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Starting your journey on the road whilst saving cost

The pandemic may have put your driving ambitions on hold but now that driving lessons have opened back up again, you may be eager to start...

Getting started

We’ve put together a quick start checklist on starting your journey on the road and with the help of Marmalade, an insurance company for learners and young drivers, we’ve got some tips on how to save on costs along the way.

Step one: Are you allowed to drive?

First of all, you need to check if you can learn to drive. So…:

  • Are you 17 years old or above?
  • Can you read a number plate from 20 metres away? (with glasses or contact lenses if you need them)
  • Have you applied for a provisional driving licence?
  • Will you be supervised by a qualified driver who is over 21 and has held (still holds) a full car driving licence for at least three years?
  • Do you have L plates to display on the car you’ll be learning in?
  • Is the car you’ll be learning in roadworthy, properly taxed and insured?

Save money

Look for second-hand versions of the above books or free online resources. You can also take a practise theory test, including a hazard perception test to track how much you’ve learnt and if you’re ready or not.

Step two: Don’t forget about your provisional driving licence

Now this is vital to be able to start learning, otherwise you’re not legally allowed behind the wheel.

The quickest and cheapest way to apply for your license is online at GOV.UK for the cost of £34. You’ll just need a debit or credit card, proof of your identity (such as your passport) and your address details for the last three years. Once you’ve got your provisional driving licence, you can start looking for a driving instructor!

Step three: Find a driving instructor and start booking

The best way of finding a good driving instructor to suit you is through recommendations, ask around. Ask your family if they know anyone or maybe some of your friends have started learning? There are also databases online of approved instructors who are local to you if no one has any suitable recommendations.

Once you’ve found your instructor, you can start booking – woohoo! But now this is where it can get costly, as an hour’s lesson can cost anywhere between £15 to £40, and on average you will need around 47 hours of driving to pass. That can really add up! However, Marmalade recommend bulk-booking your lessons and checking out what deals your driving instructor offers as this could end up saving you money.

Learner Driver insurance

Another tip from Marmalade, is to take out Learner Driver Insurance to allow you extra practice. This can be as little as £1.23 a day!

You can then learn outside of your lessons with a member of your family or an older friend. But remember – they need to be 21 and have held (still holds) a full car driving licence for at least three years.

Step four: Pass the theory test

It’s best to start preparing for your theory test as soon as you can and booking it in once you’ve started getting the hang of driving. Without this, you won’t be able to take the all-important practical test!

There are a lot of resources online, through apps and books to help you prepare for the test, the key books being:

  • The Highway Code
  • Know your traffic signs
  • Driving - the essential skills

Step five: Pass the practical driving test

Here it is, you’ve passed the theory test and made it to the final stage. Once you're ready, book your practical driving test in with your driving instructor. Make sure you’ve got your theory test pass certificate and your provisional driving licence with you on the day.

Some tips from Marmalade on saving money when booking your test are:

  • Book your test on a weekday - it’s £13 cheaper than a weekend!
  • Pass first time – this is where you need to make sure you’re 100% ready as you don’t want to be taking multiple tests costing £62 a time!

Need help passing first time?

Private practice alongside your driving lessons could help you achieve that magic pass first time. A survey of Marmalade’s Learner Driver Insurance customers discovered that 58% of them passed first time, compared to the National average of 47%!*

If you want to find out more about Marmalade and who they are, as well as plenty more information on learning to drive, head to their website.

* 58% of Learner Driver Insurance customers passed their driving test first time compared to 47% on average for 17-34 year olds (DfT stats to March 2018). Based on online survey of 710 Marmalade LDI customers in June 2019.

OneFamily are not responsible for the content of the Marmalade website or for any offers available, which may change at any time. Please go to wearemarmalade.co.uk for full terms and conditions.


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A car window with learner plates attached. Behind stands an instructor and a student having a conversation.

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