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    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 27th Mar 06, 10:16 AM
    • 8,115Posts
    • 42,285Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Great Ways To Cut The Cost Of Learning To Drive Hunt
    • #1
    • 27th Mar 06, 10:16 AM
    Great Ways To Cut The Cost Of Learning To Drive Hunt 27th Mar 06 at 10:16 AM
    What's it about?

    I think it does what it says on the tin. Learning to drive can put a tremendous burden on the cost of getting on the road for young people. I'd like to tap MoneySavers' wealth of knowledge to cut the cost.

    What should you do?

    From spending on theory test manuals to shelling out for lessons, if you've a tip on how to lower the cost click reply to let others know.

    My Starter

    Let me start the discussion off. If you're a Tesco shopper and have a collection of their Clubcard vouchers, then you can use these towards cheap driving lessons.

    As I always say, never spend Clubcard vouchers instore, as they're worth four times as much if spent on Tesco Clubcard 'Deals' in the special brochure

    So collect £15.50 in Clubcard vouchers and you can exchange them for a 1- hour lesson learner pack including theory books.

    Collect £60 in vouchers and you get 6 1-hour lessons, books, a CD-rom, L plates and 2 hours on a simulator.


    Last edited by MSE Archna; 28-03-2006 at 3:20 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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Page 1
    • blackmidnight
    • By blackmidnight 28th Mar 06, 12:47 AM
    • 13,266 Posts
    • 1,134,920 Thanks
    • #2
    • 28th Mar 06, 12:47 AM
    • #2
    • 28th Mar 06, 12:47 AM
    If you have an NUS card, BSM will give you a discount (i think it's about 10% an hour although the exact price varies in every city). I found that this made them cheaper than the AA or some of the private instructors.
    Booking blocks of lessons also makes it quite a lot cheaper for most companies.
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 28th Mar 06, 1:26 AM
    • 9,805 Posts
    • 24,023 Thanks
    • #3
    • 28th Mar 06, 1:26 AM
    • #3
    • 28th Mar 06, 1:26 AM
    a lot of companies will give student discount if you ask, although not all companies offer it.

    make sure you ring around/email etc to get quotes - the most expensive is not necessarily the best, nor are the cheapest necessarily the worst. that said, it is important to have an instructor who you trust and feel safe with. it also makes a huge difference if you have a good rapport with them - makes it much easier to cope when things dont go as smoothly as planned!!!

    generally, it does work out cheaper to block book lessons, but make sure you work out what the cost per lesson would be after any discount for the block booking - is the offer really as competitive as it seems? take advantage of any special price first lesson offers - whatever you do, dont block book until you know for sure that you and your instructor get on

    resources for the driving theory test are readily available at bargain prices on ebay. (if you are new to ebay, dont forget to register via a cashback site to make the most of your spend). i also got my L plates from there at a fraction of what the shops were charging. it is important to make sure you get the most up-to-date copy of the highway code/test questions, and a cd rom is almost essential to be able to practice the hazard perception questions. (and dont forget you can sell your stuff on again once you have passed).

    if you have friends who are also looking to start learning, recommend your instructor to them - as a bonus, many companies will offer you a few free lessons as an incentive to drum up new custom. (or vice versa, if you know someone who is already learning, see if they recommend their instructor - positive word of mouth is always a good sign )

    beware instructors who answer phone calls during your lesson, or make student A pick up student B at the end of the lesson, and student B drive student A home. for the amount they charge per hour, you are well within your rights to demand their full attention!

    duration of lessons - each insturctor works differently, but when you first start learning, you really seem to benefit from 2 hour lessons. this is because it takes a while to get into the 'swing' of it all, and with a 1 hour lesson, by the time you have found your feet the lesson is over again, slowing down your progress.

