Learning to drive can be a real achievement for young people who are yearning for their independence, but it tends to be an expensive business. Passing both theory and practical tests takes a lot of hard work and, inevitably, hard cash.
However, with some savvy saving and a little assistance from friends and family, it’s possible to take the sting out of driving lessons. Encourage your grandchildren to get started on the road without racking up debt by lending a helping hand and passing on some top tips for cutting costs.
Getting teenagers behind the wheel
Currently, teenagers are able to apply for a provisional driving licence up to three months before they turn 17. If your grandchild is keen to get on the road even earlier, they can apply for a licence to drive a moped a year earlier. For a guide to see whether your grandchild is old enough to drive the kind of vehicle they want to, take a look at this useful driving questionnaire from Gov.uk. It’s also very easy to apply for the provisional licence online and it only costs £50 to take this important step towards learning how to drive.
Once your grandchild has a provisional licence, you can start taking them out on the road yourself. You will need to buy L plates to display on the front and back of your car but you will have the chance to offer as much instruction as you can in addition to driving lessons. If you want to brush up on your own skills before you put in lots of hours with your learner driver, there’s a course from The AA that’s designed to help you complement formal lessons. Taking your teen out and helping them understand the basics will make it much easier for them to lower the number of driving lessons they need to pay for before passing their tests.
Cutting the costs of learning essentials
There are lots of other ways your grandchildren can reduce the cost of learning to drive, such as making sure to book lessons in big blocks rather than one at a time or choosing to learn with a trainee instructor who will charge less for there time. Get many more money saving tips from comparison site Confused.com and its top ways to cut costs. You’ll find some more useful advice from Just Driving and Eco Approved also has a list of 5 ways to save money on driving lessons.
You can also help teenagers prepare for the all important written exam by downloading an app that will test their knowledge in a fun and informative way. The official DSA Theory Test apps cost less than five pounds each and can help new drivers pass their tests the first time – therefore saving them a lot of money. Insurance is another fee that can be significant for teenagers drivers and Mumsnet has some good advice for keeping costs in check when it comes to covering the car as well as a few hints for learning to drive for less.