The first question we’re normally asked is, ‘Considering I won’t learn as fast as when I was twenty, how much longer is this going to take?’ The answer, although sounding rather trite, is, ‘No longer than anyone else.’
Simply because your life experience will have given you a greater ability to predict folks’ behaviour, which is a huge part of driving well. Yes, you may take somewhat longer to pick up the car controls to the point that you’re no longer really thinking about them, and getting the more technical stuff, like manoeuvres, may require more practice than others, but the previous point will balance this out.
As we mention on our How Long? page, the national average across all ages is around 40+ hours formal lessons, with 15 to 20 hours additional practice. Our advice to every new learner is budget for around £1000, but we tend to come in lower than this: you’ll cut your costs significantly if you have someone to practice with, and your character and experience may well move things along more quickly. Older learner drivers aren’t afraid of working at the subject: investigating techniques and tips from others and online; memorising the Highway Code and peripheral guides; picking their Instructor’s brain, seeking their opinions, and using their expertise as a resource.
Even the big, national driving schools see very few mature learner motorists, and On Fire are aware that our rather ‘sporty’, youthful image may seem somewhat off-putting for the seriously determined. However, our own little Ayrshire collection of older learner drivers have left our tender care very happy bunnies indeed: with a new skill, and new knowledge, an intact bank balance … and having had a lot of fun along the way!
The On Fire for Driving Team