Teaching someone how to drive can be a rewarding experience for you both. The learner will gain valuable time out on the roads, while you will get the satisfaction of watching them learn and develop.
Practicing outside of lessons can help increase the learner driver’s confidence and reduce the number of lessons needed, reducing the time and cost of learning to drive. If you are thinking of teaching someone to drive, there are a few things you should do first.
Can you supervise a learner driver?
In order to be able to supervise a learner, you must:
- Be aged 21 or over
- Have held a full driving licence for 3 or more years for the type of vehicle you are teaching (i.e. manual or automatic)
- Be fit to drive yourself (medically, including glasses if you are required to wear them for driving, and not under the influence of alcohol)
What if I have points on my licence?
Having points on your licence does not prevent you from teaching a learner, however, if your licence has been suspended at any point, this will not count towards the 3 year period you must have held a licence for.
What other responsibilities do I have?
There are also a number of responsibilities that go along with being a supervising driver, so you should make sure you are aware of what these are too.
Get the vehicle ready
It is important to make sure the car is ready for a learner driver, whether it is your own car, or the learner’s.
This means ensuring it:
- is roadworthy
- has ‘L’ plates displayed on the front and rear
- the learner, and ideally yourself, are insured to drive it
- has no distractions in the car
Speak to their driving instructor
You don’t have to get approval from their driving instructor, however, working together is likely to be more beneficial for the learner. Taking them out on the roads before they are ready could damage their confidence and set them back. Even after they’ve had a few lessons, you will still need to be wary of taking them onto roads or into situations they are not ready for.
Once they have a bit more experience and are preparing for their test, you might want to speak to their instructor about what their strengths and weaknesses are. While any driving practice will be beneficial, if there are certain junctions or manoeuvres they are finding more difficult than others, you might want to focus on these.
Some key questions to ask their driving instructor are:
- Which areas could I help with when we go out on a drive?
- Are there any manoeuvres that I could help them practice (and is there anything in particular I should look out for)?
- Are there any types of roads or situations you’d rather me avoid for the meantime?
Brush up on your own driving skills
Teaching somebody to drive is not the same as driving yourself, so even if you are a highly experienced driver, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will find teaching someone to drive easy. Over the years, we tend to pick up bad driving habits without even realising it, so make sure you’ve brushed up on the Highway Code first.
It might be useful to get yourself on the same level as the learner by doing some online practice theory tests, as they are likely to ask questions relating to what they have seen while revising.
What if I disagree with the instructor?
If your learner tells you their instructor has taught them to do something differently, let them do it the instructor’s way. The instructor will be happy to explain to either you, or the learner, why they do things a certain way if you have any questions.
Good luck with teaching your new pupil! Just make sure that they have the appropriate learner driver insurance first.