How much to learn to drive an electric car in London and other areas of UK?

With many new drivers wanting to learn to drive an electric car, motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden looks at how much it will cost to get your driving licence in an EV.

From the cost of petrol and diesel to worries about climate change, many new drivers are choosing to swap traditional vehicles for an electric car – and we have the information you need when it comes to the cost of getting your new electric car licence.

How much does it cost to pass an electric car driving testFind out how much it costs to pass your test to drive an electric car (Credit:

Do I need a special provisional licence for electric cars – and how much?

The good news is that you will not need to apply for a special provisional licence for electric cars only. This means you can learn to drive in any car and still drive an electric car when you pass, or are accompanied by a qualified driver while you learn.

First of all, though, you will need to apply for a provisional driving licence before you can get on the road with a driving school.

The cost of a provisional licence is £34 if you apply online, or £43 if you do this by post.  

How much are electric car driving lessons?

Currently, few driving schools offer electric cars for driving lessons, but the AA has started a franchise with the first EV lessons planned to take place in London, Luton, Liverpool, Essex, West Sussex and Cardiff, but instructors from other areas of England, Wales and Scotland are expected to join soon.

However, learning in a conventionally powered vehicle will result in a licence that covers both electric, petrol and diesel-powered cars – so here’s how much driving lessons cost on average across the UK in 2024, according to research from insurance provider Nimblefins.

Typical Cost of Driving Lessons per hour Hourly cost, buy 1 hour Hourly cost, buy 10 hours
South West £41 £38
North East £32 £30
Yorkshire & Humber £35 £34
Wales £33 £32
North West £32 £30
Scotland £41 £40
Midlands £32 £31
London £36 £35
Average £35 £34

So, with the average learner requiring around 45 hours of paid tuition, the cost could add up to anything from £1,350 in London, to £1,080 in the South West of the UK – if lessons are bought separately.

However, not everyone will need 45 hours and having a car to get extra road experience in – such as one owned by a parent or other family member etc – will help cut the costs further. Buying in batches of 10, will also reduce the cost of lessons.

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How much are tests for an electric car driving licence?

Currently there are no specific tests for an electric car, but it is likely the theory and practical tests will change over the coming years to reflect the shift to electric cars.

Here we look at the cost of tests you will need to pass to drive an electric car on a full licence.

Theory test

The theory test must be passed before you can take your practical test, and can be taken as soon as you receive your provisional licence – but gaining some on-road driving experience will likely help when taking it.

The theory test will cost you £23 and can be booked here. It is likely that this test will be updated in the near future to include aspects of driving specific to electric cars, such as charging.

Practical driving test

When taking your practical test, you will need to choose between taking a standard test or automatic test. If you want to drive an electric car, you can take an automatic test because electric cars do not have gears.

However, if you pass the practical in an automatic car, you will not be able to drive a manual vehicle. Passing in a manual car will mean you have the choice of driving an electric car, standard automatic car, and manual car.

The cost of a practical driving test is £62 if taken on a weekday and £75 for a weekend slot.

How much to buy a used EV?

Now that you have passed your driving test, you will want to buy an electric car. If you can’t afford a new one, then why not look at a second-hand electric car?

A used EV can be purchased for around £5,000, with a Nissan Leaf, Peugeot ION and Citroen C-Zero among the best value electric cars available from around the £5k mark. However, make sure you do your research before buying – just as you would with any car.

If you can afford more, buying an EV in the £10,000 - £20,000 range will see more Nissan Leafs at this price, with some examples being less than four years old. You should be able to grab a first-generation Leaf with a 30Kwh battery and a range of around 100 miles.

You should also consider how you will charge a car if you live in a flat or with no off-street parking, as these are all issues that could add extra costs.

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

Read all articles by Pete Barden

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