LEARNER drivers can get 40 hours of driving lessons for free – but they have to meet two criteria.
A recent survey from Marmalade insurance suggested that nearly half of driving instructors have raised the price of lessons due to the Covid pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns.
An estimated 40 per cent of driving instructors in the UK have increased the price of their lessons since 2020, with the cost of the average lesson rising from £28.47 to £31.15, an increase of nine per cent.
However, support is available for qualifying people with disabilities under the Motability Scheme, which can offer up to 40 hours of free driving lessons.
The average learner needs between 40 and 50 hours of lessons to get to be test ready, so, for certain learners it could cover the entirety of their driving course.
As well, if you already have a driving licence but need to change to an adapted vehicle, the scheme can help provide familiarisation lessons.
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The lessons focus on people learning how to operate an adapted vehicle under the supervision of a trained instructor.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE SCHEME
The Motability Driving Lessons Grant Programme gives funding for people who want to learn to drive and are:
1. In receipt of one of these disability allowances:
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of Child Disability Payment
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
2. Receive a government-assessed means-tested benefit including:
- Universal Credit
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance (income-related)
- Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Benefit (Council Tax Support, Council Tax Reduction)
- Pension Guarantee Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Child Tax Credit
In addition, learners must have a current lease agreement on the Motability Scheme or a pending application for a vehicle with the scheme featuring a confirmed delivery date for the vehicle within the next four months.
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The Motability website says: “All grant applications are means-tested to ensure Motability supports those most in need of a charitable grant and help as many beneficiaries as possible with the charitable funds available.
“This means we will look at your financial situation to determine if we are able to provide a grant towards your lessons.”
The cost of driving lessons have risen, on average, by nine per cent since 2020 a survey has found