In this article, Driving School Dave explains how cheap driving lessons may not always be as good as they look, while looking at the tell-tale signs that something may not be quite right.
I am always hearing from driving instructors “all pupils want are cheap driving lessons.” Is this true, or do they really want value driving lessons? Are the two the same? In this article I will answer these questions, as well as showing you how you can save real money on driving lessons.
The 10 hrs for £99 cheap driving lessons deal.
Lets look at this deal. This was a common cheap driving lessons deal doing the rounds a while ago.
Initially this looks like £9.90 per driving lesson but what are the actual terms of the offer?
- You must have had less than 5 hours of previous driving lessons or tuition
- You must not have had driving lessons with the same company before
- You must not have a driving test already booked
- You cannot use them for refresher lessons
So, anyone thinking a quick few lessons to take them for the driving test are immediately excluded. This offer was designed to get brand new learners into the driving seat. These are learners that would probably need another 20 plus hours of tuition after this offer expired. So to be of any real value to the learner, they would need to know what the lesson price was after. You would also need to be assured that those additional more expensive hours would not be dragged out longer than needed.
If additional hours were £27 an hour and you needed another 35 hours to pass the test then the true cost per hour would be £23.20, so maybe not too bad a deal for the pupil. But these deals usually came with another clause. In one offer, you might get 6 hours of tuition straight away from your initial 10 hours, and the remaining 4 hours are held back for the driving test and lessons before. Still the same ‘cheap driving lessons deal,’ but what if you really didn’t like the driving instructor or something changed that meant you needed to change lesson time? You would probably never see those remaining 4 hours.
This deal was designed to put ‘bums on seats’ and keep them glued there whether you wanted to or not. It caused many an unhappy customer who would want those four hours refunded for some reason or another.
- Deal: 10 hours for £180
- Average lesson price: £23.20
- 4 hours are held back for the week of your test – you may never see these hours again!!
Let’s take a look at another deal…
The 10 hours for £180 cheap driving lessons deal
This is a offer that was being run by a driving school in Manchester, and like the previous offer has a few terms and conditions.
- You must be a new learner
- Lessons are taken as 2 hour lessons
- You must not have a driving test booked.
Again, an offer designed to put you behind the wheel of the car and you’ll notice that with this deal you are able to take all lessons in one go, rather than holding hours back for your test. On the face of it, this is a much better deal. Let’s look at the pricing in more detail using figures estimated by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) about how many of these cheap driving lessons you will need to pass the driving test.
If you took an additional 35 hours at £26 per hour, then the average cost of 45 hours would be £24.22. Additional savings of a further £2 an hour could be made by booking the additional 35 hours in blocks of 10 hours. There is a lot more flexibility in this deal, and the only stipulation is that any hour taken from the block would be taken as the normal £26 hourly rate and the remaining paid back to you.
- Deal: 10 hours for £180
- Average lesson price: £24.22
So that’s a much better deal than the first. But what deals are we currently running?
The first 2 hours for £30 cheap driving lesson deal
This type of deal has been going around for a long time and is the one that we currently use. you can see that initially, your first 2 hours would be just £15 an hour. The only stipulation is that the 2 hours must be taken as one lesson. This cheap driving lessons offer is normally open to anybody and not just new learners.
With our signature first two hour offer*, you can find out for a relatively small cost what the car and driving instructor are like before committing to further driving lessons. It is a fair deal, designed to give both the pupil and the driving instructor a chance to assess each other. It’s a short term deal too, so your peace of mind is assured. View our latest full pricing structure here.
So let’s look at the long term viability of this deal with the normal driving lesson rate after the offer and assuming the DVSA average lessons needed to pass the driving test.
An additional 35 hours at our Plymouth and Cornwall rate* at £26 an hour would mean you end up paying an average driving lesson rate of £25.40, slightly higher than the previous offers but is that added peace of mind worth it? It’s also important to take into account discounts for block bookings. We’re currently running a 10 hour block of driving lessons for £240, bringing the average lesson price down to £23.78. Can you see the value?
I run this deal because I believe it is a great deal for driving instructors and pupils alike. It has integrity and is fair. Having an offer fair to the driving instructor is good for the pupil too, because they are happy and thus give better tuition. The 10 for £99 deal that was around for some years was not popular with the driving instructors as they felt it was too long a deal.
- Deal: First 2 hours for £30
- Average lesson price: £23.78
- No strings attached. Flexible, cheap driving lesson deal.
Look at the deals. Which is the best?
The two offers, 10 for £180 and 2 for £30 are good deals for the pupil. Those that understand marketing will know the secret is to come up with an offer that is different from what other people are offering.
The trick for the company is to ensure that everyone gets a fair deal. When all is said and done, it’s down to the learner to get a feel for the car and the driving instructor to see if they are right for them. What is right for your friends is not always right for you.
As always, remember to do your research. If you’re unsure about anything, feel free to contact us via the usual channels – we’re here to help.
*prices correct as of April 2019
Dave Foster MA, Dip.DI (or Driving School Dave) is the most qualified driving school owner in the country, after completing his Master’s Degree in Driver Training Education in 2011 at Middlesex University. He also holds a diploma in Driving Instruction and is a Cert Ed. qualified teacher. Dave is the founder and Managing Director of 1st 4 Driving Ltd, and also looks after over 15 driving schools across the country on a consultancy basis.