Be legal,Be Prepared.

Perhaps the most important part of you accompanying a learner driver is the fact that you, the vehicle and the learner are legal.

Lets start with you, The accompanying driver, you must be over the age of 21 AND have held a full driving licence for the category of vehicle that you are using, for a minimum of three years. If you only have a licence to drive an automatic vehicle you are not entitiled to supervise a learner in a manual car. A manual licence holder can supervise a learner in an automatic vehicle

The vehicle must be insured for the purposes,if the vehicle is comprehensively covered for any driver, it may not cover, the use of the vehicle by persons under a certain age or with provisional licence entitlement, it is worth checking with your insurer,but it may well mean that the policy price will rise significantly.


The learner. If the learner has insurance of their own for the vehicle  the superviser does not need to be named on the policy or indeed actually insured,but it would be unwise not to be as the need may arise for the supervisor to take over the controls at some point, it is also worth noting, that once the learner has passed their driving test the insurance is very likely to INCREASE due to the change in circumstances,

Be prepared

First make sure the car is in order for learning. The obvious" L plates" must be positioned to the front and rear of vehicle, and should be CLEARLY visible.  If possible position on the outside of the vehicle,L plates attached to the inside or outside of the windows can severely restrict visibilty.

Use a mirror

All decisions relating to driving are made by gathering information and this includes knowing what is happening behind your vehicle, it is impossible to advise your driver if you are not fully aware of all circumstances developing around you.

It is therefore a good idea to have a supplementary rear view suction mirror for your own use.

Most learners will take a few driving lessons before venturing out in a vehicle without the dual control "safety net". Some learners  develop  an understanding of the use of a vehicle before their first professional driving lesson

Whichever way your learner has started, the aim is the same, to create a safe driver with good understanding of the rules and laws of the road and to allow them to reach a level of competance where they will be able to drive unassisted.

All driving lessons are structured and follow the DSA`s recommended syllabus.
Your learner will be updated at the end of every driving lesson and a record made of the lesson taken, this lesson is recorded in their progress and appointment booklet, please feel free to make notes of the progress on your outings there is a page within the booklet that is allocated for this and it will help in lessons if a record is kept.

It is possible the car you are supevising in is a different car to the training vehicle.
Some differences may be very obvious to you, the experienced driver, but to a learner the smallest of differences can appear to be very significant. Even same model cars can have an unfamiliar feel to them.
The clutch pedal is probably the best example, what may result in a smooth move away in one vehicle may positively "kangaroo" in another.Give plenty of time for them to get used to the controls including brakes acccelerator steering and even indicators(sometimes mistaken for windscreen wipers).It`s worth spending a good lenghth of time simply working on moving with the clutch even if it`s on a car park.

Changing Times

It is  important for the supervisor to understand that the way of driving changes over  time,and some of the methods of driving may not be the same as those when you took your test, whether it was thirty years or  three years ago, the way of driving can differ as vehicles and traffic systems change.

If you notice something that may not ring true with your own way of driving or you believe it to be incorrect it will be worthwhile noting and asking the instructor to clarify any thing that may  be untoward,  below are some examples that may help to understand the differances.

Stopping in gear. When stopping at traffic lights or at the side of the road, it is not necessary to change to a lower gear, It is acceptable to bring the vehicle to a stop in 5th gear, though generally it is more likely to be 3rd or 4th. when driving in towns..It is more economic and eco-friendly to use, first of all, lack of power and then the brakes, therefore using less clutch movement.

Changing gears. Over time, and as vehicles have  vastly improved brake systems,  gears have been used less in the  assisstance of  the vehicle slowing  down.
At one time, it was the norm to change down to every gear in sequence.nowadays it is not necessary to go from 5 to 4 to 3 to 2 to 1 ,it is perfectly acceptable to block change, for example if you are driving at 60 mph and need to prepare to turn into a side road, it is obvious this will require a considerable reduction in speed.  Having decided on  your speed to negotiate the turn( around 10or15 mph)  the only gear selection needed  assuming you were in 5th gear, would be to change directly to  2nd gear.



The use of indicators should be used to give positive information of your intentions to other road users.
You will signal as a matter of course when turning at junctions, crossroads or roundabouts.
It is necessary to signal when pulling over to the side of the road when another vehicle is following or other vehicles or pedestrians are around that would benefit from your signals.

Below are examples that may go some way to clarifying when or when not to use signals.

 1. You wish to pull over,there is not a vehicle behind and there is  no one to the front  of you .it is not necessary to signal.

2.  The same situation ,but you see a pedestrian waiting to cross the road ahead, or a car wanting to leave a juntion you would give a signal to inform the pedestrian and the car driver.

3.Moving way from the side of the road you see vehicles approaching from behind .You will not signal as you do not intend to pull out in front of them.

4. Moving away from the side of the road there are no vehicles around, therefore you can move away without the need for a signal.

5. You see a bus ahead, it is stationary and letting passengers on and off at a bus stop, it`s safe to go around the bus, because you have checked all around, it is therefore not necessary to signal right in order to overtake. If you have positioned correctly other road users will see the bus and your intentions will be read correctly, signalling can easily cause confusion, misleading following drivers to think you are turning into a road on the right.

These are just a few examples of possibly hundreds that could be written, but theyre are misconceptions that, experienced drivers, THINK should be done for a driving test,and over time you may think you have forgot the correct methods, but if you ask yourself what you would do, it will probably be the correct way, I.E not signalling to overtake buses or moving away.


In summary:- Not giving a signal when pulling over or moving away may not always be necessary but the information we gather to allow us to make that decision is imperative.

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