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Tyger’s Diary: Why you should get plenty of private practice

Tyger Drew-Honey, actor from BBC’s Outnumbered and ingenie video blogger, talks about why private driving practice is a good idea, and heads out in his car to demonstrate what a good private practice session looks like.

6 common myths about private practice

Experience is the key to becoming a better driver – a key part of being a good driver is how you to react and respond to other people on the road; whether it’s cyclists, other car drivers or pedestrians.

Getting those extra hours on the road won’t just improve your chances of passing first time, but you’ll be a safer, more confident driver for it.

MYTH: You shouldn’t practice outside of your professional lessons

This couldn’t be more wrong. The more time you spend on the road, the more experience you get. The more experience you get, the better you’re able to react and respond in a safe way on the road.

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) advises that you should plan at least 20 hours of extra practice into their driving tuition before taking your practical test.

MYTH: I’m covered on my parents insurance

Usually you won’t be covered on your parent’s insurance if you want to practice in their car. In some cases your parents may be able to add you as a named driver, but this can increase their insurance costs. Instead, you could take out your own temporary learner driver insurance to be used on their car.

If you’ve got your own car, neither of these options will do – you’ll probably need your own annual policy. ingenie can cover learner drivers with their own car - take a look at our learner driver summary.

MYTH: You have to practice in a dual control car

Unless one of your parents happens to be driving instructor, the car you’ll be doing your private practice in won’t have dual controls – where the person on the passenger seat has a set of pedals in the foot well, exactly like on the driver side.

That’s fine, because they aren’t needed – however if you’re used to driving with your instructor it’s a good point to bear in mind. When you’re practicing, your supervisor won’t be able to control the brakes like your instructor can, so make sure you’re confident with basic car control.

MYTH: Anyone can sit with you for extra practice

Legally, the person supervising you must be at least 21 and have held their licence for at least 3 years. These are the only legal considerations.

Aside from that, it’s a good idea to pick someone who you trust and also trusts you.

MYTH: You can practice in any car

The car you practice in must be in a legal road condition with clearly displayed L-plates. It’s also advisable to practice in a car that’s similar to the one you intend to drive once you pass.

You might like the idea of driving your parent’s BMW, but it’s not necessarily the best practice. Plus, you need to make sure you’re insured, and more powerful cars could cause the costs to rack up.

MYTH: You have to drive a car to practice

There’s no substitute for hands-on training when it comes to driving, but it’s not the only type of practice that will get you test ready.

Scanning the road and recognising potential hazards – cyclists, drivers in front braking late or pedestrians darting across the road – is a great way to hone your observation skills and you can do this as a passenger in a car.

Or head over to Drive iQ where you can take free practice modules and get immediate feedback on how you’ve done.

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ingenie is a car insurance brand for young drivers aged 17-25. We fit a black box in your car to assess your driving style. We'll review your policy 3 times a year and those who drive well could receive a discount.

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