You are finally old enough to drive; however, having enough money to spend on driving lessons is another story. Before you learn to drive, it is important to work out how you can cover the costs of driving lessons. Unfortunately, not everyone receives their lessons, car and insurance as a gift, so you may need to think about saving up to gain the independence of driving.
Just like any time that you are trying to save up money, there are a few key areas to focus on.
How to Save Money
Firstly, you will need to work out where you can get the money from. Maybe you have a habit of eating out too much (we know the instagrammable brunch is so tempting), or you have a monthly gym subscription that you just don’t use. Small lifestyle changes such as shopping around for your weekly groceries to find the best deals, or just taking reusable shopping bags with you rather than buying every time you shop, can all add up and save you some money!
Prioritise to only spend money on the things that truly matter; set budgets on things that you do for leisure or look for free things to do. This way you can still have fun without spending all the money!
Set Realistic Saving Targets
It is a great idea to set saving targets so that you know what your weekly or monthly goal is. This will help motivate you and give you a visual indication of how much you need to save. However, make sure they are realistic! If you are trying to aim to save £1000 in a matter of months, this just may not be feasible and may end up demotivating you instead!
A good habit to get into is setting aside a portion of your student loan. If you save 20% of your student loan whenever you receive it then this will add up to a hefty saving, meaning you will be able to start driving even sooner!
As a student, you may have some spare time which could be used for a part-time job. This extra cash can be used to finance your university lifestyle (it can be expensive, we know), or be set aside for driving lessons. There are plenty of student-friendly positions out there; why not tutor others or become a brand ambassador? A student job also gives you great experience to highlight your time management of work and study and can help your future job applications. It is a win-win situation!
Saving on Driving Lessons
Once you have saved up some money, there are also some ways to reduce the costs of lessons.
Is it the right time?
- You also have to work out whether driving is worth it right now. Do you have the time to spend learning to drive, reading theory, and actually taking the tests? If you don’t have the time to dedicate to driving, then you may find yourself in a sticky situation where you need to fork out more money to cover lessons as you long out the process. The same applies for actually taking your driving test; it is far more effective to wait till you are definitely ready rather than rushing and potentially failing!
Buy your provisional online
- When learning to drive, you will need a provisional licence, and you can apply for one online or by post. Our advice is to go for the online application as this is slightly cheaper. Although the difference is only £9, every little does count!
- Bulk booking when it comes to driving lessons is a great way to try and get a discount. Driving instructors love to bulk book their lessons and offer a decent saving. It is worth working out whether you are happy with your instructor and how many lessons you think you will need, before committing to your lessons! Everyone is different, so don’t fall for thinking that you can pass with five lessons, because it can take up to 45 (or more) if you can’t quite get the hang of it. Sometimes, a 2-hour slot rather than 1-hour may get a better deal and give you far more time for you to get into the swing of things!
Use free online theory test resources
- You could of course splash the cash on theory test revision books and flash cards, or even expensive apps, but why bother wasting those precious pounds on resources that can be found for free online instead. You can find a free online theory test, free hazard perception test and free highway code online, so make the most of these readily available aids to help you practise. Why not take your theory lesson early on in the process, this will then motivate you to pass your practical (you only have 2 years after taking your theory before it runs out!).
- Yes, you have got your driving licence, but what next? You don’t want to find that you have completed the course to realise that cars and insurance are not within your budget. Research beforehand and don’t just go for the first insurance package you see.
With all this in mind, you will be on the road in no time! Happy driving!
Written by Rebecca Hart, an Online Marketer at StudentJob UK. If you are starting your job search but not sure where to start, then check out StudentJob. Our application tips will help you create an effective CV, cover letter and help you smash interviews!