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Fourth Gear: practice makes perfect

Family and instructor

Parents have lots of excuses for not helping their kids with driving

We all know getting driving practice outside of lessons makes better drivers. The government recommends a minimum of 22 hours of practice time, on top of 47 hours of driving lessons - and for very good reason.

Private practice gets you driving at different times, on different roads and in different conditions: basically, it gives you more experience with how driving will be once you've passed your test.

But the people who make that possible (Mum and Dad) seem strangely reluctant to get involved.

Parents have more excuses than a P.E. class in winter

In Belfast, a third of parents say they've never helped their child with driving practice because of the weather. The exact same weather their learner driver will soon be facing alone.

As well as playing the weather card, parents also blame the traffic and being too tired. Aberystwyth must have a mad party scene because a massive 50% of the parents we surveyed beg off driving practice because they're knackered.

54% of parents do no driving practice with their children.

Private practice is about more than just road safety

Well - I say 'just' road safety. That's the most important part, but there is a really big secondary benefit to parents helping their children with driving practice: reaffirming the #squadgoals family bond.

We live in a society where 66% of parents reckon watching telly together counts as quality family time. Only 13% of parents told us they spend time with their kids doing things that aren't part of the standard weekly routine.

At the age that most people are learning to drive, it's easy to let distance open up between parent and child. Tackling a difficult and potentially stressful situation together - for massive future benefit - is about as close as you can get.

Find out how private practice works and get the infographic of what you can do as a parent.

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 .