Why are driving lessons so expensive?
After reading this page you’ll understand why driving lessons cost what they do and how driving instructors are not the rich people that some think we are.
Why are driving lessons so expensive?
We need to get that out of the way to begin with otherwise we’re going to be thinking about this the completely wrong way.
It may seem that someone charging £20 an hour is earning a lot but they’re really not.
Let’s compare what a driving instructor charges compared to other jobs:
- Calling a plumber to fix a leak will be at least £60 for 10 minutes of work.
- An odd-job person will charge £50+ an hour to paint something and move a TV aerial.
- A solicitor can charge you £200 for writing a letter
After looking at those things you can see that £20 an hour really isn’t much at all.
You need to look at the bigger picture
You’re not just paying for driving lessons, you’re missing the point if you look at it like that.
Learning to drive opens up your whole life by allowing you to:
- Get a better paying job
- Travel anywhere you want at any time
- Not rely on public transport
Those are just 3 things but there are many more.
I’ve had pupils that have needed a driving licence to get a job paying £50,000 a year. I’m giving that person the ability to earn £50,000 every year so even if I charged £10,000 for the course it’d still be a bargain!
What benefits will driving bring to your life?
How much driving lessons cost to give
When you ask “Why are driving lessons so expensive?” you need to think about the reasons for the prices being what they are.
When a pupil pays £20 for a lesson the instructor has already lost a good chunk of that through costs.
The figures below are what I actually spent in 2019. I have been doing this job for 20 years so I have a lot of accounts and experience to look back on.
These figures come from dividing the number of hours I worked by what I spent on each thing. I’ve only rounded up insurance because it came to 94p an hour. All the other figures are spot on.
My expenses for driving lessons in 2019 were:
- Fuel – £2 an hour
- Car – £4 an hour
- Insurance – £1 an hour
After just those 3 things you can see that an income of £20 an hour has already gone down to £13 an hour.
Now what about driving school introductory offers like 10 lessons for £100?
Driving instructors that do those are only earning £10 an hour which goes down to £3 an hour after expenses.
And those aren’t even all the expenses.
That’s one of the big problems and many people don’t realise the following point…
Many driving instructors earn less than the minimum wage
If you’ve ever thought it was clever to go from one school to another taking all the “10 lessons for £100!” offers then please think about the effect that has on driving instructors, and the effect it has on you!
Instructors working for £3 an hour have no incentive to teach properly at all. Why would they bother when they’re not earning much? They don’t, resulting in poor tuition and pupils that hop from one school to another just to get a constant supply of cheap and useless lessons.
It’s very common for driving instructors to be working for £3 an hour or even less due to those offers.
Why did those driving lesson intro offers begin? Because driving schools make money from charging each instructor a weekly fee to be supplied with work.
Their aim is to take on as many instructors as they can (qualified or not) and make tons of cash. The problem is that then they need a huge supply of pupils to feed to all the instructors. How do they get all these pupils? By doing offers like 10 lessons for £100.
It’s a lose-lose situation where you learn nothing and they earn nothing.
No wonder driving test pass rates are so low.
But I thought a driving instructor earns 40k a year?
The best ones can but most won’t.
I’ve written a whole page about how much does a driving instructor earn?
The whole “Earn 40k as a driving instructor!” thing is often just marketing from schools to sell instructor training courses. Those new instructors then need more pupils and the schools are all battling for work so they come out with more stupid offers like 20 lessons for £100.
Many instructors at driving schools struggle to make more than £10,000 a year.
How do I know? Because I was one of them and have the accounts to prove it and because I get emails every week from instructors saying they’re in that position.
I’m one of the UK’s top driving instructor trainers so I get to meet instructors from many different schools.
The self-employed get no holiday or sick pay
All driving instructors in the UK are self-employed. Even instructors at driving schools are actually just hiring a car and being supplied with work, they don’t really work for the school at all. Learn more about how driving schools work.
You get no holiday or sick pay when you’re self-employed. If you stop working you stop earning so you have to factor that in when deciding what to charge people.
Many driving instructors don’t budget for this and do themselves an injustice!
If a driving instructor gets ill and can’t work then their income stops overnight. If they want a holiday then they have to not only save for the holiday but they also have to save the amount they’ll lose by not working.
In other words, you have to budget holidays and sickness into what you charge people.
Now you know why driving lessons cost so much
I hope you’ve found this page entertaining and educational.
To find out more answers to questions like this check out the Why? section in my menu under Help>Why?
You will enjoy reading pages such as: