How to help your child learn to drive
At mustard.co.uk, cheap car insurance is quick and easy to find. But did you also know the comparison site offers a whole host of car-related information to help you get the most out of your four wheels. Here, they outline the learning-to-drive process so that you can support your child to pass their test.
When can my child learn to drive?
Your child will need to be 17 to learn to drive. They will also need a provisional driving licence which they can apply for when they’re 15 years and nine months old.
It’s important to know that only approved driving instructors (ADIs) can take payment for lessons. If a friend or other family member is teaching, they cannot be paid, even for fuel.
What insurance do learner drivers need?
Learner drivers can buy learner driver insurance (also called provisional car insurance) which most mainstream providers offer. These policies can be bought for either their own cars or as a standalone policy for someone else’s car (whether that’s yours or one that belongs to a friend or other family member).
Alternatively, if a learner is practising in the family car, they can be added to an existing policy; this is usually the cheapest option too. However, if they have an accident and need to claim, it will affect the policyholder’s no-claims discount (NCD). It can also increase premiums at renewal. With that in mind, opting for standalone learner driver insurance can be the more prudent choice, as a claim won’t impact anyone else’s premium or NCD.
What happens if you drive without learner driver insurance?
All drivers using public roads must be insured. If not, the penalties can be severe. Learner drivers caught without appropriate insurance can be given an unlimited fine, up to eight penalty points on their licence and even be banned from driving.
What does the driving test cover?
The driving test has two main parts. The first is a theory test made up of 50 multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception test. Learners must pass both parts of the theory test to pass overall. Currently, the test costs £23.
The second part is a practical driving test but this can only be taken once learners have passed the theory test. There are five parts:
- An eyesight check
- Car safety questions
- General driving
- Reversing the car
- Independent driving
The practical test should last around 40 minutes, with 20 minutes dedicated to the independent driving part which is where they will have to follow sat-nav guidance.
Currently, the practical driving test costs £62 for a weekday slot. If learners want to take the test in the evening, at the weekend or on a bank holiday, it will cost £75.
Does learner driver insurance provide cover after passing the driving test?
No, if they pass their practical driving test, they are no longer learning and they will need standard insurance instead.
It means that if they used their own car for the test, they will no longer be insured to drive it home – unless they speak to their insurer there and then to upgrade their policy. Otherwise, they will need to arrange for someone to drive them home.
Where can I get cheap car insurance for young drivers?
Most mainstream insurers offer young drivers car insurance but premiums tend to be considerably more compared to other age groups. This is because under 25s are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident and make a claim – the higher premium reflects this increased risk.
That said there are ways to keep premiums as low as possible, for example:
- Pay for car insurance annually to avoid monthly interest fees.
- Add a more experienced named driver to the policy.
- Choose a telematics policy which rewards good driving with lower premiums.
- Keep cars as secure as possible, for example in a garage, on a driveway or with an immobiliser.
- Be accurate with mileage as overestimating can mean you end up paying more than you need.
- Shop around for policies at comparison sites like mustard.co.uk, where you can search for quotes from leading UK insurers and compare what deals are available.
How can parents help their child pass their driving test?
Research from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) shows that parents play an important role in helping their children prepare and feel ready for their driving tests. In fact, more than half (64%) of parents have topped up lessons with private practice. But despite parents wanting to help, 42% expected learners to have the same number of lessons they did, even though 67% realise that the test is now harder.
To help parents give their children the support they need, the DVSA has published a guide to supervising learner drivers. The aim is to keep parents updated with tips and advice so that they can offer as much help as their children need in order to become safer drivers.
Table of Contents