How Many Lessons Will You Need To Pass Driving Test?

How many driving lessons will you need before you can pass a driving test?

Answer: There is not one answer to that question that will fit all learner drivers.

How many lessons will you need to pass driving test
How many lessons will you need?

There are so many variables that it would be impossible to predict the number of driving lessons needed. Learner drivers over the years have been conditioned into believing they will only need a certain number of lessons because either they have seen the number published or a friend only took a small number of lessons before passing their test.

Here is a list of only a small number of variables from the thousands that exist and will affect the number of lessons required.

  • Your mental approach is in a learning mode or passing a test mode or maybe thinking of work or family.
  • The times and days you take driving lessons ie. Sunday mornings once a month, Weeknights after 7.00 pm.
  • How frequent are your lessons ie. once a week, once a month, twice a year?
  • What do you practice and the roads do you drive on?
  • The type of instructor you have. You might be taught conflicting or confusing techniques.
  • Lack of concentration on the road ahead, because you are distracted by other events.

Over the passing of time stories about driving tests and the number of lessons become distorted. Here are two real-life stories that I experienced whilst teaching in the Uk’s second largest city.

First experience: One of my pupils said to me after taking just 6 driving lessons. “Why is it taking me so long to learn to drive? You taught my friend to drive who passed their test after only 6 lessons”. I replied, “Who is your friend?” When their name was mentioned I recalled the person who was a neighbour of mine. This neighbour had 2-hour lessons every evening after work with their father and every Saturday and Sunday morning for 18 months. The father had done a very good job teaching their child to drive before knocking on my door requesting a few brush-up lessons for their test. I gave 6 lessons before they were ready for a driving test.

My reputation was now ‘sky high’ and the word went around that I could teach everyone to drive in 6 lessons!

Second Experience: I met another pupil in secret away from where they lived. They had two lessons a week for one year and passed their test the first time. The family of this pupil was informed by the pupil that they had only had a few lessons the week before their test. The pupil came from a large extended family and everyone wanted to know the name of this fantastic instructor who could get you through a driving test within a week.

Without wishing to inform all members of this family of the truth of what happened I had to back up the person who passed the test as being a very fast learner. This motivated three other members of the family to try and become successful in their quest to pass a driving test.

Most of the extended family members now had hope. Because prior to the test success of that one member who had secret lessons not one in the family had ever passed the driving test in less than 7 attempts. 

How Many Lessons Will You Need? – The Facts

Here are the factors that influence the number of lessons a person might need before driving at a suitable standard to take a driving test. Do any of these questions relate to you?

  • Is English your first language?
  • Were you raised in the UK?
  • Can you ride a bicycle on the public road?
  • Are you a practical person?
  • Do you really want to learn to drive, or has someone pushed you into learning?

Answering ‘No’ to all of these questions would probably mean you will need more driving lessons than those quoted below.

  1. A person who has never driven before will need approximately 45 lessons provided they can focus and concentrate on what they are doing. This is based on the driving syllabus and assumes you do not bring into the lessons any habits that would take a while to eradicate. Can take their lessons during the daytime Monday-Friday in a mixed environment of traffic, no traffic and varying speed limits. Recognise when they are driving without prompts from their instructor. Show good awareness of the environment and excellent car control skills.
  2. The number of driving lessons on average that a learner driver will need as quoted by the DVSA is 45 hours with a driving instructor and a further 22 hours of private practice.

Any learner driver who has had some previous driving experience, no matter where or when needs to book an assessment lesson first before guessing the type of lessons they may require. This applies to intensive driving courses rather than just booking lessons to see how it goes. An intensive course can be booked at any time without an assessment lesson, providing an immediate test is not required

Driving lessons can be booked as single one-hour lessons or two-hour lessons as required.

How Many Previous Driving Lessons Have You Taken?

The number of previous driving lessons you have taken and how long ago are relevant to how many lessons you will need to book now. Where you took those lessons and who with also affects the lessons you might require. Did you fail a driving test or two, might mean you have underlying issues that need to be addressed?

When searching for a driving school to provide driving lessons, you will notice that many online driving school services suggest that you will need 10 lessons if you failed a test or two. Twenty lessons if you have had some experience (how do they know what that experience is?). If you are a beginner 45 lessons. What if you are a quick learner? Would you really need 45 lessons?

Unless you are a beginner (beginners do not usually need an assessment), at the Scottish Driving School we can offer you a 2-hour assessment lesson if you require a test at the end of your course. This though would only be a good idea for when you book an intensive course and expect a driving test immediately afterwards. Otherwise, the assessment would not be required.