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Getting into first gear: How learner drivers can progress

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Getting into first gear: How learner drivers can progress

Starting to drive is a massive leap into independence. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to learning to drive, and even more when you’re finally told you’ve passed and are free to drive solo. 

Here at LV= we want to help you make the process of learning to drive both safe and enjoyable. That’s why we’ve pulled together these driving tips and road safety tips to help you and your family.

Learning to drive

Being a learner driver can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be if you’re prepared. There are a number of things you can do to help an inexperienced driver.

Find a suitable and fully-qualified instructor

Do some research with your child to find a suitable and fully-qualified instructor. Of course, you want one that’s qualified but it’s also important that they get on with their instructor. Don’t be afraid to change if you feel like it’s not a good match after a few lessons. 

Word of mouth is always a great way to find someone that’s right for the job so ask other parents who have helped their child pass their test. Research reviews and ratings of instructors and check out their qualifications. This is something you can do alongside your child but ultimately, it’s their decision and let them pick. It’s an important decision to make so take whatever time you both need.

A fully-qualified approved driving instructor (ADI) will have passed their exams and will then be assessed every two to four years by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA). This ensures their teaching standards are maintained. Fully-qualified instructors are more likely to have the experience needed to help them pass.


Invest in learner driver insurance and take them out

Not everyone will be able to have constructive driving lessons with their parent but it’s worth giving it a try at least once or twice. The extra practice and guidance from an experienced driver can have a massive impact on their ability and confidence. 

Passing on your driving tips can be stressful, especially if your child is determined not to listen, but try to persevere. Learner driver insurance means you can take them out without worrying too much. However, if you do find it’s more stressful than helpful – leave it to the professionals.


Encourage studying at home

Studying at home for the theory test is really simple but it takes time. Young people usually have to balance learning to drive with their education, part-time jobs and other commitments they may have so try to be patient and encouraging. 

Talk to them and find out how you can best support them. They may want to do it all by themselves, while others will need prompts to actually pick up the book or view the online resources.

Road safety tips for new drivers

Once the provisional licence has been traded in for the full version, you’ll be thinking about buying new driver insurance, which can be expensive. You may have added a learner driver to your multi-car policy while they were learning to drive their own car (or learning in your car) - continuing with a multi car policy can be a good way to help them build up their no claim discount (NCD) with their own vehicle, which will reduce the cost over time. New drivers can also benefit from being careful about what type of car they buy as what group it will fall into can have a big impact on the policy on offer. 

Whether your child is getting a car of their own or sharing a vehicle depends on circumstances. If a new driver is getting a car, however, there are a few things to consider. It will obviously need to be safe and reliable, suitable for your budget and ideally have a small engine, as this will help keep the cost down due to reduced car tax and new driver insurance policies.

An Advanced Driver Course is another option to consider as it develops a wide range of driving skills. Whatever you choose, brushing up on the Highway Code regularly is always advisable.

Practice some more

That first drive alone can be intimidating so make sure you’re around to offer to accompany them on their first few journeys without their instructor by their side. If they are particularly nervous, you can always recommend additional training such as Pass Plus

An Advanced Driver Course is another option to consider as it develops a wide range of driving skills. Whatever you choose, brushing up on the Highway Code regularly is always advisable.


Ease the pressure

After being used to driving with company for so long, it may be daunting to drive alone for the first time. Encourage your new driver to set goals and achieve them bit by bit. Maybe they can drive to the shops to pick you up some milk? A short journey on familiar roads can help them build their confidence.

You may also want to get some ‘P’ plates to replace the ‘L’ ones. Although not needed by law, it can help other drivers understand that someone is inexperienced and – hopefully – they’ll give them more time and not put pressure on them to exit roundabouts or junctions before they’re ready. 

Ready to get started? LV= can help with learner driver insurance, and our multi car policy is a great option for new driver insurance.

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