How many driving lessons should you have before you take your test?

Learning to drive

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Did your best mate pass after 30 lessons but you’re on your 40th and don’t feel ready to take your test? Don’t worry, when it comes to learning to drive, like most things in life, everyone’s different.

The most important thing is to take the time you need so that you feel confident and that you have the right skills to be safe behind the wheel of a car. This inevitably means that the more lessons you have the better prepared for the road you’ll be.

On average you can expect to take around 45 hours of professional driving lessons to pass your test - plus as much practise as you can get outside of your lessons.

If you’re lucky enough to have a wiling friend or relative over 21 who has had their licence for at least 3 years and has a suitable car, get in some practise sessions – The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) actually recommends you take up to 22 hours of private practise in addition to your professional lessons.

What else might affect you learning to drive?

There are other factors that you may want to consider:

  • Some people simply take to driving more easily than others, but the great news is that young people tend to learn quicker. Believe it or not, the DSA says a pupil needs an extra 2 hours driving tuition for every year they get older and pass rates have been shown to reduce dramatically with each decade of life:
  • pass-rate-chart
  • It also helps if you take your lessons regularly so if you’ve already booked your summer holiday think about starting when you get back.

Our partners at RED Driving School offer a variety of courses and packages of lessons. You can find out more here.

And what about the theory test?

While you technically don’t need to have any driving lessons before you take the theory and hazard perception tests, you’ll probably find these easier if you’ve already spent some time behind the wheel of a car.

Find out more information on the theory and hazard perception test.


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Jess passed her test first time at 17 and took to the busy London streets in a battered but beloved 1988 white Fiat Uno. She writes for ingenie's Young Driver's Guide and blog. You can follow Jess on .