If you have a son, daughter or friend that’s turning 17 – you may be wondering when they’re going to ask you to take them out on the road. Learning to drive is one of the biggest steps on the ladder to adulthood… and freedom! They’ll be very excited, and so they should be. But before you set off in the car with them, make sure you’ve read up on all of the rules involved with supervising a learner driver.
Make sure you meet the requirements to take them out on the road
All learner drivers must be supervised at all times behind the wheel. To be able to supervise a learner legally, you must:
- Be over 21
- Have held your license for more than 3 years
- Have a relevant license for the vehicle you’ll be supervising in – for example, you can’t supervise in a manual vehicle if you have an automatic only license
Something you might not know
It’s actually illegal to use your phone whilst you’re supervising a learner driver. This is to make sure that you’re paying attention to the road and are on hand to help if the driver is unsure. No matter how confident they are, you should be fully alert just in case. You also shouldn’t be under the influence of alcohol for the same reason. It’s illegal to drive on the motorway with a learner driver, unless you’re a qualified driving instructor and the car is fitted with dual controls.
Make sure they're insured
If they’re practising in their own car, they will need learner driver car insurance. But if they’re in your car you’ll need to check that your insurance covers them as a learner. Some insurance policies won’t cover you to supervise until you’re over 25, so make sure you check! If your policy doesn’t cover them, it’s a good idea for them to take out learner driver insurance anyway, as this will mean that if they have any knocks or bumps in your car it won’t affect your No Claims Bonus.
Don't forget the 'L' plates!
Having L plates is a legal requirement when a provisional license holder is behind the wheel, so make sure that you get your hands on a pair. Most sets are magnetic nowadays, so won’t damage your car. Display them clearly, one on the front and one on the back of your vehicle. Don’t forget to take them off when it’s just you behind the wheel!
Most of all - be patient...
Remaining calm is key when driving with a learner, if they can feel that you’re worried it might make them more nervous. Make sure that you set a good example when you drive and talk them through the decisions that you make behind the wheel.
If you’ve made sure that you’ve got all of the above taken care of, you’re ready to get them out on the road. Though you should make sure that they’ve had a few professional lessons first and have a good grip of the basics. Happy driving!
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