    try to get as much practice on the roads as possible with friends/rellies (remember they have to meet special criteria, ie hold a license themselves for x no of years), as this will eventual make a big difference to your confidence on the road, and in lessons. dont try to rush things - learn to drive, not to pass the test - it is a life long skill, and always a positive addition to a CV for example.

    thinking of joining the armed forces? they will pay for your tuition etc. (although this is probably not the best reason for wanting to join up )

    dont buy the "driving starter set" things that promote the fact that they contain the (free) driving license application form as a benefit. why pay for something that you are entitled to for free?!

    when getting the photos taken for your license application, try to use a digital photo booth (the ones that let you re-take the photo is you dont like it). like passports, the DVLA are very strict about what they will and wont accept. try and get it right first time - those photos arent cheap (and make sure it's a good one - that photo will be on your photocard license for a long time to come ).

    on the same theme, dont pay someone to be a countersignatory on your application. the DVLAs rules about who can countersign applications are rather vague, and therefore subject to some interpretation and flexability. there was thread on the topic a while back - i will dig out a link if anyone is interested.

    dont let anyone pressurise you into taking your theory or pratical tests. they are not cheap, and re-sits are a bitter pill to swallow when you know you have already paid through the nose for them once. it is possible to re-arrange them without penalty so long as you give them a certain no of days notice (they will tell you all this when you book), so dont bury your head in the sand. you will feel much better if you know you have a fighting chance of passing the test first time.

    once you have passed, consider doing a pass plus course. for £100 , you get a series (i think 6) of lessons covering more extreme/dangerous driving conditions - night time, motorway, bad weather etc. as well as making you better equipped to deal with all the road can throw at you, it has the added bonus of bringing down your insurance premiums too

    on a final note, some people take to driving like a duck to water. for other people, it takes more time. dont put yourself under the pressure of passing by a certain date, its something you need to take your time over and do properly. i started learning last june, and have had to postpone lessons and tests until this coming june, because i have so much uni work, not to mention paid work, that i dont have time for driving lessons at the mo. choose a sensable time to start (ie, if you are a student, the long summer holiday is ideal).

    apart from that, all that remains to say is good luck (and warn the rest of us when your lessons are so we can stay off the roads )
    Last edited by MSE Archna; 03-04-2006 at 5:42 PM.
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • bylromarha
    • By bylromarha 29th Mar 06, 9:52 AM
    • 9,959 Posts
    • 13,247 Thanks
    • #4
    • 29th Mar 06, 9:52 AM
    • #4
    • 29th Mar 06, 9:52 AM
    Would appreciate any info people have on weekly intensive driving courses which are cheap, but work!
    Who made hogs and dogs and frogs?
  • aliwatts
    • #5
    • 29th Mar 06, 10:39 AM
    • #5
    • 29th Mar 06, 10:39 AM

    Yes me too, I can drive but my husband can't, I can't believe how the prices have risen so I am told. Approx about £20 per lesson. Its very hard to find a good instructor I am also told. My husband has failed twice on different things and now his Theory has ran out, does he have to pay for that again aswell?

    Any clues as to how much a crash course would be?


  • hamid
    • #6
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:08 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:08 AM
    im afraid so, after 2 years of passing your theory test you have to pay and pass the theory again.
    • borntoshop
    • By borntoshop 29th Mar 06, 11:16 AM
    • 2,088 Posts
    • 43,183 Thanks
    • #7
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:16 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:16 AM
    Anyone know if the Tesco clubcard deal is just for six lessons maximum or can you get more after?
  • Dread
    • #8
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:21 AM
    • #8
    • 29th Mar 06, 11:21 AM
    Where do I start!

    Cheap driving lessons are a anything else you get what you pay for but there are some routes to reducing the cost or, as importantly, decreasing the time from starting to passing your test.

    I'm an AA driving instructor, an ex Cop and a RoSPA qualified driver and these are some trade secrets to be going on with.

    Rule 1. This is your test, your instructor has a vested interest in you learning slowly so think about it, if you do some homework, reading, theory etc. then you will only be helping yourself.

