How Much Does Getting Out on The Road Really Cost in the UK?

| June 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

Having your own vehicle gives you a sense of freedom and independence like no other. No more unreliable public transport or bugging friends and family for lifts- you can go where you want, when you want. However having this luxury comes at a cost, and the process from learning to drive to owning your own car is an expensive and time-consuming one. Here are the costs to budget for when you want to get out onto the road for the first time.

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Provisional Driving License

The very first thing you will need to do to get out on the road is send off for your provisional driving license. You can apply for this up to two months before your 17th birthday, although it will only become valid the day you turn 17. It costs £34 if you apply online and £43 if you apply by post, and lasts for ten years. You won’t be able to take any driving lessons until you have this.

Driving Lessons, Theory and Practical Test.

The next cost you will come up against as a new driver is driving lessons. While there is no minimum amount of lessons you need to take, the DVLA suggests most people will need around 45 hours with an instructor and 22 hours private practice with a friend or family member. Since the average price of driving lessons in the UK is £24, you need to make sure you can afford this each week until you’re ready to pass. Since everyone is different, it could take you up to double the recommended amount. So ensure you work out your finances so that you’re not running out halfway through. While you’re taking lessons, at some point before your practical, you will need to take your theory test. This costs £23, although you of course have to consider additional tests if you don’t pass. Once you feel ready and confident on the roads, you will be able to take your practical. This costs £62 on weekdays and £75 on weekends. Again be sure you have money for additional lessons and driving tests if you’re not successful. People usually pass on the second or thirds attempt, but it’s not uncommon for people to need more than this especially if they’re very nervous.

Cost of Car, Insurance, and Tax

You might have ideas about the kind of car you want to drive, but insurance for new drivers (especially if you’re a young new driver) is extortionate. Therefore you’re probably going to be limited to the cars you can drive unless you have a lot of money. Finding a car and affordable insurance is a balancing act. Usually, slightly newer/ more expensive cars are a little cheaper on insurance. If you’re getting the car on finance, your best bet would be to work out how much you can afford to pay in total for them both each month. Then run lots of quotes for different cars through comparison sites to work out which car is best for insurance. Check out how much tax you will have to pay too, as this will bump up the monthly cost for some cars.


Once you’ve passed your test and got a car sorted, fuel is the next cost to consider. If you mainly do short, local trips such as to work and back each day it shouldn’t cost too much more than £10 a week. However, it’s always worth ensuring your car has at least a quarter tank of petrol at any given time. There are companies like New Era Fuels out there who can come and re-fuel you in a pinch, although being well prepared will avoid you getting in this situation in the first place. If you’re signed up to a breakdown service, they will often come out if you run out of petrol too- but be sure to check your policy.

Repairs and MOT

Finally, you need to consider the cost of any repairs. If you’re lucky, you won’t need any work doing until it’s picked up at your annual MOT. This costs a maximum of £54.85 and then any work you need doing on top. As with any machine, things can and do break down. You need to make sure you can afford to have any parts fixed or replaced to keep your car running safely.


Category: Personal Finance

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