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Driving Lessons in London

Pass faster with our top-rated driving instructors in London. Prices start from just £20 an hour!

Where we provide lessons in London

No matter where in London you’re based, we’ll be just around the corner! Some of our popular areas are:

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

Or just enter your postcode above to check lesson pricing in your local area of London.

Learning to drive in London

If you’re new to the wheel, you might be nervous about London’s heavy traffic and busy streets. But don’t let that put you off! The average speed on London’s roads is very slow due to the large number of cars - so you’ll have a bit more time to prepare for oncoming hazards. Plus, once you’ve learned to drive here, you’ll be well-placed to drive anywhere.

It goes without saying to avoid the city centre when you’re starting out, but you’ll also need to take into account the Congestion Charge - a fee that drivers have to pay if they’re travelling through the centre of London at certain times of day. The charge doesn’t apply in the evenings and at weekends, so if you’re hoping to head into the Congestion Charge zone then those might be good times to do so!

As well as dual carriageways, there are lots of motorways surrounding London. Although you won’t get assessed on them during your driving test, we’d still recommend asking your instructor for a motorway driving lesson. That way, you’ll feel confident by the time you come to tackle them on your own post-test.

A couple of useful motorways to get to grips with are the M1 and M11. They’re both common routes out of the city which you’re likely to use once you pass your test. Equally, you’ll probably use the M25 ring road regularly to travel to different parts of the city. Remember though, you can’t drive on the motorway as a learner unless you’re with an instructor in a dual control car. With the help of your Midrive instructor, your shiny pink driver’s licence will drop through your letterbox before you know it!

Manual and automatic driving lessons

You can choose between automatic and manual driving lessons in London.

We offer both transmissions in London, so make sure that you’ve considered which is best for you before you start lessons. Since there’s heavy traffic in London, you might find it simpler to drive an automatic car. Automatics take away the need to change gears, so they give you less to worry about, particularly in slow-moving traffic.

On the other hand, manual lessons and cars tend to be cheaper. Plus, with a manual licence you’re qualified to drive both manual and automatic cars, giving you more freedom in the long run. The choice is yours!

Driving test centre locations across London

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

What learners say about our driving lessons in London

We’ve helped over 300,000 learners pass their driving test so far. Why not take a look at some of the lovely things they’ve said about us?

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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 driving 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 much do lessons cost?

Sadly there’s a price for the freedom of that pink licence. With learners needing on average 47 hours of professional lessons according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), and the average driving lesson costing £24, you’re looking at a bare minimum spend of £1,128! But there are ways to make learning more affordable.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but don’t always go for the cheapest lessons. A cheap lesson may look appealing, but an instructor will be making up their margins somewhere. Perhaps they’re reducing drive time to save on petrol, or maybe they’re teaching two pupils at once. All this could mean you end up taking more lessons than necessary, dragging out your learning and mounting up your costs.

At Midrive you get what you pay for: one-to-one tuition with a trusted fully qualified driving instructor and all the features of our free app, like helpful articles tailored to your learning, lesson feedback, and in-app chat for lesson scheduling. It’s why our learners save money in the long run, passing in 17 fewer hours than the UK average.

How much does the driving test cost?

Let’s talk the cost of a practical driving test! It’ll set you back £63 on a weekday and £75 at the weekend or after 4.30 pm. There’s usually an additional charge for the hire of an instructor's car on test day to look out for (at Midrive we use a credit system, so we’ll reserve you some for test day rather than charge extra fees).

The people that run the driving test, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), understand that plans can change. So long as you give three clear working days’ notice you won't be charged for cancelling or rescheduling your test. If you have to retake your test, unfortunately there’s no discount on your second attempt. But since our learners are 38% more likely to pass first time, here’s hoping if you learn with us, this won’t be necessary!

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.

How many lessons does it take to pass the driving test?

There are plenty of figures bandied about online. Most state that a typical learner driver will pass after 40 hours plus of driving lessons, supported by 20 hours plus of private tuition. But this doesn’t take into account the age of a learner, their experience, their confidence or their natural ability. There are plenty of factors that mean there is no typical learner driver, and no standard speed or time frame in which you can pass your test.

There’s even a slight danger in the question: how many lessons till I pass? Driving lessons aren’t just about passing a test; they’re about preparation for life on the road and becoming a safe, reliable driver. We reckon instead you should ask: how long till I’m a safer driver? Because safe drivers are the best drivers, and they’re the ones most likely to pass their test (and the ones we like most!).

For reference, the average Midrive learner passes in 30 hours - 17 hours fewer than the DVSA average. We reckon it’s because of our great instructors and the in-app support our learners have available outside of lessons! That’s why of all our lesson packages we recommend the 30-hour pack the most. And if you happen to pass quickly we’ll refund up to 10 remaining hours.

Just remember - averages aren’t prescriptions. No matter how many lessons it takes you to pass, there’s no number to be worried or ashamed about. Obviously, it’s nice to pass in as few lessons as possible - to get out on the road, and to save yourself money. But the truth is, like any skill in life, no one learns at the same rate.

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?

No, 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. Here 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 get driving lessons at 16?

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.

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 which offer driving 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 driving 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 (phew!). 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.

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