Learning to drive with a friend or parent
Are you a learner driver, looking to get in some extra driving practice with a friend or parent? Are you the one accompanying a learner driver? Whether you’re the learner or the supervisor, the rules of the road apply to you both, so we've put together a list of what you need to remember!
Are you accompanying a learner driver?
There are a few rules that you need to follow. Some of them you’ve probably seen and already know about, however, there are some here that might come as a shock!
Ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition
Ok, this is pretty obvious. It maybe isn't the best idea to learn to drive, in a car that may not be safe, and definitely not in one that's not legal!
Always display L plates when a learner is driving
You need to let other road users know that the driver is still learning! This should give other road users the heads up to allow more space and time - hopefully, they can remember what it's like learning to drive and act respectfully.
No drinking and driving, or using a mobile phone!
Yes, this counts even if you’re in the passenger seat! You need to be completely focused on the learner driver, and be aware and able to step in if needed.
If you are caught supervising a learner driver whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, or you’re seen using your mobile phone, then the fines and license points will be coming your way – exactly the same as if you were driving yourself. An ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) recently told us this story:
I was out on a lesson and as the learner was going around a corner, a car coming the opposite way was overtaking dangerously, heading straight towards us. My student froze, so if I had have been on my phone, I wouldn't have been able to react and grab the steering wheel to direct us away from the car, avoiding a head-on collision.
It is illegal to receive any payment for supervising the learner
Only an approved driving instructor can charge money for driving lessons.
Meet the minimum eyesight standards
Again... obvious? As a supervisor, you must meet the DVSA's minimum standards for eyesight.
You legally must be at least 21 years old and have held your licence for 3 years
It’s always best to check with your insurer on this one – as this is the legal minimum and can differ from company to company.
Learning to drive with a friend or parent?
If you decided to save yourself some money on your driving lessons, and pick up learner driver insurance (it’s definitely a great way to pack in those extra hours of learning) then you need to make sure the person with you, is following the same rules that you are! You need to feel comfortable when learning to drive and have the peace of mind that if something does go wrong on your end, you have an experienced driver next to you to help you through it.