The time has come. You stick the oh-so-obvious L plate at the front and back of your car and bribe your parents to start teaching you. The Highway Code becomes your holy book and your evening plans change from sports to theory and driving lessons.

There’s a lot to know and practice before passing your driving test – but how much does learning to drive actually cost?

How much does a provisional licence cost?

You can apply for your first provisional driving licence from DVLA when you’re 16 (15 years and 9 months to be exact). The cost of a provisional licence in the UK is £34 through an online application or £43 by post.

You can’t start driving a car until you turn 17, unless you’ve applied for the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The provisional licence will cover you when you’re learning but once you’ve passed your driving test it’ll be exchanged to a full drivers licence – this is free.

How much do driving lessons cost?

Driving lessons costs vary between the big names and local instructors, mainly from £20 to £30 per lesson. The AA offers a flexible range of packages to new pupils and lessons from £25 per hour to existing pupils. The Red Driving School offers some lessons from £12.75 per hour with multiple introductory offers. Local instructors might charge less but make sure you get an approved driving instructor (ADI). Usually, the more you book at once, the cheaper it is.

There’s no minimum number of lessons required, but DVSA recommends an average of 47 hours of lessons with an instructor before taking your driving test – with an average price of £24 that’s £1,128 off your savings.

How much does the driving test cost?

Taking your theory test costs £23 for cars. It’s the same amount every time, if you need to retake it.

The cost for your driving test is £62 on weekdays and £75 on evenings, weekends or Bank Holidays – and less than half of drivers pass on their first attempt. Many find it useful to have a final lesson just before the test. The driving test changed in 2017 to better reflect driving skills needed to avoid fatal collisions and the use of sat navs. It’s now potentially more difficult so it’s important to invest in lessons.

So you get your provisional licence, you take the recommended hours of driving lessons and you book your theory and driving test – reaching that sweet point of freedom and being able to drive on your own is going to cut you down by approximately £1,330*.

The costs that come after depend on whether you’ll buy your own car and what car that will be – and your insurance. We offer young drivers insurance, using black box technology to calculate a personalised renewal quote with rewards for safe driving.

There are also many driving tips you can follow to reduce fuel costs – it’s all worth budgeting, getting there has already cost you an arm and leg!

* We’ve used an average price of £24 for a driving lesson with the total of recommended 47 hours.