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New ingenie stats reveal the truth about learning to drive with parents


75% of parents have private practice all wrong

Parents know many, many things but let's get one thing straight: they shouldn't be 'teaching' any part of driving, unless they're a qualified driving instructor. They don't know the latest test requirements, they're not trained to teach the skills safely and they're likely to pass on bad habits.

But where parents do come in VERY handy is private practice, the driving you do between lessons with a driving instructor. The only problem is: are they doing it right?

In our latest survey, we asked parents and young drivers about the private practice they did to prepare for the driving test.

Our results showed nearly half of parents think private practice is an opportunity to teach their child to drive and pass on their driving knowledge - and only 25% said their role was just to supervise.

Parents and private practice

Why is private practice so important?

I mean yeah, you get more time in the car so you're more likely to pass. But it's also a completely different kind of driving. One problem I found with not having any private practice is that I got too comfortable with my driving instructor and didn't feel like I was under test conditions.

Practising with a parent gives you some important real-life experience: they don't have dual controls so there's no safety net and they don't know every one of your driving quirks. That's going to come in handy when you get to test time and the examiner doesn't know you from Adam.

Hours of private practice

RoSPA - Young and Novice Drivers' Education, Training and Licensing, 2002

Who's better to practise with?

In our worst passengers to have in your car post, the character people most recognised was The Screamer. Let's face it: that's your mum. But in our survey of young drivers, Mum actually came out on top.

62% of young drivers said they felt they passed quicker and 38% felt more confident behind the wheel after practising with Mum.

Drivers found practising with their dad was more stressful - but 60% of them practise with him! Might want to have a rethink about that...

It's never going to be all plain sailing with either parent - 20% of parents reported that they'd argued with their child during practice.

Mum vs. Dad

What ingenie recommends

  • Show your parents our new Parent's Guide to make sure they know what they should be doing
  • Try practising with both parents to see which suits best
  • Don't get worked up about arguing - park up and talk it through

Check out our private practice tips in the ingenie Parent's Guide.
It's about time we got this right!


Honor Clement-Hayes

By Honor Clement-Hayes

Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .

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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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