It’s an exciting time when your child passes their driving test, and as relieved as you may feel that you no longer have to be their personal taxi driver, the daunting fact that they can now drive independently soon follows that sigh of relief!
As a parent, it’s obvious that you’ll likely be a bag of nerves as soon as they pass. To help ease the worries as much as we can, we’ve put together some advice to help you keep calm at this scary time, and ways in which you can help your son or daughter now they can drive solo!
Should I buy my child a car?
Once they’ve passed, the next step is a car! Whilst there are ways to get your child behind the wheel of your own car, you may be in a position to buy them one and if you are, here’s our top tips when it comes to getting them their own set of wheels.
- Check the safety features of the cars you’re looking at. This includes service history (if you’re buying second hand) and the car’s NCAP safety rating (every car is scored out of 5, for how safe they are)
- In car tech can be a helping hand on board with your child – many new cars have an SOS button in which your child can press in the event of an accident
- Consider getting them a brand new car – generally the newer the car is the safer they are!
It’s also important to remember that even if you’re not buying the car for them, your experience and expertise is priceless! Share your experiences with cars, what you think will be helpful, and accompany them on test drives.
I can’t buy my child their own car – what are my other options?
Not every parent is in a position to buy their child a brand-new car – we get it! But you don’t have to worry, there’s still ways you can help to get them on the road. Our Named Young Driver insurance is a fab way of getting your child insured to drive your car. It’s also a handy alternative to adding them onto your own insurance policy, as it’s often a much cheaper option and your NCD won’t be affected if they have an accident – although we’re sure they won’t!
Your child may have just passed and can legally be out on the road alone now – but that won’t stop you from being anxious whenever they drive. Doing advanced training courses such as a PassPlus course is a great way to help your teen become even more confident on the road! They can learn the things they may not have done in their driving lessons, such as driving on the motorway or practising in bad weather conditions!
Set some ground rules
Whether you helped them buy the car or not, as a parent you’re within your right to set some ground rules for when they’re behind the wheel. Things like keeping their phone off and away, and not playing their music too loud. The first few months (maybe even longer, it depends on the person) of being behind the wheel independently are exciting but don’t come without risks. Keeping as much of their attention on the road as possible at all times is key!
Take a look at your driving
Now that your child has passed their driving test, they’ll inevitably start to pick up bad driving habits. Whilst you can’t stop this from happening completely, make sure the way you drive is how you would want them to behave behind the wheel. They’ll still be picking up tips from you even after they’ve passed.
What if they don’t listen?
You wouldn’t be the first parent in history to have a teenager who simply thinks you’re being over protecting for no reason, but we know how nerve-wracking this time can be. Our telematics insurance is a great way to review your child’s driving, to see where they’re driving well and what could be improved. We provide detailed reviews of every journey, including seeing the map to the roads they have driven on. It can be a great way to sit down with your child and discuss their driving if it does need to improve – although we’re sure they’re just fine behind the wheel!
Whatever you decide to do to help your child now they've passed their test, we're here to help you, too! There's loads more info for parents on the Parent Advice section of our website.