A new survey suggests that 40% of driving instructors have upped the price of driving lessons since the start of the pandemic.

The survey of more than 4,000 driving instructors, was undertaken by Marmalade. It has found that instructors have been left with no choice but to up the cost of driving lessons. This is due to the mounting backlog of learners and the increasing pressure throughout the industry.

Fewer lessons

In line with a 40% increasing the price, 30% of instructors have actually reduced the frequency of lessons a learner can book at any one time. It also seems that experienced learners are getting priority as the require less resources.

According to the survey results, the average driving lesson costs is 9% higher than at the start of the pandemic. It means the average price now is £31.15 per lesson, up from £28.47 in 2020.

Cashing in

Over one fifth (21%) of instructors revealed they are charging more than the 2021 average of just over £31. The cost of their lessons is now between £35 – £40. In 2020, only 6% of instructors priced lessons between £35 – £40, marking a 15% increase in 2021.

Crispin Moger, CEO of Marmalade, says: “Learner drivers are still feeling the impact of the past 18 months with the aftershock of the pandemic disrupting the industry at every level.” He adds that instructor shortages are an “ongoing issue doesn’t seem to be improving”.

The survey also reveals that instructors have experience a 227% increase in enquiries since 2020. This equates to an average of 8.24 enquiries extra on a weekly basis now vs the start of 2020. It translates to around 30% of instructors are turning away 5-10 enquiries per week.

Paying the price

Almost half of instructors (41%) feel it is resulting in a poorer work/life balance. On average they are working 4.87 extra hours per week, with 33% citing this as a reason for considering a career change.

Crispin also highlighted concern over third party apps exagerating problems. According to ADIs, these apps “buy up all of the test slots meaning they have no way of their pupils booking a test”. Describing this as “a vicious cycle that is only making the situation worse for all parties”, it means learners are struggling to get on the the road. It is also “impacting instructors’ businesses and lives.”

The full report by Marmalade and all findings from the survey can be found here.