What you need to know when taking a learner driver out on the road

 

The budding driver has requested they practice in your family vehicle. Now, this poses the question… is this a good idea? You may be reliant on the vehicle for your daily commute and you may not be in the position financially to pay for any repairs should something go wrong. If they do have an accident, will you lose your no claims bonus?  We look at what you should consider before allowing a learner driver to practice in your vehicle.

Check yourself
There are certain requirements you personally need to meet to take a learner driver out in your vehicle, so ensure you know these and check that you meet them before you consider supervising a learner. First and foremost, you need to be over the age of 21 and have held a valid driving licence for over three years.

Are they ready?
Before you take a learner driver out in your vehicle, you need to ensure they’ve mastered the basics. It’s best to take a learner out once they’ve got a few driving lessons under their belt. It’s worth talking to the learner’s instructor beforehand to see if they would advise it at that point and if they have any recommendations for you. Take your lessons slowly and try not to lose patience if they don’t grasp something straight away.

Keep calm and carry on
You need to stay calm when taking out a learner driver and not expect too much too soon. If you panic or appear worried, this could reflect on them and lower their confidence on the roads. Whilst it may be a daunting experience for you, it’s essential you don’t let stress get the better of you. Shouting directions at the learner and showing signs of fear or anger will only serve to impair their judgement and lead them to make panicked decisions.

Give clear directions
You may know what you mean when you say ‘careful’ or ‘gently’ but the learner may not. Try to give specific instructions; rather than saying ‘slow down’, say ‘slow down to 20mph’. This gives the learner a clear direction of what you expect them to do without any room for interpretation.

Location, location, location
Never allow a learner to drive without first having an indication of where they will drive, based on their confidence and skill level.

When just starting out, it’s recommended that you take a learner to a wide, open space such as an industrial estate or empty car park. For a small fee, you can even hire out a track at a local driving school which will allow the learner driver to practice in a safe, regulated environment and even includes roundabouts, junctions and traffic lanes to simulate a live road. This ensures that they are much less likely to damage the car due to an obstacle and allows you to assess their competence without worrying about surrounding traffic and members of the public.

Get the right insurance
Learner Driving Insurance is tailored to meet the needs of both the learner driver and the owner of the vehicle in question, so you can take a learner out with the peace of mind that you’re covered should something happen to the car during practice. It acts as a short-term, flexible solution which can be added to the car owner’s policy for a fixed amount of time without affecting the main insurance policy. This means that your No Claims Discount will be safe should you need to make a claim.

Contact Hinks Insurance on 01482 323424 to speak to our friendly team about arranging Learner Driving Insurance.