Why are driving lessons so expensive?
Let me explain the pricing and how they could easily cost a lot more!
After reading this page you’ll understand why driving lessons cost what they do and that 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 like myself charging £25 an hour is earning a lot but I’m really not.
Let’s compare what a driving instructor chargers compared to other jobs:
- Calling a plumber to fix a leak will be at least £60 for 30 minutes of work.
- An odd job person will charge £50+ an hour to paint something and move a TV aerial.
- A driving test costs £62 for what is roughly a 40 minute drive.
After looking at those things you can see that £25 an hour really isn’t much at all!
We don’t even get to keep all that money anyway. Let’s looks at how much we lose.
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 me £25 for a lesson I’ve 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 my income of £25 an hour has already gone down to £18 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 affect that has on driving instructors.
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 cheap for pupils but it kills instructors who struggle to earn anything.
But I thought a driving instructor earns 40k a year?
Excuse me while I go and bang my head against a wall for a while.
I’ve written a whole page about how much does a driving instructor earn? which goes into great detail about how we’ll never earn 40k.
The whole “Earn 40k as a driving instructor!” thing is 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.
So why are driving lessons so expensive?
Looking at me as an example, I have no advertising costs, no franchise to pay (what instructors pay the schools to work there) and I make money from my YouTube videos. I work hard and spend hours a week making videos, teaching lessons and writing this site.
In simple terms, I’m in a very good position after doing this job for 20 years.
With all that going for me, how much did I earn in 2019?
Yeah, I’m living the high life. I’m flying around the world in my private jet and cruising the oceans on my private yacht because I’m a driving instructor charging £25 an hour.
I make almost nothing. It’s at the point where it’s almost not even worth doing the job because I can barely make ends meet.
And then people ask me why driving lessons cost so much and if they can have a discount?
How much should driving lessons cost?
To make a decent living driving lessons should cost £50+ an hour.
I can hear you all picking up your pitch forks and torches to go marching down the streets in protest.
Look, this page has of course been written with a lot of humour but there is a serious point to it.
Driving instructors are not rich people. We do not charge a lot per hour and we aren’t living the high life by overcharging poor students and swimming through rooms full of £50 notes in our mansions.
Driving instructors struggle to survive even charging £25 an hour. If you’re paying less than that then just think how little your instructor will be earning.
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 why do driving instructors drive you home after a test? and why are driving tests at such odd times?