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Driving Lessons London

The complete guide to finding an instructor, passing first time and saving £100s on driving lessons.

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Discover the best driving instructor near you

This brief guide will show you how to:

  1. Find a driving instructor you can trust
  2. Pass in 17 fewer hours
  3. Save hundreds of pounds

In short, if you want to pass first time without breaking the bank, you'll love this guide.

View other guides: Driving Lessons in Birmingham, Driving Lessons in Manchester, Driving Lessons in Leeds.

Driving lessons London

How to find an instructor you can trust

You deserve an instructor who:

  • Builds your confidence
  • Makes learning enjoyable
  • Won't cost the earth

That’s why our instructor checks include the following:

  • Every instructor is fully qualified (no trainees)
  • All instructors have been rated at least 4 out of 5 by learners like you
  • You'll be in safe hands with a DBS security checked instructor

You ought to be able to book lessons with confidence that you’re making the right choice.

Just enter your postcode above to find an instructor you can trust.

What if you could pass in 17 fewer hours, while saving £425?

That's how much our learners typically save. What's more, they enjoy these great benefits:

  • Get matched with a top-rated instructor in 24 hours
  • Be on the road within 7 days
  • Enjoy a FREE first lesson to get you started
  • Instructor rematch at any time

Enter your postcode above to get started with a free lesson.

How many lessons do you really need?

We know the feeling: the DVSA says the average learner takes 45 hours of lessons before passing the driving test. But that seems like a lot. Do you really need that many?

Here’s the secret to passing faster:

  • Choose an instructor with a track record for helping learners to pass fast
  • Use tools like the Midrive app to keep learning between lessons
  • Put in some practice between lessons with a friend or family member

Midrive learners pass in 17 fewer hours than the UK average, so you’ll probably only need around 30 hours. But whichever package you choose, you can top up by the hour if you need a bit longer, or get a refund on any unused hours if you pass faster.

How to make a saving on the cost of driving lessons

If you take the average number of lessons (47) and multiply it by the cost of the average lesson (£24), you’ll see that the total cost of lessons is around £1,128.

Who knows what you could buy with that amount of money. A TV? A better bed? You don’t want to spend that much on learning to drive, and we don’t want you to either.

Midrive learners save 35% compared to learning with a traditional driving school, simply by passing faster.

And that’s not all. You can also enjoy:

  • Free first lesson
  • 100% money back guarantee
  • Refund on any unused hours
  • Competitively priced lessons across the UK

Manual vs automatic: making an educated choice

Choosing between manual and automatic lessons is a must. There are a few factors to weigh up.

Manual

  • Cheaper lessons and cars
  • Qualifies you to drive both manuals and automatics
  • Gives you that little bit more control

Automatic

  • Easier and faster to learn
  • No risk of stalling
  • More pleasant in heavy traffic

Find out more about automatic driving lessons.

Tips for learning to drive in London

Master driving in the capital and you can enjoy driving anywhere

1. Don’t let the traffic put you off

London’s heavy traffic might seem daunting, but it means the average speed here is really slow. So the plus side is you’ll have a little bit more time to prepare for upcoming hazards.

2. Avoid the Congestion Charge

This is a fee you have to pay if you’re travelling through the centre of London at certain times of day. The charge doesn’t apply in the evenings and at weekends, so these are the best times to practise in the Congestion Charge zone.

3. Take a motorway driving lesson

Consider asking your instructor for a motorway lesson. You won’t get assessed on motorways in your test, but you’re likely to use them lots when you pass - the M1 and M11 are common routes out of the city, and the M25 is handy for travelling from one side of London to the other.

4. Pick a local driving test centre

You’ll be much more confident in your driving test if you’re familiar with the roads you’re driving on, so if you can take your test locally then that’s always a good move.

Choosing your test centre

When the time’s right, your instructor will help you to choose a test centre and introduce you to the areas that could come up in your test.

Whether you're based in East London, North London, North West London, South East London, South West London or West London there’s sure to be plenty of choice near you.

Take a look at the DVSA website to find your closest, or browse our list of test centres by area:

East London

  • Barking (Tanner Street): 84 Tanner Street, Barking, Essex, Greater London, IG11 8QF

  • Barking (Town Quay): Unit 9 Town Quay Wharf, Barking, Essex, Greater London, IG11 7BZ

  • Chingford: Doric House, 128 Station Road, Chingford, Greater London, E4 6AD

  • Goodmayes: 98 Goodmayes Road, Ilford, Greater London, IG3 9UZ

  • Wanstead: 2 Devon House, Hermon Hill, Wanstead, Greater London, E11 2AW

North London

  • Barnet: Raydean House, 15 - 17 Western Parade, Barnet, Greater London, EN5 1AD

  • Enfield: Solar Way, Innova Park Business Centre, Enfield, Greater London, EN3 7XY

