Learners have to pay for additional classes and do more hours of training if they do not pass.
Acquiring a driving licence is a big milestone for most adults. It leads to better mobility and gives you more freedom to move around. But before getting behind the wheel, one must first pass a stringent driving test. Some are lucky they ace it on their first try, but others are not – and it’s not uncommon – that they have to make several attempts before getting that shiny silver card.
Driving lessons are not always cheap. In Dubai, the cost of obtaining a driving licence, after passing the final road test on the first attempt, may set someone back between Dh4,500 and Dh7,000, depending on the chosen driving school. Failing the test would require the learner to take additional classes and do more hours of practical training before re-taking the test. And that’s an extra cost. Failing the test, again and again, means more money going down the drain.
Plugging financial loss
To plug the financial loss, driving schools in Dubai are offering bulk driving lessons or unlimited driving licence packages. Like when buying things, the same is true of driving lessons, it comes cheaper when you buy in bulk.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Sameer Agha, head of marketing at Galadari Motor Driving Centre, explained the unlimited or lump sum driving license package simply means unlimited internal tests and unlimited training classes until one gets the highly-coveted driving licence.
The cost is around Dh8,000 plus VAT for the unlimited package. “But you can actually save between Dh1,000 and Dh2,000, or more if you are a beginner and not yet confident to drive,” Agha candidly added.
The number of lessons one has to take varies from one emirate to another. In Dubai, training hours are based on driving experience: 20 hours for complete beginners with no driving experience; 15 hours for those with driving experience between two and five years and holding an original valid or expired driving license; and 10 hours for those with driving experience over 5 years and holding original valid or expired driving license.
Dubai resident Anthony Peralta, who started taking driving lessons early this year is aware that if he fails the road test later this month, he has to pay for extra lessons before taking the test again. That is why he opted to take the unlimited driving lesson package.
“It’s like insurance,” he said, adding: “I always pay attention during classes and I can prepare myself mentally for the road test, but I’m afraid I might make a mistake or two, and the examiner will fail me.”
Nervousness or fear is one of the major factors in failing the test. According to driving instructors, the road test pass rate in Dubai is about 50 per cent. This is around the same in the UK, where the driving test pass rate was only 47.1 per cent between January and March 2022.
“So, it’s better to pay more now because even if I fail once, twice, thrice or even four times, I can take the lessons again and again until I get the licence without worrying about the fees,” Peralta noted.
Peace of mind
Fatima Raees, director of customer service and marketing at Emirates Driving Institute, said “the unlimited driving lesson package not only offers flexibility but also peace of mind to the learners.”
“The biggest advantage of the ‘fixed price till you pass course’ is that you get peace of mind. You don’t have to worry about extra payment as the amount you paid will cover all the lessons, regardless of the number of classes or tests you have to take,” she added.
2 thoughts on “Unlimited driving lessons in Dubai? Why some residents are shelling out Dh8,000 for ‘lump sum’ driver’s licence package”
Hi, i have been doing my driving lesson almost a year now because I failed parking 6 times aside from too long waiting time on scheduling, and it’s causing me too much money and time. I understand the process for each and everyone’s safety on the road, but I would like humbly to ask a reconsideration on passing the last steps specially there is now Unlimited Diving Scheme. Question now is , can i convert my file to Unlimited? I hope for your kind consideration. Thank you
After passing the road test, do I need to pay extra fees for the driving license or the fees I pay includes the driving permit