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PassMeFast Reflects on 3 Years of Affordable Driving Lessons Following Payl8r BNPL Integration

Learning to drive is not cheap. In fact, it costs on average £2,500 to have lessons. In an economic climate where every penny counts, learners are struggling to justify spending this much on learning to drive when funds must be used elsewhere. However, PassMeFast, the intensive driving course provider, is making learning accessible to everyone through its partnership with Payl8r.

Through this partnership, Payl8r is enabling PassMeFast learners to use buy now pay later (BNPL) as a finance option when it comes to paying for their lessons. Since integrating Payl8r three years ago, the Manchester-based PassMeFast has seen finance orders increase by 1011 per cent. During this time, over 3,000 students have passed their driving tests.

James Daniel, a PassMeFast customer noted the impact of the partnership saying: “Without PassMeFast and its finance option, Payl8r, I wouldn’t have been able to pass my driving test. Other driving schools in my area required large sum payments which wasn’t an option for me at the time. Being able to spread the cost meant that I could focus on my lessons without worrying about my finances.

“The flexibility of repayments meant that I was even able to pay off extra at one time which brought down my monthly costs. I would highly recommend PassMeFast and Payl8r to anyone who’s looking for an easy and flexible driving course.”

Claude Birtwistle, director of finance and commercial from PassMeFast
Claude Birtwistle, director of finance and commercial from PassMeFast

Claude Birtwistle, director of finance and commercial from PassMeFast: “Our partnership with Payl8r has significantly widened finance accessibility and has allowed us to welcome students who might otherwise have been excluded from traditional financing options. The diversity of our customer base required a finance partner who could match our need for inclusivity. Payl8r’s product range has been a perfect fit, catering not just to those with stellar credit scores but also to individuals with thinner files or less-than-perfect credit.”

BNPL fighting against media backlash

This comes at a time when the BNPL market is under increasing scrutiny. Tighter regulations from the government have been imposed to counter BNPL being a debt trap for the unaware. This has especially been made apparent as users are paying for groceries and takeaways using BNPL. As a result, many are racking up bills they do not have the funds to pay for.

Payl8r is currently the only BNPL provider regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is likely to change if new legislation comes in and lenders are forced to adhere to regulation. It is also one of few short-term lenders using open banking. By providing real-time insight into prospective borrowers, open banking gives full scope to lenders of customers’ financial situation. It looks beyond a thin credit file. Customers with lower credit scores have a higher likelihood of accessing short-term loans. This limits their chances of being refused by a lender and seeking high-risk unregulated finance options.

Combatting driving costs
Samantha Fogerty, chief operating officer of Payl8r
Samantha Fogerty, chief operating officer of Payl8r

In the past 30 years, the price to learn to drive has risen by 215 per cent. This amounts to over seven per cent of the average UK salary. Research has found that with costs rising, and access to lessons becoming increasingly inaccessible to lower-income individuals, GenZ are less likely to learn to drive than Millennials. This is despite the Department of Transport stating that having access to a personal car makes it 3.8 times more likely that someone is employed rather than unemployed.

Samantha Fogerty, chief operating officer of Payl8r said: “Regulated finance options are crucial to enabling people access to key life skills. Working with PassMeFast has enabled thousands of students to pass their driving tests. Those who previously may not have been able to afford lessons without a BNPL option. Regulated BNPL options can add major value to people’s lives and help to limit financial exclusions.”


  • Francis is a journalist and our lead LatAm correspondent, with a BA in Classical Civilization, he has a specialist interest in North and South America.

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