If you’re just starting your journey to getting your full driver’s licence, you might be feeling overwhelmed.
There is a lot to think about when beginning your driving journey… How do you apply for a provisional licence? How do you book driving lessons? What’s the theory test like? Plus the endless questions about the driving test itself.
Another important qustion might be who can sit with a learner driver?
After all, you’ll probably feel more comfortable behind the wheel with a parent or a friend. However, there are certain requirements that need to be met by anyone who is going to supervise a learner driver.
But fear not, in this guide, we’ll talk you through everything you need to know about getting supervision for a learner driver.
If you’re planning on supervising a learner driver, discover our handy blog – Everything You Need to Know About Supervising a Learner Driver.
Learner Driver Requirements
Before we even discuss what the supervising driver needs to do, it’s important to make sure that the learner driver is also meeting all necessary legal requirements.
For this extra driving time to be legal, the learner driver must:
- Be at least 17 years of age.
- Have a valid provisional licence.
- Meet the legal minimum eyesight standards, which is being able to read a number plate at least 20 metres in front of you. That’s about 5 parked cars away, and it’s okay if the learner driver wears glasses or contact lenses.
- Be supervised by either an approved driving instructor or a third party that meets the requirements.
- Display their L plates on the front and back side of the car at all times that they’re driving. Not displaying your L plates can result in 6 penalty points on your provisional licence.
Supervising a Learner Driver: The Requirements
Supervising drivers have all the same legal responsibilities they would have if they were the ones driving themselves. This means that they can’t be under the influence of alcohol and that they can’t use their mobile phone while supervising a learner driver.
In fact, the supervisor can receive up to 6 penalty points on their licence as well as a £200 fine if caught on their mobile phone. If caught over the legal alcohol limits while supervising a learner driver, the supervising person could face charges and fines or could even lose their driving licence entirely.
Learner drivers can also be penalised in these scenarios as they’re not being supervised by someone who can control the vehicle if they need to. It is also illegal for the person supervising to fall asleep while they are in a driving lesson with a learner driver.
There are other legal requirements for supervising drivers:
- The supervising person must be at least 21 years old (or 25 with most insurers).
- The supervising person must have held their full licence for at least 3 years consecutively. It has to be a valid driving licence from the UK.
- The supervising person must be fully qualified to drive the type of car being used for driving practice, so they must have a manual car licence if they want to supervise a learner in a manual car.
- The supervising person must also meet the legal minimum eyesight standards.
- The surprising person must ensure that the car is safe and roadworthy.
When picking someone to sit with a learner, it’s best to choose an experienced driver, as the secondary controls won’t be there for the supervisor to take over if necessary. The person supervising the learner driver must sit in the front passenger seat of the car at all times.
Even if there is someone to supervise a learner driver while they’re behind the wheel, they can’t practice on the motorway unless they are accompanied by a driving instructor in a car with dual controls.
Tips for Supervising Learner Drivers
Now that we know who can sit with a learner driver, let’s go over a few tips to make each lesson a success!
- Talk to the learner about their progress beforehand, so you have a good idea of their knowledge and capabilities.
- Consider talking to the driving instructor before your lesson so they can give you an honest idea of how much the learner has progressed and what they need to work on.
- Stay calm and speak to the learner driver in a relaxed manner. It’s important that you make them feel comfortable.
- Follow the rules of the road as if you were driving, i.e. stay alert and be responsive. You might have to take over at any point, so be ready.
- Don’t be afraid to take breaks. Don’t push your learner too far, and allow them to have breaks when necessary. Driving can be nerve-wracking when you’re just starting out.
- Give detailed feedback and instructions. Remember that this person is still learning, and in this instance, they’re learning from you. Give them clear and easy-to-follow instructions to avoid any unnecessary panic.
- Show some empathy! It might have been a while since you were a learner yourself, but put yourself in their shoes and remember how scary it was in the beginning.
- Be patient. Don’t expect them to know everything and help them when necessary.
- Be prepared. Plan out a route beforehand and discuss it with the learner ahead of time. Walk them through the basics of the car and the road as a refresher before you start.
Do I Need Car Insurance while Supervising a Learner Driver?
Car insurance falls under the necessary requirements for both the car and the driver when supervising a learner driver. It’s necessary for the car to have valid insurance or for the learner driver to have insurance that covers them while driving. .
Learner drivers can receive up to 8 penalty points on their licence, face an unlimited fine and even a driving ban for driving without valid insurance.
If the practice takes place in the learner driver’s own car, they need to have adequate insurance before they can hit the road. Some insurance companies don’t cover the person supervising, so please keep this in mind.
The supervisor must also have their own insurance if they are not covered by the learner’s driver’s insurance, as they might need to take control of the car. They can be added as a named driver to the learner driver’s policy, and this often comes as standard when taking out learner driver insurance. Check with your insurer for more details.
If they are practising in someone else’s car, they need to be covered under the car owner’s policy as a named driver. Again, the supervisor must also be added to this policy as a named driver if it’s someone else’s car.
Both of these options can be quite expensive as insurance companies hike up prices for learner drivers or inexperienced drivers to cover themselves.
There’s a more affordable and simpler option, like taking out temporary learner driver car insurance. With this option, you can choose a flexible plan to suit you, from just one hour up to 28 days.
For more details on this, discover our guide: Do you need insurance to supervise a learner driver?
What happens in the event of an accident?
In the case of an accident at the fault of the learner driver, both the learner driver and the person who was supervising them will be held accountable.
Can I drive on a provisional licence without a supervising driver?
No, you can’t. It’s illegal to drive a car with a provisional licence and not have a supervising driver in the car with you. If caught driving without a supervising driver, you can face penalties, up to 6 points on your licence and a fine of up to £1000.
Discover our guide to find out more – What happens if a learner driver is caught driving alone?
Can a learner driver carry passengers?
As long as the person supervising a learner driver meets all the requirements, it’s perfectly legal for the learner driver to have passengers in the back. This also includes children. It’s not advisable, however, because passengers can be distracting, which can be hard to deal with for someone who has just started working towards their driving licence.
For more guidance on this topic, discover our blog – Can a learner driver have passengers?
Can learner drivers drive at night?
Learner drivers are allowed to drive at any time of the day as long as they meet the necessary legal requirements. Driving at night is a great way to prepare for the driving test as it teaches learner drivers to drive in different conditions and might be a good time to avoid busy traffic.
Discover a deeper understanding of this topic with help from our guide – Can a learner driver drive at night?
Can a supervisor have points on their driving licence?
Yes! It’s legal for someone with points on their driving licence to supervise a learner driver. They must, of course, still meet the other requirements.
Find Learner Driver Car Insurance at GoShorty
For learner drivers, it’s important that they start off on the right foot. Having the right support and insurance can provide learner drivers with a comfortable experience of driving. Making sure you have the right coverage should always be your number one priority.
Visit the GoShorty website today to find out more about temporary car insurance. For flexible learner driver insurance, there’s a choice to suit every learner driver from hourly learner driver insurance to monthly learner driver insurance.
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