Learning to drive with family
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Learning to drive

Learning to drive with parents: pros and cons

Most of us rely on our parents way too much - and for way too long. Unfortunately, no one ever teaches you how to do any of the useful adult stuff like starting an ISA or figuring out tax.

So, we see Mum and Dad as the fount of all knowledge and ring them 3 times a day to ask dumb questions. But when it comes to learning to drive, are parents the way to go?

Pro: they're your parents.

Con: they're your parents.

Learn to drive with your mum or dad...or not?

Pros of learning with a parent Cons of learning with a parent
It's cheap! It may cost you in the long run if you keep failing tests
They know you and how you learn They're not qualified to teach driving skills
They're flexible with time so you'd experience more road situations You're at their mercy - you'll have to work around their schedule
You don't have to be polite when you're scared or upset The arguments, man, the arguments
You probably have more access to a car for practising No dual controls in that car, which is a pretty massive deal
They can take more time to explain things to you They don't have up-to-date road safety knowledge so you'll have gaps in yours
You can take your test in the car you learned in You won't be covered by a driving instructor's insurance
 

The difference a driving instructor makes

Saving money in the short-term but wasting money in the long-term is called a false economy. If you save money on learning to drive by getting someone you know to teach you, you'll avoid that £25 an hour, sure.

What you'll also be avoiding is up-to-date knowledge of driving test subjects, an insider's view of where the test routes are, years of experience in teaching, dual controls (pretty important!) and a whole lot more besides.

Long story short: you need a trained driving instructor to teach you to drive. It's what they do.

How parents CAN help

If you're lucky enough to have family members willing to help you out, ask your driving instructor when they think it would be OK to start private practice.

Private practice is any driving you do outside of driving lessons. It's NOT someone teaching you to drive; it's literally just practising what your instructor has already taught you and is confident you can go over without their supervision.

This kind of driving practice is great because you can get experience with driving a different car, driving at different times of day and seeing other types of road. Just make sure whoever's supervising you is a) legally allowed to and b) absolutely on-board with the fact they're not there to teach.

Think Mum or Dad could do with a bit of driving revision? We made a Parent's Guide just for them.

It's a team game: you, your parents and your driving instructor. Oh - and us, when you need insurance. No pressure.


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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 .