    Rule 2. The DSA (Driving Standards Agency) require driving instructors to give you a briefing which will last 10 minutes or so at the beginning of your lesson and a de-briefing at the end of your lesson, another 10 minutes so one hour lessons give you 40 minutes of driving. Instructors are not trying to con you by suggesting 2 hour lessons; the DSA and the AA have evidence to prove that you pass your test faster using them.

    Rule 3. Arrange some driving practise with a friend or relative (make sure they are insured) as it takes an average of 40 hours for a learner to pass their test WITH EXTRA TUITION. Rely on an Instructor and it will take 50 or 60 hours (at least).

    Rule 4. Use a 0% interest credit card to book a block of lessons (You listening Martin?) and look out for vouchers for free introductory lessons as well as recommending friends to your (AA) driving instructor for some more free lessons.

    Rule 5. BSM allow their instructors almost no room for individual price negotiation because of their sky high franchise fees. If you go directly to an AA instructor (not via the call centre) or an independent instructor (not another franchisee) you can negotiate a lower rate or perhaps a free lesson as AA instructors pay a £30 fee to the AA for your custom, go direct and you may be successful.

    Rule 6. Pass Plus helps reduce your insurance, the cost of it will probably reflect the cost of your first year’s insurance premium saving, the second year’s insurance saving is then a bonus. Better still, after your Pass Plus go to RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and you will find links for their advanced driving courses. I paid £20 for a years membership and had a course of lessons that cost me NOTHING, ZERO, NADA, ZILCH and I get further discounts from my insurance. Different RoSPA areas may charge differently but this is the foundation of Police driving and WILL keep you alive, furthermore it is not a pass or fail situation, you qualify for Bronze, Silver and Gold, much more sensible. Advanced lessons for nothing, you would have to be mad not to!

    I’m hopefully going to be writing a book on learning to drive shortly, not the dry stuff you get from WH Smiths but stuff like how to use buses to your advantage, how not to be intimidated by other drivers and what road signs and markings really mean.

    Last edited by MSE Archna; 03-04-2006 at 5:44 PM.

    • shengen
    • By shengen 29th Mar 06, 12:39 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    • #9
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:39 PM
    What road signs really mean !!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????
    • #9
    • 29th Mar 06, 12:39 PM
    I am surprised to read an ADI saying that there might be 2 meanings to a road sign , if you check the highway code or the yellow book of road signs the meanings are clear and explicit. I agree with some of what he says being an ADI myself yes there is scope for negotiation, on price but pupils do pay for having those new cars every 6 months and all the back room boys wages and advertising. A good private instructor passed on by word of mouth is the strongest VFM route to getting that pink licence. Oh and another book cluttering up the shelves of W H Smith on driving written by an expert we need like a hole in the head. Instructors have a vested interest in you passing 1st time not quickly( my instructor put me in too early), very few people pass quickly but if you learn properly and pass 1st time you will tell everybody.
    Last edited by shengen; 29-03-2006 at 12:43 PM.

    • al_yrpal
    • By al_yrpal 29th Mar 06, 12:48 PM
    • 331 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    £60 of Tesco Clubcard Vouchers used as a 'Deal' gives you 6 BSM driving lessons supposedly worth £240.
    Survivor of debt, redundancy, endowment scams, share crashes, sky-high inflation, lousy financial advice, and multiple house price booms. Comfortably retired after learning to back my own judgement.
    This is not advice - hopefully it's common sense.
    • gazza1988
    • By gazza1988 29th Mar 06, 1:15 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ive done a search and i cannot find the link you are talking about pavlovs_dog. i need to send off for my provisional but i dont know anyone who can sign.
    Last edited by gazza1988; 29-03-2006 at 1:27 PM.
    • hollie.weimeraner
    • By hollie.weimeraner 29th Mar 06, 2:42 PM
    • 1,764 Posts
    • 1,262 Thanks
    I'm sorry Martin but this is not one of your best "money saving posts". The reason? BSM are charging approx £23 per hour for a lesson. Local lessons (Sheffield) work out at anything between £16 and £20 per hour. My wife charges between £17 and £19. The average number of lessons required by a pupil to get to test standard is around 40 - 50 therefore the £60 worth of free lessons are used up somewhere between lesson 10 and lesson 20 in Sheffield. From that point on you are paying more, so this will only be a money saving exercise for those who pass their test within 10 - 20 lessons. Bear in mind also that BSM employ a high proportion of trainee instructors that are not fully qualified and make up your own mind whether this provides value for money.

