Once you’ve recovered from the very notion that you can possibly have a son or daughter who’s old enough to drive, thoughts will likely turn to how you can help your child stay safe while they learn to drive. It is a life-changing rite of passage for many young people, but as a parent, you want to support them as much as possible. Here are 5 top tips to help your child learn how to drive.
Help them study
Studying for their theory test is one of the first things that learner drivers will do because without that theory pass under their belt they can’t take their practical test. Online resources can include packs of revision questions, mock tests, hazard perception clips, the Highway Code and video tutorials. Whether you ask them the revision questions, test them on their Highway Code knowledge or simply give them the extra space, time and support to revise, you will be helping them to become good drivers – you may even pick up some long-forgotten tips for yourself!
Allow them to drive your car
Daunting, certainly, but the DVSA actually recommends that learner drivers do around 22 hours of private practice alongside their driving lessons – yet. This can, in turn, reduce the cost of learning to drive, because the extra practice reduces the number of lessons required and helps them to pass their test more quickly. You can add your child on to your policy as a named driver, or they can have their own New Driver Insurance policy, which means that your No Claims Bonus is protected and they start to build up theirs too.
Look at your own driving habits
Over time, bad habits can creep into your driving style. By being involved with what your child is learning, you can look for any improvements that can be made to your own driving style and then pat yourself on the back for being a great role model!
Stay calm in the passenger seat
Relinquishing the responsibility you’ve held for nearly 2 decades by swapping seats with your child, will be nerve-wracking. Stay calm, don’t panic, discuss the route and other pointers before you set off and be mindful that your child is processing and analysing every single move they make.
When it comes down to whether mum, dad or someone else should be the one heading out with your fledgeling driver, think about who is likely to be the calmest, supportive, and positive influence.
Let them guide you
Do they want help with their revision? Do they have a preference as to who they practice driving alongside? Are they unsure which instructor to learn with? Make sure that your child’s voice is heard – this is their journey after all. Once you have an open conversation with them, you can work together to identify what support they need from you with learning to drive, and how you can best provide it.
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Get short term cover on a friend or parent's car as a leaner, to help you get that magic pass!