If your son, daughter or family member has told you they want to learn how to drive, then you’ll need to book driving lessons with an approved driving instructor (ADI). However, additional hours of private practice can help learner drivers become more confident and more prepared for their driving test.

If you’re going to supervise a learner driver these tips will show you how. Before you begin, ensure you understand the law around supervising a learner driver.

You’re Not Actually a Teacher

I know this article is called ‘How to Teach a Learner Driver’ but one of the most important things to remember when supervising a learner driver is that you’re not a teacher. Only an approved driving instructor (ADI) should teach learners how to drive.

There is a reason that there is a register of ADI’s. It’s because there needs to be consistency in the minimum standard of driving instruction that learners drivers receive. So if you’re not a teacher, what are you?

You’re a supervisor. You are there to supervise the learner in order to allow them to practice what they have learned in their driving lessons. Try not to teach them anything new. You may be a competent driver, but it’s likely that since you passed your driving test, you have forgotten the specific rules of the road that learners need to stick to in order to pass their test. More importantly, you may have picked up some bad habits since you passed that you don’t want to pass on to the learner.

Your supervising role is all about promoting safety, confidence and providing support to the learner. Give them directions, help them with the basics, but avoid putting them through the paces and teaching them something new. Leave that to the professionals.

Be Calm and Constructive

Learning to drive can be stressful. The learner may feel tense and nervous, even when practicing with someone they know and love. As a supervisor, it’s important you don’t lose your temper, become exasperated or frustrated with the learner.

It won’t inspire confidence and the learner may even regress in their progress and ability if they feel under pressure and stressed out from a shouting supervisor. Be calm, constructive and supportive. Remember, we were all learners once.

How to Teach a Learner Driver

Remind Yourself of the Highway Code and Rules of the Road

You might think that because you can drive, you won’t need to remember the Highway Code. However, a surprising number of full licence holders would struggle to pass a practical driving test today.

Therefore, it’s important that when you support a learner driver, you re-familiarise yourself with the highway code. It will allow you to improve the quality of your supervision and help promote safety. Remember, you’re the person that the learner will fall back on when they become overwhelmed, make sure that you’re confident in your own ability to understand the rules of the road.

Ensure The Learner is Insured Correctly

When supervising the learner, you’ll need to ensure they are insured correctly. You could add them to your existing insurance policy if they plan to drive your car. However, this means that if they have an accident, your no claims bonus could be affected.

The alternative is to get a separate learner driver policy to run alongside your existing policy, which will protect your existing no claims bonus if the learner has an accident during private practice and you need to make a claim. A specific learner driver policy can also cover the learner to practice in his or her own car.

Collingwood provides learner driver insurance cover that can run alongside your existing policy or cover the learner to drive his or her own car when supervised. Get a quote here.