    It does sound good initially but delve a little deeper and this reccomendation may cost driving students quite a bit more than with a local instructor. As has already been stated in this post - Reccomendations are the best way to get hold of a good driving instructor.
    • the_jogger
    • By the_jogger 29th Mar 06, 3:07 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Please note that price is not the most important consideration. Ask the instructor what their pass rate is. A friend in Peterborough is an instructor with around 78% pass rate, whereas the average is under 50%. It is a lot cheaper if you pass first time and don't need further lessons.
  • beatleman
    I'm a B.S.M. instructor and the Tesco deal is as follows.Six 1 hour lessons or three 2 hour lessons after you've done the 2 hours in the simulator.A pack of 4 books,called Pass your theory test,Theory test question book,How to pass your driving test and Private practice sessions which is a very good book for people accompanying learners to read before they go out on the road with them,plus a Theory test CD rom.Depending on the lesson price around £21 hour in Wales it can be worth around £240 I suppose.Its not true about there being no negotiation on lesson prices,as I charge most of my pupils £19 which is student rate,as when work is quiet its better to have £19 than nothing.Also another tip is if you pay for 10 hours in advance when you pass you get free R.A.C. membership for a year which is worth around £40.Also as we are now part of Norwich Union one of my pupils told me that when he did Pass Plus they offered him a 40% discount.Hope this helps you all.
  • swillyburger

    Yes me too, I can drive but my husband can't, I can't believe how the prices have risen so I am told. Approx about £20 per lesson. Its very hard to find a good instructor I am also told. My husband has failed twice on different things and now his Theory has ran out, does he have to pay for that again aswell?

    Any clues as to how much a crash course would be?


    by aliwatts
    You might find the price of lessons are more than that, depends on the area you live in .

    Your husband will have to pass the theory & Hazard perception test & yes he will have to pay again .

    The cost of a Intensive course (please dont use the words crash course he he Driving instructors dont do crash courses We wouldnt be any good if we did)
    they differ from Instructor to Instructor, but find out if it is one to one in the car or if your sharing & how many hrs in the car this will be.

    I no some Instructors in my area charge around £400 to £500 for 20 hrs but like i have said priviously it depends on the area that you live.

    Pass Pluss is a very good thing to go for but again the price will differ in diferent areas in oxfordshire its anything from £100 to £250.

    I hope that helps
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 29th Mar 06, 6:16 PM
    • 9,805 Posts
    • 24,023 Thanks
    ive done a search and i cannot find the link you are talking about pavlovs_dog. i need to send off for my provisional but i dont know anyone who can sign.
    by gazza1988
    see thread HERE about certified copies of original documents, which follow the same prinicples as countersigned applications

    as you can see from the list below, the list of who qualifies to countersign is extensive (although some of them wil try to charge. the trick is to find someone you know who falls into one ofthe below categories, even if it is in an obscure way ).

