Learning to drive can be expensive – really expensive — so it’s only natural that when you’re learning you’ll want to save as much money as possible. And one of the best ways of cutting the cost of learning is by supplementing your tuition with some practice with a friend or family member.
Unfortunately, your parent is unlikely to be a driving instructor and might not know what they’re doing. Luckily, we’ve prepared a ten step guide to ensure that your private practice is as pain-free as possible.
Use the professionals for guidance
No, not Bodie and Doyle (ask your parents) a driving professional. Experts help young drivers take adequate control over the vehicle, know the road rule and correct procedures for managing a vehicle in traffic while making safe decisions.
Lead by example
The parent’s biggest contribution to the learner driver’s safety and effectiveness behind the wheel will be setting a good example. Parents should read a current copy of the Highway Code and work with you on the theory exam.
Plan your sessions in advance
Decide where to go and what you’re going to do before setting out. Take some care in selecting a suitable area and driving route. A large deserted car park is ideal initially, as you can concentrate fully on the feel of the controls and response of the car.
Find quiet roads
Important until you’ve developed confidence, especially around traffic. Your parent should provide good feedback when you’re practising your manoeuvres.
Avoid carrying passengers
They’re just a distraction you could do without.
You’re not ready for all the challenges of the road so your parent must be fully aware of the various hazards at all times; they must be constantly anticipating the moves of others.
Don’t get excited
This can cause you and your parent to panic; also, shouting instructions isn’t effective where calm communication is better understood.
Your parent should be sparing with their comments, but problems must be identified while still fresh in the memory. Confidence needs to be built first.
Work with a professional
Get your parents to discover what you’re being taught and what techniques are being used, to avoid clashing.
Make learning enjoyable
This is one for your parent; make sure they keep their cool so that you both enjoy the process; you shouldn’t be dreading getting into the car each time you go out. Also, remember that anyone supervising a learner driver must be at least 21, and must have held a full licence for at least three years.