If you have a son, daughter or friend that is about to turn 17, you’re probably dreading the day they ask you to take them out on the road for some private tuition in between lessons with their instructor.
Private practice can hugely benefit a learner driver and is an excellent way to develop their driving skills and allow them to experience different road conditions and driving situations.
However, supervising a learner driver can be very stressful and tensions can run high. It’s essential that you stay calm.
The rules for supervising a learner driver
If you want to supervise a learner driver you must:
Be at least 21 years old
Have a full driving licence (for the type of vehicle they are supervising in – manual or automatic), which must have been held for a minimum of three years
Ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition
Meet the minimum eyesight standards
Ensure the car displays L Plates to the front and rear
Have lots of patience
It is also advisable to take a lesson with me to update your skills to the modern methods
Practice the Theory Test yourself to make sure you’re up to date with The Highway Code
Ensure you aren’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Do not use a mobile phone while supervising
When supervising a learner driver, you will need to ensure that you have sufficient car insurance for both the learner and yourself for the vehicle you are driving.
Make sure that you read the small print which may include any restrictions within your insurance policy.
There are a number of insurance companies that offer competitive learner driver insurance including Provisional Marmalade and Collingwood Insurance. These tend to offer short-term insurance policies (7 days – 24 weeks) that can cover either your own vehicle or someone else’s.
Before you start supervising a learner driver on the roads, you:
Must ensure that the car is in a safe and legal condition (including being properly licensed, taxed and a valid MOT).
Buy an interior rear-view mirror for the passenger side to help you see what’s happening behind while the learner is driving, but check with the vehicle manufacturer that it will not affect the deployment of any passenger airbag.
Set a good example – It is much harder to convince a learner if he/she sees that you don’t practise what you preach. Monkey see, monkey do!
Master the basics first – make sure that the learner is fully aware of the basic car controls and is capable of doing an emergency stop before you take them out on the road
Talk to me – Ask when the learner is ready to begin private practice and try to keep in contact during the learning period. Please come and sit in on some lessons.
Stay calm – Don’t shout (except in an emergency) or be sarcastic as this will only increase the learner’s stress and reduce their confidence. Remember, the learner does not have your driving experience and will make mistakes.
Don’t smoke while you are supervising a learner driver.
DO NOT use a mobile phone – If you a supervising a learner driver you must NEVER use a mobile phone until the vehicle is safely stopped and the ignition is turned off. Remember you are responsible for the learner driver and their actions while out supervising.
Always plan your route before you set off – A confused learner can cause unwanted frustration and stress.
Remember…we were all learners one day! – Try to remember some of the problems you experienced when you were a learner.
Times have changed, cars have changed, roads have changed, traffic has changed, technology has changed, methods have changed, tests have changed, people have changed, the Highway Code has changed. Learning today is not like learning 20 years ago. Call me and discuss getting up to speed with all of the changes.
Lee 07970 886717