    Acceptable countersignatures:

    Articled clerk of a limited company
    Assurance agent of recognised company
    Bank/building society official
    Chairman/director of limited company
    Christian Science practitioner
    Commissioner of oaths
    Councillor: local or county
    Civil servant (permanent)
    Engineer (with professional qualifications)
    Fire service official
    Funeral director
    Insurance agent (full time) of a recognised company
    Justice of the Peace
    Legal secretary (members and fellows of the Institute of legal secretaries)
    Local government officer
    Manager/Personnel officer (of limited company)
    Member of Parliament
    Merchant Navy officer
    Minister of a recognised religion
    Nurse (SRN and SEN)
    Officer of the armed services (active or retired)
    Person with honours (e.g. OBE MBE etc.)
    Photographer (professional)
    Police officer
    Post Office official
    President/Secretary of a recognised organisation
    Salvation Army officer
    Social worker
    Teacher, lecturer
    Trade union officer
    Travel agency (qualified)
    Valuers and auctioneers (fellow and associate members of the incorporated society)
    Warrant officers and Chief Petty Officers
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • gazza1988
    • By gazza1988 29th Mar 06, 6:51 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    thank you.

    my dad's boss could do it. ive helped him out on a couple of jobs. in sure he'd sign a bit of paper for me.

    i never thought of him.
    thanks pavolovs_dog
  • dirtyred619
    I've been looking recently into becoming an ADI and you are required to pass 3 tests to get your full ADI badge. However, if you get to and pass the second test, you have the option of taking up a trainee badge that lasts for 6 months. You can charge for lessons on this badge upto full price of upto the average of £20 ish, but alot of learner ADI's charge alot less than that (maybe even free if your lucky or pay to cover the petrol etc) as it is all experience for their part 3 which is the hardest part of the lot.

    Basically, if your not too fussed about being taught of learner ADI (qualified to drive but not officially fully qualified to teach, if you get me!) then its worth looking into, its all extra experience hopefully at a fraction of the cost of 'normal' lessons and you will usually be taught in a dual controlled car etc.

  • Dread

    It appears you have done the ADI qualification course which, readers, involves no requirement for any type of advanced driving consequently most driving instructors are not much better drivers than you would be if you passed with 5 minors or less as that is the requirement for part 2 of the ADI qualification.

    You are delusional if you imagine there is only "one clear and explicit meaning" to a road sign, there are implications and further information to be gleaned from them which, if your not passing that information on to your pupils, demonstrates you are failing in your job. Perhaps reading “another book cluttering up the shelves of W H Smith on driving written by an expert” that “we need like a hole in the head” would do you some good as if you imagine I would write something that remotely resembles some of the literature you are referring to you are not merely delusional but bordering on the insane. Had someone said to Martin “Oh not anther finance book” when he wrote his money diet book I expect he would have slapped them about the ears (verbally) therefore consider yourself slapped!

    Finally, if you imagine it doesn’t make economic or business sense to change vehicles every 6 months you are also demonstrating a simplistic lack of insight, my 5 month old Ford Focus developed a misfire last Wednesday at 2pm, my local Ford garage couldn’t look at it until Friday so the AA had a new one on my doorstep at 6.45 on Thursday morning. I inconvenienced two pupils but managed to fit them in over the next couple of days. BSM are similar, how many independents can promise service like that.

    Like I said at the beginning of my first post, you get what you pay for, including learning in a 1.6, air conditioned, new smelling car in which the instructor is rarely, if ever, called during a lesson by the Customer Support Centre, and yes BSM offer similar services with different benefits, and that’s why independents offer cheaper rates which is fair enough, its mostly down to personal choice.

    Martins attempt to reduce the cost of lessons is not an opportunity to ‘have a dig’ nor a bun fight over individual companies, ADI’s or corporate Vs independent route so if you want to continue this dialogue PM me and we can free up the forum.

    Last edited by Dread; 29-03-2006 at 7:37 PM.

    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 29th Mar 06, 7:33 PM
    • 9,805 Posts
    • 24,023 Thanks
    dread, posting personal info such as email addresses is highly discouraged by the site for privacy and security reasons. please remove and PM it to him instead
    know thyself

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
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