Table of contents
What vehicle and transmission type to learn?Private car/van learning and license processDriving school or private Instructor: which is better?Good things and bad about private instructorsGood things and bad about driving schools【Fee comparison】How do I claim CEF reimbursement for learning to drive?Scheduling for the written and the road tests
2022 駕駛改進課程邊間好?比較考試內容、收費價錢及地址

Learning to drive and getting your license in 2024

 

With the Continuing Education Fund (CEF) now covering driving courses offered by driving schools, more people are considering getting their driver's license. After all, Hong Kong's road tests are famously stringent, with only about a 20% pass rate for both automatic and manual transmissions. The Transport Department's (TD) driving test guidelines recommend a minimum of 30 hours of driving training for beginners. Assuming each lesson is 45 minutes long, that means at least 40 sessions are needed to meet the requirements, and the tuition for 40 sessions can be quite significant. So, should you opt for a private instructor or a driving school? Some believe that the driving school's test routes are easier to pass, but is that really true? Today, we at Kwiksure will compare private instructors and driving schools for you.

All money sums in this article are in Hong Kong Dollars (HKD) unless otherwise stated.

What vehicle and transmission type to learn?

Before starting your driving lessons, you first need to decide whether you want to learn to drive a private car or a van. Undoubtedly, private cars are easier for beginners. But if you have a light goods vehicle license, you can still drive a private car, but you cannot drive a light goods vehicle with a private car license. Moreover, if you plan to make a living from driving, a light goods vehicle will be a more mainstream choice.

As for the transmission, automatic transmission (AT) is certainly easier than manual transmission (MT). MTs require good hand-and-leg coordination, making them more challenging. After obtaining your MT license, you can drive AT vehicles as well, but you cannot operate an MT vehicle if you have an AT license.

Currently, the most common combinations are MT light goods vehicles and AT private cars. It’s easier to find driving school courses and private instructors for those combinations, and the fees are lower.

License type 1 1A 2 2A
Private car (manual) Yes No Yes No
Private car (automatic) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Light goods vehicle (manual) No No Yes No
Light goods vehicle (automatic) No No Yes Yes
Difficulty **** ** ***** ***

Private car/van learning and license process

  1. Complete the application forms, including the driving test application (TD82) and the learner's license application (TD555).
  2. Bring the completed forms and proof of address within the past three months to the Hong Kong Licensing Office or Kowloon Licensing Office to complete the procedures and pay the driving test and learner's license application fees ($510+$548).
  3. Get a written test scheduling letter and take the test on the specified date. The written test consists of 20 multiple-choice questions, and at least 16 correct answers are required to pass.
  4. After passing the written test, schedule the road test immediately.
  5. Decide between a driving school or a private instructor, following the TD's recommendation of a minimum of 30 hours of on-road practice.
  6. Take the road test on the date specified in the scheduling letter. The test consists of:
  • Part B: Mainly evaluates driving on a slope, stopping the car, parking, and U-turns on narrow roads.
  • Part C: Road test based on a route designated by the TD.
  1. After passing the road test, get your probationary driving license (P-license).

Driving school or private Instructor: which is better?

  Driving school Private instructor
Budget Higher (can apply for CEF reimbursement) Lower (but cannot apply for CEF reimbursement)
Learning style Systematic training Varies depending on the instructor
Personality Prefer structured learning, step-by-step approach Enjoy spontaneity, want to try different instructors
Fee mode Package-based Pay as you learn (usually requires payment for 5-10 sessions upfront)

Good things and bad about private instructors

The TD recommends a minimum of 30 hours of driving training. Most driving schools offer 45-minute lessons, so you would need at least 40 sessions to meet the TD's recommendation.

Different private instructors have different styles and temperaments. Some instructors are patient and gentle, while others are more aggressive including in the way they talk. You can get a feel for the instructor's style through a trial session to see if he/she suits your needs. Most instructors will require payment for ten sessions upfront on the first day, usually in cash, so students should bring sufficient cash.

In addition, when calculating the total expenses of learning to drive, on top of the tuition, examination fees, and registration fees, you should also remember that a private instructor may charge students a car rental prior to the road test.

Comparing the quotes from over 60 HK insurers, Kwiksure helps you choose the car insurance that best fits your requirements. Get a quote now!

Good things and bad about driving schools

Some of the best known driving schools in Hong Kong include the Hong Kong School of Motoring, New Kwun Tong Driving School, A1 Driving School, Hung Chun Driving School, and Lee Kin Driving School. Different driving schools have slightly different courses, including fees such as tuition fees and car rental fees, as well as the number of lessons.

Furthermore, some driving schools offer different package deals. For example, the Hong Kong Driving School offers an "alert driving course" taught by different instructors from start to finish for a lower price. A1 Driving School, on the other hand, offers a package of 15 lessons, each lasting 45 minutes, which is especially suitable for students who only want to practice for the road test, as they have already passed the written test or are confident they can pass it.

