10 steps to getting your teen on the road

We're here to take the stress away by giving you a step by step guide to helping your teen learn to drive


By Marmalade Author

Updated on Jan 19th, 2023


Order the provisional licence

If your son or daughter is turning 17, you can order provisional car licence two or three months before they turn 17 to ensure it arrives ahead of time. It’s a simple online form and it normally takes a week or so to arrive (although it may take longer due to current backlogs). You can read our guide to applying for a provisional licence for more details on this.

Find an instructor

I’d recommend starting the search for a driving instructor a few months before your teen would like to start lessons. An ideal place to start is seeking recommendations from friends and family, and of course Google is also a resource to find instructors in your area. If you’re struggling to decide who to choose, look for independent reviews or a nationally recognisable brand name.

Look at insurance options

We know that one size doesn’t fit all when considering car insurance, it’s worth looking at different options before making any firm decisions. To help you in the process, we’ve designed a handy product finder!

Quick tip: Don’t forget to get quotes on any cars you’re considering – this will help you plan and budget, and you may avoid a nasty surprise down the line.


Get test-ready

Getting prepared for the theory test and passing it sooner than later will not only mean they have a good knowledge of the highway code and hazard perception before they get behind the wheel, but it will also take some of the stress away so that they can concentrate on the practical side. It may also help their confidence in the first few lessons.

Study the Highway Code

It’s a good idea to read through the highway code, or one of the many Theory Test revision guides to brush up your Highway Code knowledge. Not only will it save you being caught out if they ask you any questions, you’ll also be more confident helping them with their revision.

Speak to their instructor

Keep in touch with their instructor to understand what’s being covered in the lessons and what they want the young driver to work on outside lessons. It’s also advisable to avoid arguing with your child about something the instructor has taught them, as this can confuse them and affect their confidence. Driving best practice may have changed since we learned to drive, so raise any questions or concerns directly with the instructor so they discuss the reasoning with you.

Sit in on a driving lesson

It may help to sit in on a lesson with your teen and their instructor before you start taking them out for extra practice and highlight the importance of staying patient and calm. Not only will you be able to observe how the instructor works with the pupil to advise and encourage, but you can see how your handles the experience, and what their strengths and areas for development are.

Help them with practice

The DVSA recommend around 22 hours of private practice. Provided you’ve held a full UK licence for 3 years or more and you’re aged over 25, all you need is L-plates for the front and back of the car and valid insurance. Marmalade offer affordable learner driver insurance . You can choose 30 – 240 days cover and they can be covered to drive your car with no risk to your No Claims Discount!

Give them encouragement

It’s going to be a stressful from time to time for both of you, particularly as it’s likely you’ll be a bag of nerves in the passenger seat to begin with. But if you can take a deep breath, stay calm and offer encouragement and support while they are learning it will help them stay calm, and better still increase their confidence.

Be ready for the big day

With their hard work, and your support, it won’t be long before they bring that magic pass certificate home. In the run up to their test, it’s important to discuss what will happen after and make a plan together if they will be driving shortly after. After you have celebrated their success, you can look forward to them returning the “taxi service” favours from time to time!

Get them insurance on your car

Help your teen get extra driving practice in your car with instant comprehensive cover and no risk to your No Claims Discount!

Parent advice

Advice and guides for parents helping their learner driver on their driving journey.

black box myth busters

Black Box Mythbusters

There’s a lot of misconceptions around driving with a black box – we’ve got the facts on what’s true and false!

friends happy on phones

Visit the Driver Hub

Check out the latest stories and blogs from young drivers

ICS member logo
Customer Service Excellence Awards
BIBA scheme provider logo
First car award 2019 winner logo