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Saturday 1 October 2016

Revealed: Here are the cheapest and most expensive driving lessons

Catherine Devine

Published 02/09/2016 | 19:09

A New Driver Passes her Driving Test Photo: Getty Images
A New Driver Passes her Driving Test Photo: Getty Images

The complete cost of getting behind the wheel for the first time varies massively between driving schools in the capital, Independent.ie can reveal.

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Following a price survey of over 40 driving schools in the Dublin area, this website can reveal the most expensive driving school is the Airport Driving School with 12 EDT lessons costing a total of €568.

The cheapest driving school to obtain the complete set of lessons is the NSA Driving School at €290, at almost half the cost of Airport Driving School.

Learner drivers must now complete 12 lessons, dubbed the Essential Driving Lessons (EDL), before obtaining a licence.

 While Airport Driving School’s prices aren’t available online, an employee for the company confirmed classes are €49.79 per hour or 12 lessons at €568 broken down into six two-hour lessons.

 A pre-test in included in the price. If a student wishes to use the company car for their final test, they must complete a mock test at €149 before hiring the car at a cost of €99, making it the most expensive company for Pre-test/Car hire packages.

 The school claims they have a “96pc pass rate” and guarantee the driving test, if you stick to the instructor’s lesson plan.

 Airport Driving School manager Matt Connors said their prices are "privy to the service given".

 "We have brand new Ford Fiestas and our instructors are trained in house and always training. We have a mock test because we want to guarantee that students will pass their test. We're a very successful school and our customers are very happy."

 Meanwhile, the RSA School of motoring offers 12 EDT lessons for €347 and a pre-test and car hire deal for €125, both in line with the average price in the county.

“We don’t charge extra for a ‘mock test’. There’s not much difference between a pre-test and a ‘mock test’,” a spokesperson for the RSA told Independent.ie.

 RSA School of Motoring also said they don’t agree with driving schools stating they have a high pass rate; “Every pupil is different. Of course if you say you have to follow instructor’s recommendations of another six lessons after the 12, you can guarantee you’ll pass.”

RSA School of Motoring said they offer a one hour pre-test to students as exam preparation but advised students to practise in between lessons to pass the test.

“Every pupil should be doing three hours of driving in between each lesson," they added.

 John Nolan from the Nolan School of Driving, which features in the top 10 cheapest driving schools in the Dublin area, said driving students should shop around to determine the hidden costs. He described some costs as "crazy".

 The Nolan School boasts competitive prices of €320 for 12 lessons. The company offers a pre-test at €50 for two hours and car hire for tests is €80.

“Some driving schools have excessive prices. They might have excessive costs but their prices are very high and very expensive," he said.

“You don’t have to go with it. I’d be inclined to look around and compare the crazy prices.”

Nationwide, Athlone comes out on top for the highest pass rate at driving centres with a 62.40 pass rate in 2014.

According to the RSA, the average pass rate per country is 53.35.

Wicklow was at the bottom of the rate list with a 50.15 pass rate.

 

The Breakdown: Price-list of 12 EDT lessons for Dublin-based Driving Schools

Price of 12 EDT lessons for Dublin-based Driving Schools

SchoolPrice
Airport Driving School

€568

Park School of Motoring

€504

Aviva Driving School

€499

Branigan's Driving School

€420

Clontarf Driving Academy

€400

The Churchtown Rathgar School Of Motoring

€395

Rathfarnam School of Motoring

€385

Automatic Driving Lessons

€379

Irish School of Motoring

€369

City Driving School

€360

Callan Driving School

€360

Alexandra School of Motoring

€360

Allied Driving Instructors

€360

Highways school of motoring

€360

Safety First

€350

Parkside School of Motoring

€350

My Drive School of Motoring

€350

Award School of Motoring

€350

Dublin North Driving School 

€350

Startline Driving School

€350

A New Driver

€350

Embassy Driving School

€348

RSA School of Motoring

€347

Learn to Drive Dublin

€347

InGear Driving School

€340

Top Class Driving School

€340

My EDT

€337

Colliers School of Motoring

€335

Pinacle Driving School

€335

Tallaght Driving School

€330

4ward Driving School

€330

Gibson School of Motoring

€330

Nolan Driving School

€320

National Driving School

€320

APLus Driving School

€320

King's School of Motoring

€320

Euro Driving School

€310

Advantage Driving School

€300

Top Gear Driving Academy

€299

Easy Drive

€299

Pass My Test

Skilz Driving Academy

€299

€295

NSA Driving School

€290

 

Price for Pre-Test/Car hire

SchoolPrice
Airport Driving School (Includes mock test €149 and car hire €99)

€248

Advantage Driving School

€155

Alexandra School of Motoring

€145

Automatic Driving Lessons

€135

Park School of Motoring

€132

Nolan Driving School

€130

RSA School of Motoring

€125

Safety First

€125

My EDT

€125

NSA Driving School

€125

Top Gear Driving Academy

€125

National Driving School

€125

My Drive School of Motoring

€125

Easy Drive

€120

In Gear Driving School

€120

Pass My Test

€120

City Driving School

€120

Parkside School of Motoring

€120

Allied Driving Instructors

€120

Clontarf Driving Academy

€120

Award School of Motoring

€120

Branigan's Driving School

€120

Dublin North Driving School 

€120

A New Driver

€120

Highways school of motoring

€110

Gibson School of Motoring

€110

Startline Driving School

€110

Irish School of Motoring

€100

Top Class Driving School

€100

APLus Driving School

€100

4ward Driving School

€100

Tallaght Driving School

€99

Aviva Driving School

€99

Colliers School of Motoring

€95

Embassy Driving School

€80

 

 

If you’re looking for a quick refresher course, here are some of the best package options:

  • Top Gear Driving School offer a Pre-test at €35 or 6 Pre-tests at €177.
  • Callan Driving School offer five hourly lessons, one hour before the Driving Test and car hire for €280.
  • Pass My Test offer a refresher course of 3 EDT lessons for €90 or six for €175.
  • Tallaght School offer €99 for course of four hours
  • Top Class Driving School offer one hour driving lesson, plus one hour Pre-test and car hire for €250.
  • Euro Driving School offer five hour Pre-test package for €140.

(If you've had any driving lesson experiences of note or a story to share, be sure to contact the journalist at cdevine@independent.ie)

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