Teaching a learner to drive

Posted by mustard.co.uk on June 20th, 2018 and last updated on January 27th, 2021

Driving lessons can be expensive and with learners needing an average 45 hours worth of them, costs can rise rapidly.

So, if you’ve been asked to give a helping hand and supervise some extra behind the wheel practise, here’s everything you need to know about teaching someone to drive.

When can someone legally drive a car?

Anyone aged 15 years and 9 months can apply for a provisional driving licence but they’ll have to wait until they’re 17 to start driving lessons.

If someone receives or has made a claim for the increased mobility allowance under the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), then they can start driving at 16.

Can friends or relatives teach a learner to drive?

As a friend or relative, you can help someone learn to drive – but you aren’t allowed to take payment for it unless you’re a qualified driving instructor.

You can teach someone to drive at any time of the day or night as long as you;

• are over 21 years old
• have held a full driving licence for at least three years (this can also be a licence from the EU or the European Economic Area)
• are qualified to drive the type of car you’re supervising the learner in, whether it’s a manual or automatic car
• meet the minimum eyesight requirements and be able to read a 2001 style number plate (or newer) from 20 metres.

You’ll also need to share responsibility with the learner driver and make sure the car is fit for the road.

A learner can drive with as many passengers as the car can legally hold (but bear in mind the added pressure this can bring).

Last but not least – don’t forget the L plates.

Familiarise yourself with the new test

Driving tests have changed considerably over the years so if your test is nothing but a distant memory, then it’s a good idea to brush up on your own driving education before you supervise someone else.

The current driving test now includes independent driving and a ‘show me, tell me’ section, where learners are asked two vehicle safety questions – you can find a selection of these at GOV.UK – show me, tell me questions.

Some examples of ‘Show-me’ questions – asked while you are driving:

  • When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch to dipped headlights?
  • When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d desist the front windscreen?

Some examples of ‘Tell-me’ questions – asked at the start of the test before your start driving:

  • Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
  • Tell me how you’d know there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.



What sort of insurance will we need?

Learners that are practising in their own cars will need learner driver insurance, which can be expensive.

The good news is it probably isn’t as expensive as you think. If you’re supervising, it’s also worth  adding yourself as a named driver so that you can take over if necessary.

If you’re letting the learner drive your car, then you’ll need to add them to your policy. When you do this, it’s worth making it clear to your insurer that the person you’re adding is still learning – as there may be special add on policies you can take out that sit alongside your own.

You should also double check any specific terms and conditions – such as whether your no claims bonus will be affected if an incident does occur.

It’s also possible to tailor some policies to cover provisional drivers temporarily, from just a couple of hours to 90 days.

Whatever policy you opt for, having the correct insurance is vital – if you’re caught without appropriate cover you could face an unlimited fine and earn up to eight penalty points.

Choosing the best car insurance

How you teach a learner to drive comes down to your own personal style and while you might have to bite your lip more than once – the feeling you’ll get when they pass, will be hugely rewarding.

While we all have different ideas about how to teach learner drivers, most of us will agree that getting value for money on learner driver insurance, is a priority; which is why we’re proud to have our Cheapest Price Guarantee* – we’ll beat any like-for-like quote* so that you don’t have to compromise between protection and value – because we know that having the right car insurance is a key factor when it comes to teaching someone to drive.

Related articles you might also be interested in

How much does it cost to learn to drive?
How to get the cheapest insurance for learner drivers

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