  Benefits Drawbacks
Driving schools
  • All-in-one service for students, including handling written tests and learner's licenses, more convenient
  • Exclusive test venues and routes with fewer outside vehicles, making it easier to pass the road test
  • Higher fees
  • Instructors may change frequently for some courses
  • More theoretical lessons, limited practical lessons for the road test
Private instructors
  • Lower fees
  • 100% practical lessons for the road test
  • The same instructor throughout
  • No exclusive test venues and routes, more outside vehicles, more difficult
  • You have to pay the tuition fees upfront, so it is hard to switch instructors later on
  • You’ll have to register for the written test and the road test by yourself

【Fee comparison】

Private car (AT) - updated 24/10/2023

Driving school Tuition fee Number of sessions Average tuition per session Car rental fee
Hong Kong School of Motoring $12,980 36 $360 $2,100
Lee Kin Driving School $11,471 53 $216 $1,800
Easy Pass Driving School $8,830 21 $420 Included
New Kwun Tong Driving School $15,966 44 $362 $2,100
Good Luck Motoring School $8,000 25 $320 $2,300
Hung Chun Driving School $7,750 25 $310 $2,200
A1 Driving School $4,800 15 $320 $2,000

Light Goods Vehicle (MT)

Driving school Tuition fee Number of sessions Average tuition per session Car rental fee
Hong Kong School of Motoring $12,980 36 $360 $2,100
Lee Kin Driving School $11,471 53 $216 $1,800
Easy Pass Driving School $8,830 20 $441 Included
New Kwun Tong Driving School $15,966 44 $363 $2,100
Good Luck Motoring School $7,250 25 $290 $2,300
Hung Chun Driving School $7,500 25 $300 $2,200
A1 Driving School $4,800 15 $320 $2,000

*The above fees do not include car rental fees, scheduling fees ($510), and learner's license fees ($548). Fees are for reference only, and the actual fees are subject to the latest quotes from the driving schools. Most driving schools' courses include free test scheduling services.

1. Hong Kong School of Motoring

The Hong Kong School of Motoring has its own training grounds where candidates can practice various driving techniques such as parking, U-turns on narrow roads, starting and stopping on slopes, and more. They also provide a dedicated mobile app for candidates to view video clips of routes and driving skills, as well as make class reservations.

The school offers a variety of examination courses, but they are also the most expensive in Hong Kong. The courses are mainly divided into two types: those taught by the same instructor throughout and those taught by different instructors. The former type is more expensive.

According to data from October 2023, the "alert driving course" for private cars with automatic transmission taught by the same instructor includes 20 sessions of 45 minutes each (a total of 15 hours) for driving practice, and 16 non-practical sessions (approximately 13.3 hours in total, including theory classes and on-board observations). The tuition fee is $12,980. The course fee does not include the test car rental fee of $2,100, as well as the TD's learner driving license application fee of $548 and the driving test form fee of $510.

Road test locations: Ap Lei Chau, Sha Tin, or Yuen Long

Exam scheduling: Included for no extra cost

2. Hung Chun Driving School

Hung Chun Driving School has multiple branches and offers flexible class schedules. They provide discounted packages (taking private car courses as an example, they have packages of 7, 15, and 25 sessions). Students can also purchase sessions individually, although the package fees per session are generally cheaper. However, online registration is currently not available, and students need to personally head to the branches to register.

Moreover, sessions in the Kowloon and New Territories areas are usually cheaper than those on Hong Kong Island. The package price for 25 sessions of private car with automatic transmission is $7,750 for Package A, while Package G with the same number of sessions on Hong Kong Island costs $8,000–a difference of $250.

Candidates must pay $510 for the road test application and $548 for the temporary learner's license, totaling $1,058, as well as a test car rental fee starting from $2,200.

Road test locations: Chung Yee Street, Tin Kwong Road, Pui Ching Road, Kwai Chung Shek Yam Lei Muk Road, or Happy Valley

Exam scheduling: Included for no extra cost

3. Lee Kin Driving School

Lee Kin Driving School has a former senior examiner from the TD as the instructor for theory classes, covering mechanical knowledge to psychological preparations. In particular, the course for MT light goods vehicles represents good value for money. The school also offers additional discounts for retest candidates, candidates signing up as a pair, and post-secondary students.

Road test locations: So Kon Po, Tin Kwong Road, Yau Tong, Chak On Road, Chung Yee Street, Wing Hau Street, Happy Valley, Shek Yam, and Pui Ching Road

Exam scheduling: Included for no extra cost

4. New Kwun Tong Driving School

The New Kwun Tong Driving School conducts road tests exclusively at the Yau Tong examination center. They have dedicated training and examination sites for private cars, allowing candidates to practice techniques such as parking and U-turns. There are two course options: 44 sessions and 40 sessions, which differ in the number of road test practice sessions.

