Learning to drive can be a difficult process for some. While a private driving instructor will teach you all that they can, they are sometimes driving lessons simply don’t provide enough experience for the learner driver. Extra practice can go a long way, particularly if it’s with a close friend or family member.
However, supervising a learner driver isn’t as straightforward as sitting in the passenger seat and monitoring the learner’s performance. When supervising a learner, there’s a whole host of rules you need to familiarise yourself with in order to complete the task lawfully.
Do I Need Insurance To Supervise A Learner Driver?
The supervisor of a learner driver doesn’t need any specific insurance to cover themselves. However, the learner must get temporary learner insurance. This learner insurance should cover the supervisor as long as the policy-specific criteria are met.
To make buying insurance policies more accessible for the learner, we offer a number of different types to suit different needs. These types include hourly learning driver insurance as well as daily learning driving insurance.
Do I need insurance to supervise a learner in my own car?
If you allow a learner driver to practice in your own car while you supervise, you will need to add them as a named driver to your own insurance policy. This is a relatively inexpensive option. However, if the learner were to make a claim while driving your car, then you won’t be able to receive a no-claims bonus, and the price of your own insurance may increase.
For this reason, it’s better to still have the learner take out separate driver insurance should something bad happen on the road.
How To Lawfully Supervise A Learner
Besides taking out appropriate insurance and adding the learner as a named driver, there are a number of other rules that you must abide by while supervising a learner driver. These rules include:
Must be over 25
It is against the law for a supervisor to be under the age of 25. Although other insurance companies require a different minimum age, at GoShorty, we set our minimum age requirement to 25. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of your insurance policy for clarity on age requirements.
Must have a driving licence
When supervising a learner driver, you are required to have had a full UK driving licence for a minimum of 3 years (in some cases, this needs to be three consecutive years). This full driving licence should be for the vehicle you’re supervising, i.e., an automatic or a manual car licence.
Abide by the road laws as if you were driving
Just because you’re only supervising does not mean you can give in to distractions. The whole purpose of you being there is to guide the learner along and make sure they avoid all potential problems – you need to be alert! Therefore, you cannot be on your phone, fall asleep, or drink alcohol while acting as a supervisor.
Have good eyesight
Just as you should abide by driving laws, you should also have good enough eyesight for the road. The legal standard of eyesight for the supervising driver is the ability to read a car number plate from 20 metres away. Before supervising a learner driver, arrange for an eye appointment to check on the current strength of your eyes.
Display L plates
Whether the learner driver is using their own car or yours, appropriate L plate signs need to be displayed at all times. As long as the learner is driving, these plates need to be placed visibly at the front and the back of the car. They need to be seen by other drivers, but at the same time, not restrict the driver’s view.
Do it for free
You cannot make any monetary gain from supervising a learner driver – only professional driving instructors can legally receive payments.
Legal Requirements For The Learner
When supervising a learner driver, as much as you need to ensure that you meet all the legal requirements, it’s just as important to ensure that the learner is also abiding lawfully. The legal requirements for learner drivers are as follows:
- Learner drivers must be 17 years old minimum.
- They must have a valid provisional licence specifically for the type of vehicle they are driving, such as manual or automatic, just as the supervisor needs a full driving licence.
- Must have strong enough eyesight for the road.
- Have taken out appropriate learner car insurance. GoShorty offer hourly, daily, and even monthly learner car insurance.
- Be supervised while in the car at all times.
- If they’re driving in their own car, have L plates displayed at all times, or if they’re driving in a supervisor’s car, have L plates displayed whenever they take the wheel.
Legal requirements for the learner’s vehicle
Learner drivers must also ensure that their vehicles are road legal by making sure they meet the following criteria:
- Is properly insured
- Has up-to-date vehicle tax
- Is DVLA-registered
- Is completely roadworthy
- The vehicle has an up-to-date MOT certificate if it is over three years old
Driving Offenses: Who Takes Responsibility, The Learner Or The Supervisor?
Acting as a learner’s supervisor helps them better grasp the rules of the road in preparation for their driving test. However, given their lack of experience, accidents can still occur. While supervising drivers, the responsibility lies on you in some instances but not all.
Here are common driving offences that may occur while you supervise a learner driver and who takes responsibility in each instance:
Although it is your responsibility to discourage the learner from speeding, it will be the learner who gets in trouble for it if caught. If the learner uses their own car, they’ll receive a fine and notice of points being added to their licence.
If they’re using someone else’s car, such as yours, then you’ll receive a fine and notice of points. Luckily for you, you have the right to nominate the learner as the one who was driving and committed the offence.
Fines and penalties
The supervisor may be held responsible for other driving penalties, such as careless driving. The supervisor is meant to keep the learner’s driving under control so that they may be blamed for the learner driving irresponsibly. In worst cases, you could receive hefty fines, points on your licence, or may even have to do prison time.
Parking ticket payment is interesting, as there is no clear answer over who should take responsibility for it. If it’s the learner’s first time receiving one, and they’re not properly aware of parking restrictions, it may be fair for the supervisor to pay for it, particularly if it’s the supervisor’s car.
Supervisors should have at least three years of driving experience, so they should be aware of parking restrictions and rules. Therefore, their responsibility is partially to keep an eye on this and ensure cars are parked appropriately. However, it’s really up to the learner and the supervisor to discuss.
Whoever was in control of the steering wheel at the time of the accident is responsible for it, regardless of whether they are a learner or not. Although, the supervisor should take some of the blame for it, as they’re supposed to be guiding the learner safely along the road and be on hand to take over the wheel in the case of an emergency.
Plus, if the supervisor was distracted by their phone or intoxicated at the time of the accident, then responsibility could solely be blamed upon the supervisor.
Where Does The Supervisor Sit?
In order to ensure the utmost in safety and to provide the learner with the most valuable help, the supervisor needs to sit in the front passenger seat. A driving supervisor should be in a position where they can take over and implement their own driving skills should it be necessary. This cannot be performed from the backseat.
Can a learner driver carry passengers?
As long as the supervisor is in the front seat, learners can carry additional passengers in the available back seats. However, it is not encouraged, as these additional passengers may prove distracting for the learner.
We’ve more expert guides for learner drivers. If you have found this guide helpful, why not read some more of our other related guides?
Use GoShorty To Get Learner Driver Insurance
Here at GoShorty, we can provide you with the right insurance for learner driving. When it comes to supervising a learner driver, the most important thing is ensuring they’re properly insured for the road.
Whether you need hourly, daily, or monthly, you can guarantee you’ll find the best deal on GoShorty.