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Learning To Drive With Family Bad Idea!

Updated on June 10, 2012


With the cost of living being very high in the UK, the high un-employment numbers and the recession hitting hard, many people wishing to learn to drive might turn to friends and family to give them driving lessons in an effort to save money.

I'm going to explain in this article why that is not so good an idea, and how it could end up costing you more to go through this route in getting a full UK driving licence.

One of the most common assumptions made by people who have passed the UK driving test and now have the minimum 3 years experience required to supervise a provisional licence, is that they can easily teach a novice how to drive and reach the DSA standard.

Not only do these experienced drivers not know what the current test requirements are, they also will pass on to the novice a lot of bad habits that they have picked up in the 3 years since they passed. The most important thing they lack is the proper training to develop a structured training program that will allow the novice make the most progress or take advantage of their individual strengths.

Just recently a 17 year old provisional licence holder was telling me a story of how he was stopped by an ANPR highway police car while having a 'driving lesson' with his dad because they were driving on a MOTORWAY displaying 'L' plates!

It transpired that the dad wanted to see how he handled dual carriageways so they went on the A1, but for some reason the dad failed to notice that this dual carriageway turns into a motorway and becomes the A1M. As learners are not allowed on Motorways (june 2012), they got stopped, and it turned out that the provisional licence holder was not even insured to drive the dad's car.

The learner gave excuses that he did not know it was a motorway, and that he thought he only needed insurance once he passed the driving test! So unfortunately for the young man, he was going to be prosecuted for driving on a motorway when not qualified to do so as well as driving without insurance, all because he was relying on his dad to teach him. As a driver it is his responsibility to know the law, and because he is not paying for professional lessons, his dad was not liable for the offences committed and will not have points added to his licence!

This young driver now risks being banned, having points added to his licence, faces higher insurance costs if he wants to continue to learn to drive in a private car and when he eventually does pass, no chance of having cheap insurance because the points will stay on his licence for 4 years. What an expensive mistake to make, all because they wanted to save a few points by not using a professional driving instructor.

Reasons for Using ADI

While it is currently (june 2012) not a requirement to take driving lessons with a DSA approved driving instructor before going for a test in the UK, there are a few reasons why you should learn to drive with one.

1. You will be legally covered and insured in the vehicle you are driving (Always check your driving instructors green badge to confirm they are fully qualified and still approved by the DSA).

2. Your driving instructor will have updated and current DSA requirements for the driving test. Many learners will be taught by family/friends who passed their test first time, and thus don't even know the many serious faults that test candidates fail on.

3. Test Centre local knowledge and test routes. While memorising dsa test routes is not a guarantee of passing, your driving instructor will be able to test your skills on the many varied conditions you might get on the test, this can expose weaknesses that can be dealt with.

4. Driving instructors have been trained to teach provisional licence holders. On average it takes about 12 months to go through the training and pass the exams requared to get on the DSA register, this means that your instructor will fully know all the legal requirements a driver has to fulfill.

5. Driving instructors have a professional responsibility. If you are paying money for driving lessons, then it is more likely that your supervisor will be jointly liable for any offences you commit, unless they can prove they did everything within their power to prevent it (dual controls can be used to prevent speeding or accidents).

6. You benefit from structured learning gained from many years of experience, and the ability to adapt to individual learner styles.

Multi-Lane Roundabout video Lesson


While you do not have to take professional drivng lessons in order to pass the UK driving test, make sure you fully think about the options available to you before sticking to friends or family. Saving a few pounds could prove to be more expensive in the long run if you are taught bad habits, given the wrong information and not prepared to the current DSA standard.

If you want free driving test advice, tips or videos, visit my webite:


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