What is private practice?
Private practice is any driving a learner does outside of lessons with a trained driving instructor.
The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recommends at least 47 hours of driving lessons and 22 hours of private driving practice before test time.
Why driving practice is so important
Learner drivers typically do their driving lessons at the same time each week. Say that's 10am on a Saturday morning; your son or daughter is going to learn how to drive at 10am on a Saturday morning.
They won't be learning how to drive in the dark or in weekday rush hour traffic. If - like many young drivers - they learn to drive in one season, they may not experience driving in ice, in fog or in heavy rain until they're on their own.
This is where you come in. The help you can give them is taking the knowledge they get from their trained driving instructor and applying it to real world situations. Although you shouldn't be teaching them anything new, you can support them as they encounter new driving environments.
Understandably, as a learner can't be responsible for safety yet, there are some rules for how private practice is conducted.
The learner needs provisional insurance - yours won't cover them unless you add them to your policy.
The supervising driver must have held a full licence for 3 years or more and be at least 21 years old.
The supervising driver must not be over the drink drive limit and must not use a phone - the same rules apply to them as if they were actually driving the car.
The car must have L-plates on the front and back.
Get more information about doing private practice.
How to approach private practice
Private practice is just that: practice. It isn't about learning new skills - that's best left for driving lessons with an instructor. Once their instructor says they're ready, you can start taking your child out to go over what they've learned so far.
It can be pretty nerve-racking at first (your child! Driving a car!) so start slow. Finding an empty car park at a quiet time of day is a good place to begin as there will be fewer other drivers to worry about. They can show you the basic moving off and pulling over processes, which will help you both relax.