Some of us, particularly those that live in cities with access to reliable public transport often leave learning to drive to a later date. College, university, a hectic work schedule are among the many reasons we put off learning to drive till later.
For others, they simply put off learning to drive because they lack the confidence, but as they get older, feel that the time is right to start learning.
But does age really affect our ability to learn to drive? Studies suggest that as early as our mid-twenties, our brain begins to slow down and it becomes harder to learn. The DVSA suggests that with all age groups combined, the average learner driver requires 45 hours of professional driving tuition along with an additional 22 hour of private practice.
But not everybody is ‘average’ and in our experience, we’ve had plenty of older learner drivers who have reached test standard in a comparable time to a young learner. Older learners are sometimes a little slower, but they tend to make up for this with increased confidence.
Having said that, let’s go back to the ‘averages’ again. Using the following table, you can roughly calculate how many hours it will take you to learn to drive based on your age.
The table offers you an estimate on how many driving lessons you’ll need based on your age, but there are variables to consider:
1. If you live and take driving lessons in a heavily congested area, it’s likely you’ll require more lessons simply because you’ll be spending more time queueing in traffic.
2. Private practice with family or friends will gain you valuable experience and may reduce the need for expensive professional driving lessons. Even using a push bike helps to improve your road awareness.
3. Being inconsistent and leaving gaps between lessons means you spend more time going over what you previously learnt. This often means you’ll require more lessons.
4. A lack of confidence can significantly effect a learner driver’s ability and can often result in needing more lessons.
5. Taking a single two hour lesson rather than 2 x one hour lessons means you’ll get more done as you’ll spend more time learning new skills rather than recapping what you did last time.
6. Studying the Highway Code, learning road signs and road markings and gaining proficiency with the show me/ tell me questions and answers will help you progress quicker in driving lessons meaning you may require fewer.
7. The table for calculating how many driving lesson you’ll need is for learning to drive in a manual car. If you’re taking automatic driving lessons, you’ll likely need fewer lessons.