two men having driving lesson pointing to car near a traffic cone

How many driving lessons are needed before your test?

Driving lessons can be one of the most nerve wracking points in any driving career. Being allowed out on the road may be a path to the first stage of independence in a young person’s life, but it’s also one of the first stages where you’re properly treated like an adult and are, literally, out on your own.

Not only can getting on the road for the first time be a scary experience in general, but driving lessons can also be quite pricey, so it’s no surprise that drivers are desperate to get their test out of the way and head out on their own as soon as possible.

Driving test paperwork on a clipboard while a student drives

How many driving lessons are needed before a test?

The government’s official line is that there is no minimum number of lessons required to be able to take your driving test, and it is entirely up to you and when you feel ready to do so. However, while that’s the official line, most experts in the field will suggest that having between 35-50 hours of lessons is the ideal amount before having your test. The average is somewhere between 40-45 hours, whereas some drivers decide that just 20 hours is enough for them to feel ready to pass. The key thing to remember is that the more lessons you have, the more prepared to pass you’ll be.

Why this many driving lessons?

The phrase “practice makes perfect” may seem like a bit of a cliché, but it’s true. The more you practice behind the wheel, the more confident you’ll be and the more experienced you’ll be to the unpredictable nature of the roads. Everyone gets nervous when it’s test day, so having more experience under your belt will be helpful in getting you through your test first time without any issues.

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Can a driving test be taken early?

There is no rule for when you can take your test, and if you feel like you are ready to go solo earlier than is recommended, then only you can make that decision. What’s important to remember is that the more lessons you take, the cheaper it may end up being for you as if you fail the test you will need to pay to retake it.

What happens if I need more driving lessons before my test?

If you need more driving lessons, then there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Everyone is different behind the wheel, and some people simply don’t pick things up as fast as others. If you need more lessons, then speak to your instructor and explain where you think you’re lacking in particular and see if you can work on that over your next few lessons to build your confidence and make it through your test with ease.

Will I need more lessons if I fail my test?

You must wait at least 10 days before rebooking a retest for your driving test, and while there is no rule that states you must have at least one lesson between the two, it is highly recommended. The worst thing you can do is let it knock your confidence to the point where you don’t want to get back into a car. Your instructor wouldn’t have told you to book your test unless they were confident you would pass, so if they think you can pass, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t either. 

How much time does it take to learn to drive?

Learning to drive is a journey that everyone takes differently. For some it will come almost naturally and feel like second nature after just a handful of lessons, whereas others may take longer to build up their confidence and abilities. On average it takes approximately 45 hours of professional lessons and about 20 hours of practice away from your instructor to be road ready. Both ability and budget can influence the time it takes, with some drivers taking just three to four months, while others can take over a year.

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