Supervising a Learner Driver

It takes the average learner 14 months and 47 lessons to pass his or her driving test . However, with the government currently reviewing the national driving test, it has never been more important for learner drivers to be fully prepared for passing their test . In addition to taking lessons from a professional instructor, one of the best ways to increase your confidence is to practice at home with a supervising driver – such as a friend or family member. In fact, research has shown that learners who practice for an extra 22 hours in a friend or family member’s car are more likely to pass their driving test. Not only that, as well as giving you more time behind the wheel, it is also a cheap way to improve your driving skills before you take your test.

Before getting into a car with a learner, there are a number of things to bear in mind. Read our Supervising a Learner Driver Guide below to ensure you meet all of the legal requirements.

When Can You Learn To Drive

Before learning to drive you must have a provisional driving licence for Great Britain or Northern Ireland. This license will permit you to drive on all roads in the UK except for motorways.

  • The minimum age for applying for a provisional driving licence is 15 years and 9 months
  • The minimum age to start driving a car on your own is 17
  • Individuals can drive a car at the age of 16 if they have, or have applied for, the enhanced rate of the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

How Old Must You Be To Supervise A Learner Driver?

All learners must be supervised when driving a car. Supervisors can be either a driving instructor or a family member or friend, who meet the following criteria:

  • Must be over 21 years
  • Must have had a full driving licence for 3 years
  • Must be qualified to drive the vehicle the learner is using
  • It’s illegal for your driving supervisor (friend or family member) to use a mobile phone while supervising you.

It is important to remember that learner drivers can be fined up to £1,000 and get up to 6 penalty points on their provisional licence if they drive without the right supervision.

To Supervise a Learner Driver You Must Have the Right Insurance

Learner drivers who intend to practice in their own car must get their own insurance and it’s also advisable for your supervising family member or friend to be covered on this policy.

If a learner intends to practice in someone else’s car then they will need to ensure that the policy covers learner drivers and also check any specific terms and condition relating to its use for this purpose. Alternatively there is the option for the supervisor to take out a separate learner driver insurance policy which sits alongside their annual policy, therefore protecting their No Claims Discount should the learner have an incident whilst driving their car. Failure to drive without insurance can result in 8 penalty points, an unlimited fine and a ban from driving.

Here at the RAC we understand the importance of supervised driving, and having the right insurance to accompany it. Insurance data shows that the more time a person spends being taught to drive, the safer they are when they eventually start to drive on their own having passed the test. Where many insurers insist on a minimum of one month for their cover, we offer policies from 2 hours to 140 days, giving learners the opportunity to get extra time in behind the wheel before taking their driving test. Supervising drivers must have held a full UK driving licence for at least 3 years and be between the age of 25-75.

Find further information here on Learner Driver Insurance.