higher are either lying or hold there learners back from tests or simply take out the badge from the car on tests.

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  18. Anonymous11:22 pm

    oh and by the way people that say that they passed with 12 hrs are fibers. and also most people that say that they passed 1st time are also fibbers it just makes them look good. remember national pass rate is 43%. in london its more like 35%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've have passed after 2 hr training. But to be honest i've drive for 10 years without D/L

      Delete
    2. I've passed after 2hr driving. But honestly i had 10 years expireance driving without D/L
      Personal thinking for pupil to reach pass rate above 90% needs at least 40hr practical driving 'course can take chances and try after 20

      Delete
  19. Anonymous11:32 pm

    normally on average the older you are the more hours you need. i think probably as you get older you are more responsible and careful. but a lot of driving is not just about driving skills but common sense. and you need confidence and good concentration. some people just dont have those.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous9:26 pm

    People are not necessarily fibbers, I passed my test after 12 lessons and first time. Although that was some years ago. My worry is the driving instructors who treat pupils as cash cows and tell them they are not ready for their test just to sell more lessons. I have warned my son to look out for these kinds of instructors. Yes you know who you are.

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  21. Anonymous6:33 pm

    The average amount of lessons is on the increase due to 1) Harder driving test. 2)Lack of private practice due to reluctant parents and high insurance costs. 3) Schooling of new generation where they are all told they are clever, and if they aren't clever then they must have a learining difficulty of some kind.
    Between 35 and 50 hrs with instructor is the norm. The best of the best may do sub 25hrs.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous1:32 pm

    I'm a female DSA/ADI, fully qualified for the last six years, grade 5. Lets be honest about all this how many lessons stuff. Does it really matter who had what and how many? I tell all my pupils the same thing, don't be in a hurry to pass, it's being safe thats the important thing. How on earth can you learn to drive and have good understanding of road signs, road markings and awareness and planning skills. These Driving isntructors that teach in around 20 hours, can you honestly say that that person passed with good defensive driving skills. I think not, and I would rather them have 120 hours if it means that I won't see them on the local obituries page. It really gets my back up when I hear about Driving instructors getting them through asap. Time is whats needed, understanding and experience, but there are a lot of instructors that would rather spend time telling learners rubish like, you can't cross your hands and you must apply the parking brake every time the vehicle stops for more than 3 seconds. Cods Whallop! Crossing hands is NOT a fail and neither is not putting on the parking brake every 2 seconds. I was told first hand by the SE on my part 3, Hand brake, hand brake hand brake, that's all we ever get from learners, And why???? because the instructor can't be bothered to teach proper cluch control. And as for the hands thing, those poor learners get into all sorts of scrapes while trying to pull push their way around a mini roundabout, whats wrong with just crossing the hancds over? Her words but I totally agree. And the other thing, Learners, please dont worry about failing your test, that examiner has just done you a favour, by not giving you the certificate, they may have just saved your life.

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    Replies
    1. Couldn't agree more. Excellent post!

      Delete
  23. Anonymous1:46 pm

    Lady ADI again, Learner drivers, let me give you some advice from a real driving instructor that actually cares. Firstly, cheap lessons, don't bother, you will also get cheap instruction 9 times out of 10, and secondly, quick pass courses, put ur £800 back in the bank and learn properly. Any decent ADI knows that you couldn't possibly learn to drive in a week, the brain can't physically take in that amount of information in, in such a short space of time. And thirdly, guarenteed pass, P-HA, so if I say I can guarentee that you will also win the lottery this week, would you believe that soo. Sorry ADI's that don't like my comments, but im sick of taking poor unsuspecting young people that get a mear £30 a week, and give it to some so call driving instructor only to find that when they have lessons with me, they don't actually know anything other than a test route. Best thing they did bringing in independent driving and taking the test routes out of public view. Because if you can drive, it doesn't matter where you are does it? Bad Practice, shouldn't be in the job if you see it as only a job, these are lives in our hands, not marbles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People can't afford for the lessons to go on and on at £50 for two hours it's very very expensive and runs into thousands of pounds

