Revealed: Here are the cheapest and most expensive driving lessons
The complete cost of getting behind the wheel for the first time varies massively between driving schools in the capital, Independent.ie can reveal.
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
|Airport Driving School|
€504Aviva Driving School
€499Branigan's Driving School
€400The Churchtown Rathgar School Of Motoring
€395Rathfarnam School of Motoring
€379Irish School of Motoring
€369City Driving School
€360Alexandra School of Motoring
€360Allied Driving Instructors
€360Highways school of motoring
€350Parkside School of Motoring
€350My Drive School of Motoring
€350Award School of Motoring
€350Startline Driving School
€350A New Driver
€350Embassy Driving School
€348RSA School of Motoring
€347Learn to Drive Dublin
€347InGear Driving School
€340Top Class Driving School
€337Colliers School of Motoring
€335Pinacle Driving School
€335Tallaght Driving School
€3304ward Driving School
€330Gibson School of Motoring
€330Nolan Driving School
€320National Driving School
€320APLus Driving School
€320King's School of Motoring
€320Euro Driving School
€310Advantage Driving School
€300Top Gear Driving Academy
Pass My Test
Skilz Driving Academy
€295NSA Driving School
Price for Pre-Test/Car hire
|Airport Driving School (Includes mock test €149 and car hire €99)|
|Advantage Driving School|
|Alexandra School of Motoring|
|Automatic Driving Lessons|
|Park School of Motoring|
|Nolan Driving School|
|RSA School of Motoring|
|NSA Driving School|
|Top Gear Driving Academy|
|National Driving School|
|My Drive School of Motoring|
|In Gear Driving School|
|Pass My Test|
|City Driving School|
|Parkside School of Motoring|
|Allied Driving Instructors|
|Clontarf Driving Academy|
|Award School of Motoring|
|Branigan's Driving School|
|Dublin North Driving School|
|A New Driver|
|Highways school of motoring|
|Gibson School of Motoring|
|Startline Driving School|
|Irish School of Motoring|
|Top Class Driving School|
|APLus Driving School|
|4ward Driving School|
|Tallaght Driving School|
|Aviva Driving School|
|Colliers School of Motoring|
|Embassy Driving School|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org)