  • Tottenham: Tottenham Annex Building, Selby Centre, Selby Road, Tottenham, Greater London, N17 8JL

  • Wood Green: The Gatehouse, Woodhall House, Lordship Lane, Wood Green, Greater London, N22 5JW

North West London

  • Hendon: 3 Aviation Drive, Beaufort Park, Hendon, Greater London, NW9 5TZ

  • Mill Hill: Unit 9, Grannard Business Centre, Bunns Lane, Mill Hill, Greater London, NW7 2DQ

South East London

  • Croydon: 111 Canterbury Road, Croydon, Greater London, CR0 3HH

  • Hither Green: 42-44 Ennersdale Road, Hither Green, Greater London, SE13 6JD

South West London

  • Ashford: 18/19 Fir Tree Place, Church Road, Ashford, Greater London, TW15 2PJ

  • Tolworth: Douglas House, 1B Douglas Road, Tolworth, Greater London, KT6 7R

West London

  • Isleworth: Worton Hall, Worton Road, Isleworth, Greater London, TW7 6ER

  • Southall: 295 Allenby Road, Southall, Greater London, UB1 2HD

Booking your driving test

Ready to book your driving test? Book on the DVSA website or call them on 0300 200 1122.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your test, you’ll just need to give three working days’ notice. That way, you can get a full refund or reschedule at no extra cost.

If you’re not sure if you’re ready to book your test, just ask your instructor and they’ll be able to help.

How much does the driving test cost?

We know you want your freedom. It does cost, but it’s so worth it.

The practical driving test costs £62 on weekdays before 4.30 pm, or £75 during the evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

You’ll also need to pay for the use of your instructor’s car, and most instructors also encourage you to take a lesson right before your test.

But don’t worry - at Midrive we use a credit system, so we’ll reserve some lesson credits for your test day rather than charge extra fees.

Wherever you are in London, we’ve got you covered

Some of our popular areas include:

Barking, Bromley, Croydon, Dagenham, Dartford, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Harrow, Hayes, Hounslow, Islington, Kingston upon Thames, Romford, Southall, Sutton, Tottenham, Twickenham, Uxbridge, Walthamstow, Watford, Wembley.

We also offer lessons across the UK. Just enter your postcode to see driving lesson pricing near you.

Don't just take our word for it!

Common questions

How can I find driving lessons near me?

Looking for lessons near you? Enter your postcode above to find your local rates. We offer lessons in packages from five to 30 hours, which can be spent how you wish, and topped up at any time. It’s all with the support of our great app too, which provides lesson feedback, articles tailored to your journey, in app chat with your instructor, and much more.

We aim to match you with a top-rated driving instructor within 24 hours. We only use instructors local to you, which is why we always offer to pick you up from your door and drop you back. We believe that taking your lessons and your test in your local area is the best way to learn. If your local test centre looks difficult, you may be tempted to learn somewhere further from home. But you’re far more likely to pass on roads you’re familiar with. Back yourself at home, and book your lessons with us!

How many lessons should I take a week?

How many lessons you should take a week depends on a number of factors:

  • Availability
  • Experience
  • Finances
  • Lesson length
  • Availability

This works both ways - your instructor may only be able to provide you certain days or times for lessons, and you might not be that available yourself. The more available you can be for an instructor, the more lessons you’ll be able to get. Weekends and evenings can prove pretty competitive times, so if you can make yourself available during the day, or at lunchtime, you’re more likely to get a lesson.

Experience Nervous learners, or new learners, might want more lessons to begin with, to get time in the driving seat and to build up confidence and experience. As a learner grows more experienced, they might find themselves needing fewer lesson until the week of their test. Lessons might involve simply polishing technique.

Finances The price of lessons can steadily make a dent in finances. It’s wise if you’re on a tight budget to spread your lessons out, but not too thinly that lessons that you forget what you’ve covered between lessons. You don’t want to spend time relearning!

Lesson length Most lessons are either an hour or two hours in length. If you’re only getting one hour lessons you might want a couple of these a week, whereas two-hour lessons can prove more comprehensive, so you might only need one of these a week.

At Midrive we encourage regular lessons once or twice a week. That way, you’ll gain experience in different weather and traffic conditions, preparing you better for post-test life. Plus, it will give you time to absorb what you’ve learned in between lessons, so that you can make the best use of each session with your instructor.

We also encourage our learners to pair their lessons with some extra practice, with a friend or family member. You need someone aged 21 or over, who has had a licence for at least three years. It’s a great way to fine-tune what you’ve learnt off your instructor, and maintain your familiarity with driving.

Can I take lessons before passing the theory test?

Yes! You can take lessons without having passed your theory test. Some people prefer doing this as they find the practical experience of taking lessons can help them understand the Highway Code better.

However, there’s a real bonus in taking your theory as early as possible. Once you’ve passed it, you’ll know the Highway Code inside out - it’ll fill you with plenty of useful information on the rules, markings, and signs of the road. This means when it comes to your driving lessons you’ll have less to be brought up to speed with, saving you time to focus on the practical challenges.

