Supervising a Learner Driver

It takes the average learner driver 14 months and 47 lessons to pass their driving test. Taking lessons from a professional instructor is essential when learning to drive. However, 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 several things to bear in mind. Read our Supervising a Learner Driver Guide below to ensure you meet all the legal requirements.

Who can 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 old
  • Must have had a full driving licence for 3 years
  • It’s illegal to drive on the motorway while practising with family or friends
  • 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 if they drive without the right supervision. They can also get up to 6 penalty points on their provisional licence.

To supervise a learner driver you must have the right insurance

Practising in your own car

Learner drivers who intend to practice in their own car must get their own learner insurance.

Practicing in someone else's car

If a learner intends to practice in someone else’s car then they will need to ensure that the policy covers learner drivers and 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 1 day 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.

Looking for Learner Driver Insurance?

Find out more about our Learner Driver Insurance with cover options, from 1 day up to 5 months. 

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If you need to insure your vehicle for a short period of time, the RAC’s temporary car insurance option is perfect for you. Get cover for your car from one hour to 30 days.

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Only pay for the learner car insurance cover you need, from 1 day to 5 months

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There's no impact on the main driver's no claims discounts

Driving Theory Test App

Before you book your practical test, you’ll need to pass the theory test. The RAC driving theory test app has everything you need to revise for the test. This includes 700 DVSA licensed questions and answers, hazard perception tests, mock exams and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How old must you be to supervise a learner driver?
You must be at least 21 years old to supervise a learner driver (and you’ll need to have passed your driving test at least 3 years ago).
Q. How do I insure a learner driver?
Insuring a learner driver is easy, and doesn’t affect your normal car insurance. Just book a policy for as long as you need – from 1 day to 5 months, with RAC Learner Driver Insurance.
Q. How many passengers can a learner driver have?
A learner driver can technically carry as many passengers as a qualified driver can – i.e. as many as the car can legally hold.
Q. Who is responsible if a learner driver crashes?
A learner driver has the same duty of care as a qualified driver – which means they’re liable in an accident, not the supervisor. That’s why you legally need to have learner driver insurance.
Q. Can a supervising driver charge for private driving lessons?
No, you can’t charge for private lessons if you aren’t qualified. You can only take money for driving lessons if you’re licensed as an approved instructor by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).
Q. Do I have to be insured to supervise a learner driver?
Yes. The learner driver needs their own learner driver insurance, but you also need to have valid car insurance in place, as you need to be able to take over driving at any time.

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