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The true cost of learning to drive?

The vast majority of car driving instructors in the UK are self employed, they may operate under the banner of a school such as Bananas, BSM, AA etc, but they are not paid a wage by the school, the instructor pays the school a fee for providing business services to the instructor.

Customers often believe that the instructor pockets all of the money handed to them for the lesson and assume the instructor is on a whopping hourly rate. I would love to earn £24 per hour as well!

In reality all instructors have to pay for a car, insurance, fuel (it costs around £20 more to fill a tuition car today than it did 3 years ago!), road tax, servicing, tyres, cleaning, advertising or franchise fee's, national insurance, income tax, then if there is anything left over at the end they can earn a wage for themselves.

At the start of the recession a large number of people were made redundant and decided to train to become driving instructors, this has seen a increase in the number of instructors whilst the market is slowly fading with the increase in fuel and insurance costs. It would appear to be a good time to barter for cheap lessons, instructors are desperate for work so you can find lessons cheaper than I paid when I learned to drive in 1997! The problem with paying for cheap lessons being the instructor is working for nothing or may even be operating at a loss, so is likely to give very little or nothing in return, starting the engine of the car costs the instructor money so they probably don't want that to be happening very often.

Learning to drive and pass a test realistically costs over £1000 so it is easy to see why customers are keen to find the most cost effective method of obtaining a driving licence and many are driven on "hourly rate" alone without considering the overall picture.

45 hours of professional driving tuition with a highly trained and motivated instructor who is charging a sensible amount and covering the costs of operating their business will cost in the region of £1000 plus test fee's

Someone who is selling lessons far below the break even point will have to cram in as many hours as possible, may have little interest and you may find you take more lessons overall, you may also find you take numerous attempts to pass the test.  Say you pay £15 per hour but take 80 lessons you have now spent £1200 on lessons and probably numerous test fee's as well. The other risk of paying someone who is so desperate for work that they will offer you a block of lessons at a vastly discounted price is they may be on the verge of going out of business, which means you may lose the money you have paid in advance.

At Bananas we believe in providing a high quality service and we charge a sensible amount to ensure we cover our costs and don't need to work excessive hours to make a living. It is our aim that you spend most of the lesson driving, rather than being sat at the side of the road looking at pictures in a book to save fuel.

Buy cheap... buy twice.
If it sounds too good to be true... it probably is.

Is your driving instructor stopping off at the shops for their lunch or a cup of coffee, using the phone, texting, reading the paper during YOUR driving lesson?

Then it is time to call Bananas 0800 043 4217


Our business is driven by our customers

"Firstly I would like to thank Jonathan for all his hard work in getting me ready for my test in such a short length of time. I had my first lesson on the 18th of August 09 and I passed my test today (15/10/09). Jonathan was always punctual and he put me at ease from the very first lesson. He was very clear when he was teaching anything and he was happy to go through anything I felt I needed to do again. Jonathan's relaxed attitude played a big part in me passing so quickly and first time. I would highly recommend doing your lessons with Drive Me Bananas as it is an amazing driving school. Thanks again Jonathan." Darren Kinsey (Passed First attempt at Haddington test centre)

Collingwood Learner Driver Insurance

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