By registering online, a 10% discount is available. The cost for the 44-session course is $15,966, while that of the 40-session course is $14,922.

The course fees do not include the test car rental fee of $2,100 (for the first midterm test and the road test), as well as the TD's learner driving license application fee of $548 and the test form fee of $510.

Road test location: Yau Tong

Exam scheduling: Included for no extra cost

5. Good Luck Motoring School

Good Luck Driving School allows candidates to take more than two lessons at once. The cost for 25 sessions of MT private cars is $8,000, while that for 25 sessions of AT private cars is $7,900. This does not include the administrative fee of $100 for arranging TD documents and examination scheduling (applicants need to pay an additional $548 for the learner's driving license fee, $510 for the TD’s examination form fee, and $2,300 for the test car rental fee).

Road test locations: Kwai Shing Circuit, Chak On Road, Tin Kwong Road, Chung Yee Street, Yau Tong, and So Kon Po

Exam scheduling: Included for no extra cost

6. A1 Driving School

A1 offers 15-session on-road practice courses for AT/MT private cars and light goods vehicles. It is especially suitable for candidates who prefer practical training. However, it is recommended that candidates be patient and assess their abilities before enrolling in these courses. Some driving experience is necessary.

Road test locations: Pui Ching Road, Tin Kwong Road, Chung Yee Street, Chak On Road, Ka Wing Street, Wing Hau Street, Shek Yam, So Kon Po, Happy Valley, or Yau Tong driving test center

Exam scheduling: Included for no extra cost

7. Easy Pass Driving School

Easy Pass Driving School offers 8+1 and 20+1 courses for AT private cars, priced at $4,970 and $8,830 respectively. The fees do not include the learner's driving license fee of $548 or the examination scheduling fee of $510, but they do cover the car rental fee for the road test.

Road test locations: Chung Yee Street, Chak On Road, So Kon Po, Yau Tong, Tin Kwong Road, Kwai Shing, Pui Ching Road, Shek Yam, or Happy Valley

Exam scheduling: Included for no extra cost

Comparing the quotes from over 60 HK insurers, Kwiksure helps you choose the car insurance that best fits your requirements. Get a quote now!

How do I claim CEF reimbursement for learning to drive?

As mentioned above, Hong Kong School of Motoring's private car driving certificate course (CFE course code: 33C121778) and light goods vehicle driving certificate course (CFE course code: 33C121786) are included as CEF "courses eligible for reimbursement."

However, you should note that even if you enroll in these courses, you still need to pay a fee. For example, the approved tuition fee for the driving course is $19,056. Even with the maximum CEF subsidy, candidates still need to pay $5,122 in tuition fees.

Moreover, the test car rental fee of $1,950 and the TD's learner's driving license and examination form fees of $1,058 are not covered by the CEF subsidy. In other words, candidates still need to pay a total of $8,130. Is it worth it? You be the judge.

Scheduling for the written and the road tests

Scheduling

To schedule the test, you need to visit a licensing office to submit the "Driving Test Application TD82", "Learner's Driving License TD555" and proof of address from the past three months, and pay the relevant fees. Once your application is confirmed, you will receive a written test scheduling letter and the "Road Users' Code".

Written test

Approximately one month later, you need to go to the Cheung Sha Wan Transport Department to take the written test. You must bring the written test scheduling letter and your HKID card to the test center. The test will last for 20 minutes and consists of 20 questions, and you need to answer at least 16 correctly to pass. After completing the written test, the TD will provide you with a road test scheduling letter with the time and location of the road test.

Road test

The road test is divided into two parts–Parts B and C. You need to bring the road test scheduling letter, HKID card, learner's driving license, and student handbook to the test location. Before the test starts, you will undergo a vision test (reading a license plate from 23 meters away) before proceeding with Part B, which includes U-turning, driving on a slope, stopping, and parking. Part C will test your driving on the streets. After passing the road test, you can apply for a probationary driving license (P license), and if you don't violate any regulations within one year, you will be eligible for a full driving license.

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The above information is for reference only. Kwiksure takes no responsibility for the accuracy and timeliness of the information. For the coverage, mode of compensation, benefit limit and premium levels of any specific insurance plan, please refer to the relevant policy terms.
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Author Anthony Chan

Anthony is the Content Marketing Director for Kwiksure and its parent company Pacific Prime. He is responsible for supervising and developing content marketing strategies, search engine optimization, data analysis, e-communications, and video production. With over 10 years of experience in marketing, Anthony is adept at analyzing insurance market trends to ensure the content is engaging and easy to digest.

His English articles can be found on Pacific Prime's blogs for their Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, Dubai, and Thailand branches. He also studied English writing during his exchange program at West Virginia University in the United States.