How you can help a learner driver

The main ways you can help your learner driver are to:

  • encourage them to get enough training and practice
  • supervise the learner in private practice sessions (if you’re eligible and able to)
  • encourage the learner to only take their driving test when when they’re ready
  • support the advice the driving instructor gives the learner

Encourage the learner to get enough training and practice

A learner driver starts going from being a novice to competent, safe driver by:

  • training – learning new skills with their driving instructor
  • practising – gaining lots of experience of varied driving conditions

Learning to drive takes a lot longer than most people realise.

45 hours of driving lessons with a driving instructor on average to pass

22 hours of extra private practice between driving lessons on average to pass

Training with a driving instructor

Most people learn to drive with a driving instructor. Driving instructors are professionals who are trained to teach driving skills in a structured manner to suit differing abilities.

Many people only have a 1-hour or 2-hour driving lesson each week. This can limit their experience to driving at the same time of day and over the same types of road.

Practising with family or friends

If you meet the rules, you can help by being a supervising driver during private practice between driving lessons.

You’ll help your learner get more practice and gain wider experience of the varied driving conditions they’re likely to meet once they’ve passed their driving test.

Once you’re ready to take on this responsibility, you need to think about developing the skills of your learner – know their limits and do not attempt any driving that will be beyond their ability.

Encourage the learner to only take their driving test when they’re ready

You can also help your learner by encouraging them to only take their driving test when they’re ready to pass.

It’s the best way of them:

  • getting their independence as soon as possible
  • being ready for a lifetime of safe driving

Never encourage the learner to “just give it a go”. If they take their test before they’re ready and fail, they:

  • will have to pay again for another driving test
  • will have to wait longer to take another test
  • could damage the confidence they’ve built up

52 out of every 100 driving tests were failed in Great Britain during April 2024

Support the advice the driving instructor gives

Driving instructors are specially trained to help people learn to drive.

They’ve got lots of driving and teaching experience and knowledge. It’s unlikely that you’ll have the same level of experience and knowledge.

Their advice is invaluable.

Work as a team with the driving instructor to help your learner. Support the advice the driving instructor gives. Explain to your learner that:

  • the driving instructor wants them to succeed and be safe
  • the driving instructor has lots of knowledge and experience
  • you trust the driving instructor’s expert advice
  • it’s important for their own safety that they do not take their driving test before they’re ready


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