How Long?

One of the most frequent, and natural, questions we’re asked is ‘How long, i.e. how much money will it take, to get me to test standard?’


The answer you get from us, and from any driving instructor with integrity, is, ‘That depends on you.’

We’ve had folk, who’ve done their background work, who have done it in 20 lessons from scratch, but they’ve taken to it like a duck to water. A few have passed in just 15 lessons, but that was because they’d been driving off-road beforehand. The DVSA UK average is around 46 hours of formal lessons, plus 20-30 hours private practice.
On Fire’s average is around 25 hours of formal lessons for someone between 17 and 25, if coupled with regular practice in the family/a friend’s car. We must underline that this is our average – depending on learning speed, some may get to standard this quickly, but some may take more time to settle in.

Getting the Advantage

Driving is grown-up stuff, and if you’re prepared to read around your subject, understand the responsibilities of a modern driver; watch online vids of learners getting into pickles; gradually memorize the Highway Code, Know Your Traffic Signs etc., you’ll get on much faster. (This’ll also help you breeze through your Theory Test, btw!)

Likewise, if you’re a more hands-on type of learner, organise insurance and road time with a friend or relation – you’ll be able to practice everything you learn in your On Fire lesson, and again, get on much faster.

Gauge Your Learning Speed

Think about machinery you operate without thinking; a keyboard or typewriter; a video gamepad; a sewing machine; a bicycle and so forth. Think back to how long it took you to get to that ‘unconscious operation’ stage, and what you did to get there. Mistakes were part of the learning process – falling off the bike; sewing your thumb to the hem of your jeans, or sliding Lara Croft off that cliff, with that inevitable scream and cringy impact.

Starting to drive is exactly the same – you are practicing operating a piece of machinery, until you cease to think about the machinery. A car being a complex piece of kit, the ‘not thinking about it’ bit will likely come quite late in your driver training, as you need to also think about what everyone’s up to outwith the car. You, your instructor and the car are unable to respawn. Soz.

So have a think about how you have learned in previous ‘machinery usage’ situations, and you’ll get some idea as to how long it’ll take you to pick it up.

On Fire for Driving like to avoid the ‘Lara scream/death plummet’ stuff. So we spend quite a bit of time first-off on basic controls and junctions. Once you’ve got that down, you can safely make the essential learning mistakes without worrying about totalling us/yourself/the lovely car. As you work through this process, you’ll be glad to know,

We’ve Got Your Back.

The On Fire for Driving Team