It is common for learner drivers to ask a friend or family member to supervise them, to assist in additional practice to improve their driving skills and work towards obtaining their full driving licence.
Suppose you are in this situation and have been chosen as the honorary member to supervise a learner driver. In that case, there are some things you should know and be aware of before making your way onto the roads.
Here we give you the full lowdown about the requirements, laws, and further information about learner driver insurance.
Here is everything you need to know before going on the roads and supervising a learner driver:
The very first thing a learner driver needs to do before they sit behind the wheel is to apply for and obtain a provisional driving licence. One must be at least 15 years and nine months old to apply for one.
However, they must wait until they are 17 before legally driving the car. One can apply for a provisional driving licence online, which costs £34 or pay £43 to get it via the post.
The licence should be delivered within a week, and then the learner can book and take their theory test and start taking some lessons.
The vehicle the learner driver decides to practice in should be registered with the DVLA and be entirely up to date regarding vehicle tax. The vehicle’s owner should fully insure the vehicle. If it is over three years old, it must have a current MOT certificate.
The car should also be roadworthy and under valid insurance covering the driver.
The learner driver must be at least 17 and hold a provisional driving licence that matches the type of car they are driving. Licences differ for manual and automatic. The learner driver should also meet the minimum eyesight standards.
The learner driver must be supervised by someone at least 21 years of age and has held a valid driving licence for at least three years. The L plates should also be correctly displayed in a prominent position on the back and front of the car.
The supervising driver assisting a learner must be at least 21 years or older. They should not receive any payment for supervising drivers unless they are qualified and approved driving instructors.
They should meet the eyesight standards and comply with the road rules and laws. Without proper supervision, the learner driver can face hefty fines and penalties.
The supervising driver should also be covered under some insurance should they need to take over the wheel. For more information on this, please read our “do you need insurance to supervise a learner driver” guide.
You may not use your phone while in the vehicle with a learner.
Before committing to becoming a supervisor or even heading out on the roads, ensure that the learner driver is fully insured to drive the vehicle they intend to drive.
Whether practising in your car, their car, or someone else’s car, they will need some insurance.
If the learner driver is driving in a friend’s or family member’s car, they may be able to get insured under the owner of the vehicle’s insurance policy. So first, ensure that the learner is insured, or they could opt to take out an additional insurance policy.
You may find that the various policies from different insurance companies may have different terms and conditions, so always double-check them. You want to be sure you are following their terms, and avoiding mishaps is always best.
Learner drivers must have insurance. Otherwise, they may face a driving ban, an unlimited fine, or up to 8 penalty points if they do not follow the rules. If the learner takes out their insurance, they must add their supervisor as a named driver.
And if the learner uses the supervisor’s car, then it is on them to add the learner as a named driver. Alternatively, the supervisor could take out an additional learner driver’s insurance policy.
GoShorty is fantastic and offers exceptional short-term insurance policies that are well suited to learners and supervising drivers. GoShorty is perfect for when you want temporary learner driver insurance, they make your lives easier and much more comfortable!
There are various insurance options you can choose from; it all comes down to finding which one is most suitable for you!
- Hourly Car Insurance
- Daily Car Insurance
- Weekly Car Insurance
- Monthly Car Insurance
- Temporary Under 21 Car Insurance
- Temporary Student Car Insurance
These insurance options can be beneficial for supervising drivers with valid driving licences and learner drivers under a provisional driving licence.
With GoShorty, you know you will be covered should anything go wrong. You also don’t need to commit to long-lasting insurance policies, which is a huge bonus!
Not to say that something will go wrong when supervising a learner driver, but it is always best to prepare for the worst. And knowing what you are in for and what could potentially happen is always a good idea.
The more informed you are, the better. It may help you avoid problems or help you when trying to solve them.
In most cases, the person behind the wheel takes complete responsibility for an accident. However, suppose the supervising driver was intoxicated or in the wrong. In that case, they, too, will be penalised and need to take responsibility.
Everyone knows that learners are merely practising and are new to the roads, but this doesn’t mean that any mistake is taken lightly. A learner driver is in no way exempt from fines or speeding tickets, nor is anyone with a full driving licence, for that matter.
If a learner is caught speeding, they will receive points on their licence or get a fine. Speeding has nothing to do with the supervising driver. However, if the learner is practising in your car, the DVLA will likely send the fine to you, but it is up to the learner to pay for it.
The person driving behind the wheel at the time of the offence is responsible for settling the fine or dealing with the consequences.
Supervisors are expected to oversee the control of the vehicle, so tickets, fines, and penalties are considered the same as if you were driving the car. Although you are not behind the wheel, you still have the same legal responsibilities.
So you may receive points on your license, a fine, or be sent to prison, depending on how bad the crime was. You must understand that the road rules still apply to you even if you are not sitting behind the wheel.
Parking tickets and who they belong to depend on various factors. It may depend on the ticket type and where the vehicle was parked.
Luckily one cannot get points on their licence because of a parking ticket, so it is merely something that the learner and supervisor must settle between themselves.
Supervising a learner driver is taking on a lot of responsibility as the driver relies on you to keep them safe and in check. Driving instructors have extra controls and can easily take charge in certain situations should they need to.
But if you are in your own or the learner’s car, you will only have verbal control over the vehicle.
It is a great idea to help a learner driver out before they take their driving test. But you need to ensure that you can be the best supervisor you can be as you need to teach them the ways of the road and help them practice their driving skills.
Before taking on the role of a supervising driver, get yourself up to scratch on the Highway Code. Then start by teaching the learner the basics of how the vehicle works and functions. Take note of what stage the learner driver is in and teach them accordingly.
Always stay calm when in the vehicle with the learner driver. You want them to feel comfortable. Always be alert and responsive, and take driving breaks when needed.
Always be specific with your feedback, so the learner fully understands what you are telling them. Be empathetic; learning how to drive can be very daunting, and it is vital that the learner driver learns from their mistakes and feels confident behind the wheel.
As a supervising driver, you are not only responsible for the learner but also for yourself, the vehicle, and all the other people on the roads. This is why it is essential to be fully prepared and ready to tackle any situation you may find yourself in on the roads.
So be sure to stick to the law, follow the rules of the road, and be the ultimate role model for this future driver you are slowly shaping!