PassMeFast, a UK-based provider of intensive driving courses, has used short-term lending to grow the accessibility of driving lessons to the public. Introducing a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) finance option, Payl8r, three years ago, the company has facilitated over 3,000 students in successfully passing their driving tests.

PassMeFast provides intensive, semi-intensive and crash-course driving lessons nationwide. Since integrating Payl8r as a payment option allowing customers to spread the cost at checkout, PassMeFast has witnessed a 1011% increase in finance orders in three years, representing a compound annual growth rate of 170%.

This is notable amid the heightened scrutiny of the BNPL market, where major providers have extended finance for minor, low-cost purchases such as takeaways and groceries. Such practices have raised concerns among debt experts, prompting government proposals for new legislation to impose stricter regulations on lenders.

Currently, Payl8r is the sole BNPL provider regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), although this status may change if new legislation mandates industry-wide compliance.

FCA secures contract changes for buy-now-pay-later customers as more consumers use the product

Learning to drive incurs a considerable cost, averaging £2,500 — an increase of 215% over the past three decades, representing over 7% of the average UK salary. Recent research underscores the growing financial barrier to driving lessons, disproportionately impacting lower-income individuals, particularly Generation Z, who are less inclined to learn to drive compared to Millennials.

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Despite these trends, the Department of Transport highlights the significant correlation between personal car ownership and employment, noting that access to a vehicle increases an individual’s likelihood of employment by 3.8 times compared to being unemployed.