How Long Does It Take To Learn To Drive?

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Learning to drive is a rite of passage for many individuals, as it marks the beginning of a newfound independence and freedom. 

However, learning to drive can be intimidating and overwhelming for some, and one of the most common questions that new learners ask is, “How long does it take to learn to drive?”

It takes between 20 to 45 hours behind the wheel of a vehicle to learn how to drive.

A Young lady that just received her drivers license next to the test vehicle

4 Factors That Influence Your Time To Learn To Drive

The answer to this question is not straightforward, as the time it takes to learn to drive can vary widely depending on a variety of factors, including the learner’s age, the prior experience behind the wheel, the frequency and quality of their driving lessons, and their ability to absorb and apply new information.

Typically, it takes around 20-45 hours of driving lessons for a learner to reach a level where they are ready to take their driving test.

Frequency And Quality Of Driving Lessons 

Take regular driving lessons from qualified driving instructors that will go into the utmost detail of driving and teach the rules of the roads and tips and tricks. 

If allowed in your country or state, the time spent can significantly decrease.

Conversely, infrequent or sporadic lessons may result in slower progress and a more extended learning period.

If you don’t have access to a good driving instructor or the money to take classes, it can take longer to learn to drive, and the chances are higher that you will teach yourself incorrect driving techniques.

A young lady being evaluated on her driving skills by a driving instructor


For example, older learners who have never driven or haven’t driven in many years may find it takes longer to learn, as they may have developed ingrained habits and behaviors that need to be unlearned. 

It is much easier to learn something new the younger you are, but don’t let age get you down; it is just a minor inconvenience.

Prior Driving Experience

Likewise, learners with some prior driving experience, such as those driving off-road or in a foreign country, may find it easier to pick up new skills and techniques.

People with motorsport experience, like go-carting, circuit racing, and even NASCAR, find it much easier to learn to drive on public roads.

This is since the most challenging part of keeping the car on the street and using the controls of the vehicle is something they have mastered already.

Ability To Learn

Unfortunately, we are not all equal in learning abilities, and some of us struggle daily to learn something new while others can instantly understand something.

The same applies to driving; some people are natural drivers and know how to drive in a week, while others need weeks or months to learn the basics.

You Never Stop Learning

Finally, it’s essential to recognize that learning to drive is an ongoing process. 

Even after passing their driving test, new drivers will continue developing their skills and gaining road experience. 

Therefore, new drivers must continue driving regularly and seek further training and development opportunities, such as advanced driving courses, refresher lessons, or even public track days to learn the limits of your vehicle in a safe environment, as shown here:

Learning to Drive Faster on Track From a Professional Race Car Driver

Final Thoughts On How Long Does It Take To Learn To Drive

In conclusion, the time it takes to learn to drive can vary widely depending on various factors. 

While 20-45 hours of driving lessons is a rough guideline for reaching a basic level of competence, it’s essential to recognize that each learner is unique and may require more or less time to become a safe and confident driver. 

Regardless of how long it takes to learn, the key is to approach the process with patience, persistence, and a commitment to ongoing learning and development.

Hopefully, you found this article helpful on how long it takes to learn to drive.


How many driving lessons do I need before taking my test?

A rough guideline is around 20-45 hours of driving lessons.
Some learners may need more, and some may need less, depending on fast they learn.

Can I learn to drive without a driving instructor?

While it’s possible to learn to drive with a friend or family member, taking lessons with a qualified driving instructor is highly recommended.
Instructors have the training and experience necessary to provide structured, comprehensive lessons and identify and correct bad habits or mistakes.

How often should I have driving lessons?

Ideally, learners should have driving lessons regularly, at least once a week.
This allows them to build on their skills and knowledge and progress quickly.

How do I know when I’m ready to take my driving test?

Your driving instructor will be able to advise you on whether you’re ready to take your test or not.
They’ll assess your driving skills and help you identify areas for further improvement.