In a way, the two tests complement each other. Knowing the material for the theory test supports your preparation for the practical driving test and vice versa.

Do I need lessons to take the driving test?

You don’t need lessons to take the practical driving test. All you need is to be at least 17, to have passed your theory test, and to have a car (in which you’re insured) to take your test in.

It’s widely accepted though, that driving lessons are the best way to make safe, test-ready learners. At Midrive we only work with fully qualified driving instructors, approved by the DVSA. They know every element of the practical driving test, all the local test routes, and importantly, they have years of experience teaching every kind of learner - from the newbie to the veteran, and from the skilled to the skittish!

Can I take driving lessons under 17?

In certain circumstances - yes. Strictly speaking, you need to be 17 and hold a provisional driving licence to start taking lessons. You can apply for your provisional licence at fifteen and nine months old, and you can book lessons too, but you can’t take them until you’re 17. You can apply for a provisional licence on the GOV.UK website.

However, if you’ve received or are about to receive the mobility component of the Personal Independent Payment, then you can start lessons and take your test at 16. If that’s not you, there are still other ways to drive before 17.

It’s possible to drive on private land without needing any legal documentation (e.g. a driving licence) or insurance - so long as it’s not accessible to the public. A car park, for instance, counts as private land, but it’s accessible to the public, so you need to be a lawful leaner or driver to practise there.

There are several driving schools around that offer lessons or experiences on private land to children as young as ten. The idea is that the younger people learn to drive, the more skilled they’ll be and so the faster they’ll pass their test when they take it. It’s also thought that those who start younger become safer drivers. Bear in mind though that these lessons and experiences are much pricier than a normal lesson!

Do I need learner driver insurance?

If you’re only learning with a driving instructor, then you won’t need to worry about learner insurance. The instructor will cover that, and it’s included in the price of your lesson. But if you’re going to be practising outside of lessons with a friend or family member you’ll need to get learner driver insurance. Be warned, as an inexperienced driver you’ll be seen by insurers as the biggest risk to cover, which means steeper premiums.

To get cheaper premiums it’s common for learners to be placed on a friend or family member’s policy as a named driver. This usually increases the main driver’s premium, but can be cheaper than taking out an individual policy for the learner. However, becoming a named driver when you’re in fact the main or sole driver of a car (called “fronting”) is illegal. If discovered it will invalidate your policy and, being a type of insurance fraud, could lead to criminal charges.

On the other hand, although it’s pricey, an annual learner policy allows that sweet sweet no claims bonus to start accumulating. In time, it’ll save on premiums for you. Alternatively, there are temporary learner policies that provide short-term cover.

Be aware that with any learner insurance, premiums normally jump once you pass your test. This is because new drivers are seen as an even greater risk than learners, as they can drive unsupervised.

What’s a refresher course?

A refresher course is a short course, often five to ten hours, designed for those with prior experience of driving. Perhaps you’re returning to driving after a break, are new to driving in the UK, or just want to sharpen up.

The lessons are aimed at refreshing knowledge or regaining confidence that may have been lost or dented. But they can be tailored to whatever particular skill someone wants to work on, no matter how general or specific.

If you want to refresh your skills we recommend our five or ten-hour packages. These provide a good space of time in which you can get back up to speed with driving, or iron out the creases and worries. Once you’ve bought a package and have been contacted by your instructor, make sure to tell them you’re a current licence holder, and we’ll sort the rest.

What’s Pass Plus?

Pass Plus is a course without a test, aimed at expanding a new driver’s experience and skill set. It takes a minimum of six hours and is suggested for just after you’ve passed. It covers challenges such as night-time driving, town driving, all weather driving, and motorway driving. Whilst you can drive at night as a learner driver, and access the motorway (so long as you are with a qualified instructor in a dual control car), it’s rare these things are covered in normal driving lessons.

If you’re asking: is Pass Plus worth it? The answer is down to the individual, and what they’re looking to get out of it. Pass Plus can, with increasingly fewer insurers, get you a small reduction on your insurance premium. But those looking to save money through Pass Plus normally find these savings swallowed by the price of the course itself. The cost of Pass Plus varies from school to school but is generally £160 to £200.

Pass Plus is best for those looking for further, professional guidance into the areas the driving test doesn’t cover. It can be reassuring to have an instructor by your side the first time you tackle a fast, narrow country lane, or a busy motorway stretch. The instructor will be able to share a wealth of knowledge that simply wouldn’t come up under the normal driving curriculum.

But equally, some new drivers can feel this is a step back, away from the freedom of securing their licence - more time and money with an instructor! They prefer to tackle new experiences by themselves, or with a friend or family member. For those seeking Pass Plus we encourage our refresher lessons instead as a more affordable way of expanding your driving experiences.