If you’re using your driving instructors car during the driving test, the instructor may wait back at the test centre, go have a cup of coffee, or perhaps sit in the back of the car during your test. What ever the instructor does, they can’t offer you an awful lot of help, so why do driving instructors charge for the driving test?
Driving instructors charge for the driving test for the following reasons:
- Almost all driving instructors are self-employed, so if they don’t charge for the use of their car during the test, they aren’t earning. Essentially, a driving instructor could be teaching on a driving lesson (and earning) rather than giving you free use of their car on the test.
- Running costs of the car all add up. While out on your test, there will be vehicle wear and tear, fuel running costs and other expenses that the instructor has to pay such as tax and insurance.
How Much Should a Driving Instructor Charge Me for the Test?
All expenses and fees should be arranged with the driving instructor prior to the test. That way, there’ll be no unexpected fees to pay. If you’re not entirely sure why you’re being charged, ask the driving instructor for a breakdown of costs. How much a driving instructor charges you for the test could vary, but a typical example is:
- Two hours; one hour for a warm up drive and to get to the test centre in time. The remaining hour is for the test itself and for the time it takes for the instructor to drive you home. The two hours are usually equal to the amount you would pay for two driving lessons with that instructor. If it’s more and you’re not sure why, ask the instructor.
- There may be additional charges if you live quite a distance from the test centre and require more time on the day.
- If the instructor booked and paid for your driving test, you can expect the test fee to be an additional charge.
- A driving instructor may charge more if your test is over a weekend. But this should only apply if they generally charge more for weekend lessons.
As said, it’s important that all fees are arranged before the test and that you’re charged fairly. Certain driving instructors use the test as a way of making easy money by charging excessive hourly rates and for charging additional fees such as insurance for the driving test (driving tests are already covered by their insurance).
Can I Reduce the Costs?
If viable, you could consider borrowing a car from a friend or family member to take the test in. You’ll also need to arrange a supervising passenger to accompany you to the test. Bear in mind however that there will need to be learner driver insurance purchased.
Though this may save you money compared to using the driving instructors car, if you are not familiar with driving the borrowed car, it may have a negative impact on your driving test performance. It’s strongly recommended that you take the driving test in the same car you have for lessons as you’ll be familiar with it.