With so many teenagers opting to start learning to drive as soon as they get their hands on their provisional licence, it’s not surprising to find that some parents feel like they’ve been thrown in at the deep end. As a parent of a learner driver, you’ve probably got dozens of questions on your mind. You might be wondering if you’re supposed to teach them yourself—and if you’re actually allowed to—or simply figuring out where you can find a good driving instructor. Fortunately, we’ve got some great advice for parents of learner drivers.
We’re going to look at what you really need to know as a parent of a learner driver and offer you some top tips so that you can help your child take one step closer to getting their hands on a full driving licence!
Tackle the theory test first
Before you even think about taking your child out on the road or booking them driving lessons, you’ll first need to get them to tackle the theory test. They won’t be able to book a driving test without a theory test pass number, so it can’t be avoided for too long. The theory test is made up of two sections—multiple choice and hazard perception—that revolve around the rules and information that learners need to know when driving. Learners need to pass both sections in order to pass the overall test.
Now, despite what popular theory test myths might tell you, the theory test isn’t just common sense. In fact, many learners end up failing it because they haven’t put in the time to actually revise. If you really want to help your child pass their theory test the first time around, we’d recommend you check out our ultimate theory test resources guide. With plenty of revision materials and tests, this will help any learner prepare for the theory test. You might even want to draw up a revision timetable to help your child manage their time more efficiently.
Believe it or not, it might actually be beneficial for you to look through these resources too. After all, if you’re going to be helping your child practise between lessons, it’s important that you make sure your knowledge of the Highway Code is up to snuff. If you ignore certain rules of the road, you might unintentionally pass these bad habits onto your child.
You could make revision a bit more fun by taking quizzes and practice tests with your child—you could even make it a competition!
Private practise will help
In case you weren’t aware, many professionals recommend learner drivers receive both professional tuition—we’ll look further into this in the next section—and private practise. If you are in the position to practise with your child, then it’s definitely worth doing. Now, you should be aware that there are some strict rules in place for supervising a learner driver.
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have held a full licence for 3 years
- Be qualified to drive the type of vehicle they’re in (manual or automatic)
And that’s not all you have to think about when practising with your child. You also need to make sure they’re insured to drive your car. As we have discussed in how to get a good insurance deal as a learner driver, there are three main ways to do this: a named driver policy, a short-term insurance policy or an annual insurance policy. You should read through our guide carefully and decide which one is best for your son or daughter.
Now, you shouldn’t really start your child off with private tuition. Learning to drive is difficult to begin with, so you’ll want your child to be taught by a professional. Plus, with your car not having dual controls, you’re relying entirely on your communication skills and your child keeping a level head if you end up in a dangerous situation. Instead, you should wait until they’ve had at least a few sessions with a professional before you start practising outside of lessons. It’s vital that during this practise, you don’t contradict anything that their instructor has taught them—they’re the professional remember!
Hourly lessons or intensive courses?
Another decision you and your child will have to make is whether to take hourly lessons or an intensive course. Learning to drive can be an expensive pursuit for the Bank of Mum and Dad to fund, as we’ve explored in the cost of learning to drive. Whilst it might seem cheaper to opt for hourly lessons every week—spreading the cost over a long period of time—it actually ends up becoming a pretty costly affair. Why? The longer the gaps are between lessons, the more time learners have to spend refreshing their knowledge, which results in them needing even more lessons. If you’re keeping up with private practise as well, you’ll end up having to fork out more for insurance.
Intensive courses, by comparison, enable learners to constantly refine their knowledge, build up their muscle memory and perfect their skills in a much shorter timeframe (perfect for learners who are desperate to get their hands on a full driving licence ASAP!). Though you might be put off paying a large lump sum upfront, it actually works out cheaper than individual lessons in most cases. With hourly lessons, you can’t be sure of how much the cost will be in the end—you don’t know how many lessons your child will need or if the instructor will even keep their rate at the same level. With intensive courses, however, you know exactly what you’re getting from the very beginning.
Try out PassMeFast
If you and your child have decided intensive courses are the way to go, PassMeFast might be the ideal driving school for you. With a fleet of over 520 reliable local instructors, you can be sure we’ve got the perfect ADI for your son or daughter. Our instructors are DVSA-approved and are experienced with taking learners from beginner to pro in no time.
Our instructors teach PassMeFast courses at an intensive or semi-intensive pace—in 2 to 5 hour blocks—depending on the preferences of the learner. Speaking of preferences, our Booking Agents will fast-track a practical test so that your son or daughter can get passed within a timeframe of their choosing. If they’re learning intensively enough, you might not even have to practise with them outside of lessons!
Make sure you’re paying for what they need
By this point, you might have had a look at what PassMeFast has to offer. With nine crash course packages to choose from, however, it can be difficult to figure out which one might be best for your child. If they’re a complete beginner, then it’s pretty clear that they’ll need the full 48 hour beginner course. If they’ve already had a few lessons in the past, however, or they’ve practised a lot with you, it’s not as straightforward to work out how many hours they will need to become test-ready.
Not entirely sure which course your child might need? PassMeFast has got the perfect solution. If you’ve not got the time for a course assessment (an hour in which an ADI will assess your child’s driving ability), why not try our course recommender? All you have to do is get your child to answer a few questions, ranging from what skills they’ve tackled so far to their confidence with driving test manoeuvres.
Our course recommender will then use these answers to recommend the ideal PassMeFast course for your child. Not only is it great for figuring out how many hours they need, it also enables you to plan ahead and set aside the right amount of money when the time comes. Once you’re ready to book your child in, simply give us a ring on 0333 123 4949 or book a course online.