Learners are paying the price

14.25 | 11 July 2011 |

The rising cost of driving lessons, combined with the recession, has resulted in more learner drivers taking lessons from unqualified instructors, and a decrease in the number of people passing the driving test at the first attempt (The Independent).

The AA claims that the number of driving tests failed by learner drivers who were taught by trainee instructors has soared to 27,000 a year, and that many candidates did not know the person teaching them had no qualifications.

Additionally, DfT figures show the overall pass-rate in England and Wales has crept downwards in recent years, from around 70% in 2005-06 to 64% in 2010.

The Independent adds that motoring experts have blamed ‘socio-economic factors’ for the low scores in a number of inner-city areas. The AA estimates that the average cost of a single driving lesson is now £24, and it recommends that a candidate has 44 lessons before taking a test – putting the cost of learning to drive at more than £1,000.

Olivia Baldock, training co-ordinator at the Driving Instructors Association, said: "As the recession has hit harder, more and more people have decided to save money and take lessons from parents and other relations.

"This is not always a good combination and can mean that people have to spend a lot more as they do not get the right training and end up having to take more tests and pay for more lessons."

A spokesman for the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) said: “Pass rates are influenced by various factors, and there will inevitably be some variation from one test centre to another."

Click here to read the full Independent report.


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