How many driving lessons does someone need?

Published by Paul Loader ADI 23/04/2022

A very common question asked by learner drivers of all ages is – how many driving lessons should I take before my test?

How many driving lessons are needed in order to pass a driving test

How many driving lessons to take


Not sure how many driving lessons to take? According to research by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), learners need around 44 hours of professional lessons to pass their driving test. This is just an average figure – it’s important to remember that everyone’s different. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a friend or family member’s car, then taking additional practice between lessons helps.  Also at Paul’s Automatic Driving School in Basingstoke, I specialise in offering automatic driving lessons – it normally takes fewer lessons to pass in an automatic car as they are easier to drive.

Tip – Find a reliable driving instructor

What affects the number of lessons I’ll need?

 – Age

Young drivers – according to the official stats, are likely to need fewer lessons before you pass. The DVSA says that pupils need to take an extra 2 hours of driving lessons for every year older they get. Put simply the younger you are when you learn to drive, the quicker you’re likely to pass.

 – Frequency of lessons

How many driving lessons should you take each week? Continuity of driving lessons is really important. The more often you’re behind the wheel the better. An average of two hours of lessons per week is recommended. You’re also likely to progress more quickly if you have two-hour lessons each time.

 – Private practice hours

The DVSA recommends taking private practice in addition to your professional lessons. So it’s time to rope in a mate or family member and persuade them to take you out as often as they can for extra practice. They’ll need to be over 21, have a suitable motor, and have held their licence for 3 years or more to be able to help you out.  However, if you are not able to practice between lessons it is not the end of the world, just keep going with the lessons until you and your instructor agree that you are ready for the driving test.

 – Learning style

Everyone learns differently. Some learn better visually and physically, whilst others learn more quickly with verbal instruction. Whatever your learning style, a good driving instructor will be able to tailor your lessons to suit your learning requirements.

 – Financial resources

Driving lessons don’t come cheap, my lessons average around £45 an hour, so the number of lessons you book is also likely to depend on how many you can afford. A great way to save money is to pay for a block of lessons.

Get a good reliable driving instructor


With a good, experienced instructor, you’ll progress week after week. If you don’t have confidence in your instructor your progress is likely to suffer. I am a DVSA Approved Driving Instructor with more than 18 years of experience. It pays to get the right instructor from the get go. So here are a few tips to help you choose a great instructor?


Check their experience level


All certified driving instructors have to have either a pink or green licence. It should be displayed clearly for you on their car windscreen. If not – forget about it and find a qualified instructor, never pay for lessons from anyone not displaying a badge;

  • Green – means they have passed all 3 DVSA exams and are a fully qualified instructor
  • Pink – means they’re a trainee instructor. They’ll have received part of the training, but won’t yet be fully qualified. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that they have less teaching experience than a green licence holder.

Be on the lookout for the badge, as a trainee instructor may have very little experience in teaching people to drive, even if they do offer you a discount for learning with them.  It takes years for an instructor to develop all the skills they need to best help someone learn to drive.


Make sure they give you a progress record


Your instructor should monitor your progress with an individual learning plan, keeping you fully informed of your progress, what you’ve learned so far, and what you still have to learn. At Paul’s Automatic Driving School all of my pupils have free access to my driving school mobile app to record everything connected to their lessons and progress.

Go automatic


Taking automatic driving lessons can save you stress, time and money.  It is much easier to learn to drive and pass your test in an automatic car.

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