      Delete
  24. Anonymous8:52 pm

    i dont care if i take 40 or 70 or even a 100 i would trust my driving instructor to make that call when im ready to take my test rather than knock my confidence being too cocky and doing sooner. Also i will just be grateful i passed and didnt hit something! lol

    PS very old slow learner of 47..but hey better late than never and no private lessons available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too am a slow learner at 49...feel like giving up sometimes...had about 50 up to yet..but I'm not that confident and reading the roads is not sinking in that quick..trying to think positive but is very hard when people are passing their tests and I'm being left behind......ah well onwards and upwards

      Delete
  25. hi all as an adi i have a very sad story lovly young girl comes to me for driving lessons 17 years old , all she can say is am i ready for test yet ?? no no no week after week , ok so i give in after 27 hours , off she goes wow passed .
    2 weeks later comes up to a bend to fast with moter bike coming other way bang now shes dead , ok she passed her test but did she learn to drive ?
    plaese do not ask how many lesson to pass test you should learn to drive first .
    sorry but this is a true story
    john dsa adi

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous10:09 pm

    what do you people think im 48 woman , took my test 3 times in a manual and failed . 20 years later started learning in a automatic took to it really keen to do it asap to get to work asked my instructor if the rough guide was true one lesson for every year of your age. she sain no its two now really left me feeling disheartned . what you guys think

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  27. Anonymous3:58 pm

    i'm 28, had about 30hrs and my partner seems to think i should be almost ready for test! don't feel like my instructor is holding me back, in fact quite the opposite. female instructor, always going on about being a safe driver and i completely agree. i can do everything but now i'm just perfecting my skills, today i had a lesson and saw so many sloppy drivers it actually scares me! Don't be in a rush to pass just concentrate on being safe! any GOOD instructor should be tellin you this. My instuctor tells me i'm doing better than most for the amount of hours i've done, well it doesn't feel that way! and if it takes another 30 then thats ok because i know i will be SAFE!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous11:20 am

    Im 54 and this is my first attempt at driving lessons with no private practice. It would make a great difference if i could pass, as my mother is 93 and i am recuperating from cancer. It would make a world of Difference if we could just get in the car and go where we wanted. Imagine !!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can pass the driving test, you will have to work for the licence though, as i mentioned in anyone can learn to drive, you need the right instructor and be prepared to overcome any hurdles. Good luck and dont forget my videos can help along the way.

      Delete
  29. I'm 50, just had my 5th lesson this evening, and am really enjoying it. I'd rather take my time than rush it. I am looking forward to the day that I can go to the supermarket and not have to carry lots of heavy bags to the bus stop in the rain. Joy! It's the small pleasures in life �� Also, I live near the Peak District and will be able to go walking at weekends in remote places. And visit family without dragging suitcases into trains. It's so worth waiting for, I'm prepared to be patient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish you all the best with your learning, and hope you succeed when the time comes for your test. I have helped a few 50+ people pass, and the joy is priceless.

      Delete
  30. I am 34 and have bee learning 100 hour (2000 pounds) and almost a year. Instructor started to teach me manoeuvres after 34 hours. When reaching 55 hours workmate set I should be ready for the test soon. However instructor did't say anything. So I kept him and book another big driving school but the instructor even worse. Today I asked for a mock test and I was told failed. I went home and cry. Please tell me I am not thick, please tell me I am not useless....@@

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  31. 100 hrs is a lot, maybe you should try a local independent instructor recommended by someone you know? Unless I see you drive, it is not possible for me to assess your ability. From my experience, I have not seen a useless learner yet!!

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  32. I have been an ADI for 16 years and the method of calculating amount of lessons by age is nonsense! It is purely down to ability of each individual student. The avarage is however nearer the 40 to 50 hours mark if the student cannot do any private practice in between lessons. Yes occasionally some can do it in less but it is not the norm, and people shouldn't assume that they will only need 20 hours because thier friend is bragging that that is all it took them!

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  33. Hi there I am 27 and I have done 24 lessons 54 hour's of learning to drive and still doing more lessons I have been given between 3 star's to 4 star's and I have a great instructor we get on great and I have asked him if am ready and he said no yet but I respect him and so when am ready he will let me know

    ReplyDelete

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